EDitorial ± 21-Jul-2008

In Search Of King Stupid

Promises made to kids: like a pinata, they're made to be broken. Planning a full day's worth of arty shows at the nearby Latitude festival, I'd spotted that Saturday, 11am, saw The Early Edition with Marcus Brigstocke. That, I said to the children, is none other than King Stupid.

Not often I impress them. OK, never. But that did. Wow, they mouthed. Dad, get his autograph, will you? Thinks: literary tent before noon? Prob'ly be half-full. Er, 'course I will, no problem.

Southwold-ish, festival site, 11:45am, and the crowd are six-deep outside the lit' big top. Sunny outside, can't even see inside. From the loudspeakers I can hear Phill Jupitus, Donna McPhail et cetera. And Mr MB. By this time I'm standing round the side near the "signing" area, assuming that The Performers will be heading there straight after the show. Which they duly don't.

Nobody comes out from the restricted area round the back though various (presumably) family and friends go in. In the end, I ask a hanger-on, who's heading in, to ask MB if he'll come over. And finally, he does.

[me, timidly] Nice to meet you, Mr Brigstocke. My kids made me swear to not come back today without your signature.
[MB, graciously] Ah, King Stupid!

Job done, it's off to see:

  • show: How George Formby Saved My Life: ukuleles galore; patchy
  • poet: Simon Armitage: v. good, featuring a finale of Luddington Foot
  • music: Bishi, fab Culture Show-featured Bengali DJ and musician
  • film: The Pearce Sisters, another quality Aardman short
  • Q&A: Patrick Marber, him off The Day Today, with Closer/Love You More clips
  • music: Acid Brass! -- The Fairey Band play Acid House songs; room went mad when that final KLF tune started
  • film: unsettling Rubberheart short, star Rebecca Hall in attendance
  • music: Malcolm Middleton being miserable in the wood stage
  • music: the mighty Elbow on the Obelisk stage, Guy giving it some
  • music: the awesome Sigur Ros providing a near religious experience as the sun set

... and still managed to miss Jeremy Hardy, Iain Banks, Bill Bailey, and so on. Tip for next year: before leaving the car, place a traffic cone on the roof. Might sav 45 minutes of traipsing around in the dark gone midnight trying to find a black car.