Bit late to be reviewing this I know, but I've been on holiday...
Right. Got out of the car, having parked in NN1, just round the corner from the Labour Club... this bit of Nthmptn is strangely calm, serene even. I decide to take off my socks - how right I was, as it was a hot night and especially tropical in the club.
Stand awkwardly at the bar, as is the fashion in our hometown of Oxford. Joe Woolly plays his set as I set about some guinness... mmm... extra cold... *splutter* hang on a sec... She Belongs To Me? Opening with a Dylan song? Surely some mistake?
But, try as I might, I can't write off mr W after just one song, and the one he plays next is a beauty... there's something eternally 1965 about Joe, from his gently English voice to his almost-nervous demeanour... by the end of the set I'm quite won over.
The poet Terrence Walpole introduces Curtis' set with a rendition of his own unique take on The Lord's Prayer. My favourite line is "Deslither us from drivel".
The audience is now silent, wide-eyed and open-mouthed... Curtis plays a great set, accompanied only by his guitar. His songs are beautifully unusual - one is about Space Mining, another about the political situation in the far east, all performed with his sweet, souly voice. He finishes up by accompanying Terry through a cover of an Incredible String Band, though I couldn't tell you which one (I've only got the first 3 or 4 albums, see?). Marvellous. It was well worth coming up from 'ver Ox for just Joe, Curtis and Terry let alone the headliners.
...who were fantastic. I thought that I'd be able to slough off and concentrate on my guinness during Jesse Morningstar's set - how bloody wrong I was. Morningstar took us on a whistle-stop tour of most of the styles of music of the last 100 years and then rocked us so hard that, had I not taken my socks off beforehand, they would have been off my feet like a fucking shot...
Look, if you've been thinking about visiting the Masters of Budvar but haven't so far, it's time to stop dithering and just get over there. I don't think we can afford not to become regulars!