Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\lrelk.gifElkfest 2000Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\rlelk.gif

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 ElkFest 2000

by Bob Kayak Bob (our rotatable reporter, 43)

in Widdington


Pissed Owls At Dawn

When I looked out across the festival site, just as Dawn was breaking wind in the adjoining room, I thought to myself, someones been tidying up.  It was Sunday morning and this years Elkfest had all but passed into history and the Widdington Evening Moose.

After the carnage we had all witnessed the previous night and well into the early doors, how could such a serene and silent scene present itself, I wondered.  A subdued, but pleasant, surreal breakfast followed, and a chance to collect my thoughts.  I soon found them lurking in the bushes and the events of the past few days came flooding back.

 No Food At The Inn

The first Elkfest of the millenium (6) kicked off in glorious sunshine, which, after last years damp but intimate affair, came as a great relief to the Lodge Porter (48), whose stalwart efforts in the preparation of such a truly international event, went largely unnoticed.  I was fortunate, however, to secure a rare interview with said reclusive figure.  In typical Lodge Poter style, his only comment for the press was, Keep off the grass, you pillock!  I took his comment in the spirit it was intended and beat a hasty retreat.

And so to the opening ceremony.  Des Lynam made a brief appearance to say, Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\des_lynam.gifgot a bit of a fest on this week-end, then he was off before anyone noticed hed arrived.  Good thinking, Des, for the thinking mans thinking man was just about to enter and upstage even the finest of moustaches.  Yes, as ever, Doctor Philip Bailey was on hand to perform the traditional wrapping of the towel, which he achieved with his usual aplomb and the tasting of the beer was enjoyed by all.Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\barrel00.jpg  Various oral infections were passed down the line of amassed elks, but the less said about that the better the bitter, on the other hand, was excellent and remained so throughout the week-end.  [If you think Im signing for these expenses, youve got another think coming ead itter].

Barrel tapped and various apparels wrapped, the Fleur de Lee Harvey Oswald beckoned.  Alas, would you edam and ave it, the pub had stopped serving food by the time we arrived.  Drastic measures were called for and the Lodge Porter did his best, but the Landlord was evemant My car park is for cars, not camels, he said.  Oh and we stopped doing food at eight minutes to nine!  But a compromise was finally sorted.  The Newport curry house did us proud and I was amazed at the prompt delivery Widdington is a heck of a long way from Wales.

Rut Me No Ruts - William Elkspeare (400-ish)

Eve (too old to mention) was over, Adam (even older) was done, Elkfest (6) proper was about to begin.  By now, the whole site was alive with elks.  The scene was set, the food prepared (the latter thanks to the sterling efforts of The Burgers of The Second Of May (11).

And so, replete and raring to go, the main business of the week-end kicked off with the cabaret; perhaps the most bloody, violent cabaret the elkfest has ever witnessed.  Goodness only knows how the Elks Festal Virgins felt about the proceedings and there were many, many Festal Virgins present (0).

 Sideboards Without Malice Aforethought

Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\lodgeporter.jpgFirst up was an introduction from the Lodge Porter (48) in person.  Its rare that the porter himself deigns to partake of these festivities, but I think we can all agree that his well-observed points were worth taking note of.  Not least the mention of rutting.  As the great man himself pointed out, rutting should only take place in the designated areas.  Unfortunately, I spent the whole evening trying to locate these designated areas and failed miserably, so my week-end remained rutless, not even with any of the aforesaid Elk Festal Virgins.  [Good thing too ead itter]

Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\philb.jpgNext to tread the newly-laid cabaret boards was our old friend Doctor Philip Bailey (97), with his usual unique contribution.  This year it was a history of the world as seen through the eyes of a penny whistle.  The penny whistle played a blinder and very nearly upstaged our veteran elkfester, but as we all know, to upstage our favourite Doctor is a task best left to morons.  The penny whistle finally succumbed to the Doctors intentions and many a mating call was to be heard before the act was over.  

Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\valkeries.jpgHeavens above!  No sooner had the good Doctor left the stage, when we were invaded by Vikings (3).  No rape and pillage, but a dreadful assault on the eardrums ensued.  And then, no sooner than the attack had begun, it ceased to be and we were back in the arms of our faithful MC Mr Pile Michelle.

Many supermarket labels later, the next cabaret act strode the carefully prepared boards.  Education, education, education followed with a Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\clive.jpgFranco-Icelandic lesson entitled Krek Waiters Peak Magnus Magnusson.  Cliff (2) and Sue the bastards for every penny (also 2, but Penny to her friends) presented an illuminating mixture of French and Scandinavian pronounciation.  Parting the waves and splitting the assembled ensemble into rival factions battle commenced.  Much bristling followed.  Quite who the winners were I never found out, but language was probably the ultimate victor borger.

Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\roberica.jpgThe next act was violence personified.  Loosely entitled 100 ways to kill your lover, Erika (with the use of the biggest weapon on display at any Elkfest) demonstrated how to reduce ones nearest and dearest to a pile of sawdust on the new Elkfest boards.  And without further ado, the Vikings were at it again.  This time bombarding the audience with lightning bolts from the blue.  (I must admit it was good to see such good use being made of the balcony, but did it really require such a violent display to break the mould?)

Fortunately our reliable MC Pull Mackerels saved the day and returned a semblance of surrealism to the proceedings with more tales of the unexpected warnings.  (Perhaps some of the violent cabaret acts should adopt such warnings, for instance this next act may seriously impair your view of the world, or would that be an insult to the hardened Elkfester?)  Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\angie.jpgThis timely interlude was timely intervened by a timely and welcome poetry reading.  Angie appeared and introduced whelks to the assembled elks.  Sea food has never been the rescuer of so few in such dire need before.  Long live oders.  Odours may come and odours may go, but oders can go on as long as they like as far as Im concerned.

Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\dickies.jpgAnd then it was that old Elkfest cabaret favourite, the four goatees, or rather it wasnt .  Turns out the goatees were doing a world tour of Loughborough, so we had to endure the 4 Dickies.  And endure we did.  After many false tarts, they finally gave us a blues in E.  Well conducted, but what was all that nonsense with the classical guitar?  Three Dickies the band leader, a harmonica and a well tuned pair of maracas - wouldve suited me just fine.

Oh god!  Back came the Vikings and their Ride of the Elkyries.  Not content with spearing us with lightning bolts, they decide to take out their aggression on a harmless rabbit.  The poor old bunny is now in the Cambridge Intensive Care Unit and recovering well, since visits from Rolf Harris have been banned.

More MC labels followed and then we were onto the home run.  Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\kingsley.jpgKingsley invited us to stand up, whilst he delivered a few Ozian home truths and then the most surreal act of the evening befell us.  Lorra-lee was introduced.  This was probably the most stunning act I have witnessed at any Elkfest since the spooky little bit of black magic back in year one.  Our MC introduced said Lorry and the amazing vanishing act began.  One minute she wasnt there and the next she still wasnt there.  Spooky?  You bet but spookier.

That left just one act or so I believed.  Yet again my Elkfest programme was faulty.  An unbilled turn turned up and re-enacted the closing scene of 2001 A Space Odyssey Part One.  You could almost see the fractured beer glass turning into a spaceship as the excitable monkey pounded the plastic into the skies.  I forget the name of this act it may have been Cathedral or Minster but it was most certainly one of the Festal Virgins, so good on you Large Church or Sizeable Temple, whoever you were.

And that was it almost.  Just time for Pete to close the opening agenda with a beautifully prepared piece of prose.  Hed asked to be put down at the end, and as no-one has seen him since, one can only presume that, that is exactly what one of the cabaret acts did.  [See Murder at the Lodge Page 5, and The hunt for the missing elk continues the police are treating this disappearance with creosote, although varnish has not been ruled out Page 19, ead itter]

Some Elks Like It Hot

With barely enough time to recover from the attrocities of the cabaret, Crimson Shadow (4+2) strode onto the stage.  It was good to see them back in the garden after last years cramped indoor games.

Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\band1.jpgA mighty set had been prepared and a mighty set was delivered.  From the opening bars of Mustard Salad to the closing bars of Must Have Silly, the music was a tour de force, catapulting the band right up there with the likes of Hammond Innes and Alastair McLean; the plot was thin, the prose even thinner, but it was a thriller from start to finish.

Lots of new tracks this year, although I understand more had been planned, then deferred due to injury.  I was able to quiz the lodge porter about this, but in typical fashion, he simply replied Keep off the grass you moron!  You have to admire his sense of humour, dont you?

Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\band2.jpgStill, it was a finely balanced set, with the opener Moustache Sagging followed by a new New Druids number called Ready - Steady - Look Up, which involved the band being presented with 2 chords and being required to turn them into a gourmet dish, suitable for an Elkfest audience.  The result was not on a par with the mushroom burgers, but edible enough.

Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\band3.jpgThen came what is fast becoming an Elkfest fav.  Starless is not what one might call a top ten hit, but it scores a direct hit whenever it is heard at the fest.  This year was no exception.  The sombre, if distinctly not sober,  mood continued with a blues by Gary Muir (50 if hes a year over 49).  Still got the boils really hit the spot.

Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\dance1.jpgADescription: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\chrisp.jpgnd then the mood took an upward swing.  A Mike and the Mechanoids track.  In a rare moment of inattention I glanced "over my shoulder" to see what I thought was the audience rushing to attack the band.  But no, it was a bizare moment that lasted through to the end of the set where people were dancing.  Well I think that's what it was.  Difficult to tell when watching Chris Peescake.

And so the climax was all but upon us.  Dance the night away closed the set, according to my programme, so I was unsure as to whether Brownian Motion Girl was an encore or an addition to the mainDescription: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\dance2.jpg set.  Nevertheless I enjoyed both.  And of course Muscle Bound Sally as the official encore was most welcome. Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\dance3.jpg

I even managed to secure an exclusive interview with the lodge porter after the music slot.  He was his usual witty self.  My only question was: So what was the high point for you, Mr. Porter?  His response was: Keep off the grass you ageing hippy!  Nice one, Lodge.

Ooh Er My Bicycle Clips Need Adjusting Mistress  

Which left the pantomime.  And what a sight for sore ears it was this year.  A Carry On, a sci-fi classic and plenty of Casablanca to boot into touch.

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From the opening scene (1) it was clear (even to me, 43) who the hero of the story was going to be.  Yes, after the annoying preamble with that Doctor Who fellow (750+), Blobby arrived and stole the show.  (I wont disclose all the details, as this fine play will no doubt move to the West End of Cheltenham imminently).  Suffice it to say that the arrival of swimming capped man on spacehopper put paid to all that luvvie nonsense.  Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\markclive.jpgA star is born they say but tonight a star was in the making.  His costume was dapper, his presence dappier.  The fact that we had to wait so long for his reappearance was quite honestly a travesty; it was a disgrace, an insult, a faux pas de large.

And so, hours later, our star reappeared.  In between, there were, admittedly, some moments of slight interest.  Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\suephilb.jpgLeela (always my favourite of the Doctors accomplices although I do seem to recall her leathers were more revealing in olden days, and my programme was again sadly deficient, as I understand Doctor Philip Bailey was cast to reveal more than a thigh or two) put on a good show, especially as the walls of the pyramid came tumbling down.  That scene in particular showed the commitment of the cast to the relaism of this production.  So too did Dalek-1, although he was a little upstaged by Daleks 2 and 3, until his immortal Return to Base lines something Crimson Shadow fretted over (if youll excuse the pun). 

Patch (K-9s brother) was suitably loyal and sang very well, although his peeing on a lamp-post lacked the dampness of last years performance.  That said, his constant variation on a theme (of Yes Mistress) was a constant source of illumination.  (Rather like that of the volunteer, who gave a fine and upstanding impression of a lamp-post).  Description: E:\Data\Web\Elkfest\Elkweb2011\blobby.jpg

The lodge porter (48, involved once again) as the narrator, gave a solid performance rather like mahogany in fact - and Samantha was true to her FX duties, as ever, and the voice of Pailey once again proved too much for my delicate ear-drums. 

The main stags of the evening the Doctor and the Mistress obviously had superior costumiers, as they stood out like sore bums on the dress-front.  I suspect they will be looking for a rematch after this years cat-walk conflict.

And then Blobby reappeared hurrah!  If the swimming cap fits, then it must be the man who wears it, who makes the difference.  And what a difference.

Another Ear

So that was that.  Just another few hours to go and it was well past my bedtime.  I did manage to recover sufficiently to watch Sunday mornings repeat of Phils latest Star Wars venture most gratifying.  So - another year, another collar.  Well, thats how my dog (3) sees it, but then he does work for the Avon Constabulary. 

Every year it gets better, and very ear it ets etter.  Losing one letter could be regarded as a misfortune, but to miss even one Elkfest would surely be regarded as carelessness.  Long live the Elkfest, long live the Elk.s and long live the Lodge Porter.  It couldnt be done without you.  God bless im and all who sale shares in deer.

This report of Elkfest 2000 was reproduced in full from the Widdington Evening Moose by cutting and pasting using scissors, flour and water


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