by Bryony Bennett
Having squelched, slipped and splashed our way into the bog that once was Stoke Park, Bjorn Again were strutting their funky stuff on the main stage at this year’s Guilfest. After a good sing-a-long, the crowd were warmed up for the hotly anticipated Take Fat. Although introduced with fat-related name-a-likes (Blobby Williams, Gary Lardo, Jason Chocolate Orange, Howard McDonalds and Mark Growin’), the overweight tribute band weren’t nearly as obese as I’d hoped they’d be. Perhaps with the exception of Jason Chocolate Orange, who treated the crowd to glimpses of a decent sized belly over-hang throughout.
Bjorn Again and their funky stuff (pictured above) with Take Fat and their only workout of the year (pictured below).
Blobby Williams was a mildly chubby but excellent Robbie impersonator – and I suspect the whole band was formed around his likeness to the star. Mark Growin’ was also the right height, and Gary Lardo’s wig (I hope it was a wig) hinted at a 90’s Barlow. The overall effect worked and the band was thoroughly entertaining, even inviting snacks to be thrown on stage to keep their calorie intake up. They certainly didn’t want to expend more energy than strictly necessary so as to keep the title of ‘Take Fat’.
Some suggested improvements for Take Fat: more classic vs new Take That material; wheel out an inflated looking LuLu to belt out her part of ‘Relight my Fire’ – would have made all the difference, instead of cutting to a rendition of ‘Disco Inferno’ half way through the song.
It’s hard to think of an act that can follow the mighty Take Fat – but Tim Minchin did us proud. A medley of mild and offensive songs had the crowd chuckling, and a few appalled parents were seen dragging their children out of earshot. But his songs were educational as well as comical, and we all learned one thing: only a ginger can call another ginger, ginger. And he can’t eat cheese.
After a brief spell watching a Take Fat encore (Tulisa was ‘ill’ and couldn’t go on) we waded through ankle deep mud to listen to Andy C’s set at the Kane FM Funky End Dance tent (pictured above). It was like a teeny bopper bomb had gone off, spraying 16-year-old topless lads and half-dressed girls all over the place. The highest concentration of security staff could also be seen here more than anywhere else at Guilfest. The music was as unappealing as the crowd, and after one dubstep track too many, we made off to watch Gary Numan, who smashed it. An impressive light show and some seriously excellent rock music made it the highlight of the day, and a great end to our first visit to Guilfest.
Gary Numan smashing it.
But one unanswered question remains: why was there such a strong smell of manure?