Chorlton Green Festival

Manchester Travel Blog

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Dr Butler's hatstand Medicine band
This weekend, I had no plans whatsoever.  I was really happy when Kathryn, who is a friend I worked with when I lived in the USA, suggested I come up for the Chorlton Green Festival. 

Chorlton is a very nice suburb of Manchester, south of the city, and the Green festival is because it is a festival about being green, not a festival on a green.  So the first part of the adventure was, as ever, finding the right bus.  This was surprisingly painless, and finding the church where the festival was being held was also far easier than I was expecting, because my phone map was working for once.  On a slight side note, is anyone else still torn between spooked and impressed that your mobile phone knows exactly where you are?  Not necessarily where anything else is, mind you - mine usually takes a good ten minutes to load and then zoom in, but still.
The tent had weird affects on my camera

Anyway, I met Kathryn just outside the church, and we wandered around the festival.  There were lots of vintage clothing and craft stalls, and I bravely managed not to buy any new earrings or brooches.  Hooray for me.  Then we went to see Dr Butler's Hatstand Medicine Band, who are friends of Kathryn's.  They were performing in a very well hidden tent on the edge of a school playground, which was apparently solar powered.  I can only assume that the real solar panels were out back somewhere, because I am at a loss how the panels by the stage would work inside a tent.  But the band were brilliant fun.  They played music that was a little like the music in Oh Brother Where Art Thou, but with added reference to petrol prices, and they had the most interesting facial hair of anyone I have ever seen in real life, with the possible exception of the bloke with the handlebar moustache I saw in Bristol once.
  The whole tent danced along, and I was in a great mood.

After that, Kathryn and I decided that late March is just slightly too early to spend a whole day at a festival outdoors, even a green one in a tiny church car park, and we went to get a drink in a pub called the Beech Tree nearby.  This is a fairly traditional pub, although obviously recently decorated, and regular readers will know how much I love proper pubs, so that was great.  By this time, Kathryn's friend Richard had joined us for a drink too.  Then we went for a walk around Chorlton.  I haven't taken any photos of the houses and shops - it would have looked weird - but it is a really nice suburb, full of red brick terraces and gardens full of flowers, and some really interesting looking gift shops with lovely jewellery.
Thingamabob and the Thingamajigs

Next stop was a bar called Pi, which serves Pieminster Pies.  Pieminster is a Bristol pie company which makes the best pies I've ever had anywhere, so although we didn't have a pie there, it is high on my list of places to go back to if I happen to find myself hungry in Chorlton.  They also have a fantastic selection of bottled beers, including several lambic beers and a beer form Mongolia.  It is really cool and cosy, although I'm told it gets a little crowded at night. 

After that, we headed back to the festival and got a pint of cider each - Weston's cider, in fact, another export from my old haunts down south.  It was absolute nectar.  kathryn's boyfriend went to get us something to eat, because the food stalls had all run out of food and packed up, and we drank cider and talked, huddling gradually closer to a wood fire in the corner behind the main stage (a slightly larger, and given the time of night, not solar powered tent).
  the bands in teh tent sounded really nice, drifting over the air with the fire, but we didn't go into the tent because we were waiting for food. 

At last, the food arrived!  I was very grateful for the arrival of the halumi kebabs, which were essentially just hot halumi cheese and salad sandwiches, but really tasty and filling.  We ate the last of the kebabs and got another pint of cider, and went to see thingamabob and the thingamajigs, who were the next band and also friends of Kathryn's.  We couldn't get in the tent, although I suppose we could have pushed harder, but the side panel of the tent was see through so we stood at the side and watched from there, having talked one of the photographers into leaving the zip open so that we could hear properly.
  The tingamajigs were excellent.  They paraded in doing like a salsa band, and played a great set of fun, lively songs.  Apparently, their pianist is actually a very well known singer song writer who just happens to also like playing piano for the thingamajigs, doing songs about monkeys.  It was brilliant, brilliant fun.  The more I think about it, the more sure I am that I recognise some of the songs - I do wonder if I saw them at the Hungry Pigeon festival last year, or supportinig someone somewhere, or if the songs are just the sort of songs that you know as soon as you've heard them once.  In any case, if you have the chance to see them, do.

After that, I decided it was time to get the bus home.  The front seat at the top was free, which was excellent.

Two pints of cider is just enough to get me silly, so what my poor boyfriend thought of me lurching in, reeking of wood smoke, and wobbling with cider is beyond me! 
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Dr Butlers hatstand Medicine band
Dr Butler's hatstand Medicine band
The tent had weird affects on my c…
The tent had weird affects on my …
Thingamabob and the Thingamajigs
Thingamabob and the Thingamajigs
Wood Fire
Wood Fire
photo by: klaaRA