Saturday 19th June and Twickenham Festival draws towards its close. There’s enough action enough to snarl up traffic pretty much all the way down Heath Road. The sky is grey but it’s not raining and a cool breeze adds a freshness to the spring air. The challenge is to find a headline that encapsulates both the French Market in Church Street and the presence of live music on Twickenham Green. The one above will just have to do.
At the town centre end it all seemed very civilised with the French Market making one of its regular appearances with its usual gaggle of stalls selling crepes, fromage, le soap en various couleurs, saucisson and les autres things which can be sold from a drop sided white van.
All good stuff or, “tres bon” as they’d have you believe in Calais. But then there was the mysterious stall of unclear provenance selling “must have” items like mugs featuring pictures of dogs. Now it’s clear that these things don’t automatically evoke memories of childhood holidays to Britanny or romantic trips to Paris but if the French like a dog mug, then “Vive la dog mug difference!” We’re all Europeans now anyway.
Fortunately the dog mug theme (there, said it again) was not in evidence at the Twickenham Festival Fun Day on the Green. Lots of food stalls, a bar provided The Fox with beer from Twickenham Fine Ales, a smattering of other stalls, a few entertainments for smaller children and someone, somewhere hidden from view selling cider in quantity. Cider in cans, cider in glass bottles, cider in plastic bottles. Why? Whoever manages to come up with ideas to persuade people that fizzy alcoholic apple juice is a proper drink is clearly a genius.
Free live music is automatically a winner and getting six bands on and off the back of a London Pride truck is a decent feat of logistics. Penultimate band Four Wheel Drive, delivered a set of straight up rock which did exactly what it said on the tin. Tight musicians (tick), even tighter trousers (tick), zebra print trousers (bonus tick), shirt off (tick), drummer with wayward hair (tick). Energetic, entertaining stuff even if rock’s not your thing.
The All Beats closed the day putting a very British stamp on the music with a set of covers from the likes of the Kinks, Clash, Beatles and Jam. Good tunes done well by guys who clearly know their stuff. By then there was even some role reversal taking place in the crowd as some parents began to embarrass their children by attempting to dance. They can but try.
The whole event was well run with a good number of punters but deserved a bigger crowd. It showed that local events don’t always have to be about cups of tea and slices of Victoria sponge, even cider may have its place… sometimes.