Health And Safey advises that all you need for a good party is powder and foam, just don’t mix ’em up Master of all things mythical, Joseph Campbell, promotes a philosophy of ‘follow your bliss’, a clever bloke, and wise words, as the world gets more homogenised, belts get tightened and the UK moves closer to a police state, many strange 🙂 people still do what they can to keep a bike on the road and still find travelling great distances to a field to party with other like minded individuals represents following their bliss. The wise keeper of the Survival Cave of Coffee and biscuity shaped objects Steve amuses onlookers by poking his cake in the manner of a depilated polecat Stranger still is that there are still people who are willing to give up their time to volunteer to combat the morass of paperwork, licencing and health and safety and the general pain of organisation to put on do’s for us to meet up and party at. Amongst this particlar brand of lunatics are the crew who put on Stormin’ the Castle. No one could bring themselves to tell her that this wasn’t the queue for the new iFad5 The correspondent from Deutsche Farmers Weekly enjoying the sun Aw Naw, ma lippy’s run oot. A masterstroke of organisation or a polite coincedence of favourable winds we may never know, either way this bunch manage to put on what is arguably the best do around, ‘ahhh’, or perhaps, ‘crivvens’ if your north of the border, I hear you cry in a uncharacterisitc high pitched voice, there are others ! , well indeed, but this is merely my opinion .. open to debate over much beer, but you’re buyin’ I find, as I get older, only a wee bit mind you…, quiet in the cheap seats…, the hardest part of going anywhere is actually getting across the threshold of the door, in an outwardly direction that is, bike is loaded but the sofa looks comfy, a battle which looks to be getting increasingly lost by many given the number of weel ken’t faces who’ve dissapeared into the said sofas. But wait… hurrah to those giddy folk who, depite the odds and ravages of age and economy, make it out the door, and bring their strange and often interestingly eccentric arses out to play. So, I chuck my own ‘fully paid for’ arse over the bike, walked round, picked it up, shoved it back in ma breeks and set off once again to ride through the mythical lands of Fudthumberlonia, Tinenweeria and Durhaminiumium for yet another Do I need to wax lyrical about the great site, the castle et al, probably not ? if you haven’t been to Stormin’ I’m sure you will have heard how good it is. After a good run, albeit there was a sphincter pulsing moment caused by poor petrol planning and a lack of petrol stations, I arrived and camped up, a task which is considerably easier whilst sober, Then wander off to find some of the aforementioned nutters daft enough to take on this organisational feat. Would more bikes be towed out of the dyno truck than dyno trucks be towed into the site. As usual, Lindy was found in the metal box in which she is kept for the weekend, from this box Lindy practices the fine art of Marshall arranging, a bit like flower arranging except that you put marshalls in the green foam head first and don’t overwater them. Others had obviously been gainfully working on other important tasks such as enclosing a tent in Heras fencing, who knows who that might have been, but the fact that every hole in Tank’s bike’s discs had tie wraps afixed may have been the result of someone’s suspicions. Pick up thy bed and walk…. Public Sector Budget cuts had changed the face of Police aerial reconnaissance From there it was straight to the survival tent for a coffee and to celebrate Cuz’s birthday, his appearance in couture ‘sac poubelle’, or bin bags to you and me was apparently a strangely alluring sight according to some 🙂 I then had to muster up the mental prowess to meet Mr Sturgeon’s request that I get a photo of all the volunteers who make the weekend possible. Following the customary Marshall’s briefing, where such things as, the correct use of fire extinguishers i.e. when you’re sober, in which direction to point them and the correct techniques and heavy lifing equipment required to get a fat drunk biker back to his tent when he’s found face down in the hedge at 3am, is explained, I had to assemble the hoard into a space where I could actually capture their souls in the magic box , er I mean take a photie. You may be familiar with the concept of ‘herding cats’, indeed you may practice it, I would only ask, why ?, either way, everyone knows how hard it is to get more than two people in the same place at the same time, Shout loud enough and those fifty or so folk, many old enough to recall when teachers were allowed to shout at you assembled as programmed 🙂 Job done, now to the Engine Bar.
There followed a short interlude during which such phrases and activities such as, face doon, ah cannae find the zip and ah’m burstin’, sair hied and ‘whaur’s ma painkillers’ occurred. As usual there was a wide variety of bands to meet everyone’s tastes, although the fella complaining that his human rights had been violated by the failure to provide for his needs for ballroom dancing music was safely returned to Witton home for the bewildered. In case you haven’t been to Stormin’ , there are two stages, ‘sober’ and ‘drunk’… er, I mean the ‘Main Stage’ and the ‘Iris Stage’, I have used much boot leather tramping between the two, there is a lot to see. Friday on the main stage were ‘Crows’, ‘Fractured Valves’, ‘Ska-Toon’s’ with ‘Dr Feelgood’ headlining. The first band on the Iris stage sounded promising in their bio, the ‘Emerald Thieves’ didn’t dissapoint, band of the weekend for me, and many others too apparently, the crowd were jumping about to their Irish set and their subsequent contemporary set, Kings of Leon works on the fiddle !, who’d have figured. Quote of the weekend did unquestionably belong to the lass who was playing fiddle, as the crowd were jumping about mad she decided to encourage them further by loudly exclaiming ‘Shake Yer Biker Booty’, bless 🙂 When ahm finished wi you ah’ll check the bairns for nits too… ‘Backstreet Crawl’ had a hard task to follow them, but folk were right in the mood, they’d been shaking their biker booty after all. It was slightly inconvenient given the damp ground and having to put my booty’s back on my feeties when I’d finished. Bands finished it was time to catch up with some reprobates and go and play on the dodgems, drink beer and blether shite. Easy pleased I am.. Saturday is bike show day, Tim was up early fetching around, organising the folk who brought their bikes round to put them in the show at ungodly hours of the morning, like 9am ! As usual and seemingly despite the shithole economic difficulties, there was a good turn out of bikes both fresh and regulars. The ‘Busa’ chop designed by Deano, built by Polar Cycles was er, braw but mad as a box of spanners, to my mind it should have been a TriBusa, there were three themes from front, middle and back, each probably overcoming the challenges of creating a decent chop out of such a bike. Apparently it still goes like F^%& 🙂 Richy’s FJ ‘Exile’ inspired minimal chop caught my eye, well the jackshaft gearbox did at first, followed rapidly by the rest as I cast my gaze over it. I took some time out and blethered a while with him, turns out he’d built it in his living room, observing that laminate flooring if great for lining up tube… the only parts not built by Richy were the wheel rims and the understanding wife !, The Beemer GS from a distance looked standard, it wasn’t until you got up close that it was clear that the owner had obviously got fed up with the servicing costs, parts expense and unreliability of the BMW motor had cleverly grafted in a goldwing engine, a clever feat of engineering. Gaz’s wee diesel chop has been around for a while but is serenely minimal and just sits beautifully. For me the best ‘no in the show’ was the Panther with sidecar in the top field. The first rain of the weekend sent us all into the Iris tent for the awards. I find it best not to ask…. Saturday’s bands on the Main stage were ‘Shameless’, ‘Seven Little Sisters’, the excellent ‘Skinflint’ and headlining was ‘Ginger Wildheart and Friends’ the latter very much met with the approval of Andy given the size and longevity of his grin. 🙂 On the Iris stage were the ‘Smokehouse Boys’, Stormin’ favourites ‘Bessie And The Zinc Buckets’, ‘The Karma Heart’ and the ‘Lyndon Anderson Band’ The Wildhearts biggest fan, on the right, was so excited that a little wee came out…. The Volunteers who make Stormin possible Another excellent weekend of Beer, Bikes and Music, I had a ball, got a shot on the dodgems and survived the Marshalls survival tent despite Ozzy momentarily turning it into a fetid swamp, cheers mate :-). Thanks to everyone who worked so hard so that I could come get drunk and party, see y’all next year. Words & Pics email@example.com