Ahhh, Stormin’ time again 🙂 Stormin is a bike rally not run by MAG but in aid of it, run entirely by unpaid volunteers who are generally on site for 9-14 days to make it happen and give us all somewhere to go and meet so many mates from all over in one place to get drunk and party, sounds guid tae me 🙂
Some weeks prior to Stormin’, I was, between expletives of ‘ why won’t it bloody fit’, having a discussion in the shed about the impending weather, of course the spectre of last year’s mud infested site replete with a range of temporary mud munros was a subject which was bound to raise it’s head. My suggestion that we might get an Indian Summer, if we were good, and kept the shed tidy, was met with a burst of derision and a 17mm open ender bouncing off my head…. The Swedes ……, naw, the indigenous inhabitants of Sweden not the turnipy things !, call an Indian Summer ‘Brittsommar’ when they dedicate a day to the Celtic goddess Brighid. I recall, she’s pretty fond of ye throwing money in her well to get what you want, sounds like some women I’ve had the misfortune to know,.
Keen, first at the gate at 8am So a mix of small change and some aluminium swarf off the lathe and a shiny brass whitworth nut chucked into a well, er, ok, an auld kitchen basin full off used 10w40 would have to suffice.
You may scoff at my trivial offerings to Pagan deities, but look what happened ?, we got a ‘Brittsomar’, two full weeks of el scorchio ! Being a Celtic ‘Blueskin’ off course my flesh ain’t too good when exposed to such weather so it’s best observed from a shady spot, for example, the bar on site 🙂 At the site, the sunbaked ground and verdent lush grass was a welcome sight, or as Krissi says ‘Looooosh’, describing the litre and a half of Aldi vodka she’s just downed ;-).
The conditons could not have been more different from last year’s sodden myre. The Stormin committee invested heavily in getting new roads laid in the show field and back stage to mitigate any issues with sticky gloor should the goddess not have looked favourably upon us, never would have happened though, that swarf was 6082, none o’ yer cheap stuff. The new roads were originally yellow stone which crushes flat and smooth, however, the park owners weren’t too keen on the colour once laid, the road that is 🙂 . So tonnes of blue stone was laid over it, blue stone is much harder and doesn’t pack smooth, so it was a fairly deep virgin surface. Necessity may be the mother of invention but hesitation is the mother of disaster, I observed a couple of people who simply froze in terror when they hit stone chips, whilst a lass on a chinese 125 simply sailed through, confidence and self belief is the key. Some folk could do well to go on an off road course simply if only to boost their confidence and improve their riding.
You never know when some feckwit might force you into a position where off road is the only escape route. I speak of course from experience.
The queue at the gate began at 8am, a couple of hours sunbathing for those folk before the gates opened at 10am. Not unexpectedly, the vast majority of people who came through the gate on Friday morning had been hedging their bets, waiting to see what the weather would do. They needn’t have worried, my basin of oil had it all sorted The fields filled quickly through the day, with some folk sporting huge erections, I mean have you seen some of these coleman day shelters ? I’m sure some of them need planning permission, aptly named as you could get a whole ‘day’ into one, well maybe not Mondays as they seem to be larger than the other days and have jaggy pointy oot bits which could tear the canvas….
Regulars at Stormin will have noticed the absence of an old friend or fiend, depending on your experience of it, namely the ‘Engine Bar’, apparently it was sold to a small newly formed East European state to house it’s parliament. However Outbar introduced the shiny new Hobgoblin Bar, named after a particular Wychwood real-ale and possibly some of the inhabitants late on Saturday night. It proved to be a popular location, on Saturday afternoon hosted the terrific Oil City Connection aka BadBob Bates on various geetars including a very tasty cigar box one and Ronnie Semple’s howlin moothie. A great way to spend the afternoon. /TD> Musically there was the usual gamut of excellent local bands, the Iris stage on Friday notably featured Fickle Lilly who’s Ally Lee and Sheila Robson put on a great swing, rock er mad show which went down a storm, they were followed by the The Steve Fulsham Band . Over on the main stage I missed the ‘Enzymes’ but caught some of ‘Karma Heart’, a spirited and energetic performance, ‘A Foreigners Journey’ did exactly what they said on the tin much to the joy of those who like those bands. I remember buying Journey’s ‘Escape’ in 1981, it was good then, but the shitey TV programme Glee and endless X Factor tossers have pretty much removed any credibility from the band, for me anyway. The Emerald Thieves closed off the evening, rattling out some great Irish and contemporary songs that got the crowd jumpin’. I was so busy with the custom show on Saturday I missed two of the bands that I really wanted to see, ‘Bessie and the Zinc Buckets’ and ‘Big Red & The Grinners’, thoroughly enjoyed them last year, I hope they get booked for next year. In the evening I only caught the tail end of ‘Blue Diamond’ who were rattling out a fair old rendition of ‘Blowin Free’ , twin acoustic guitars et al, I was in primarily to see ‘Sinnerboy’, a Rory Gallagher tribute ? band, bloody superb, proper raw stuff… 🙂 The main stage’s evening began with the ‘The Rattlers’, I had popped in to see ‘The Kill’, led by Gregg, aka El Fuko who, according to legend penned by him of course, used guile and cunning convinced the band memebers to disbandon their respective nice n safe bands to embrace a reborn life as part-time rock stars of yesteryear. To be fair, they pretty much carried that off, gusto and attitude, feet on monitors etc, They were followed by ‘The Bandits’ with Badbob Bates fresh ? from the Hobgoblin stage to deliver a rousing set. Headlining Saturday night were ‘From the Jam’, they turned up, rattled through old Jam songs, went home, I can’t comment objectively as I simply don’t like the Jam, never did, but hey lots of folk in crowd liked it.
The Custom Show is of course a, er, custom for Stormin’, a hundred or so entries were displayed in the show’s new location between the Main stage and the Iris stage, a vast improvement over it’s previous location on the far side of the showfield. The brilliant sunshine and location made for a great atmosphere with folk sitting around drinking, wandering amongst the bikes, stages and products stall and generally being pretty damned chilled out. The show winners are listed later, there were several bikes which really caught my eye, the CB750 cafe racer, a proper original, both the XS650’s were superb, Paul’s wee short arsed blue one stood beautifully with some very fine touches, Gillis’s bare metal one , left to patina naturally , long, low, minimal well deserved of some vigorous thigh rubbing… 🙂 I loved the long low shed CB400 dream engined build. The point, in my opinion, of custom shows isn’t necessarily to win trophies, but it right and proper to recognise great work, but to put the work of creative, committed (some should be) and in some cases unhinged people on show to inspire others to go build and create bikes and provide an alternative from an every more sanitised world of ever more anonymous product. Sure it’s a big effort to chop and/or modify a bike, but like that wee CB400, not perfected, yet, but different, expressive and at least individual. As Nick Cage says in Wild At heart, “this here jacket represents a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom?”. Congratulations to all who entered, the spirit of freedom lives…. ya bass 🙂 Sublime Ah’m sure there was a seat there…. So, did mention the glorious sunshine all weekend, oh, I did, oh well, anyone who sat at home worrying about it being wet, there’s always next year 🙂 I wanted to especially say thanks to all of the marshalls who work really hard to earn their ticket, looking after everyone on site, making sure halucinating folk got to the medic’s tent, guiding the late night flotsam of the lost and drunk into the care of Holy Joe’s for biscuits and coffee. mission accomplished, until next year ……. CUSTOM SHOW WINNERS
Best Paintwork 1800R Mouse Runner up – Best Streetfighter 1200 Sportster Tyse Other Winners : Runner up – Best Engineering 280Z trike Matthew Denning