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Sheding Festival – Deferred Sucess

March 27, 2012

Doozer McDooze has been there or thereabouts at the Sheding Festival since it kicked off on Friday night. On arrival on Friday night, rather than having my hand stamped with some amorphous smudge, Doozer (I don’t know his name at this point or quite where he fit in in the greater scheme of things) draws a flower on my hand with a green felt tip pen. Mrs Aardvark gets a treble clef. I’d like a treble clef. Never mind, it’s cute and quirky and very The Watershed. (It also washes off easily before bed which is a result!) Doozer is a scruffy Herbert. I’m not being judgemental here, merely stating a point of fact. The hole in the knee of his jeans is so big that, looking at him from a certain angle makes him look like he’s wearing shorts. But the most noticeable thing about him, beneath the hat, beard and glasses are his crystalline eyes and beaming smile. I like Doozer. Doozer’s a dood.

I miss him on Saturday and my hand goes unadorned, but on Sunday, there he is again on the door, felt tip poised and at the ready. “Am I going to get a flower again?” I ask hoping that the answer will be no. Not that there was anything wrong with the flower, but I feel like testing Doozer’s (I still don’t know his name) artistic prowess.

Mum! Doozer drew on me!

“What would you like?” comes the Ooh-good-I’m-up-for-a-challenge reply.

“How about something Daliesque?”


“You know, in the style of Dali. Surreal. An elephant on stilts or something like that.”

Mrs Aardvark holds out her hand and volunteers, “I’d like an elephant please.”

Doozer duly obliges and, as he doodles on my good lady’s hand I suggest that, “In an American election year, maybe it would be cooler to have a donkey rather than an elephant.” This seems to perplex both artist and other half and I have to explain that these are the symbols for the Republican and Democratic parties Stateside. “If anyone chooses the elephant for political reasons, don’t let them in!”

Later, I’m downstairs in the bar finishing of an interview with Jon from TwoManTing as Deferred Sucess start up. We both look to where the source of the music is coming from and seem to read each others thoughts. We need to get up and listen to this. By now I know Doozer’s name. Earlier he gave me a copy of their eponymous album. I asked why there was a ‘c’ missing from ‘Sucess’. “Oh I’m dyslexic and it was a typo that just never got corrected. It stuck,” he responds. Fair enough. The ex-English teacher in me has been suppressed by the anarchist who respects the rules-are-there-to-be-broken ethos.

Upstairs, Deferred Sucess are a riot. There are just the three of them tonight. They’ve come sans harmonica player, mandolin player and didgeridooist, but still manage to generate a mischievously, carefree, happy atmosphere. The softly spoken, scruffy Herbert has transformed into a consummate performer, oozing charisma and having the audience in the palm of his hand. Ably supported by Troop Davison on double bass and Techno Hippy (yes, ‘really’ I’ve just been informed)on cajon (basically a box), the Essex-based trio wrap up Sheding Festival with the party it deserves. Tracks like Cider On The Beach, Work Is Rubbish, Wood U Larf and Razorlight R Shite are footstomping, sing-a-long belters that carry us off into a state where we are an infinity away from the Monday morning that beckons back to work blues. At one point Doozer asks if there are any harmonica or didgeridoo players in the audience. He was being serious and, had there been anyone, they would have been up there with the band jamming away like it was the most natural thing in the world. As it was, there weren’t, but Jen was dispatched downstairs to bring back an assortment of percussion to be distributed amongst the crowd. I got a gourd, covered with a net of shells and gave it everything I had to a 12bar rhythm and blues tune. I had a great time.

Deferred Sucess - Troop, Doozer & Techno Hippy
Photo courtesy of Lisa Booth

Finally we all sang along with I Don’t Wanna Go Home  and we all meant it. It had been another cracking set to end a magnificent three days at The ‘Shed. My overall thoughts on Deferred Sucess… blody excelent! And beggars can’t be choosers, but sucess, deferred or otherwise, can be Doozer’s!

Actually, in all fairness, I did want to go home. I was as tired and replete as a baby who had just gorged itself silly on mother’s milk, but the memories of Sheding2012 will live long in the memory. The acts were, to a man and woman, exceptional. I have made some extraordinary discoveries and I am sure that I will be embarking on some magical, musical  voyages. I have a new favourite band in The Fades, but have fallen in love with many others; The Manic Shine, The Indelicates, TwoManTing, The Wondersmiths and Deferred Sucess to name a few. There’s no need to be entirely monogamous about this is there?

And I can’t sign off without mentioning all those behind the scenes who worked so tirelessly to make The Watershed the venue it is and to put on such a spectacular festival. You know who you are and I hope you know what you’ve  helped achieve. My special thanks go to Harvey, Jen and the magnificent Mr Andy.



From → devilsaardvark, Music

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