2011-08-01: Going to see Hope & Social is like waking up in Trumpton. The band play in lovely blue jackets on the bandstand, there are cupcakes and bunting and the women smile at you .. not as a come on, but as shorthand for "how do you do" and "have a good morning". They also dance .. for the sheer joy of living.
They are safe to do that because I am not a rapist. Rapists, stalkers, bastards and Andrew Lansley wouldn't like Hope & Social because the band is about life and love, family and friends, making things not breaking them, enthusiasm and positivity, art, and hope.
The Hope & Social audience includes many children. Nice, well behaved children who breastfeed and others who wonder at leaves.
I don't think anyone swore all Sunday. No drunken oafishness either.
We need Hope & Social.
I won't mention the bad things in the real world, now is not the time.
So let's just run through the Hope & Social Sleep Sound Garden Party, 2011.
To start with, we were each sent modelling putty with which to make a blackbird which would be hung from a tree in the garden. Mine (the one with twigs) was called Clive (from Clive and twenty blackbirds):
There was food, boy was there food:
The silent disco:
Here's the band choosing danceworthy tunes:
And later they invaded the String Fellows' set, conga style:
A hammock acoustic stage:
Cool things to buy:
The decorating of letters for a mobile that (I think) said 'Have fun. Make art':
A telephone box where you could leave a message with the possibility that your contribution might make some impact on a future song:
Band members schmoozing the crowd
voting for the best cake and donning a disguise then trying to stimulate demand for their products by buying them themselves:
The Voices of the Day choir singing against a building that looks like piano keys:
The owner of the house got into the swing of things
A very busy face painter:
A fire pit for later:
A lady bought the special Hope & Social Sleep Sound Garden Party hammock in the auction:
Pegging and being pegged was important:
And so we lay under an old mulberry bush and listened to .. everything.
The Voices of the Day choir:
And then ... Hope & Social happened
It got Scottish:
The silent dancers joined in:
We had an actual conga:
(By the way, there was a cracking sax 'solo' hidden in there somewhere, not sure if I got that on video.)
Here's a video of the whole day by shotbysodium.com. How can you not love the silent disco woman at 6:20? And we appear in the crowd at 8:55 on the left, I'm tall with an orange top and videoing the conga .. like it matters.
You know when a Hollywood movie tells you that love conquers all and you go 'yeah, well, that's soppy Americans for you'.
I'm not convinced love conquers all. But Hope & Social can conquer all, because they have love along with vision, enthusiasm, skill and a growing cohort of helpers who would do anything for these guys. I don't need to blab on .. the material speaks for itself. Hope & Social have the answer.
Only one thing can beat Hope & Social, and that's the taste of a ripe fruit from a hundred year old mulberry tree.