LESLEY KEATING: Embracing festival season without the dreaded loos

Bryan Ferry
Bryan Ferry

NEWS COMMENT: A respectful salute to the new guards at the palace

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Festival season is in full swing and, as a live music lover, I’d love to see new bands and old favourites.

But, sadly, I just don’t have time to travel to any venues this year – not unless they’re nearby and I can get home again easily that is.

This is why I jumped at the chance to see Bryan Ferry at Hampton Court Festival the other day.

Okay, it’s hardly as rock ‘n’ roll as pitching up at Reading with your tent and bottle of tequila, but the idea of live music in the evening sunshine on the hottest June day for decades certainly appealed.

Now, I’m not the sort of girl who likes to squelch around a festival site in the mud. I really don’t see the attraction of roughing it in a tent with no plug socket for the hair straighteners.

In fact, you can keep camping, full stop. And don’t even get me started on the horrors that are portable loos. Maybe there’s just no gypsy in my soul...

So I have to admit, I was definitely up for a civilised and elegant festival vibe, and I wasn’t disappointed. Even the picnickers were classy.

There was not a sign of mass consumption of pork pies, Doritos and cans of lager from a Tesco carrier bag either.

Instead, there were proper picnic tables, dressed with white linen and set with real wine glasses all glinting in the sun.

The festivalgoers were all dressed to the nines, waiting to see pop music’s undisputed Mr Cool in the unrivalled open-air setting of Hampton Court Palace.

The evening was amazing, and Mr Ferry’s performance was flawless as usual, but the backdrop of the Tudor estate, lit up by the strobes with live music bouncing off its ancient walls, made it quite unique.

I actually wondered what the ghosts of its Tudor past would make of their haunts being disturbed in such a way, given that they were probably much more used to minstrels playing lutes rather than electric guitars and Korg synthesisers, but I secretly think they’d have loved it.

I can just imagine Henry VIII smooching with Anne Boleyn to the strains of Avalon…

A SAVING GRACE IN THE FORM OF HAVING MY DISHWASHER FIXED

After three weeks of Marigolds and Fairy Liquid, the novelty of hand-washing dishes had well and truly worn off.

This is why I was thrilled when Hotpoint finally sent an engineer to fix my broken six-month-old dishwasher.

What an improvement on the first chap who’d ordered the new part weeks ago: as well as claiming to have ‘no idea’ when it could be repaired, he had quite an unorthodox approach, saying if it were his, he’d demand his money back.

He also suggested I bought a Bosch next time ‘because they’re bulletproof’ – nice recommendation from a Hotpoint employee!

After their widespread tumble drier fire issue, maybe they should wake up before they become the next household name to disappear...

RELEASING HORRIFIC FOOTAGE OF GRENFELL’S INTERIOR WAS TOO FAR

Is it just me who thinks that the police releasing footage showing the horrific damage inside Grenfell Tower following the recent dreadful fire is more than a wee bit gratuitous?

Why exactly does this need to be shown?

It’s horrific in the extreme; the scale and speed of what happened, the loss of lives and the ongoing continual blame and investigation. But now, explicit pictures of charred interiors?

How distasteful and disrespectful to those who have lost people or their homes.

Police were quick to point out the flat was ‘one where everyone was accounted for’.

That makes it okay, does it? What relevant purpose exactly does it serve to shove these images in people’s faces in the press?

Sorry, but it’s wrong.