I was originally going to write heaps about Campus A Low Hum, but it’s now two weeks later, sitting in a room in South America, and the details are a little fuzzy.
Campus started out wet. It had been raining fairly heavily all of the day before, and this continued for much of the first day. Pitching a tent in the rain, is not fun. Also cellphone reception, typcially for Camp, was about nil, so getting hold of people to find out where they were (we had arrived a bit later in the day) was impossible. It turns out that it would have been useful if we had, as the others had managed to steal a couple of the dorm rooms that seemed unoccupied, even though they were apparently all sold out.
Went and saw some bands at that point, DZ (from Brisbane) were particuarly good, and I caught the end of Bandicoot, all of whom looked like they were 12. Turns out they are 15, so I wasn’t too far off.
Some of the bands were playing down the deep end of an emptied out swimming pool. Great idea, and good for getting a decent view, but unless the room was packed, the acoustics were terrible.
First night dramas
So on the first night, pretty much everyone got over-eager on the drunky water (and whatever else), and it was pretty messy. At some point in the evening I found myself in the Renegade Room, with a band that was just about to start. By a few seconds into the first song, everyone was on stage jumping about, I found myself operating the high-hat pedal, while myself and a few others worked the hat cymbal…. I didn’t see it myself – there was too much chaos, but apparently midway through that song, the guitar player collapsed unconcious from having had waay too much to drink earlier, while the rest of the band played on, not aware of what was happening.
Once we realised what had happened, we’d put him in the recovery position, worked out that he wasn’t dead, and went for help. We found one of the people on the gate, who radioed for the medics to come. When they arrived, we got the guy onto a blanket (as the next band was setting up around him) and moved him outside. During this, he threw up on Fran’s hand. Awesome.
So we wait around for the ambulance to show up from Whanganui, which takes ages, and they finally take him away. Apparently at this stage, Fran decides she’d had enough playing grown-up, and wants to go have some fun. She goes to the gym stage, and is there for about 10 minutes before she decides she’s tired and wants to go to bed. She turns around to tell Netta this, and some monstrous fool at that very moment throws a monitor speaker wedge down on her foot. I come on the scene I guess a couple of minutes later, as Fran is sitting outside with her foot up, looking very hurt, and somewhat pissed off. So myself, Josh, and a bit later, D-Rad, carry Fran over to the Camp office, where we wait again with the medics, this time for an ambulance for Fran, and this time one coming from Palmerston North. It arrives finally (around 3am by this point) and takes Fran away. I think I headed to bed myself then.
It turns out that Fran waits for something like 7 hours in Palmerston North hospital to even get seen by a doctor, who then proclaims: “Well I’m not an expert in reading x-rays, but I think you’re foot is not broken”. It seems to me that the one thing an emergency room doctor should be good at, is reading fucking x-rays. Mental Note: Never ever get hurt anywhere near Palmerston North.
I slept fairly well that night, I think it was due to how much I’d had to drink. The following night I laid awake for hours, sober (which was the problem right there), trying to sleep through everyone partying it up around me. Turns out we’d mistakenly camped in the ‘party’ zone instead of the quiet zone.
There was a roller disco in the gym on the second night, that’s pretty much the only thing I remember now.
On the third morning I wake up, and hear music and sounds coming from the gym building (which was next to the camp area) so I pop in to have a look. Dan Deacon (one of the acts) is hosting a Physical Education session/class with probably a couple hundred campers. Fran is watching from the side (still on crutches) so I go to look. There is an interpretive dance off. Then everyone is called to go to one side of the gym (me included), and one person from each side is picked to sprint from one end of the gym to the other and back, and then tag somebody. They both then have to sprint back and forth, tagging someone, so eventually everyone is sprinting back and forth at once. I got tagged third. FML.
As Zach was turning 21, and I was turning 30, we decided to have a combined 51st birthday party in one of the dorm rooms. There was cake, Bratz cake, and very shoddily made Long Island Ice Teas. We were even joined by Darren aka The Show Is The Rainbow for cake and drinks, and tales of how he messed his knee up during a show. At some point Zach and I bundled up DZ in a room and talked at them for ages about Nethack. Good times.
Bands on the last day
The last night of Camp is usually the best for seeing bands, and this one was no exception. Earlier in the afternoon, Sleepy Age played in the Renegade Room, well received by all. I got some HD video of one of the songs and put it up on youtube:
Gaywire also played, who are an 80’s metal band (in the truest sense of the word) from Lower Hutt. They were really awesome, and everyone was getting really into it. I think half the crowd were enjoying it for it’s super sense of deep irony (goddamn hipsters), and the others were enjoying it becuase it was just damned good music. I fell into the later group. I also ended up stage diving during their set, still wearing my full suit (I was planning on going to the Camp prom later, but didn’t end up staying for that because it was a bit lame, and I ended up seeing other stuff).
Die! Die! Die! were also awesome, which I found surprising because the other couple of times I had seen them I had decided they really weren’t my cup of tea at all.
We had to leave quite early on the last day, to catch our flight back to Christchurch, and DZ ended up grabbing a ride with us. Both of them managed to sleep the entire drive back into Wellington, waking up pretty much just as we were getting to the airport, lucky sods.