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The Spat Out Of Hull Rally, 14th - 16th September 2007 - East Yorkshire MAG
Once upon a time there was a flood which wreaked havoc in a valley. This flood spawned a fund-raiser which came to be called the Tsunami Soiree.
Flat Field
Now it's a MAG fund-raiser, but not focussed on the after effects of that deluge, so a name change was called for and the Spat Out Of Hull evolved. It is still a small essentially trad rally.
The Dene Park Sports & Social Club on the outskirts of Hull provides a flat, well drained field, reasonably priced beer and food and some of the friendliest bar/kitchen staff I've seen in a long time.
One side effect of this laid back atmosphere is that I cannot remember much in the way of precise details – just lots of fuzzy happy thoughts – good job I've got a camera and loads of digital memory.
Friday night's official entertainment started with a one man band - I have to admit I spent most of Friday talking to people, occasionally listening to them and jut grabbing pics as I went to and from the bars, so have no recollection of the entertainments.
A band followed later on, and a guy called Rick did the MC'ing thing. The non-live music was provided by Creature and the Deja Vu Roadshow.
One thing I did notice is that, as in so many venues, there were almost two rallies in one, as many smokers, encouraged by the mild weather, opted to stay outside and were joined by non-smoking friends. I've a feeling that winter rallies may be different.
Whilst the bar stayed open until the wee small hours, I managed to leave without being asked and drifted over to the bonfire. Here could be found much amusement, like the guy on the unicycle wobbling around, or the number of people who managed to fall off the ground they were sitting on (takes much alcohol and meditation to achieve this).
Anji got out her fire staff and did such a good job that Aidy, co-ordinator of the weekend 's frolics, was inspired to have a go as well.
As I was in Hull for a weekend, I decided on Saturday to visit my family. But they'd all left town for the day, so back to the rally and the comedy club was just getting started. That Rick bloke was there again, being all rude. Sadly, he is so good at it, you've just got to laugh.
He did introduce the comics and mentioned their names again; sorry guys – I really should carry pen and paper. First guy up got away relatively unscathed. Second one might have recovered from me taking a photo as he turned his backside toward the audience, except that Aidy decided there and then to insert and inflate a long balloon at that moment.
Last man up borrowed my camera – shame he only got the top of my head in. One of Rick's throwaway lines caused me to whirl around and snap a photo of some ladies sat behind me - “What is the collective noun for a group of blondes - a thicket”.
Stood chatting for a while outside - saw a beautiful sunset then back in to catch the end of a band set.
Around this time Aidy suggested it would be a good idea for me to be around with camera ready when the last band finished.
Before the last band, which was Night Owl, was the Balloon Bike Build Off (or something like that). For a while individuals and small groups all over the club were seriously engaged in inflating long thin balloons and twisting them. Now we saw the fruits of their labours as a variety of bikes and trikes, some with trailers, were arrayed on the dance floor and voted on by the applause of the audience.
And then Aidy made a trophy, out of balloons and presented it. And then he shouted “burst those balloons” and all of those minutes of work were instantly turned into limp strips of rubber.
Night Owl played their set whilst I enjoyed more of the mild weather outside and conserved my camera memory in anticipation of the Aidy Moment. And it was worth the wait.
As he bestrode the stage, removing his sweatshirt to reveal a white dress shirt, freeing his hair to cascade down his back and grasping the waiting microphone – Fruitloaf was born.
Bat Out of Hell has probably never received such a rapturous applause. And the applause continued through the song.
In fact such was the power of this performance that Pete Walker hit the dance floor, which provoked even more, ahem, applause.
We partied on long and hard after that, with Creature spinning the discs to tease just one more dance out of the throng.
Back around the fire later on and yet more strange behaviour (though at the time it all seemed so right).
Much impromptu improvisation of a musical kind and singing of, well, a less musical kind until, as the last saw horse collapsed in the embers of the fire, I retired to my new tent.

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