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Songs That Transport You To Another Place

It was July 1978 I was 22, recently married and carefree. Myself and my then husband Steve along with my 2 brothers and my sister in law had managed to get hot tickets to 'The Picnic' a one day festival at Blackbushe Airfield in Surrey organised by the legendary Harvey Goldsmith. Bob Dylan was headlining, his first live British concert for several years.

It took us several hours to drive to Surrey from our home town of Derby in our two trusty jalopies. As we neared the site the traffic was phenomenal and was often stationary for long periods, a couple of enterprising ice cream vans set up for business on the hard shoulder! Eventually a crowd of 250,000 squeezed into the airfield, a truly exciting experience and we bagged ourselves a tight space on the grass. We were nowhere near the stage but had 2 pairs of binoculars!!

The sun was beating down but we didn't care, we had beer and fags and the heady prospect of seeing Eric Clapton, Graham Parker and the Rumour, Joan Armatrading and of course Bob Dylan. Out of this great line up it is Joan Armatrading's song 'Love and Affection' which instantly transports me back to that summer evening, not a care in the world listening to live music with the people I loved and a whole lot of other folk besides, a haze of smoke above the crowd, the smell of crushed grass, hot dogs, weed and warm bodies with Joan Armatrading's voice ringing clear and true from the stage......

Jill Barlow



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