EDitorial ± 14-Sep-2011

Harvest At Jimmy's, 2011

It's festival time, again, as the fondly remembered It's Immaterial once sang. Driving away from home, 10 miles or less, and we're bang into the car park, peasy. Accompanying Eldest and friend to V last month, we were herded into queues past sniffer dogs. Heading into Harvest At Jimmy's, stewards are all smiles and invite us to help ourselves to a free apple.

First order of the day is food. We've come to the right place. Buddha bowl? Risotto? Pure pie? Wood-fired pizza? Ostrich? Oh my, the choice is overwhelming. Mine's the chicken and spicy bean fajita from Chilli Gone Barmy -- lovely van -- hers is the lamb wrap. To be stretched out in the sun on a rug in the middle of a field in an English September is a fine state of affairs. Background music from the main stage helps too.

Can't miss Jay Rayner, both on stage or strolling around the site. There's the Guardian's very own Matthew Fort. That lady in the black is Fay Ripley. They're all here, even that there Jamie Oliver, apparently here to judge a sausage-eating competition. Such is his rock star status that if you're not in Jimmy's tent half an hour prior to his appearance, you won't see him.

Some six or so hours after arriving, I make my way down to the front of the main stage, hoodie up against the fresh drizzle. For I am specifically here to see Neil Hannon, aka The Divine Comedy. On he saunters, suave and bescarfed. No band at present, just himself at the piano stroke guitar. He's off to a flyer, failing to remember all the lyrics of The Lost Art Of Conversation and moving on to older material. Somehow that wicked charm carries the crowd and he can do no wrong, from an idyllic Perfect Lovesong to the Craggy Island sounds of Songs Of Love. He's briefly phased when a guy shouts out "I Love You!". Back at the keys, there's an epic Our Mutual Friend: love that song, and the sun's back out, and a dazzling rainbow arches over the stage. Final song is Tonight We Fly. Perfect. Then he's off.

Kids really enjoyed The Feeling: they put on a highly professional feelgood show, not unlike The Hoosiers last year. Parents retreated before the headline act, Eliza Doolittle, in search of a warming cuppa coffee. Could see her long legs from half a mile away. Sun long gone, did you think you'd brought enough layers? Think again.