The cosmic structuring of the 28-day SydArthur Festival obliges us to address the very entity that dictates that structure: the Moon itself. That Syd Barrett and Arthur Lee had, ten years ago, the poetic grace to die one full lunar month apart ensures that these great psychedelic artists were righteous motherfuckers even in death. Herein, they become the sacred twins.
Let’s take the cosmic opportunity to take it down an evolutionary notch. Can you see the moon from your home or your place of work? If not, could you search it out? Is there any way in which you could address it with a drink in your hand and stare up at its pulsing, and consider that these impulses dictate our tides, that these impulses dictate menstruation in women? We know how important the Lunar Calendar was to our ancient ancestors. Before egotist Caesars inserted their own months – July for Julius and August for Augustus – our festivals were none of them moveable feasts but fixed in time. The modern industrial world of the 1930s even attempted briefly to ease the lot of workers by returning to the Lunar Calendar. Hidden behind the cityscape, the unseen Moon – whether we heed it or not – still pulses out its influence upon us all. So let us today address that brilliant globe in its fullest phase, and raise our cups to its millennia-long irregular path across the skies of our Solar System.
Day 21 for we SydArthurians happens to be a very full moon, a special moon – a blood moon. Not a moon for meditating to, for drawing yourself out of yourself, but a vigorous moon, an uproarious moon. So let us on this near-baking late July full moon stomp our heathen hearts out with King Tubby’s extraordinary treatment: ‘Great Stone’. Never in the history of reggae was there evvah a rhythm track laid down even close to this. That bass increases in our minds every time we re-listen to it! The lyrics? A rebel sensation! King Tubby removes Prince Alla’s entire vocal except the essential chant: I man saw a stone, just a-come to mash down Rome. Street Fighting men and women in the summer heat… that’s something to think about.