It’s about a year since this event and I am not sure I will find another to match it.

It was the coming together of all – or most – of the best things in my life; my eight year old’s son’s first live music gig, our first festival together as a family and my first London home.

It was held on Blackheath, (hence the name The Blackheath Music Festival) the place I lived when I first moved down here from the North in 1989 to work as a reporter on a local paper in south east London. To a Northerner, who grew up with the Pennines visible from the bedroom window (albeit across a sea of orange street lights better known as Rochdale by night) it’s just a patch of grass. But to space-starved Southerners, Blackheath is a vast, open headland stretching as far as the eye can see – or at least as far as the A2 – in SE3. Next to Greenwich, if you haven’t heard of it. And on it, at the festival last year, Elbow were headlining.

They had never been there before, as Guy Garvey announced when he took the stage towards the end of the day, which had remained mercifully sunny throughout. It afforded him the perfect setting for their wonderful anthem, One Day Like This as the sun set and the crowd sang, and I dissolved into tears. It was perfect.  It was the best coming together of all the best things. My little Londoner boy sat up on his dad’s shoulders during Lippy Kids and every time there was a pause in the music, yelled “My mum knows you” much to the consternation of the other parents who were also basking in the moment when their lippy kid was finally acceptable.

It even took me by surprise as I had not really thought he was listening when I had told him, over and over again in the lead up to the gig, how I had gone to the same school as Guy Garvey, how I had grown up with his sisters and how my name, at least my surname, would be familiar to him.  Like many Catholic families in North Manchester, we were on the large side and the Garveys were substantial in number. So there were a few cross-overs; my brother Mike was in Karen Garvey’s class at primary school. I was the year below Sam and above Rebecca. Gina, sang in the church choir which was run by my mum. And mum had taught pretty much everybody.  So the name, had he heard it, would have rung a bell for Guy. To my son’s great disappointment, he didn’t.

I wonder who’s on this year?

By Cathy Comerford