Big Deal Clothing shadows chasing ghosts we are fiction marianne harris groezrock
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Groezrock 2012 by Andi Scott Shaw of We Are Fiction
Groezrock 2012 raised the bar for partying for myself and the rest of the Big Deal Clothing crew. This weekend was not only about branching further afield with the brand and taking these fine garments to the Europeans across the pond, this weekend was also about some hardcore partying, rock star attitudes and alcohol drenched evenings that I know Big Deal as a brand is all about. The underground, music fuelled, free spirited, fast paced community is the demographic and Groezrock held these people in abundance, a crowd of young men and women all wearing clothes that speak just as loud as themselves.
It seemed the weekend was set for failure from the offset, with Big Deals very own Dougie booking the Eurotunnel for the wrong day, meaning we turned up 24 and a half hours late! Brilliant job. Nonetheless we managed to wangle getting our van and all the Big Deal Stock shoved on a freight train across the pond, this in turn meant we had to share the shuttle bus and the train with 20 - 30 tired, red eyed, massive foreign dudes, an experience to say the least. Especially when ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ starts blasting through the radio whilst im squeezed into the armpit of some sweaty beast of a fella, that was definitely a moment in my life where I kind of had to step back and think. “What the fuck am I doing right now?”.
Of course, we made it. Tired as fuck and smelling like a gym sock. Luckily we managed to get hold of a friend of ours, Jeff, who manages a Big Deal supported band from Belgium called CAMPUS. Jeff aloud us to get a few hours sleep at his place before we cracked on with setting up the stall and sorting out the presentation, little did I know this would pretty much be the only decent sleep I/we would get for three days or that later that night I would be hanging of the back of a stolen festival truck with three Begliumese guys and my own band mate and fellow Big Dealer Phil Barker. Quite how a calm day of setting up the stall ready for a long weekends selling culminated in this, no one will ever know. However from what I remember, that nights events started with Phil and I managing to get on the main stage at Groezrock and having our very own lightshow done for us by the awesome stage techs that were setting up, then not long after that we were drinking with some even awesome-er Dutch guys who insisted we steal a festival truck with them. Seemed like a good idea so we tagged along. The next half hour was a drunk-driving mess around the festival and surrounding roads, something I would never condone usually, but it was fun despite. Fun that very nearly ended in tears as I nearly drove said truck head first into a car full of security, who then let us off because we were ‘artists’. Wow. The fun didn’t end there, it wasn’t long before we then has the entire Big Deal crew hanging for dear life on the back of this thing as we gave everybody a lift back to the campsite. A highlight for me was the fact that neither Dougie, Te Ara, Danny or Marianne asked any questions about why we were driving this truck until the next morning.
After that long night of extremely random partying, waking up bright and early to actually do what we were there for, selling Big Deal, wasn’t easy but lucky we are all party veterans and within an hour everyone was on it for the first day. The stall looked rad, well presented, tidy and in my opinion better than the other stalls that were around us. This I think contributed to a lot of the initial sales, with the massive Big Deal banner hanging high above any others luring people over to our stall with no inhibitions. I’ve been a part of the Big Deal crew now for a while, selling, helping and networking at a number of events. I didn’t quite know how Groezrock was going to go , mainly because of the language barrier. It seemed to not matter one bit, I just did the standard loud and slow talk which always does the trick!
A massive selling point for Big Deal over the weekend, and one of the reasons the stall did so well was the function of the clothes for sale as well as the fashion. During the hot days the vests were flying out then as the day cooled off into the evening, the brand new stocked Big Deal sweaters were also flying off the shelf. That’s what I love about Big Deals clothes, the ability to be functional and fashionable. No one wants a uncomfortable piece of clothing, its not practical, and not one piece of Big Deal stock isn’t soft, well fitting and comfortable. Apart from maybe those little short-shorts, but I don’t think they are generally made for dudes…
With the first day done and drink already flowing I was a little bit worried that the evening was going to be boring considering the previous night was absolutely fucking epic. Nahhh. It was even more random. We all kind of went our own separate ways which was strange, even myself and Phil who seemed to end up at different parties in the camp site busting beer bongs with Germans, I even vaguely remember speaking to a Dutch dude in a We Are Fiction [mine and Phil’s group] t-shirt, so if you’re reading this massive shout out to you! Oh and I cant leave out the fact that it was this night that on jumping a fence I managed to slice open my right hand and bust the knuckle, something which is still hurting right now. If all that wasn’t strange enough for the evening already, what happened afterwards got even more ‘out there’. Basically me and Phil [the troublemakers] ended up talking to some more German people, these Germans had sweets. Sweets that we innocently thought were just sweets in a clear bag.
We asked, again innocently, for some [im not sure why, we were slaughtered] and the chap in possession began tearing one in half advising us that we ‘don’t need a whole one’. This random act didn’t deter us and we ate the sweat. To cut a long story short what followed was being apprehended by the security, put on the back of a truck, running away from said security and then Danny Coy [Shadows Chasing Ghosts/Big Dealer] finding us talking to a fence. The sweets were quite obviously doused in acid/lsd, a common form of serving said drug. It goes without saying, never take sweets from strangers.
Day two of selling started a lot like day one, hungover and tired. The previous nights of absolute insanity had taken its toll on all of us. Despite we took control and made sure we still kept the energy around the stall. It was a slightly different crowd than the Saturday, with less punk bands on the bill and more of a broader alternative range of people coming up and checking out our clothes. I loved how a lot of the European people we had come up to the stall were so friendly and outgoing, im not sure whether that just a difference in attitude or whether everyone was just pissed. Either way, we didn’t come across one dick head for the entire weekend. Everyone running the festival was a pleasure also, the security don’t get down your neck for every little thing, the sound and lighting tech were amazingly relaxed, they had stages with no crowd barriers, the entire festival sets the bench mark. I cant think of one British festival that ive been to or am familiar with that is run as smoothly as Groezrock even with so many restrictions’ not in place like in the UK. However they manage it, I don’t know, but they nail it and us guys at Big Deal had a fucking awesome time. I think we maybe had too much fun. My hand hurts.
It was definitely a shitter that we had to leave despite how much we needed sleep and a shower, it seemed others had partied just as hard as we ended up giving Set You Goals a jump start on the morning of our departure and tonnes of weary eyed festival goers dragging themselves out of the site. The entire weekend was a success, from getting the Big Deal name out there and on to peoples backs, to getting away with shit we shouldn’t have got away with to just partying harder than I think ive ever partied. A shout out to Monster Energy for sorting us out with the energy to carry on. A Massively huge shout out to the Big Deal Clothing crew, Phil , Danny, Marianne Harris, Te Ara and of course Dougie for being such awesome company and an even bigger shout out to Groezrock and its staff for putting up with us and showing us how its done Belgium style. I hope to be back next year.
Andi Scott Shaw
We Are Fiction - www.facebook.com/wearefiction