Music festivals have radically changed since I first visited the Donington Park site in the 1980’s, but in this modern era of 16 stages, split timetables and countless bands meaning posters advertising events usually end up looking like reading that sequence of tiny letters in opticians, one festival unashamedly harks back to a simpler time – and it’s far, far better as a result.
Radio can either be the perfect medium to listen to some sports, whilst others leave potential punters scratching their heads and saying ‘Oh come on – really?’
Football, cricket, athletics and horse racing have been staples on the wireless since well before I came into being at the end of the 60’s, and nowadays with the advent of talkSPORT and the BBC’s increased sporting portfolio on 5 Live, more sports have been introduced in the last 50 years with a variety of success.
Now that we have to wait 4 and a half years for the next World Cup jamboree, I thought I should rate what I've seen & experienced out in Russia by way of a few categories;
All good things come to an end - all amazing, incredible, brilliant things come to an end as well.
I left my last blog as our commentary team prepared to take our positions in the Rostov Arena for Belgium v Japan, a game that most of us privately thought would be a relatively straightforward victory for a powerful and much taller Belgian team...but then we'd forgotten that this is World Cup 2018, where sheer madness piles on top of craziness.
We began our World Cup commentary games in sunny Sochi - on our 2nd visit it had become a somewhat soggy Sochi, but on this 3rd visit for the Uruguay Portugal game, it was most definitely sweltering Sochi.
I may have to come up with a new title for this blog, as I am most definitely not 'Mit Low' anymore at this World Cup.
Hard to believe that Jogi and the boys would be jetting home before me, but there it is - for the 3rd such tournament in a row, the holders have exited stage left without troubling the knockout stages. Italy, Spain and now Germany...perhaps Die Mannschaft had nothing left in the tank after a hectic domestic season with a desperately intense and close run title challenge combined with no winter break to recharge the...oh, wait...
I think Matt Holland put it best when he turned to me on our walk back to our Sochi hotel from the Fisht Stadium and simply said, "Dants, we are absolutely having one!"
As I type this, I have a very different view from my Sochi hotel window than I did when our crew were first here for Portugal v Spain a week or so ago. It's a good deal grimmer outside as opposed to the scorching sunshine that greeted us on our previous trip to the Black Sea. There appears to be the threat of rain and/or thunderstorms all day, but a weather forecast for Sochi has to cover a huge surface area, so it remains to be seen if threatening clouds pervade over the Fisht Stadium a mile or so away from my vantage point - not that I can actually see it from my room this time.
I'm back in Moscow for a day of prep and, more importantly, washing, after our team's 4 day trip to Sochi & Rostov - we rounded off that particular excursion with the Brazil/Switzerland game at the Rostov Arena. It's a mightily impressive looking construction right on the banks of the River Don that cuts a huge swathe through the centre of the city. The old port city itself is nowhere near as modern as the stadium, and it does look a little at odds with its surroundings as a consequence, but it's something for fans of FC Rostov to be undoubtedly proud of.