added: 31 Aug 2012 // by: Russell Cook
In the wake of the glitz, glamour and all-round, fluffy togetherness of the GB Olympics, creative entertainment company Bearded Kitten teamed up with Shambala Festival 2012 to recreate some of the excitement, fraternisation and all out athleticism of this year's games, albeit in a much more explicit, sordid and debauched fashion. But much like its international counterpart, the 'Shambolympics' was full of good old British grit and that steely determination, along with Bearded Kitten's much-welcomed addition of farcical Benny Hill-esque tomfoolery.
Coe, Beckham and Hunt would surely have had trouble publicly approving of these games, as the teams of Shambathletes competed in events loaded with innuendo, insult and the capacity for unnecessary injury, which made for wonderful viewing for the drunken spectator. Each game was packed to the brim with characters that Tim Burton himself might have struggled to dream-up and was supported by what can only be described as a comedy soundtrack that made the events seem all that more entertaining.
With hundreds of Shambalian festival revellers gathered in the Shambolympic arena, built specially for the weekend out of bails of hay, the atmosphere was palpable. Punters swilled down the scrumpy, danced like fools and cheered on their favourite calamitous team. But it was immediately obvious that one team was there to do the business: 'The Pancake People'. After carting around the festival with their stove on wheels, making pancakes for hungry Shambalians all weekend, the 'Shambolympics' was their moment to shine and it was clear that they had the smell of more than pancakes in their nostrils; they wanted gold. Dressed in Technicolor chef's outfits they struck quite the presence, as they fought hard in the 'Tug O' War', competed valiantly in the 'Get High High Jump' and battled boldly in the 'blindfolded boxing'.
Bearded Kitten, much like team GB and co, really delivered a truly memorable weekend, and sure, the GB Olympics was special, but this entirely vivid affair has ensured that those who experienced the 'Shambolympics' will never forget what they saw and heard during these 'games', with compere's Amy Beasting (A.K.A Fanny Mctane), Klaus 'the German', and Clayton the Unicorn (AKA Claude) relentlessly revved up and bursting with energy and double entendre that flowed profusely and abundantly, whilst the DJ constantly churned out music, pumping up what was an already seriously animated audience!
In addition to the party atmosphere created by the 'Shambolympics', Shambala offered some great bands amidst a mixed-bag of a line-up, adding extra vibrancy and a little more colour to the weekend's events. Gabby Young & Other Animals on the Chai Wallah stage gave a wonderfully uplifting and electric performance with the audience singing along to the suitably, eccentrically dressed, songstress' every word, and Bristolian hip-hop outfit, Roots Manuva on the other hand delivering an atypical grimy hip-hop performance that brought back some life to Shambala after a blazingly hot afternoon.
All in all, it was a bright, exciting, fun-filled bank holiday, with Bearded Kitten's 'Shambolympics' and its hilarious compere's, with their smut-ridden language, excessively tight leotards and abundant energy, being a real highlight of a fantastic weekend.