Howard Marks plays child entertainer at Camp Bestival

Mr. Nice returns to Dorset festival and is a hit with the kids

Howard Marks plays child entertainer at Camp Bestival

Photographer: Al De PerezJohn Bownas on 31 July 2011

If you are going to spend half an hour at a festival sitting cross legged and eating corn on the cob whilst listening to children's stories then you might as well do it at the feet of Howard Marks and Keith Allen.

The front of the Camp Bestival bandstand stage was invaded within seconds by a phalanx of kids who had between them probably spent less time on the planet than Marks spent in his American jail cell.

So whilst parents laughed and nodded knowingly at each other, the little ones were blissfully ignorant of the hidden meaning behind Alice getting 'higher' rather than 'taller' when she are the magic cake. It will be some years before the youngsters understand why it's useful to remember that toxic is in the middle of intoxicated for a very good reason.

One young boy did almost get the better of Marks when he adamantly insisted that he HAD seen a white rabbit with a pocket watch. But given the volume of hallucinogenic substances that Mr Nice has shifted over the years he took it in his stride that a six year-old may have been tripping off his box.

As for mushrooms and their medicinal properties... well Howard's advice is that pleasant as their effects might be, they taste like shit, and it's not with the effort.

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