All entries for Tuesday 29 August 2006

August 29, 2006

Leeds Festival 2006 – Friday

Friday 25th August 2006

6.00 Why are people shouting? Go away, I'm trying to sleep!
10.50 Mmm, tinned Lidl tuna salad for breakfast. Oh, I wish I had a croissant. Or toast. Or anything really.
10.51. Retraction: the Lidl tinned tuna salad is the nicest tinned tuna salad ever! Who'd have thought it?
11.15 First toilet trip of the day. My sinuses are permanently scarred.
11.30 To the arena. In previous years security on the first day has been overly officious and has delayed people getting in by up to an hour. This year the queue goes really quickly and I'm in within ten minutes. Congrats on the much trumpeted new security company.
THE MARSHALS (NME Tent) First band, playing generic indie rock but not making too bad a fist of it. Certainly a pleasant way to start the festival although the guitarist's hair seems to have been inspired by Dave Hill from Slade, crica 1975…
12.35 Big hair should be banned. Or at the very least those who insist on having big hair should be banned from standing in front of me.
METRIC (NME Tent) Ah, the mildly hyped Canadians appear to a larger than usual crowd for this early time slot. They just about justify the hype, certainly the singer is hyperactive and charismatic enough whether she's bounding around stage or assaulting her keyboard. The guitarist looks a bit like the singer from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Photo from BBC

13.15 Right, I'm going to do the impossible and meet someone I've arranged to meet, namely Moz. However I've been looking for ten minutes and, unless he's turned into a teenage girl with a pink rucksack, I've not found him.
13.20 Found him.
TAPES 'N' TAPES (NME Tent) Not too convinced to start off with, it all seems a bit generic. However they get better with each song, seemingly as a result of each song being less and less like you'd expect indie to sound. The guitarist is too far away too see what he looks like.
FORWARD RUSSIA! (NME Tent) Moz askes me before they start to describe what they sound like. The best I can come up with is the drummer wants to be in Franz Ferdinand, the guitarist (who looks like fuzzy felt) wants to be in the post punk 1980s, the singer wants to be in At The Drive–In and the bassist just is. As it happens this is a fairly accurate description as they do very loud, very frantic disco beat indie punk and get away with it by playing in front of a home crowd. Not bad.
DRESDEN DOLLS (NME Tent) Ah, the band both me and Moz have been informed we must see. Well, fair play to those who told us to do so as they were great. Just a hugely talented drummer, a hugely talented pianist/singer, and the you have the only band capable of excellent covers of both the Kaiser Chiefs and Black Sabbath. Their own stuff, so–called cabaret–punk, is awesome too. They don't have a guitarist.

HOPE OF THE STATES (NME Tent) Apart from not playing 'Sing It Out' they don't put a foot wrong. Any band who indulge in instrument swapping are already destined to please me. Also, sod guitarists, violinists are the way forward on this evidence.
16.51 My poor sore feet. I've been stood up for nearly five hours.
16.55 I'm not sure but I think I just saw the ghost of Mo Mowlam.
17.17 Shit, it's raining.
17.30 It's stopped. Now stay stopped, you bastard.
17.35 Mmm, crepe of joy. Food of the gods.
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE (NME Tent) I suspect there are few BSS fans in the tent as there's disappointingly little crowd reaction, and no one knows what's going on. Epic indie rock, you gimps! Epic of course being the only way to describe the number of people onstage…
18.42 Someone's dropped their payslip on the floor of the Carling Tent. I don't look at the size of the pay packet as I have no money and seeing someone else with cash with bring out the raging communist in me. Down with capitalists. Crepes for all!
KLAXONS (Carling Tent) Well now, the latest NME hype band, the so–called leaders of 'New Rave'. I stand before them and adopt my best 'impress me' pose. Kind of hard in a crowd this big of course. And the first song does nothing to make me any less sceptical, it's just a noise. But then something happens. They play the rest of their set, and it's not rave at all. Rave is a boring one dimensional drone which you need to be on drugs to enjoy. This is great, it's indie you can dance to, but done really really well. It helps that the crowd are up for it too. New Rave is the emperor's new clothes and this lot deserve better. They could be big.

It wasn't this sort of klaxon.

19.43 Mmm, Nepali corn on the cob. At £2 a cob, this could be the most cost effective food on site.
19.44 Bloody hell, Brian Molko's bald!
PLACEBO (Main Stage) In which Placebo do a set in which they sound exactly like they do on record. But I mean that in a good way, they always do and it's a big enough crowd pleaser for this time of day.

Photo from BBC

21.00 The tent DJ plays 'Milkshake' by Kelis. Indie kids, emo–ers and assorted others dance awkwardly.
21.29 Hi Sophie, didn't know you were here. Random spot one.
HOT CHIP (Carling Tent) That'll be geeks with laptops then. Like Kraftwerk if they were students at a provincial university (say, Warwick) Hot Chip manage to improve some songs live but make others seem a little less exciting than they do on record. It's a strange inconsistency, but in the end it's a good set.

Photo from NME.com

22.26 There's a naked man balancing on his mate's shoulders. Poor mate.
MAXIMO PARK (NME Tent) Ah, the northern headliners at the northern leg. The tent is rammed so I perch on the metal railings just outside and am rewarded with a really really good view. Lucky thing as Paul Smith must be watched carefully as he falls all over the stage, reads a book, and generally poses. In what appears to be a trillby. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but watching and listening to Maximo Park is like seeing Pulp reincarnated. We need this in our lives.
23.02 Stumble home to bed. No stamina. I suck. So glad I have these ear plugs…

Quotes Of The Day

Amanda Palmer, Dresden Dolls (Introducing a cover of Kaiser Chief's 'Everyday...') "Ok, I want you to dance and clap. Do what British people do… throw beer at each other."

Paul Smith (Maximo Park) (Removing his ear plugs) "I was trying to protect me but hearing but I'm going to go deaf with the rest of you. Who wants some more deaf?


Leeds Festival 2006 – Thursday

Ah, the Leeds Festival, a chance to see bands, stand in a field and indulge in the ritual group shouting of "BOLLOCKS!" Truly I have no greater purpose on this earth. Here follows a true and only mildly hyperbolic account of how I came to have sore calf muscles, a bad cold and a head full of the music. Yes.

Thursday 24th August 2006

The plan was quite simple, get up and be ready to leave for 11.10am. We'd then arrive gracefully and set up our tents before drinking fine ales and recounting stories of a convivial variety. My brother, henceforth referred to as Kyle, as this is his name, thought that 9am would be a good time to get up.

9.15 I am aware of the time but am undecided as to whether I want to get up. I don't.
9.30 Just five more minutes.
9.45 And by five I mean fifteen. But I'm up. Just.
10.15 Time to try on my festival shoes, my Doc Martens boots which I don't seem to wear that much for some reason.
10.15.30 Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, the PAIN! Ok, that's why I don't wear them! They hurt.
11.30 Richard, our driver, has arrived and we set off. Hurrah! Now we can sally forth into adventure.
12.45 We are making quite excellent progress.
13.05 Bollocks. Traffic jam of doom.
13.24 More doom.
13.42 Doomy doomy doom doom. Have we even moved since 13.05?
14.36 We throw good manners to the wind and cheat by driving in the wrong lane and going round roundabouts several times to get ahead of the queues. It's unethical but when you've been in the car this long ethics are void.
15.15 We're here! We set off to find the tents that the people who arrived earlier set up.
15.15.10 Where are the others?
15.20 Not here.
15.22 Still not here. This is a big arsed campsite, as this photo that someone else took shows:

I wish I hadn't left my camera in Somerset.
15.41 Seriously, where are they?
16.10 Oh, here they are. Right in the middle of the most crowded campsite. At least you can't smell the toilets from here. Anyway, time to erect tent.
16.25 Done. My slowest tent erection time in years. But at least, unlike Kyle and Richard, I've managed to erect my tent successfully and without delays caused by trying to use components from two differently shape tents. They respond by nicking some of my tent pegs.
16.40 Yey now I have a Greek flag. Kyle points out that a nearby tent to us has the phrase "Greeks get out" written on it in gaffa tape.

17.30 Back to the car for the rest of the stuff. I have my evil Doc Martens and a bag of food. Kyle and Richard have about 28 bags. Each.
19.23 Walk past a tent which is making Street Fighter noises.
19.40 Go to arena for the lowkey first night entertainment. There's a band on in the Comedy and Cabaret Tent. They're called the Quiet Kill and spend the five minutes we watch them ending a song. Or maybe that is the entirety of the song. Or the entirety of the set. Just big, cymbal landen endings. Whatever it is, it's shite so we leave.
20.57 The men in the next gazebo are singing pro–Lancashire songs. They'll be lucky not to get set on by the locals if they keep that up.
22.10-22.25 Search for extra blanket. It's freezing! However I am wearing my torch glasses (like the Orbital wore) and have a great time watching the people I walk past look on in amazement. Or fear. Comments include "It's the Terminator", "Mind the headlights", and one somewhat fearful girl saying "It's coming right for me".

The Orbital glasses in action... on the Orbital.
22.31 The people in the next gazebo have assigned most of our group new names. I am R2D2 for the glasses. There's also Anastacia and Pete Doherty. If this was for real that would be a good party.
22.45 Knackered. Bed.


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