All entries for Wednesday 30 August 2006
August 30, 2006
Sunday 27th August 2006
6.27 Awake with a start from a really really strange dream in which I was trapped by a line dancing demonstration by Hilary Clinton’s 2008 presidential election team. Fall alseep again in attempt to forget.
9.20 Awaoken by the people from last night who have woken up and decided to restart shouting names at random. Every third name is “Hermoine”. Hermoine doesn’t reply.
11.10 Time to dismantle tent.
11.18 It wasn’t this hard last year.
11.24 Get in the bag! You fitted earlier, you bastard!
11.28 Done. Grr. To the arena.
THE 747s (NME Stage) Nice harmonies but live they just seemed a little blah, although it seems like the tent might have done them a disservice.
GIANT DRAG (NME Tent) This is no slander on their music but even during their good tracks like ‘This Isn’t It’ I, and most people there, were waiting for the songs to end so Annie could start talking again. Funnier than most of the contents of the Comedy Tent, she drawled a serious of insane proclamations including one about Chris Issak which could only be described as highly libellous. And yes, the music was pretty good too. Jeez, is music all you people think about?
13.59 I wonder what the football results were? I would ask but around here I think asking how Manchester United did is a one way ticket to a bruising.
14.02 That lamp onstage looks familiar.
14.02.06 Hang on! I own that same lamp! It’s from Ikea!
14.02.45 And that’s not a keyboard stand, it’s an ironing board.
RUMBLE STRIPS (Carling Tent) Ramshackle, brassdriven fun. They played to a slightly unfairly small crowd which was a bit of a bummer.
TILLY AND THE WALL (Carling Tent) Twee but tuneful indie from a band with more good singers than is the norm. And the keyboardist was good… and um… the bassist had a nicely OTT dress… ok, look, there’s no way of not mentioning that they don’t have a drummer, they have a tapdancer! Yes, a woman with fast feet kept the beat. There will never be a review of them which cannot mention this but it sure beats watching someone swathed in shadow, behind the band, hitting things.
BE YOUR OWN PET (NME Stage) Mmm, tricky one. When they’re good, they’re very good. Doubling up ‘Bunk Trunk Skunk’ and ‘Damn Damn Leash’ was a stroke of genius, even if the whole thrilling punk squawk of the two probably just scraped over three minutes. Excellent. But when it didn’t work it was just shouty noise. Of course they are younger than almost everyone else in the world so they’ve got time to grow. Not too much though.
THE FUTUREHEADS (Main Stage) Ah, excellent, the’ve been at every festival I’ve been to in the last three years and this was the best show yet. There’s something pleasingly heavier about the new songs, whilst the older ones are poppy joys. I remain sceptical that they are four people though, there’s no way anyone could be that tight without being controlled by a central mind, surely?
14.20 There’s quite literally a pile of unconscious girls by the Main Stage.
14.33 Huh? Is that burger van really playing Boney M? Do they have any idea of where they are?
DIRTY PRETTY THINGS (Main Stage) Ok, this is strange. Two years ago here I saw the Libertines without Pete. That band was virtually identical to the DPT which are onstage before me, yet two years ago they were better, more exciting, more thrilling. This seems a bit… unmagical. They do have some great moments but it doesn’t quite work overall. Nice Union Jack sling though.
Photo from BBC
THE FALL (NME Tent) Classic Manc indie/punky/rockandrolly mumblings from Mark E Smith who isn’t too grumpy. At least he remembers the words to the songs, something he doesn’t do at Reading I hear later.
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH (NME Stage) Somehow Alec’s vocals are even less clear than on record. I’m not convinced he uses any actual words for the first three songs. It matters not as the second one, ‘This Home On Ice’ is a fantastic singalong and a weekend highlight. Excellent all round and works well with the chunky live sound.
18.48 The Carling Tent crowd aren’t the crowd I’d expect to see a The Organ gig. Something’s afoot.
19.01 Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! They’ve cancelled and ben replaced by The View. I try to get excited but can’t and wonder off outside…
19.02 ...where it’s raining. Heavily. Ominous.
19.03 What makes it worse is that I’d rather be in a tent in this rain but it’s Jet in the NME Tent who I’d rather remove my ears than endure. This is really unfair as at this time yesterday I missed Howling Bells because they clashed with Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Why couldn’t they play today?
19.09 Wow! A portaloo with loo roll! However there’s racist grafitti in it and I can hear Jet, so it’s not perfect.
THE STREETS (Main Stage) I only catch the end of his set but I wish I’d caught more. It looked like it had been fun and Mike Skinner comes across onstage as a nice guy. Next time…
ARCTIC MONKEYS (Main Stage) They are good. Let no one tell you they’re not. They are not, however, the best thing of all time ever, and seem a little unsure of what to do in front of such a huge crowd. Perhaps I was undone by hype and subconsciously expected more. But what I got was a damn good indie rock and roll show. And who can ask for more?
Photo from BBC
MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSE (Main Stage) And with the last kick of the game comes the bets goal yet. Oh wow. Lights! Fire! Aliens! Supermassive prog sized uber riffs of joy and doom and it was absolutely amazing. Every song was ace, the audience loved it and the histrionics, the solos, the very over the top spectacle was so different from nearl everything else I saw this weekend that it was like having a really sweet, tasty pudding after a lovely yet savoury roast dinner.
Photo fom BBC
What happened next is a bit of a farce. My lift (mis padres) had arrvied at about 22.30 at last year’s festival and I’d left the last act, grabbed my dismantled tent and met them at just after 23.20 and we’d tootled home to bed. This year they went to the cinema first and at 23.05 rang to say they were an hour away. By this stage it was raining heavily and my trainers had let in water on both feet. I had no tent to sit in. In desperation I hid in a welfare tent.
In the welfare tent I met two people who had come with no tents and were just making friends on site and sleeping where ever they could. Both exceptionally romantic and quite quite crazy was my thoughts on the matter. But they were good company trying to salvage one single cigarette from the soaked papers and baccy they had.
Just after midnight my parents called and told me to go to the pick up carpark as my dad would walk there and meet me then we’d go and find mum in the car. I was there within moments and was lucky. It was rammed. The cars weren’t moving and if mum got onto the site we’d take literally hours and hours to get out again. So the onyl fair choice was I had to walk to the road where she was, meeting dad en route, and do a u turn to escape. It took over 45 minutes and must have been at least a mile and a half in pouring rain, with heavy and awkward kit, and leaking shoes. No wonder I had flu like symptoms the next day.
But I’m not moaning. It’s just one of those things and for once it worked, we got home at about 2.00 which wasn’t too bad. Next year they’re gonna have to get the earlier matinee performance…
Quotes Of The Day
Annie Hardy, Giant Drag “Don’t set tens on fire and burn people’s faces. Instead, you should open their tents a little, stick your penis in and pee on the person inside. They won’t like it, but they won’t need to go to hospital.”
Annie, again After spitting on the stage repeatedly and phlegmily “Tell the next act to be careful not to slip on my lungbutter.”
This entry has been published using WB’s new Schedule feature to publish entries without me having to be awak to publish them myself. Hopefully it will go up at 23.05…
Saturday 26th August 2006
10.12 Is it time to get up?
10.45 The Guardian stand are selling Guardians with free cameras. How nice is that?
11.15 Why are the people in the next tent screaming so much?
11.38 To the arena… slowly.
FIELDS (NME Tent) Delayed by half an hour for no apparent reason but despite being armed with the folkiest instruments on show (12 string guitars) they were loud for a folk band. Pretty good stuff. The keyboardist also struggled on bravely despite having a cold after the band tourbus left her behind at a service station for an hour in her pajamas. Aaaaaaaaaaaaah. They also handed out free CDs which was very nice of them.
13.31 Someone’s got a stick with pictures of Monty Panesar and Fieldmarshall Monty on it.
THE LONG BLONDES (NME Tent) A big crowd for this band and the deserved it. They were stylish, witty and inspired more than a few crowd surfers. How the music industry took so long to sign them is a sign of either cloth eared ignorance or blatant sexism.
SCISSORS FOR LEFTY (Carling Tent) Missed some of their set due to the NME tent being totally out of sync with the listed times but SFL were a bit erratic. They had one truly great sounding song, one which was, frankly, arse, and the rest were a little uncertain. Energetic but hard to say if they’ll amount to anything.
FIELD MUSIC (Carling Tent) Oh, the joys of instrument malfunctions. Unfortunately Field Music just couldn’t overcome them and the set was stilted altough there were flashes to suggest that they might be capable of better. They also complained that their completed new album isn’t out until January. It’s just not going their way at the moment, really.
15.29 There’s a banner over there saying, “Don’t worry, mummy’s here”. No she isn’t, she’s watching this on TV at home.
GOGAL BORDELLO (NME Tent) Talking of my mum, she told me I have to come and see these guys. Cheers mum. Gogol Bordello were ace. There must be somethin innate about this sort of self proclaimed “gypsy punk” as the audience, even those who clearly had never heard them before, were well up for it. Thanks to the mad people next to me who included myself (and as many other audience members as they could grab) in a massive Russian dance to most songs. The madness was only eclipsed by the masness onstage.
16.10 Why do all those branded beach balls keep landing on me?
16.11 Oh, I’m stood next to a man with an Irish flag, that’s why.
16.12 Mmm, beer shower. Clearly anything raised above head height is a fair target. Why anyone would sit on someone else’s shoulders is beyond me unless they are yet to have this epiphany.
16.13 Funnily anough the man with the Irish flag is really Irish. And he’s off to the bar. Hurrah.
PEACHES (NME Tent) In which a 30-something Canadian stomps around stage talking about her sexual prowess whilst removing her clothes yet not appearing to be wearing any less than she started with. The power of layers. Peaches is inexplicably good though, her band are pretty damn good, and not even the inflatable penis seems crass. For the second time this weekend, I am more impressed than I thought I would be.
THE SUNSHINE UNDERGROUND (Claring Tent) Another big-ish crowd in the small tent for these dancey indie types. And again that New Rave tag is bollocks, this lot are simply The Music but a bit more focused and with less OTT songs. This is a good thing. Cowbells a go go.
18.13 I set off for food and decide to give in the to smell of the noodles and try them.
18.18 Damn my unreliable nose, these are clearly inferior to the crepes. No wonder the crepe queue was bigger than the noodle queue.
*BELLE AND SEBASTIAN (Main Stage)*Missed a bit of their set and it’s my bad. The indiest of the indie, turns out B&S are one of those bands (like Super Furry Animals or Ash) who you’d never think of as being the soundtrack of your life but you’ll be gobsmacked by how many of their songs you know. In any case they’ve been together long enough to know how to put on a good show and the girl pulled out of the crowd for ‘Jonathan David’ looked like all her dreams had come true.
18.43 Futher to the big hair comment of yesterday I want all people wearing tweed banned from blocking my view as well.
19.06 The people next to me seem to be arguing in Welsh. I think it’s Welsh. It’s phlegmy and they’re using English words for any concept or invention which is less than 150 years old. That’s Welsh right?
YEAH YEAH YEAHS (Main Stage) Ok, first things first. Karen O is dressed as one of my mum’s cushions. And she’s molesting a bemused and slightly scared looking cameraman. And my god, these are tunes of immense size and power. How the hell they came up with ‘Date With The Night’ I’ll never know but it sounds as huge and I always hoped it would. Rather curely her hairband gets stuck in her hair during ‘Phenomenon’ and she giggles her way through somehow.
Photo from NME.com
19.37 They’re playing The Killers’ ‘All These Things I’ve Done’ from the massive, loud stage speakers. Despite this the audience is singing it badly out of time with both the record and each other. Pay attention choir!
19.48 The people next to me have drawn everyone’s attention to the fact that the Carling papr cups they’ve been served beer in have the Download logo on them. The organisers are useless.
19.50 Colin Murray introduces Chris Moyles who introduces Peter Kaye who introduces…
KAISER CHIEFS (Main Stage) They came dangerously close to overegging their performance with gimmicks and sometimes forced audience interaction, but with a hometown crowd they were never going to lose. Funnily enough, where the album loses steam, live the songs work so much better despite not sounding too dissimilar. It’s hard to say why.
21.07 Festival Highlights footage plays on the big screen. The crowd watch halfheartedly until a girl on screen says “I love the Reading Festival”. Cue mass booing.
21.08 Biggest singalong so far… for the Match Of The Day theme tune.
21.09 Even bigger singalong for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Includes mass moshing. Best song ever clearly.
FRANZ FERDINAND Again, there’s a slight hint of drawing things out to fill the time slot but they carry it off. Borderline preening and strutting are welcome when the songs are good. The massed ranks of drummers at the end was a nice touch as we played “which band are they from?”. All told, a good headlining set.
0.38 Fall asleep to the sound of the people in next tent shouting names at random.Photo from BBC
Quote Of The Day
My brother Drunk “George Alagiah looks like a Welshman.”