Earning my Indie Stripes

Posted on Mon 29 August 2005 in general

Because most of us were working on Friday we didn't get onto site until about half seven in the evening. I managed to catch the last of Marilyn Manson but unfortunately it wasn't enough to appreciate. I will have to make an effort to see him next time he tours.

The Friday headline act was Iron Maiden. Despite their success in the 80's I never got around to seeing them live. I have to say I got what I expected: a rocking guitar fest with the energetic Bruce Dickinson running around the stage and encouraging the entire crowd to shout themselves horse.

Honourable mention for Friday night should go to Mylo who's set I caught the tail end of when I went to find some people in the middle of Iron Maidens set. "Drop the Pressure" was a particularly funky track. Obviously something to listen to again on a more dance inspired day.

On Saturday we had the whole gamut of the set-list to explore. It started with Do Me Bad Things who entertained us with the soulful rock as we chilled in the main stage area. Next up I finally got to see a whole Glodie Lookin' Chain set. For a one trick pony they are a very fun band to watch/listen to.

I then spent a fair amount of time wandering around the site which didn't take too long (the site is far smaller than Glastonbury). I did catch Marcus Brigstocke in the comedy tent. He's done a lot of writing for various Radio 4 stuff as well as a regular stint in the The Now Show. Live he was fantastic, freed of the constraints of broadcasting he really let rip with his angry man comedy. I was laughing so hard I cried, it was that good.

The acts leading up the Saturday headline where The Coral and The Killers. The Coral have definitely been influenced by the Beetles (not surprising I guess as they are local to Liverpool). A lot of trippy melodic rhythms on top of the main theme of the music. The Killers where pretty much as I remember from the last time I saw them, banging out the tunes to an appreciative crowd.

The numbers in the main stage thinned quite quickly before the Pixies were due to start. This was slightly concerning as although I've listened to some Pixies stuff before I wasn't exactly keen. However given the glowing praise with which Arwel and Neil showered on them I thought I'd give them the first few songs. It turns out I needn't of worried.

I totally understand why their music was difficult to get into. Live they worked very well but I think I'll have to be in a certain mood to listen to them on a whim. However their set rocked, including the guitarist infusing the spirit of Hendrix in a rather fevered guitar solo. I was also quite impressed with the skill they showed after making a mistake. The band had a quick discussion with the crowd/each other and then started again as though someone had just pressed the play button.

Sunday I spent a lot more time in the Comedy tent (I guess I was in the mood for more laughter). I caught Mitch Benn, another Radio 4 favourite. His act didn't disappoint and I'll take this moment to plug his single "Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now" which is out next week. Anything to knock of some of the crap thats currently in the charts. And as he pointed out if everyone in the tent brought a copy then it could make number one.

The final wrap up act was the Foo Fighters. It was possibly a combination of the poor sound quality (we where on the left side of a windy arena with no booster speakers) with my general tiredness that left me feeling distinctly underwhelmed. Still it wasn't a bad gig, I just expected more.

So that was yet another music festival. It was great to go with Neil and Arwel and discuss the music. I was even more great to have Jo along and drive us about in my car. I think I listened to more music than I did at Glastonbury. For the record the new CDs currently on the way from Amazon are:

  • "The Coral" and "Magic & Medicine", by The Coral.
  • "Wave of Mutilation - The Best of the Pixies"
  • "Destroy Rock & Roll", by Mylo
  • "Too Late to Cancel", by Mitch Benn and the Distractions