Southsefest 2011

20 09 2011

On Saturday we headed to Southseafest, the one day multi-venue event in Albert Road, Portsmouth.  For £16.50, this is amazing value for money, as we got to see a lot of music, albeit in short 30 minute sets.

Starting the day at Little Johnny Russels, we saw Gloryhole (rubbish name but good tunes), The Luke Ferre Band (brilliant version of Karma Chameleon) and The Planes (Umm, can’t really remember them, so guess they were ok, but can’t be sure).  We followed this by going to the One Eyed Dog for Aeroplane Attack (Mogwai/Explosions in The Sky sonic bombast, which I really liked) and then to a complete change of pace at the Globe for Fiona Bevan for some acoustic music, before heading to the Kings Theatre.

The Kings is an amazing venue which gets this run out once a year for a festival.   Kyla La Grange and Kill It Kid managed to held my interest, but didn’t really do the venue justice. Still, by that time, it was nice to have a sit down in a comfortable seat.

We then caught the end of the Joker and The Thief set, but I wish I had caught more, they sounded great, and I liked the gravelly voice.

Next up, the highlight of my da, Gideon Conn, a slightly bizarre, but charming character who plays a sort of twee acoustic hip-hop.  The last video that I posted was of a full band recording, but personally I prefer him on his own.  With songs about people who drive fish vans and electricity not being everybodys cup of tea, the venue wasn”t full, but it should have been for what was a fun performance.

After that we moved on to have some food and then to see Clock Opera at the Wedgewood Rooms.  I had really wanted to see them, but due to the bar being rammed, and someone spilling a pint over my arm, I didn’t actually get to see that much, and this also put me in a foul mood. 

This was lifted by going to see Sound of Rum, who I have seen a couple of times now and they have got better with each performance.  Kate Tempest appears to be growing in confidence as front woman, with her lyrics being as powerful as ever, and freestyling against the hecklers was brilliant.  Despite the technical difficulties, it was a great show.

Hopefully Southseafest 2012 will be as good next year.

 





2000 Trees Festival 2011

19 07 2011

Last weekend was time for the 2nd festival of the summer.  To be honest, you couldn’t get two more polar opposite of the festival world.

First was Glastonbury with 170000 people, 13 stages and more food stalls and shopping than you could possibly get through in a week.  Massive headline acts on all of the stages, and internationally renowned acts from all over the world littered the bill, which is why it cost £250 a ticket and your are on site for I suppose.

Second was 2000 Trees out in the Gloustershire countryside where 4500 people gathered to see 4 stages worth of New and Underground UK music.  The fact that most people wouldn’t recognice the main stage headliners, let alone many of the smaller bands really appeals to me.  For a £60 quid fee and 2 days of music you really can’t go wrong.

This was my 2nd year there, and this time the busy people have added another stage as well as setting out a completely new layout.  The new addition on the stages was called The Cave, and was the scene for the hardest music played this weekend.  Bands like Feed The Rhino, Kong Exit Ten and Japanese Voyeurs filled our ears with Rock music, making me remember how much I liked it.

Away on the Leaf Lounge stage and Main stage none of the acts dissappointed.  I saw Islet again, even though I didn’t really want to, because the sun had come out and I couldn’t be bothered to move for the first 20 minutes.  Dan Le Sac Vs  Scroobius Pip headlined the Friday night and have really grown into a proper festival band with some excellent banter and some even better tunes.

I came away with a list of bands that I need to look up and listen to again.  StringerBessant (2 ex members of Reef) and The Wave Pictures get special mention.  The Anomolies and Chewing on Tinfoil were both great

S0, I guess you can say that I enjoyed it, infact as we had such a good time we are already planning to go again next year.





What I Forgot to Mention About Glastonbury

12 07 2011

I guess that if you read this regularly, you will know that I am a bit of a music fan.  I have been like this since I was young.  The first single that I ever had was “You can call me Al” by Paul Simon.  Now I have reached my thirties, I never expected to ever see this performed live, but I did get to in the sunshine at the Pyramid stage on Sunday afternoon.  I won’t say that it was the best performance I have ever seen (Chevy Chase wasn’t on the stage, and the whistley bit was done on a syntisiser) but it was great for me to experience that.





British Sea Power @ Wedgewood Rooms

1 03 2011

Right, I know its been a long time again, but never mind.  Last Friday I went to see British Sea Power at the Wedgewood Rooms.  The tickets were a Christmas present from my sister so it was good to finally get the use out of them. 

I have liked the band since their 2002 album The Decline of British Sea Power, when they really sounded like David Bowie.  Now their sound has matured alot and they have turned into a really excellent live band.  I saw them a couple of years ago at The End of The Road festival in Dorset and have wanted to see them again for a while.  They played brilliantly for nearly 2 hours, and didn’t disappoint.

Sorry its a bit quick, but better this than nothing.





Sometimes…

4 10 2010

Sometime I love Portsmouth, the City where I was born and brought up, the City that I moved away from and then moved back to.

Sometimes I hate Portsmouth, the City where I was born and brought up, the City that I moved away from and then moved back to.

It is beautiful, it is fun, there is a lot to do, there is a thriving music scene as shown by Southsefest, the free museums are maybe not the best, but they are free and worth going to.  You can always have a good night out whatever your tastes are, being pubbing or clubbing, restaurant or theatre.

Sadly it is also home to a very small minority of small minded, petty vindictive and spiteful people. 

The reason that I bring this up is because somebody burnt down the Southsea Dinosaur which I am not too happy about (I think that you may have guessed) .

Apparantly now there is a £1000 reward for anyone that has any information.  The general opinion is that it was a student that did it, however I believe that students have more respect for art and the things around them.

Rant over.





Andyspex vs Seetickets

3 10 2010

The Battle for Glastonbury has been fought.  For the first time I am going to Glastonbury.  I am not sure if I will like it, but I really wanted to give it a go and as H says it is something you have to do while you can.

Tickets went on sale at 9.00 and I couldn’t have been any later than 9.05, but I couldn’t get onto the site, I kept refreshing for about an hour as friends updated their facebook status to say that they had got them.  For another hour I tried refreshing with no luck, still not on the site.  Then I got a call from Dev, and a friend of a friend had been lucky enough to get 2 sales windows open, so we fed him our details and managed to get tickets that way.

After 3 hours I didn’t get anywhere close to getting tickets, I did get RSI from refreshing the page.  I am glad that I did though as they sold out in under 5 hours.  Not that I would have lasted 5 hours to get tickets.

I still hate seetickets.com.  Now I have 2 things to wish for, Sun and Radiohead. 

As someone put on Twitter “If I spent this sunday pressing refresh to get U2, someone is getting a pitchfork to the nads”  I second that.





Cherry Ghost

24 09 2010

I know that its been a while again, but I have been busy and I apologise, things that I haven’t blogged about since the last time I thought about it include:  Longleat, Glastonbury Tor, Southseafest and how good it was including Montage Populaire, Dirty Sky Jones, The Dawn Chorus, Bleech and Little Fish.

So it comes to last night when I went to see Cherry Ghost and extremely good they were too.  Ably supported by Liverpool based urchin’s (they wear braces and brogues.  “shine your shoes Mister?”) Misery Guts they played a blinding set on the third night of their tour. 

Classified as the dreaded Alt. Country, they have a distinctive sound and a great voice in their singer/songwriter.  Song’s from both of their albums went down well with the Radio 2 aged crowd and the sound quality was superb.

Highlights for me were Thirst for Romance and 4AM, but that is because I like their first album.  Their Encore was topped off by a cover version of Finally originally by Ce Ce Peniston.

Go and see them while they are on tour.





Green Man Festival 2010

26 08 2010

On Thursday H, Bimbo and I made our way to the Greenman Festival in Glanusk Deer Park in the Brecon Beacons.  We managed to get there and erect our tent while it wasn’t raining, but as soon as we were in it did rain, and it rained hard.  We had to improvise a prop out of beer cans for the roof so that the water would come off the badly designed tent.

Friday came and we ventured into the Festival to see some bands, the first that we saw was Hail! The Planes, and the sun actually managed to come out half way through their set, so we managed to stand outside (away from the bar) for a while.  The Friday brought an eclectic but excellent mix of bands, ranging from the 80’s inspired O. Children (Think New Order rather than A-Ha) to the mariachi sounding Beirut and the antipodean Rock of An Horse.  By far my favourite was Steve Mason on the Far Out Stage, playing music from his own solo album which I like anyway, but finishing with a track by his former (and brilliant) band The Beta Band.  This really made my night.

I woke up on Saturday still whistling a Steve Mason tune and looking forward to The Flaming Lips headlining later that night.  H and Bimbo decided to get Massages, so I wandered about the site and came across the Flaming Lips sound check, where a large group gathered and they played the whole of the Yeah Yeah Yeah song, gaining a loud cheer from the 200 or so people that had gathered.  The better news was that the sun came out making the festival site an extremely pleasant place to be.  We started out the day by watching the weird Islet, and the up coming Egyptian Hip Hop.  The surprise of the day was the Besnard Lakes, who rocked out on the main stage for a while. 

The Flaming Lips Headline slot was a late one, but I suspected that it would be good, having seen them before in what is the best gig I have ever been to.  Their stage show is somewhat epic, with Wayne Coyne entering the arena on a Zorb, with confetti cannons going off and balloons being blown into the audience and Lasers shooting into the night sky.  The sing along’s were still great, but they played a lot off of their new album and missed a lot of their good songs out.  Don’t get me wrong, this was still an exceptional gig, but not what I was expecting.  I still left humming Do You Realise!

Sunday was hot so we spent the first few hours watching small bands on the Green Man Pub Stage where we saw the rather excellent Welsh duo Brigyn.  Moving on the Far Out Stage, we settled in for a long day.  Megafaun were my favourite band of the Festival and put on an excellent show, Bear In Heaven played their electro pop really well (we had a swift diversion to sing-a-long-a-Mumford-and-Sons, who played some new tracks too) the sunny Indie pop of Girls and the mad Danish electro of Efterklang who were joined on stage by Batman.  One thing that I noticed, Bear In Heaven, Girls and Efterklang all started their sets slowly and I was unsure about them, but with strong finishes I came away loving them all.

Green man is an excellent festival, and I think that we will be going again next year.  Having only seen one of the headlining acts properly there is enough good stuff going on that, that didn’t matter.   Probably what I would do next year is not drink so much Festival Ale though.





2000 Trees

27 07 2010

On the way back from Scotland we popped in to s small 2 day Festival in Cheltenham with some really good friends and a small Plastic dog.

The Stage during The Subways

For the bargain price of £50 we got 2 days of camping and some excellent but small bands, with the headliners being Frank Turner and The Subways.

Highlights for me were The Dawn Chorus with Frank Turner for the encore, Lo-Fi Culture Scene and Skeleton and the Empty Pockets. 

Cats and Cats and Cats frontman and Tacky

 

Tacky on stage with A Genuine Freakshow

 

To be quite honest, this festival wasn’t really about the music, it was about hanging out with my really good friends, making each other laugh and getting Tacky photographed with some bands.





Slam Dunk

1 06 2010

Over the bank holiday weekend H and I were exceptionally busy again. Saturday we had tickets for Slam Dunk Festival, the Ska-Punk-Emo-Metal Fest held for the first time in the Students Union of the Hatfield Campus of the University of Hertfordshire. This place is huge, it made my whole university look small.

Anyway, 5000 Skate punks turned up for what was a great afternoon of music. There were 7 stages, which unfortunately made choosing bands to see a little difficult. In the end we went to quite a few, but The Wonder Years were the early band that I wanted to see and we did get in eventually, the whole venue was rammed.

After the Wonder Years we mooched about a couple of the other stages, and waited to see Alkaline Trio. It was a difficult choice over which headliners to see, those, New Found Glory, Capdown or The Rocket Summer. I chose Alkaline Trio as I had previously bought albums by them, and had already seen NFG before. Alkaline Trio were superb, I had forgotten how good they actually are musically. Of course playing songs from over a decade of releases helps. H liked them too. I enjoyed the festival and it had a great line up, so maybe next year. The one problem that they had was that it rained. That meant that all of the people for the outside stage decided to come inside and caused a bit of trouble outside. On the plus side, there were decent toilets.