Review of 2009

4 01 2010
I have been neglecting this blog for a while and concentrating on my photo blog, which I really enjoy doing.
 
So to kick off this year, I thought that I would do a kind of review of the year for 2009.  I don’t think I am doing a Spex awar this year, mainly because I can’t be bothered.  I am getting Lazy I think.
 
January started off with New Year in the most random pub in the world and a trip to a brewery for May-Z’s birthday, and then not a great deal happened, until February when I started going to Gigs again, Iglu and Hartley was the first of the year.
 
In March, not a lot happened again, but I saw a couple more bands.  April was great though, I met the wonderful H and we had a lot of fun.  I also formed the Victorian Gentlemans Amaretto Drinking Club (Fingers Up) in a pub in Worcester and went to Thorpe Park for the first time that year.
 
May was pretty good, my birthday was superb, we had a lot of fun, and then I went on Safari, this took me until mid June and was one of the most amazing things that I have ever done.  June came and went with more gigs and a trip to the Isle of Wight.  July flew past with Mark Cavendish winning 6 stages of the Tour De France and the Ashes starting.
 
August saw the completion of the Ashes, with England victorious, me failing to walk the Southdowns Way because of injury.  September included Bestival, which was superb, (Elbow were sublime) and Love Albert Road Day which was good too.
 
October was my month of blogging and to be honest it is some of the worst things ever written, I did start taking a lot of photos though.  In November I saw the Flaming Lips, which was about the only thing I did that month.
 
December flew past, with ATP and christmas, and I cooked for H on New Years Eve.
 
All in all, not a bad year.
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My Favourite Gigs

4 12 2009
Its been a while since I have blogged, so I had better make this a good one.  As I made a very bold statement in my last blog that the Flaming Lips gig may have been the best gig that I have ever been to, which got me thinking, what are the best gigs that I have ever been to.  I have made some tough choices here and omitted some really good bands (Including Muse twice, Elbow and Radiohead who are my favourite band).
 
So here they are in vaguely Chronological order, with a bit about why I thought they were so good:
 

3 Colours Red (1999)- This has probably made it on to the list as it was one of the first gigs that I had been to, and one of my favourite bands at the time (Listening to Nuclear Holiday still rocks my socks off), but mainly because I was chatting to the Lead Singer at the back for ages. 

Goldie Lookin’ Chain (2004)- On the back of Half Man Half Machine, I went to see these (the first gig that I went to with the Jolly Green Dave Ware). They didn’t sound like any music around at the time and still don’t.  On their day (this one) there stage show is amazing, even when the power went out it was brilliant, they improvised a game show called Win a Date with the Maggott.  Sadly they are getting worse every time I see them. 

Gogol Bordello (2006)- Immigrant Gypsy Punk has never sounded so good, to have the drummer girls crowd surfing on top of giant drums was genius.

Apples in Stereo (2007)- You know when a new song hits you and you need to know what it is and everything about the band, that was what it was like with Energy.  Seeing them at ATP vs The Fans topped off the festival, it also helped that I was stood on a chair so that I could see.

Bon Iver (2008)- Again its amazing what a brilliant song can do to you, top it off with one of the best voices in Music at the moment, sat in a festival field with a paper cup of Cider when the sun comes out, you have near perfection. 

De La Soul (2008)- At ATP again, De La Soul provided a perfect hip hop party beat.

Vampire Weekend (2008)- Mansard Roof, was easily my favourite single of the year (probably of the last 5 years) and I may have said that the album could challenge The Bends as my favourite album.  I am not sure if it has or not, but this gig on my birthday was utterly superb.

…And you will know us by the Trail of The Dead (2009)- Awesome band name, awesome music, 2 drum kits, brilliant.

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip (2009)- I have seen these 4 times now, the first in 2008 at the Joiners was great too.  This time was at Bestival though, their second set.  At midnight, in a tiny tent.  It was sweaty, it was loud, the place went mental, it was everything that all gigs should be.  I really can’t wait to see them agin in March.

Flaming Lips (2009)- See the last Blog entry, but this was a definite spectacle.

The main thing that all of these have in common is that I was there with good friends, and I liked the music before I went.  I suppose I had a pre-programmed idea of what the gig would be like, and I guess these lived up to the expectations.  The 3 big bands at the top that didn’t make it in aren’t the only ones that have had great gigs, some of the others include Skindred, Rival Schools, Modest Mouse, Le Savvy Fav, Futureheads, Editors.  I could go on, but I won’t.




Bestival Festivities

16 09 2009

On Thursday I took the Fast Cat across the sea to the Isle of Wight to be taken to Bestival Festival.  I got th the campsite with H and traded in my ticket for a nice pink Wristband and made my way down the treacherous slope of Robin Hill Country park towards the campsite.

Luckily for me H and her mum had already set up the tents before I got there and I just had to worry about getting my bag down the hill and opening a beer when I got there, which I sucessfully did.  A bit later we decided to go for a Tulipsmooch around the site and have a look at the decorations, we were greeted by giant Tulips and loads of flags as well as the stages being dressed in the Space theme of the Festival.  We had a few drinks and I bought a matching hat and shirt (Skull and Crossbones motif, very nice) from the Oxfam Tent, where I found out that trying to temporary Tattoo yourself with Clothing paint doesn’t work and it left me with a purple arm.  We then watched This is Spinal Tap on the big screen, and turned it up to 11 when we had a bit of a drunken dance to a cracking set by the Cuban Brothers.

Waking up the worse for wear on Friday morning I discovered that I had left the gas for the cooker in Hannahs car, so had to set off on an epic mission up the hill again early morning.  Once we were all Tea’d up we headed into the site again for the first band of the day, we selected our seats by the WI tea tent and Farmers Market (this beacme a habit for the next few days) and were

The Bandstand

The Bandstand

drinking organic apple and blackcurrant juice from local farms while watching Sun Down City (Short reviews are being added in the brackets afterwards…Good)

This was a good start to proceedings, and soon after their set we moved back down the hill to the Big Top Tent to watch Efterklang (Scandanavian lovliness)  followed by Fresh Legs (Shouty pop) on the Redbull Stage, then 2 doses of epic orchestral rock in the form of 65 Days of Static (blooming awesome) and The Workhouse (Glum), before heading again to the Big Top to watch Mercury Award Winner Speeche Debelle (One of my favourites of the weekend) play.  H and I stayed on this stage for a while and watched Maps (Twiddly Electronica), Filthy Dukes (Funky stuff) followed by Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip.  Anyone that knows

Zoidberg and Bender

Zoidberg and Bender

me will know that I love these two, and their live shows do not dissappoint.  I had built this one up for H and she was looking forward to it, so I was hoping not to be proved wrong.  I wasn’t, and all of the humour and anger that comes out in Scroobs stage presence was still there, and I loved everything about it (does this make me a fan boy) down to Dan’s T-Shirt that said Dan Is Not A Jukebox.  He has now started to sing on stage too.  What I liked better was when they said they would be playing a smaller gig at one of the stands at midnight the following night.

From here we caught Passion Pit (Unexpectedly good) Friendly Fires (Unexpectedly Bad), MGMT (terrible, really really terrible) before the nights Headliners, Massive Attack.  Thsi is a band that I have wanted to see for years, I love Mezzanine, it is one of my favourite albums, and for them to play most of it was a great moment for me.  The real highlight was Unfinished Sympathy.  The vocals on this made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, it was simply spectacular.  We walked the site for a while after this and then headed to bed.

Stars

Stars

The next morning we headed back up for a juice and sit in the sun and watched The Kurves (Summery), before going to see Chew Lips (Electronica), The Hot Rats (Supergrass doing covers, Ace.) Fight Like Apes (Crowd Pleasers), VV Brown (chilled out and relaxed funk).  We saw a couple of bands on the main stage The Golden Silvers and Goldie lookin’ Chain.  Both of them were poor.  On their day the GLC can be amazing, but this wasn’t their day.  The Golden Silvers for some reason I have been unlucky enough to see 3 times.  I still think they only have one good song.

At some point during the day H went to see Mika, which was apparantly good, but I went to see Skint and Demoralised, and Micachu and the shapes.  Both young bands, both good.  Micachu is about 12, but they have some great tunes.  I met up again with H to see the Beat, the Ska band whose biggest hit Mirror in The Bathroom has some great sax on in.  It turns out that H’s mum went to school with one of them and she thinks that song was written about his sister.  The Beat were probably one of the highlights of my day.

Seasick Steve

Seasick Steve

After a quick bite to eat we watched Seasick Steve (twangy guitar genius), Klaxons (pretty good), a DJ set from Underworld (terrible) and then Electronic music legends Kraftwerk.  I was really looking forward to this, as I expected a spectacle on an epic scale.  I wasn’t dissappointed, they were technically excellent, with great backdrops, but at this festival it didn’t work at all.  So many people left before the end the field must have emptied by a quarter, which is a shame.  The idiot that was trying to shine a lazer in one of their eyes should have been kicked out of the festival.  Still watching 4 old blokes standing still was actually pretty interesting.  Especially when they were replaced by robots for the encore.  From here we headed to the X-Box tent for the secret DLS vs SP gig, which again was fantastic.

The Sunday was a more chileld out day altogether.  H and I again went for juice and fell asleep on the hill this time.  The weather was hot and H got sunburnt.  We Saw Shanklin Freak Show (Like Marylin Manson, but from the Isle of Wight) and the Low Anthem (Really good, but didn’t play for long enough.

Main Stage

Main Stage

We also caught King Size Slim, Bastilla and Eat Static before the main stage finale for the weekend.  First up were Doves, who played brilliantly, then Fleet Foxes with their beardy folk harmonies and were excellent and then came Elbow.  I don’t know what else to say apart from this was probably the best band to end a festival with.  They were great all the way through, but the encore was purely phenomenal.  2 songs that just felt right after the weather and the good time that we had this weekend, Weather to Fly and On a Day Like Today.  Not sure weather it was the wind that had whipped up or the music, but the hair on the back of my neck stood on end.  As they finished, fireworks started and the last festival of the summer came to an end.  All I had to do was get the 5.45am Fast Cat back.

All of my photo’s are available on Flickr





The Bus

10 09 2009

Because I am going to Bestival today I had to get the dreaded Bus in to work.  I don’t like the bus and I don’t care who knows it.  It is why I have a car.  I like sitting on my own in Comfort, listening to music.  I don’t like sitting next to some smelly builder waving his copy of the sun all over the place. 

Unfortunately for me this bus route is the school route for 5 different schools, so it is constantly full of noisy kids too.

Like I say, I don’t like the bus.  Its expensive and slow too.  although when you dive the cost by the minute, its not too bad at nearly 5p a minute.

So there you go, I don’t like the bus, but I will have to do it again on Monday.  Thats twice in a year.  Rubbish.





Happy Birthday

9 09 2009

Happy Birthday to H.  We went out for a meal last night and she has gone to the Isle of Wight today.  I will be going tomorrow to join her for Bestival.  Its going to be good.

I am not sure who I am looking forward to seeing more:

  • Kraftwerk
  • Massive Attack
  • Elbow
  • MGMT
  • Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip 
  • Seasick Steve

Its going to be good.