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.





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.




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.




Flaming Heck

16 11 2009

Bimbo came down on friday night clutching here ticket for the Flaming Lips at Porstmouth Guildhall.  The three of us got the bus down to the venue which is an adventure for me, and went to the bar, where they were selling 2 pint glasses of beer.  It was amazing, much like dirnking out of a vase, it also made me look much smaller than I actually am.  A bit like a hobbit from the first Lord of The Rings Film.

Anyway, the first band came on, Star Death and the White Dwarves to play their almost prog rock fuzz stylings.  They played and had smoke machines going, and then the fire alarms went off.  Cue evacuation of the venue, so everyone was standing out the front of the guildhall, cold with their massive beers.  For 20 minutes we were outside, but the atmosphere was good, so it didn’t really matter.  Eventually heading back in for the remainder of the set via the bar, they played their last song, a cover of Borderline by Madonna, which actually turned out to be their best tune.

After a bit of faffing about and sound checking (by the band), Lead singer Wayne Coyne made a safety announcement that he would soon be entering the crowd in a zorb.  When I say entereing, I mean rolling around on top of.  He wasn’t wrong, he did, it looked amazing fun.

The rest of the band had entered the stage through the light wall at the back and then the balloons and confetti started as they went into Race for the Prize.  This made an already good atmosphere even better as everybody struggeled to keep bits of paper out of their drinks.

The whole show was amazing, they had got people earlier and dressed them up as rabbits to dance on stage, and had people dressed as caterpillars and turtles.  Wayne is a natural frontman and knows how to work the crowd so there were numerous sing-a-long sections.

Unfortunately towards the end someone had a mild epileptic seizure at the front and the show had to be stopped for a while, but all the time the band were giving us updates on how they were. 

When the Flips came back on there was only time for one more song, which fortunately for me was Do you Realise, which is my favourite song of theirs, and the crowd went wild.

The full set list is below (which I robbed off of another website, so it may be wrong) 

 

Intro
Race For The Prize
Silver Trembling Hands
The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
Fight Test
Morning of the Magicians
Convinced of the Hex
Evil
See the Leavers
Yoshimi
Pompeii
The W.A.N.D
She Don’t Use Jelly
Do You Realize

Anyway, an amazing night was had by all, and I have been to a lot of gigs, but I think this is the best that I have ever been to.  I certainly can’t think of any that have bene more spectacular.

Sorry the pictures aren’t great but they were taken on my phone.