The Sweaty Best

7 10 2009

Day 7 of the month of blogs, and I have something decent to talk about, because last night I went to see Funeral For A Friend (the band, not the sad event) at the Wedgewood Rooms.  I can’t believe that this had to be downsized from the Pyramids, because they are a cracking band and I thought they had a big following.  Anyway, last night the Wedge was at its sweaty best, with the crowd really being up for it.  The first support was a good young band called Lost on Landing, who had really taken the Sound of South Wales and made it their own.  Spy Catcher were next and their harder riffage was a great addition to the night.

FFAF came on at 9.45 to Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You” and went straight into a couple of classics.  They had done a survey of what the people buying the tickets wanted them to play on their tour, and it turns out these people pick a great set list.  17 tracks and 75 minutes later the encore finished and everyone went home sweaty and happy.  Highlights were many, but my favourite were Jeanau and Into Oblivion, but then again they were the last time I saw them.

All in all good times.  My ears are still ringing.


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.



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 Sound Of South Wales

27 04 2008

It started with the Lostprophets, Funeral For A Friend followed suit, then all of a sudden the ‘Sound of South Wales’ was everywhere, from bands like You, Me at Six and Kids in Glass Houses, to American bands like Madina Lake.  Its that highly polished sound, where there is a slightly nasaly lead singer and lots of twangy guitars.  I’m not going to deny it, I quite like the ‘Sound of South Wales’, but I reckon that fairly soon I will be a bit sick of it, like the Brit Pop era when every man and his dog wanted to sound like Oasis.  Anyway, I havn’t done that good a job describing it so I have linked the Myspaces of those bands so that you can see for yourself.

The reason that I am writing this is because I went to a gig last night with the Housemate (He drove, so I was drinking, drinking leads to honesty apparantly and doing things that I may later regret.) and the Sound of South Wales was in evidence in spades.  Mostly because there were 2 Welsh bands playing.  First band up was Canterbury, who I have just found out have recorded their first album.  They were really good live, and their guitarist was excellent.  One of their songs made the hairs on my arms stand up, so that was good sign.  I don’t know what it is called but its not on myspace so I can’t even find out.  Next band up were Viva Machines who were also really good, and Welsh so they had the ‘Sound of South Wales’.  Followed by The Automatic.

I was a big fan of the Automatic, they stood out from the crowd arount the time of their first album by having a sense of humour and a guy that shouted on the songs.  Now they seem to have lost some of that, and the shouty one has left the band.  Their new songs sounded quite good and the old ones sounded as brilliant as everespecially Monster and Raoul, but it was a bit annoying that they came on late and then didnt play an encore.  I know that they don’t have to, but it would have been nice…

Talking of the Sound of South Wales I bought Under the Counter the new album by Goldie Lookin Chain a while ago.  I love the GLC they have been around for a while and have recorded some genius stuff, so why is this album so poor.  My guess is that being dropped by your record label doesn’t help.  Someone sign them to get them good again.

Safe as fuck clart!  You Knows it.

Andyspex signing out Two Thousand plus Eight.  Tidy!