Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 26/08/2012

Drenched




Great Grey Owl, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

Morning Campers, well, morning to those who have spent the last couple of nights in tents down at the Festival… oh and morning to the rest of you, don’t think I’ve forgotten you all in all this musical excitement. It’s the last day of the Festival and after a relatively quiet day yesterday (not literally), with only a couple of bands we wanted to see, today is the complete opposite with a number of groups playing throughout the day who we’d like to see. There’s joint leaders at the top of my list who I’m going to try and see, Eagles of Death Metal (who are just a good old Rock n Roll group, despite the name), and Mark Lanegan Band – both American acts, both a bit intense in their own ways.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, Dear Reader, I haven’t told you about yesterday’s musical bonanza, have I?! There were only three bands on my list out of around 35 acts, that I wanted to see – one of whom I’ve seen numerous times already. Having made a detour to a fast food Indian Restaurant, which set us up nicely for the day even if it wasn’t quite “fast”, taking an hour extra out of our day than we’d anticipated, we arrived later than anticipated at the arena though we hadn’t missed anything special (apart from Green Day playing a secret gig before the gates had officially opened). With the late afternoon sun, warming us up as we sat in the folding chairs we’d brought with us (standing all day the first day had been a bit much for both of us) we sat and listened to a very melodic set by The Shins waiting for one of the current darlings of the press The Vaccines. I’ve always been a bit skeptical of bands that the music press tote as the greatest ever (for the next 5 minutes), it’s always a large label for a band to live up to and few I’ve seen have; The Vaccines are one of these bands but I was pleasantly surprised by their appearance, their attitude and of course their tunes (though I had heard of some of these) – the self-deprecating “Teenage Icon” with it’s chorus “I’m no teenage icon, I’m no Frankie Avalon, I’m nobody’s hero, ooooh” was particularly memorable. A band I’ll certainly be listening to a bit more in the near future.

I’m a big fan of The Cribs who were playing, second on the bill on the NME stage and whilst the sound quality was surprisingly lacking (we later found out it was more where we were standing than the actually band themselves) though their performance certainly was not with an energetic almost manic run through tracks taken from their 5 albums then ended up trashing the stage with Ryan Jarman (the band are made up of twins Gary and Ryan Jarman as well as their younger brother Ross!) being given a firemans lift off the stage still trying to play the guitar.

I was expecting that kind of energy and intensity for the band who followed them, At The Drive-In from El Paso, Texas. Classed as a post-hardcore band, whatever that means, I’m missed seeing the band play live at their zenith with the band then deciding to take a ten year hiatus before reforming this year. Twenty years on from their formation, their performance was slick but seemed to lack the nervous erratic energy that I’d seen on the internet of their previous shows and whilst the music was still as frenetic it just seemed a little incongruous. Slightly disappointed, we moved to another stage to see Kasabian play their last few tunes of the evening before heading home.

By this time, I was cold and still very very wet from the torrential downpour that occurred around 5pm even with my waterproof raincoat on. Making our way along the main drag outside the festival arena the once dust areas were now mud baths and even with the warming morning sun that is filtering in through my office window (surely you didn’t think I stayed on site these days Dear Reader! I am prepared to if someone has a winnebago they can lend me next year please!) I suspect instead of any crowd surfing, I’ll be mud surfing.

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