all stars and earplugs / all tomorrow’s parties day two

28 04 2007

Hmm. I’m awake.

How did that happen?

Even feel quite well rested. Blimey I love this festival in a holiday camp lark: a bed! A shower! I made it into the former without really knowing how, but best to ask no questions as long as you made it, I find. And d’you know, I actually feel alright? This morning is one of those mornings after that you creep around, feeling vaguely suspicious, wary of that telltale first throb of hellish hangover.

But I’m still alright. I even eat some porridge. Then I eat a sandwich. Hey, maybe I didn’t have that much to drink last night after a-


I realise now that last night I may not have been at my most discerning. I can’t have been to have actually chosen to drink that much. So maybe it’s no surprise that the driving melancholy of Magnolia Electric Company sounds better this morning than they did last night, blessed with arching vocals and a restless heart. And afterwards, I don’t feel so bad at all. Bless you, ATP.

What comes next sorts everything out. Sally Timms is breathtaking, opening with a haunting and evocative scorched faery tale, buzzing with the weight of wonder. Then a hop skip and a jump of a gearchange to a selection of fractured folk hoedowns, driven by plinky-skippy beats and whispering toys in the dark. Aside from the harsh sound that plagues the Centre Stage, the results are sublime.

Back to the daylight and arcade neon for the unsung heroes of the weekend. There’s a full and devoted crowd in the pavilion for the unassuming magnificence of Low, the dwindling silver driftwood on a sea of silence.

Later, I hear only bad things about Jason Pierces’s Spiritualised Acoustic Mainline, which makes me feel OK that I sacked it off and hit the chalet, and spent some time taking down a brew, eating pizza and watching Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. And Doctor Who. Now that is a perfect Saturday afternoon.

At least until someone took Pat Garrett off halfway through. They did that last year an’ all, an infuriatingly scant ten minutes before the end of the hangover-melting Time Bandits.

So back on the broadwalk for the man we’re all here to see. Nick Cave, the prince of darkness, his satanic moustachio, has arrived. But it’s hard to imagine the crack of doom in a carrier bag propped up into a big top and stuffed with arcade machines. Red Right Hand has a suitably loungy, almost calypsoid feel, but as the classics keep coming, there’s plenty of sturm and drang in this storm.

After a short break, Cave is back for a romp through his Grinderman racket. Depth Charge Ethel rocks, Honey Bee squalls, Grinderman (the dirge) kills the momentum, and Get It On sounds like the Mission Impossible theme played by sex-crazed cannibals.

After that it’s hard to get excited about The Scientists‘ performance. Sure, when they’re going they’re going, a steam piston of bludgeoning blood-red blues. But there’s too much time in between songs, too much standing around.

At some point tonight, I look out of my chalet window and see Deborah sitting in the next chalet over, so I call her up and say “I can see you,” and she freaks out. Heheheh.

On the red stage, and it is red, are Youpi Youpi Yeah, black-clad gallic groovepunks. They’d even be worth a singalong if I’d ever got past GCSE French. Better still are The Drones, the first this weekend to rock the fuck out, hell yeah! Agonised, wrenching, babbling heartbreak, drenched in feedback and fury.

By now the Carlsberg is copping it’s toll on my critical faculties so the rest of this review may be a bit of a bit underdeveloped. We Ragazzi are, kind of, like, quirkpop, or something, and have the fittest drummer. See? Top critical form.





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