Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Leeds Festival Day One

As mentioned, I took my 38 year old behind to a festival this weekend, a festival aimed at people my daughters age, I went with people who are a little older than my daughter and I sneered at people younger than my daughter. I don’t hate the young I am just jealous of their youth.
The site itself starts as quite a nice park and by the end it resembles (apologies for the cliche) a scene from a apocalypse now. The patrons famously have little respect for their surroundings, the property of their neighbours or indeed their own property.
Living at Leeds or Reading is extremely expensive, after you have paid your £180 for the ticket, you are looking to pay 3.90 for glass of cider and 4.10 for a cup of wine. Food as a minimum for a processed burger and chips will leave very little change out of 7.00.
What of the bands then, after all this is a blog about music and not the economics of dining at a major UK festival. So to the bands.
Friday started with Mariachi El Bronx, the side project of LA based punks, The Bronx. Mariachi El Bronx isn’t a comedy side project it’s a genuine outlet for mariachi music and a fine outlet it is too. The album is superb, a real must and it does reveal the more considered and melodic side of The Bronx, although they never treated us to their fantastic version of Prince’s Let’s go Crazy, they did however go through the highlights of the album, a great start to the weekend.
After them Fightstar came on, did their thing, I noted that they had gone from a rock version of Busted to MEN, Charlie seems to have grown up and forgotten to shave, it all seems a little 2005 doing the shouty rock I rather liked then. I can’t watch all of their set.
I don’t watch all of Fightstar’s set, I head over to a tent to watch a band called Delphic, a rather chilled out electronic outfit that from the two songs I watched, were quite nice all told, although they do a thing that I hate, dance music for rock fans, it’s an agreeable precursor to Spinnerette.
Spinnerette are the new band Brody Dalle the former singer in The Distillers, former wife of Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, now the mother of Josh Homme’s child. The Distillers are responsible for one of my favourite albums of all time and one of my favourite gig’s ever, the Spinnerette album on the other hand was a bitter disappointment. Not enjoyable, far too heavily influenced by Homme, a dreadful dull plodding journey through bad indie rock. Live though the album seems to have a life of its own, it grows and shakes off Hommes influence, it is closer to The Distillers sound than it is to QOTSA sound. There is a growl in her voice and a little aggression that was seriously lacking on the recorded version. Brody was however looking worse for wear, maybe the “problems” that have blighted her earlier career maybe back, I hope not.
After a very enjoyable set by one Homme connected band, it was back over to the mainstage to see my second of three Homme connected bands, in Eagles Of Death Metal, coincidentally a band that I saw supporting The Distillers, with Homme on drums at the aforementioned best Distillers gig. Today however the ginger fella was missing from the drum stool, it was some nameless man. Oddly though, you don’t watch Eagles of Death Metal (thusly named due to the fact that if they were a death metal band, they would be The Eagles of death metal) for their drummer, Jesse is a hell of a frontman, even when they are pounding out their shitty run of the mill rock blues that is a hybrid of ZZ Top, AC/DC and Jet, the frontman lifts it slight over the average mark, the only real highlight is I Want You So Hard, but I did have one eye on the time.
Next over to the punk stage for a little bit of Snuff, I caught the end of Municipal Waste, a thrash hardcore band who seemed to say “Municipal Waste will fuck you up” a lot, I made sure I stood well back from the circle pit as I wasn’t really in the mood to be fucked up, by Municipal Waste or anyone else for that matter. They soon left the stage when they saw my indifference, or they had completed their allotted time slot, I suspect the former.
Snuff, a band that were my number one band to see at this festival, after the fantastic set supporting NOFX earlier in the year I was very much looking forward to this one. I needn’t have bothered, it was a lacklustre set played to an indifferent audience. They were it seems swimming against the tide and the tide was a bit of a tsunami, it disappointed me really. When they supported NOFX, it was a perfect set, not so much at Leeds and it was with heavy heart I left the Lock Up Tent.
I like a lot of other people had heard that Them Crooked Vultures were playing Leeds, they weren’t on the programme but they had been doing secret slots at European festivals in the days before hand. Them Crooked Vultures are Dave Grohl of The Foo Fighters, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. A look in the running order told me that there was a huge vulture sized hole between Patrick Wolf and You Me At Six. Worth a punt I thought and so from one side of the arena to the other on a bit of a whim. As it goes, the whim was correct and I arrived in time to see an overhyped band knocking out sub par Queens of the Stone Age songs, so I considered my options, do I stay and listen to this shite or do I join friends watching some other shite that I at least know the words to.
Back to the main stage it was for the remainder of The Courteeners set, and on the whole it was good, I quite like them you see and they performed admirably, they have had that second album make over though that bands have between first successful album and the second one, but musically they had me shuffling from side to side like a granddad at a wedding, them’s the shapes I throw.
No time to sit around though, as it was off to see Hockey. I had heard Hockey on Radio 2 and 6 Music and I liked what I had heard, a very definite 80’s influence in the track or two that I had heard, but a good eighties influence, think more “Live it up” than Mantronix. They really didn’t disappoint, one of the most enjoyable bands of the weekend, a hell of a lot of energy and although the rain may have driven a large proportion of their audience into the tent, they stopped long after the sun had started to shine.
A small breather and luckily managed to catch only one song by the honking idiot that is Ian Brown, one song confirmed to me that he can’t sing, lacks stage presence, presents no worth to modern music and all in all one song that I heard, was a song too many.
He is gone and professional northerners Maximo Park take the stage, blimey that Paul fella bounces about a bit! He is the indie Edge though, sporting a bowler throughout I assume he thinks we don’t know he is balding, it happens to us all but it is the thought of him being the indie Edge that distracts me from the task in hand. They were however excellent and a joy to watch, turning in a great performance, better than men younger and hairier than them. An excellent addition to the bill and playing Acrobat, a truly beautiful song was a great great addition to their set.
Now at this point everyone I am with is settling into watch old men shout over their own records, or as they are billed, The Prodigy, dance music for people that like rock music, I would rather swim in the long drop toilets. Glasvegas is the option open to me, so Glasvegas it is, I am early though and its new kids on the block for me, not literally, its actually White Lies, the band that is. Not really my thing, the front man lacked any humour, very straight faced, almost miserable, however they were very very polished, very professional and I would say that within 2 years, with their Killers-lite tunes, they will be headlining a major festival in the UK.
Glasvegas then. I didn’t see them, well not properly, it had been a long day, I was tired and so I caught one song and then went back to my tent. Day one, busy as a wee busy thing, middling results.

No comments:

Post a Comment