- Mon, 2007-09-03 10:52
Finally we get there! I hate that trudge from the station to the festival, but all is forgotten as we get into the guest area and there are The Sounds! sitting right there! And look over there - Jo Whiley and Edith Bowman and ... wait a minute. What time is it? I haven’t got time to waste gawping at these people back here when the real action is about to start on the other side of the fence… and so we get to my first band of this year's festival; Jimmy Eat World.
So good they’re actually playing twice on the Friday but I only have the time to see them this once on the main stage and they were excellent. Hopefully they’ll be back after their new album release and I can see them again. They played all my favourites and a couple of new tracks to boot. Fantastic!
A quick refreshment stop and it was time for Maximo Park, lively, catchy and energetic but they seemed to finish in the blink of an eye. There was no time to mourn the apparent shortness of their set however, as it was a dash back into the guest area and into the Eugene from Gogol Bordello to grab some food (we only ran back because the queues were shorter and time was of the essence) before the main event of the day, for us at least; INTERPOL!
We were already feeling pretty spoiled by all this musical excellence, Interpol were amazing, but I’m sure I didn’t need to tell you that, you already knew and already have your tickets for their tour at Alexandra Palace later this year don’t you?
Our final band of Friday were the Kings of Leon, and they were kings. Because Of The Times has been my album of the dark for some time now, usurping Black Rebel Motorcycle Club as the soundtrack of my reflections and musings time. I don’t know why I had been worried about seeing them live at such a big event, because they managed to make it feel like they were playing in my living room and kept that close, reflective vibe. Kings indeed!
Saturday was always going to be about getting the answer to one question: Are Arcade Fire really worth all the hype?
But first, a highlight of my weekend: The Eagles of Death Metal. I was soooooo excited about this band, I wanted to be at the front, but had to settle for being four people back, still a good view though, my best of the festival. Eagles of Death Metal are the perfect rock band: cool oozes from their pores and they can charm and flatter the crowd, especially the women (and their lyrics are filthy.) Perfect.
Okay, so I admit it, yesterday I was a bit of a main stage whore, but not today. After Eagles of Death Metal it was off to the Dance Arena for Metronomy. I’d seen these guys earlier in the year when they were supporting the Pipettes and, if you ever get the chance, go! They’re a real treat, creative and novel and like nothing you would expect. Bloc Party were exactly what you would expect, anthem after anthem.
And that isn’t to take anything away from Bloc Party’s performance, quite the opposite, there is something profoundly inspiring about so many thousands of people singing/shouting the lyrics to something they obviously love and it must take a special band to be able to create that.
So now, the answer you have all been waiting for is… oh yes! Arcade Fire continued where Bloc Party left off, turning a festival performance into a religious experience. If you’ve ever listened to Arcade Fire and thought huh, they’re okay but nothing to rave about, then go and see them live and that will change. They were awesome and made converts of us all. Being a part of that crowd you really felt like the world could be a wonderful place and that life could be beautiful. They got you in touch with the human spirit. Blissful brilliance!
Sunday was a lazy day for me; I was beginning to flag so I had to make my viewing selections carefully. I am very much a product of the Britpop era, it was when I first came alive to music, really started to develop my taste and wanted to be in a band.
I got myself a guitar; I wanted to be like Louise Werner from Sleeper, Miki from Lush or Sonja from Echobelly, I thought they were cool. I most emphatically did not want to be Charlotte Hatherley, (at the time I felt) she didn’t belong in Ash. How foolish the young can be. Ash were actually better for her presence, I can see that now and, after her performance at Reading this year, she should have no worries regarding her solo career, she is now added to my list of female indiebods that I wish I could be if only I hadn’t given up that guitar (Louise Werner became an author after Sleeper so maybe there’s still a chance I could be like her one day).
After Charlotte came Seasick Steve and the congregational feeling returned, I learned a lot from Seasick Steve. I learned that the blues rule and that whenever I find myself in Chigger territory I should always wear my socks up to my knees and most of all, it’s all good y’all!
Review by Jen Batten