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Archive for September, 2010

…well it’s that time of year again. End of the festival season. So long for another year…gonna miss the party times, bands, friends and occasional good food. Not going to miss the hangovers, dirt, mud, sleeping without pillows or a mattress and bad food.

Offset

I played this festival last year and it was soooo much fun. Couldn’t wait to go back. The only thing is all the bands playing this year (apart from Liquid Liquid and a few others) are the same bands I see every week in East London. So I generally didn’t really watch many bands, saw a bit of La La Vasquez, Lovvers, Male Bonding and Liquid Liquid but spent most of the Saturday catching up with friends and drinking tequila (soooo not a good idea!). I’ve had a 4 year ban on drinking tequila which I broke but it’s been reinstated as of the day after Offset.


La La Vasquez playing the Offset Tent


Nic from Shearing Pinx (Vancouver) showing off his badge collection which includes a pink Ewoks badge my old band from Vancouver. This made me happy!


Ian my hero of the night. He carried me to a taxi and got me home safely!

End of the Road

Usually this weekend I end up playing Bestival or travel to Canada or something. I don’t think I’ve been in London the 2nd weekend of September for the past 5 years! This year I noticed about 50% of the bands playing End of the Road were Canadian which is what tempted me to the more traditionally folky, Americana, mellow festival of 5000 in Dorset.

First night was great saw Wolf Parade, Modest Mouse and the New Pornographers. I got very drunk with the New Pornographers…took my friend Dan to their tour bus which was his first time on a tour bus! Awesome. Glad to take someone’s tour bus virginity. Oh yeah!


Family portrait New Pornographers style

Jeremiah Modest Mouse

Wolf Parade were really good this night too I love their latest album Expo 86 named after the world’s fair which happened in Vancouver in 1986. I went. I was 5 years old. I’ve been obsessed ever since and collect memorabilia and clothing from the fair. They even have Wolf Parade Expo 86 shirts now and I got one of those too! All the members of Wolf Parade have been to Expo 86 as well hence why they called their record that. The photo on the back of the CD is guitar player Dante and his sister along side Expo Ernie (the robot mascot). I dug out my photos of me at Expo I NEED to scan these. They’re amazing.

Watched more Canadian bands on the Saturday – Black Mountain, Woodpigeon and Caribou. Also got to enjoy more of the hot cider served at the cider bus. This stuff is absolutely amazing! It’s 6% alcohol and tastes just like hot spiced apple cider you get at Christmas in Canada BUT it’s got booze in it! So good when you’ve been outdoors all day at a festival and it’s cold and you’re sleeping in a tent. Mmmm… I wish I knew where to buy this stuff in London? Anyone know where and if you can get this anywhere??

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SCOTT PILGRIM

So I finally saw Scott Pilgrim the movie and WOW! It was awesome. I really enjoyed it, good music, video game visuals, Toronto references, everything a good movie should have. Haha.

My personal attachment to Scott Pilgrim is that I’m friends with Scott Ingram who is half the duo where the name originated from. Bryan Lee O’Malley creator of the Scott Pilgrim comic books is a massive Plumtree fan, an all girls 90s indie pop band from Halifax, Nova Scotia. They happened to have a song called “Scott Pilgrim” which he named his comic after. Scott Ingram used to roadie / drive Plumtree on tour. The origins of that song title are a bit flakey but apparently the story goes while they were writing it one of the Plumtree girls was talking about Scott Ingram and called him Scott Pilgrim by accident as they had a friend named Todd Pilgrim and they got the 2 confused. The song was named that, became a single, had a music video and later the name was turned into the comic character Scott Pilgrim which has now inspired the movie.

Kind of a long winded story but I like it. It’s geeky and truly Canadian. We always have weird little connections and back stories.

The film is set and filmed in Toronto where the real Scott Ingram lives, he was even an extra in the film. I love all the Canadian references throughout the film. It’s the little things that made me smile like Scott’s t-shirts, a retro CBC t-shirt, Plumtree band tee and a shirt that says “SARS” which I’m guessing is in reference to a few years ago when Toronto was one of the cities which had Sars (the disease) and Canada was put on the banned list by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of countries to visit. It ruined our tourism and especially Toronto’s. The Rolling Stones who are big fans of Toronto city and always practice there for their world tours organised a free festival called “Sars Stock” to help boost tourism for the city. That always made me laugh.

The characters are seen eating at a Pizza Pizza (gross Ontario pizza chain) across the street from Honest Ed’s one of Toronto’s most famous landmarks / shops. A Giant store that sells EVERYTHING for discount and I mean EVERYTHING. It’s a zoo in there and a truly Toronto experience which must be enjoyed by all tourists.

One of them also works at Second Cup a Canadian coffee chain. There’s also a scene where Scott’s roommate is reading the paper and there’s a giant advert for Neko Case – not technically a Canadian though she did live in Vancouver for 5 years but she’s honourary enough as she’s in the New Pornographers (a Canadian band), on Mint Records (a Canadian label) and been in previous Canadian band Maow.

Then there’s all the video game references, the fact Beck wrote the music, Michael Cera, Jason Swartzman… my list goes on.

The real Scott Pilgrim with a blizzard…

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READING 2010

So it was almost 2 weeks ago and I’ve been to yet another festival since BUT here is my recap of all things Reading 2010. I realise this blog starts out a bit negative but having said that Reading 2010 was pretty much the best festival I went to in 2010!! So read on it gets better… wish I had taken more photos though!

FRIDAY

I arrived on Friday afternoon, put up my tent and went for a wander round the festival. NOFX were on the mainstage and I kind of hate them so I walked around the ENTIRE festival checking out the food stalls (worst festival food I’ve EVER seen – chips, burgers and sausages mostly). There were no bands on any of the other stages so I plopped myself down to watch some NOFX while I killed time. Their music is pretty dumb and uncatchy and they had some weird holocaust jokes that I really wasn’t sure of… Q: Why did Hitler commit suicide? A: He opened the gas bill. And “My grandad died at a concentration camp… (pause) He got drunk and fell off a watch tower.” They should have been up against Arcade Fire – a dead serious political band and then NOFX being idiots. Pfft.

I didn’t actually see many bands on the Friday. The next band up were all girl Warpaint which I’d heard mixed things about, “slow and boring” and “oooh yeah they’re cool!” They didn’t blow me away and after watching about half the set I ended up just chatting to Surfer Blood and sitting on the grass.

I also saw Phoenix and LCD Soundsystem which were kind of a blur, the real highlight for me that evening was Guns n Roses – yes, they came on 1 hour late, had 6 guitar players or something obscene, flames, fireworks BUT it was pure entertainment gold. I had a grin on my face from ear to ear. They played all the hits off Appetite for Destruction; my only quam was they didn’t play my favourite song “My Michelle”. I was later backstage when Axl stormed off in a hissy fit screaming “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK” and many many more curse words. The Reading organiser pulled the plug on them. It was midnight, half an hour past the 11:30pm curfew. He later returned to the stage and apparently sang threw a megaphone haha. Wish I had seen that! But I was too busy partying by this point. I attended my first Silent Disco, you know the dance party at festivals where everyone wears headphones and then dances and sings along but you take off your headphones and all you can hear is drunk people singing badly. It’s a bit weird. We only stayed for one song before going back to the guest bar and dancing to power ballads til they pulled the plug.

I was lucky enough to get a hotel room this night too. That is a big score at a festival where camping and not showering for 3 days are the norm. We crashed Surfer Blood’s room (5 of us in 1) and I had an amazing shower in the morning before heading back to site.

SATURDAY

Very very hung over I had a fry up, queued for cash and slowly made it back to the festival. Had a lie down in the tent for a while and basically only started watching bands at 7pm. Ha! Pathetic I know. Look  how my tent matched the sky! So cool.

I was really excited to see Dizzee Rascal, Bonkers was one of my top 5 tunes of 2009. He didn’t disappoint, the crowd went absolutely mental when he played Bonkers – I think everyone within 100 people of me was singing along and screaming. I didn’t recognise Holiday it sounded well different live.

I walked past both The Libertines and The Cribs sets. I know the reformation of the Libertines was HUGE news but I’ve never been a fan. I looked over, checked Pete was there and that was about all I needed. The Cribs I’ve seen about 4 times since Johnny Marr joined and I still can’t name a tune of theirs. That’s a bad sign. I love Johnny Marr but I really don’t get why he likes the Cribs so much. Their nice guys but the music is so unmemorable.

I saw Crystal Castles earlier this summer at Latitude when Alice punched someone in the crowd so was kind of half expecting something crazy to happen along the same lines…it didn’t. She danced and bounced around the stage like the rag doll she is, jumping into the crowd for a bit of crowd surfing. I find it so weird watching them as the dude in the band controls all her vocals through a vocoder / mixer and sometimes I think he just turns her off cos you can see her mouth going and she’s screaming away but there’s NO sound.

Finished the night off with a band I used to think were crap when they first started but turned out to become one of the best bands in the world Canada’s own Arcade Fire. Smallest crowd ever for a mainstage headliner at Reading but Arcade Fire aren’t really a Reading type band. Don’t think they have much of a teenage fanbase. The mainstage normally has horrible sound but they actually sounded ace with their massive band of instruments and people. I loved “No Cars Go” and I even saw a dude whip out his cock and pee in front of a family. Nice!

Oh popped over to the Festival Republic tent to see Ash, couldn’t even get in the tent it was so full and the sound so quiet all I could hear was Arcade Fire. Rubbish. Still managed to sing along to “Oh Yeah”.

SUNDAY

First up today were the Local Natives. I walked in on their 2nd last song which was perfect timing as they played Sun Hands (best song!) last with guests on stage playing tambourine. It gave me time to go over and catch the end of HEALTH and them playing USA Boys. I just walked from stage to stage catching the hits! Next up on the dance stage were Canadians Holy Fuck, a band I’ve always wanted to see. About 2 songs in I’d seen enough and was ready to leave but a massive rain / wind storm was going on outside the tent and I was forced to stay for the whole long boring set. Sorry Holy Fuck but you weren’t really my thing.

The Drums however are massively my thing. Catchy songs + hot boys leaping about on stage = perfect combination. This was my 5th time seeing them and it’s only gotten better. They’re tighter and the songs are sounding fuller, I always found their early recordings to be a bit tinny.

While waiting to see Australians Tame Impala I walked over to the loos and caught Cyprus Hill doing “Jump Around” the ONE song I actually know by them. I had it on a Dance Mix ’93 cassette tape back in the day. Tame Impala have a song “Runway, Houses, City, Clouds” which has been one of my favourite songs of the summer. On stage they look like 4 stoned out surfers with long hair and the bass player looks amazing all bulgy eyes. He looked possessed! I liked them so much I went and saw them at Rough Trade East the next day.

Metronomy have a soft spot in my heart. I’ve played with them a few times and seen them over 10 BUT I hadn’t seen them since Gabriel left the band for Your Twenties. Benga replaced Gabriel on bass and they have a girl drummer now as well. It’s really changed them as all the music is live now. I’m always really impressed with drummers who can replace drum machines / programmed drums. She’s awesome, really tight.

My friend, Laura, was sooo over excited to see Weezer we had to go up close. I had seen them a few times before (when I was 14 & 16) and am a former member of the Weezer fanclub. I still have the card somewhere with my picture on it and number. I was number 237!!! Early days! Haha I liked Weezer early on but never renewed my membership as after the blue album I got too cool to like them. Their second last song was a mash up between MGMT and Lady Gaga’s Pokerface. They also covered Wheatus’ Teenage Dirtbag which everyone else knew but I think I missed that song when it came out! Their set was filled with lots of classics – Sweater Song, My Name is Jonas, Surf Wax America, Buddy Holly.

We Are Scientists played a safe festival set. 2 years ago I saw them 4 times in one summer and it really made me like them but I don’t think they’ve changed their set since.

The main stage sound was awful for Blink 182 and really I’ve always been a little too old and cool to be into Blink. I’m the right age for Green Day and Weezer. They played What’s My Age Again? 3rd song in which was great cos then I could go watch the Klaxons!

I thought the Klaxons were really smart with their set. They would do one old song, one new song, one old, one new and so on. It really kept it flowing well. The sound in the R1 / NME tent was amazing and the lights were ace as well.

The bands finished and we packed up our tents and lugged all our muddy things back to Reading train station.

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