Sunday, August 26, 2007

Festival From Yesteryear

There’s something about Music Festivals that I just can’t explain. The sound is generally not as good as in a venue, the groups don’t get to do a full set and the toilets are nasty, but I love them all the same. I love that mixed up smell of sweaty people and grass, I love the way the music thumps through the ground each beat bouncing you a little closer to the stage, I just do.

Now call me a big fat wossy but I’ve done the whole camping thing, communal showers, hole in the ground crappers and frankly it’s all part of the experience, but I can remember it very well so do I have to do it now? No, because with Rock en Seine I can get the metro home at the end of the evening. It also means that I didn’t feel like I had to do the whole three days either. Eh yeah, the festival is actually still on, but the line up was rubbish today and having seen Bjurghk bouncing around in fluorescent yellow before, I felt reasonably justified in skipping today.

So who did I see? Well, this year the festival was like this huge blast from the past. I made Lise run around like a blue arsed fly so that I could get to the Scene de la Cascade for 3pm and then as I waited impatiently I noticed on the new programme that Dinosaur Jr were actually on at 4.20! They were very loud and finished with Freak Scene and me singing at the top of my voice: ‘So don’t let me fuck up will you, cos I when I need a friend it’s still... YOU!’ That’s quite a sweet line really. The change in times caused a little bit of a clash with Mogwai, but I quite liked them, although when the cameras scanned the serious head banging crowd it did kind of make me laugh. We decided that they are a kind of band you listen to very loudly when you are in a bad mood. After a healthy tea of ... chip butty we were drawn to Emilie Simon doing a cover of a Stooges song. She’s a French chick with a penchant for white dresses and with a drummer who played a big bowl of water and her piano. It was all a bit strange, but I rather liked it. We left before the end to catch the rock ‘n’ roll boys from Sweden. Pelle Almqvist of The Hives is rather bonkers, jumping over the speakers climbing up the set and expecting adoration from the crowd. They put on an energetic show that you can really bop along to, if you’re not wetting yourself laughing. Almqvist did all his banter in a faux French accent, stringing words together that made no sense – well I found it funny. Last up that night were Arcade Fire. I think they are a ten piece band, at least that’s how many I counted, although everybody seems to play a few instruments, horns, violins, cellos, accordions, organs, various types of drums. If you don’t know what their music is like, it’s kind of hard to describe, it’s a big sound, kind of tortured and there is always something mad going on onstage. They work brilliantly live because you are never going to be able to get sound that big out your home speakers. They finished with Neighbourhood # 1 and the crowd were still singing ‘Woo ooo ooh’ long after they had left the stage and we tootled off home completely covered in mud on the metro. There’s something quite satisfying about leaving a trail of dried mud through all the chicest ‘burbs of Paris.

Yesterday started with The Fratellis, the only song I know is Chelsea Daggers which they finished with. They were alright, but I kind of got the impression that every song sounded like something else I had heard before and they were a bit grumpy. Jarvis Cocker on the other hand started off with this fantastic speech in broken French of how we were in Parc St. Cloud, but it should be called Parc sans cloud (yes the sun finally came out yesterday) as he leapt from speaker to speaker in what can only be called an extremely ungainly fashion. Each song was punctuated with his vague thoughts – god only knows what the French understood- and then he finished with Paris Nord. At first we thought it was his terrible French accent again as he was pronouncing the d in Nord, but no, it was Black Sabbath’s PARANOID! After a quick tea of ... chips, I then rushed everyone off to see the band that I had been too young to see the first time round: The Jesus and Mary Chain. Apart from the wrinkles and a wee bit of weight gain on William Reid’s side they sounded EXACTLY the same as always! We finished the night off bopping away to some crap dance music in this lounge bar until someone pointed out the time to me... Goddamn, I had to leave to get the last metro.

Apologies for out of focus photos, but it's just to give you a wee gist of things: Dinosaur Jr. The Hives (he never bloody kept still, but I kind of like the spectral element of it) and Jarvis.


Marie said...

As you know I am music mad and I've been to many gigs, but I've never been to a music festival. All those sweaty people and smelly toilets are really not my scene.

It's good that you can catch the metro home though.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Hmm, yes, now I just feel very old and a bit deaf on your behalf! ;-)
Pass the zimmerframe dear, I'm way too past it for all that row and sweat and whatnot.

Jon M said...

Sounds like fun V. I'm uncertain about Arcade Fire, why use hurdy gurdies if you can't hear them properly...then again...

Sam said...

Oh my it sounds like loads of fun!!!
My son was at the music festival last year, I seem to remember (not my age anymore, lol!) But if I lived in Paris, I would have stopped by. Here in the country we're gearing up for our annual 'Brocante' - when they close the village off to cars and set up a huge boot sale. Oh boy.

Shameless said...

Lots of good fodder for my grey matter here, V, ... ie I have big catch-up to do. ! :)

Verilion said...

Marie it's great that you can catch the metro home!
And Vanilla you is definitely not ready for a zimmerframe my dear.
As for Arcade Fire Jon, seeing them live has certainly made me more appreciative of them. Eh and what's a hurdy gurdy?
Yeah Sam there were a lot of young things about. They were the ones wearing 'Tool' t-shirts on Saturday, which for some reason I found very amusing, but there were a fair few fogies about too. Les Rita Misuko were playing. Have you heard of them? Apparently they are really popular here. I'm afraid to say I was almost tempted to tootle off and watch Tool!
And go on Seamus catch up then. Looking forward to hearing all about Greece too, seeing as I have foregone a summer holiday (I'm thinking about Crimbo already though).


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