With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Latitude Festival 2016 Day 1 Friday 15th July July 24, 2016


latitude_festival_2016_-_line_up_poster

So after my first night sleeping under canvas in forty years how did I feel? Pretty bloody good actually, but to be fair Catwoman and I do have a six man tent for just the two of us. On to day one of the Latitude Festival. First activity was a group breakfast with the whole crew and at the risk of sounding like a Trumpton role call that is; Catwoman, Andy, Rachel, Rachel, Sarah, Jo, Claire, Barbara, Allie and Mac. We all then walked to the main festival site for a group coffee and to my delight I found somewhere that could supply a really decent Dirty Chai (for the uninitiated that is a Chai Latte with a shot or two of Espresso). Until now I hadn’t perhaps realised the massive breadth of this festival. Everything from music to dance to theatre to cabaret to comedy to poetry to literature and more!

My first visit was to the Literature tent for a preview of an upcoming V & A exhibition; ‘You Say You Want A Revolution: Records and Rebels 1966-1970’. I am so looking forward to this exhibition which starts in September and runs through to February next year. Next came our first visit to the Cabaret tent for an act recommended by one of our gang, Rachel Vernelle. It was an all female comedy sketch act featuring three clearly very talented women. They are called Massive Dad (actually that would be a good name for a band wouldn’t it?) and I particularly enjoyed the sketch that very cleverly poked fun at the TV advertising industry. A few of us then rushed across to the comedy tent to see the highly rated Nick Helm. Quite who rates him this highly seems debatable to me. Personally I thought he was bloody awful. Listen Nick if you are going to litter your act with c-bombs and f-bombs then make it a little more smart and clever than you did. Even with our pathetic puerile schoolboy humour I believe that myself and my school friends back in the 70s were way more funny than you seem to be in 2016.

Next was my first visit to what was to become one of my favourite stages of the festival, the Sunrise Arena. I dragged Catwoman along with me to see the rather wonderfully named band Let’s Eat Grandma. I had never heard them before but in my opinion their name called out loudly that I should see them. I wasn’t disappointed either they have some great pop tunes wonderfully woven with electronica and orchestral sounds. An excellent festival band. One act that I had been particularly looking forward to was Canadian comedienne Katherine Ryan. I first got into her quite recently when she wrote a regular column for the NME. She did not disappoint. Her stories covered dead pets, Boris, Cheryl Cole a.k.a the nation’s sweetheart, circumcision, kids and the fourth best ass-hole. She was bloody brilliant with plenty of laugh out loud moments. Nick Helm watch and learn!

Next I was put into a proper mellow mood in the Alcove by the marvellous HANA. The hit you with gorgeous, chilled and soulful electronic music. Hana is effectively Montana native Hana Pestle. She is a gifted singer (and I mean oh boy can this girl sing!), songwriter and producer. She could already count Lorde as a fan and now she can count me as a fan too. I stayed in the Alcove to catch most of a set from another very talented songstress, Frances. I last saw her during Live In Leeds last year. She was good then and she is even better now. Her album which is due soon will, I am sure, be truly amazing. Halfway through day one before my first visit to the main stage a.k.a. the Obelisk Arena. I had wanted to see Aussie Courtney Barnett for some time having listened to her regularly on-line and having purchased a Record Store day vinyl release by her earlier this year. She fronts a really powerful trio who put immense muscle into the songs that support her lyrics which seem largely drawn from her life experiences. Courtney rocks big time!

bill and brix

Then I found myself in the Film and Music tent where I caught a few Irish short film comedies. One of them featuring the aforementioned Katherine Ryan. Some excellent stuff. I had gone to this tent to see Adam Buxton‘s BUG special on David Bowie. Being a big Bowie fan myself I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. In fact I missed Father John Misty to see it. Adam provided a heartfelt and at times hilarious memorial to the sadly missed Dame. Adam, like me and millions of others, is clearly a big Bowie fan. The silent video of the awful Bowie Jagger Live Aid collaboration was priceless. After this I found myself back in the Literature tent with Catwoman for a talk, interview and book signing by Brix Smith off of the Fall and Adult Net among others. She has recently had her memoir published. What a fantastically honest, self-deprecating and amusing woman she is. Obviously I bought the book, had it signed by Brix and posed for the obligatory photo with her! After Brix it was the turn of comedienne Shappi Korshandi who was launching her first novel ‘Nina Is Not OK’. Shappi is a very amusing, very intelligent and very smart woman. I like her a lot. I didn’t buy the book this time, but Barbara Jennings did. After this it was back to our corralled tents for cheese and wine. That’s not too middle class is it? Anyway what surprised me most about day one was how little music I took in. There was simply so many other things to do.

 

Reading Festival Day 3 – Sunday 30th August 2009 August 31, 2009


Well firstly apologies for the delay in the delivery of this post but it was a long journey home and basically I’m bloody knackered, this old body just can’t take festivals like it used to. I’m sure my fellow ‘old boy’ festival buddy Nick H would concur with that, wouldn’t you Nick?

Anyway on to the final day of the Reading Festival for 2009. Who’s up for 2010? We get there reasonably early on Sunday to make the most of what was supposed to be a sunny day but turned out somewhat grey in the weather stakes, but definitely not grey in the music stakes! First up we saw In Case Of Fire on the NME Radio 1 Stage, these guys all wore the same red shirts, I’m not sure a band uniform works for me (apologies to Devo and Kraftwerk and others). Anyway aside from that these boys certainly knew how to play some excellent punk power pop. Next up it was Noah and the Whale on the Main Stage. I had a few of their songs before but live I felt they were much better. For me they were kind of folky pop with shades of Aztec Camera, perhaps Prefab Sprout and even Lou Reed at times. Their singer even used an electric toothbrush on his guitar at one point, now that is warped. But perhaps slightly more disturbing was that on many occasions the drummer seemed to be miming to a completely different song to the one that the band were playing!

After this we decided to pay another visit to the Festival Republic stage following our success with 65 Days Of Static yesterday. However this was not another one of those finds, we saw the XX and we really weren’t excited by them at all, kind of trippy Indie which seemed incredibly dull, but they seemed to have a lot of fans so to each their own. We saw one song from the Teeth on the BBC Introducing stage. They seemed very good, but we only saw one song, they came across as a geeky, space age version of Sha Na Na. If Sha Na Na were the Flintstones the Teeth would probably be the Jetsons.

Back to the Main Stage now for an appointment with Aussie band the Living End. A bit like Green Day but with a Double Bass. They’re back in the UK for a tour later this year, I reckon they’ll be worth checking out. After this we had perhaps our quirkiest moment of the festival, we tripped across to the Alternative Stage and chanced upon Adam Buxton who in simple terms showed a few film clips and gave out some free snacks. However the quality of the films was truly wonderful, especially the literal video for Aha’s “Take On Me” give it a search on Youtube, I will add it to a post soon as well.

Then it was back to the NME Radio 1 Stage to see the Passion Pit. This is a US band with a sound that could rip a hole in the fabric of space time and a singer who comes across as Leo Sayer begatting Mika whilst on hard drugs. (Ha! I bet you thought begatting only happened in the bible didn’t you?). Next we were back to the Main Stage for the rest of the day. Starting with the brilliant Vampire Weekend, these guys know how to party, the African tinged guitars help I’m sure. I love their first album and this time they even played a few new songs. I also love M79 and whilst I know it’s about a bus in New York, does anyone else think the instrumental hook sounds remotely like “The Wheels On The Bus”? I’d love to know. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were next and just as I had made up my mind for the best costumes seen at the festival this year along comes Karen O wearing something that must have come together after an explosion at a plastic recycling plant! A great set though, but don’t you think her shouty between song voice grates a little? Incidentally until that point my vote for best costume went to the Where’s Wally team, I think there were six of them dressed as the elusive Wally (to my friends from across the big pond, you’ll know Wally as Waldo). The most disturbing costume that I saw was the guy in the Nuns Habit with a pig mask. scary! If you were one of the Wally’s or the Nun Pig I’d love to hear from you!

Bloc Party were the penultimate act on the Main Stage. I have managed to miss them all the other occasions they have appeared here, but I’m glad that I caught them this time, they played a storming set and their laser show was pretty good too.

But this year I think Reading saved the best until last with probably the best headliner I have ever seen at Reading; the mighty Radiohead (can we call them the ‘Head?). I thought that being Reading they might play “Creep” but to open with it, I don’t think anyone expected that! Their light show was truly amazing and for me they proved once again why they are easily the most influential band of their generation. How will the organisers follow that in 2010? Watch this space to find out and in the meantime let me know who you’d like to see at the event next year. Whether you liked the same acts that I did or you liked the ones that I didn’t I really hope you had a great festival and a safe journey home

 

 
ACCREDITED SENIOR PSYCHOTHERAPIST,COUNSELLOR, CBT THERAPIST AND COMEDY WRITER -Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND

NO DESPAIR WITH LIFE AND NO LIFE WITH DESPAIR . Email: dr.fawzyclinic2019@yahoo.com

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