A fairyland of sky, grass, Mr. Whippy icecream, Ostrich burgers, amusement park type thrill rides and, as expected, truckloads of music welcomed us on Saturday the 9th of July.
The usual East London alternativa (rimes with diva) swarmed in after 11 am and was found strolling around in imaginative diy fashions checking out the 50+ bands that noisily sprawled over the four stages.
|Arrows of Love Cheesy name, spicy music.|
All in all, most of the music that meant business had at least one Japanese guy in the band.
Lydia Lunch Having rejoiced in her presence at least five times in the past, in a wide gamut from spoken word rants to no wave paranoia, I approached the stage rather nonchalantly - and regretted every second I spent away. In top form, she left her mature jazz incarnation behind to once more fit snuggly into her punk rock super-chick costume, courtesy of Big Sexy Noise. Gallon Drunk's James Johnston in the guitars, along with fellow super-dudes Ian White and Terry Edwards followed her step-by-noisy-step, as she went on cursing everyone from Pete Doherty to the world in its' whole. It might be coming to an end, but now we know they'll still be rocking it. Doesn't get much bigger, or much sexier than this.
Black Lips If Arabia Mountain is not quite the material I listen to at home - I tend to go for more heavy and...um, mature garage punk - I more than gladly cavorted to the band's jolly chaos. Thumbs up to the massive toilet paper extravaganza, which started with a wild bunch that run out from backstage and ruthlessly bombarded us with rolls. The vindictive bastards we are, we kept bombarding them back throughout the gig.
You probably know it already, but it's displayed ever more clearly onstage: those Lips are much more serious about their music than they care to look; and, all fun aside, they do it well. That is why we will continue to let them bombard us with all the crazy shit they can think of. Yes, I know I should be careful of what I wish for.
Damo Suzuki He can get tedious, that guy... Half an hour into a sonic marathon of a song, I eventually decided to go check another band. Till then, however, he hypnotized me with a demented vocal roller coaster - and a bunch of genius Japanese guys who were losing it at the back.
The Raveonettes I can't quite put my finger on it, but something looked wrong with these guys. A bit neglected, a bit worn out, a bit fat (for their usual Top Model standards); I wondered if all their previous hype and success had got to them eventually. Good news is that new song War in Heaven is good staff - and they managed also to beautifully revive some of their trademark hits.
Yuki Tsuji The Bo Ningen guitarist was the rocket in my festival solitude whenever he put his foot up onstage: Bathed in thoughtful ambient psychedelia with 5 Seconds Exposure, rocking it wild with Patent Saints, all the way to bordering on schizophrenia for the sake of Mr Suzuki. I got my eyes on you Yuki!
The doppelganger effect A teenage-looking Mark E. Smith sang with Advert, a pretty youthful Nick Cave joined Damo Suzuki's backing band and - in spite of her usually citing as influences Gang Gang Dance and Omar Souleyman - Mrs Tiffany Rainbow Arabia Preston really just reminded me of M.I.A.
The toilet paper You probably thought that toilet paper just earned a top spot in this blog thanks to the instrumental part it played at the Black Lips show. But no; it actually managed to have an equally dynamic presence in the loos, holding a decidedly protagonist role throughout this year's festival.
|Lydia Lunch Calling the dealer: "I can't stand rock stars who can't handle their drugs. Give me the drugs - I can handle them!"|
|Lydia Lunch She's got her eye on you Pete Doherty!! And it ain't looking good...|
|Black Lips Toilet Paper war on Arabia Mountain|
|Throwing Up Hole deja-vus. Not bad...|
|Damo Suzuki Tons of backing musicians - one hell of a voice!|
|The Raveonettes The world according to Sharin Foo is looking pretty damn good|
|Patent Saints That goes to say, almost no saints at all|
|Fair Ohs Obviously fair, definitely oooh!!|
|Forms We're lucky they didn't call themselves Muscles. It was their first gig ever; we're definitely waiting for some improvement over here...|
|5 Seconds Exposure Half an hour lost in psychedelic avantguardia|
Photography by rockets4solitude, aka Danai Molocha