• Lowlands Festival 2009 - Welcome Home!

    10. Sep. 2009, 16:03 von Al_73

    So this is a lot later than I'd planned to write this & already it seems like a distant memory, but I shall do my best to give you the highlights of my annual festival of fun in The Netherlands!

    It started ominously before I had even left. I was still at my brothers place & it had been boiling hot (about 32 degrees), but that day, it suddenly got darker & darker & before long, we were treated to a spectacular thunderstorm with torrential rain & pink lightning! I waited out the storm before I left on the Thursday evening. The train journey was long & tedious & half an hour late & I finally got to the Lowlands site around 11.30pm. The part I dread the most is the queue to get in - sometimes it takes hours! But this year, I just walked straight up to the entrance & was inside within 10 minutes - result! :D Then followed about an hour of wandering around trying to find a tent sized patch of grass to pitch my tent. My usual campsite was full, but soon found a decent spot, a little way off the main path & 2 minutes from the shower block & 5 minutes walk from the festival entrance - double result! :D Had an early night to prepare for the three days of musical loveliness to come!

    Woke up around 11am on the Friday to blue skies & warm sunshine. Freshened up then took one of my two bottles of vodka & grapefruit juice (to save on buying a few drinks!) & joined the happy throngs of people as we crowded around the entrance with its big jolly sign saying 'Welcome Home' Gradually we inched closer & closer & finally got through the gates & into Lowlands Paradise once again - hooray! :D My first stop was the hallowed pancake stall. I've waited a year for these pancakes & oh my, that first bite was just wonderful! Just let the record show that I had three of these each day!

    My first port of call was to see White Lies, a band that I'd never seen live before. In fact about 3/4 of the bands I saw this weekend I had never seen before! A friend of mine promised me that they are even more spectacular live than on record & they weren't wrong. They tore through pretty much all of their debut album, the highlights of which were a stomping Farewell To The Fairground & a climactic set closer Death. An awesome start to the festival! Then a hop & a skip over to Passion Pit who filled an hour of the day with the most gorgeous, joyful, life-affirming, uplifting sounds - musical sunshine, put simply & a perfect feel-good festival band. With barely a pause for breath, headed over to Klaxons who were completely glowstick-tastic! :D Their anthem Golden Skans was cleverly thrown in midway through the set & it sounded stunning. The eerie Isle Of Her & the headrushing Its Not Over Yet were equally magnificent.

    There then followed a little break where I wandered around & refuelled with beer, cola & food before the first of this years festivals perfect moments. Faith No More have reformed & this evening they stormed Lowlands with their magnificent, deviant rock that manages to throw every genre you can think of into the mix. They wandered onstage to huge cheers & launched into the hopelessly naff Peaches & Herb song Reunited (because they're back together - get it?!) & it was brilliant. Then any cobwebs were blasted into oblivion as they blasted their way through From Out Of Nowhere that sounded truly formidable. A few songs later, came one of those perfect festival moments - they played Evidence - my fave song of theirs & it was understated, smooth as silk & fantastic. Its their mellowest song & it sounded incredible & gave me scores of goosebumps. Mike Patton wandered down among the front rows & asked people to sing along in Dutch!! For the rest of the set, we were treated to pretty much a greatest hits set - Epic, We Care a Lot, Midlife Crisis & their super smooth cover of the Commodores' song Easy. Mike Patton invited everyone to a party at their tent afterwards & asked anyone who wanted to come to ask for Mike Bordin! An awesome set by true deviant rock legends! :D Now my recollections of Kasabian are a little hazy - I don't know why, so I apologise for the fact that all I can reprt is that it was a stomping great set & Shoot The Runner & Empire sounded truly skyscraping. i was at a bit of a loose end afterwards & wasn't sure where to go so I wandered back through the site & walked in on something that sounded nice & fairly chilled. It took a while before I realised I was in the company of Grizzly Bear! A bit embarassing really, seeing as how I have their latest album! All I can say is that their set was generally mellow & lovely & a very nice way to end the first day of Lowlands 2009! :D

    So, onto Saturday then, which dawned ominously with the sound of heavy rain on my tent - uh-oh, I thought! But I needn't have worried - it was just a heavy shower & the skies soon cleared to blue sky & warm sunshine again :)

    Another pretty early start found me onsite & headed in the general direction of The Airborne Toxic Event. A friend of mine dearly wanted to see them with me but couldn't, so this set is dedicated to my dear friend :) What can I say? They were a complete headrush of rocking & rolling & rollicking good songs & the set centrepiece Sometime Around Midnight was slow burning & truly heart wrenching & just magnificent - another awesome festival moment! :D At every festival, I end up watching someone that I've never ever heard of, in the name of my endless quest for musical loveliness & this year, the accolade went to one Jessica Lea Mayfield. I was walking past the tent she was playing in (one of the smallest tents on the site) & something about her lilting acoustica & her voice just drew me in & it was lovely & folky. I was glad that I'd stopped :) A long gap followed, so I used the time to refuel & take in some of the wonderful sights of Lowlands, namely a game of musical chairs & a giant version of Tetris (renamed YouCube!), that involved a giant electronic screen & people having to build each block & then jump on podiums to position the blocks as they fell down the screen!

    Now onto today's highlight, the magnificent Maximo Park. In Paul Smith, they have one of the best frontmen in music - dapper, well dressed, chatty, charming & with the energy of a wind up toy on speed! Virtually every song was prefaced by a little intro from Paul Smith. A perfect festival moment came when he said that the next song was about being in love with someone who can't be with you & I knew what was coming & it was Books From Boxes (my fave song of them) & it was heartbreaking & beautiful & sad & a few tears leaked out. We also had Going Missing, Questing Not Coasting, too many others to remember, but one that I can't forget was a beautiful, desolate & rare live outing for Acrobat. Paul Smith said that its a song that they don't play live that often, but they hope we like it. Oh, we liked it! This song is nothing like anything else they've ever recorded - all slow, washed out backing, gentle sad spoken word verses & a gently soaring but crushingly sad chorus & it sounded beautiful & was another perfect festival moment. This was the biggest Dutch crowd they'd ever played to & I was hugely happy to be part of that crowd today! :D

    I know nothing at all about Wilco apart from the name, but I spent a nice hour or so sitting outside the tent where they were playing & made a mental note to stock up on their alt country/folk as soon as possible! I then went to get something to eat from the Indonesian food stall & was sat there eating when a girl came up & asked if she could have a mouthful of my food, then before I could say anything, she grabbed my fork & took a mouthful of rice & veg then said thanks & gave me an affectionate rub on my arm! A guy sat near me asked me if I knew who that was & when I said that I didn't, he said, that it was Lady Sovereign, haha! How awesome! :D

    Basement Jaxx, up next, were just spectacular & they peppered their dance-tastic set with the hits & a few little asides. We got Good Luck, the stunning Red Alert, Bingo Bango & Where's Your Head At amongst others. Thrown into the set were lots of great little moments, like when we suddenly had everyone singing the chorus to Kings Of Leon's Sex On Fire, or the trumpet soloist that played the riff to The White Stripes' 7 Nation Army, or the singing Happy Birthday to various band members or prefacing Where's Your Head At with the opening verses of The Commodores' Three Times a Lady! It was just brilliant & huge fun! Afterwards, headed over to catch a little of Kaiser Chiefs. Only caught a little of them, but was treated to a brilliant & furious The Angry Mob, some massive singalongs & ending with a truly epic version of Oh My God. Well what a great day! Roll on Sunday!

    Sunday dawned very very warm - far too warm to stay in my tent, so headed out early again & made for Squarepusher & a little completely mental drum 'n' bass. It sounded brilliant but it was just a little too early in the day & a little intense! So wandered over & watched Vampire Weekend who are just the perfect festival band. Anyone who can't move their feet & sing along to the likes of A-Punk, Oxford Comma, One, I Stand Corrected, The Kids Don't Stand a Chance & Walcott must have lost the ability to have fun & VW provided it in spades! A little break then over to see Victoria Hesketh AKA Little Boots & her lovely 80's sounding electronica was made for the festival! She bounded onstage dresses all in black & bounced through an immensely joyful & happy set that already sounded like a greatest hits set - Remedy, Meddle, New In Town, Symmetry, Stuck On Repeat....it was all just brilliant & hugely enjoyable & she was having the time of her life - a real feel good show! :D Then I hotfooted it over to Metric. The tent was almost empty until about 10 minutes before they came on but it filled up nicely & the band came onstage led by the bouncy Emily Haines dressed in a shimmering silver dress & they started in the best possible way with the hypnotically wonderful Help I'm Alive that had Emily bouncing around & banging a tambourine & it was brilliant - another great festival moment. gimme Sympathy sounded like a complete anthem & Blindness was pretty much one long chorus - awesome! But sadly I had to leave early as it was getting close to BP time & I wanted to get there early enough to bag a good spot!

    So to the highlight of the whole festival, namely Bloc Party. They were in the biggest tent & it was packed. Kele & co took to the stage & treated us to a breathless & truly breathtaking set that visited all their albums as wellas a few non-album songs. In short, we got This Modern Love (who's in love? asked Kele before the song), Mercury, Song For Clay that when it kicked into life sounded like the most intense thing you've ever heard, the stuttering Positive Tension, Two More Years, a beautiful gentle interlude with Signs. Before Once More Chance, Kele asked us how cool we were & after this glorious headrush of a song with its simple & lovely & euphoric refrain of "give me one more chance to love you", he realised that we were indeed very cool, haha! :D The set ended with two belters - Flux & Helicopter. I knew the songs were gonna sound awesome but I wasn't expecting Kele to be so happy & chatty! He has a reputation for being a bit intense, but this evening he was on the form of his life, chatting to us between songs, waving hello to everyone sitting on the hill outside, to asking the back, centre & front of the crowd to cheer in turn, to asking us to make the biggest noise ever & we responded with a deafening roar & the stomping of thousands of pairs of feet. BP were just brilliant but I have just one tiny quibble - they didn't play So Here We Are! :'( Apart from that - a pretty much perfect set & just awesome energy & everything! :D

    Then outside to sit by the lake & listen to a little bit of The Maccabees. The moody & atmospheric No Kind Words was my highlight. It was also thanks to them that I found out that England had won The Ashes against Australia in the cricket, when they dedicated the set to the England cricket team! Finally back to the biggest tent for Arctic Monkeys who played a bold & brave set that leaned heavily on their hugely different & experimental latest album Humbug. All I knew of the new album was Crying Lightning & it sounded awesome, as did the many other track from it that they played & a cover of Nick Cave's Red Right Hand was a curious surprise. The set ended with a brilliant & bouncy Fluorescent Adolescent & my fave of them, the epic & beautiful 505.

    So that was my festival more or less, so time for the dedications! Thank you for the pancakes, the beer, the cocktails, the cola, the exotic food, the lovely kind warm & sunny weather. Thank you also to my newest Lowlands buddy - it was so great to finally meet you! :D A hesitant thank you to the folks that I camped near - I'll never forget being woken up every morning with a CD that appeared to be called 100 best Dutch Folk Songs, haha! Thank you to the organisers of this wonderful festival, thank you to the beautiful bands that soundtracked my festival this year, thank you to the friendly & lovely Lolwnads festival-goers, thank you to all of you, to everyone, for everything! :D

    When I walked off the festival site for the last time on the Sunday night there was a little sign that simply said "Bye-Bye" & a few tears came to my eyes. But I was cheered by the thought that it is now less than a year to Lowlands 2010! :D Bring it on & here's to next year! The slogan for this year's festival was "Shake The Planet" & I think, for three days, just under 80,000 people & countless wonderful bands did just that!

    Do you wish you'd been here? I wish you'd been here! Thanks for reading & I'm now going to soak my poor tired fingers from typing this!

    Lowlands 2010 - the countdown has started!! :D
  • neofolk

    16. Okt. 2009, 15:18 von muhmood

    Recently have been exploring more of neofolk...
    First of all need to say that i absolutely fell in love with CocoRosie after a night of watching them on youtube... but then i found out that listening to their albums is not as much thrilling as the low quality online vids! I don't know just something is missing in the recordings that is so much overwhelming in their performances. Especially was upset to see that they absolutely ruined the song Black Rainbow which is so much more powerful in a couple of versions on youtube:





    Nalle - really made my pack of favorite female vocalists like CocoRosies and Joanna Newsom full - amazing that it is so critically underrated!!!

    Turning to "greener breed" - amongst all the black metal and power electronics i was forcing on myself recently the next three projects i am talking about were very much like pleasant green grass patches in the middle of dark oppresive woods - the first couple came in a split "Auguries Of Innocence / Meandering In Streams Of Reflection" by The Joy of Nature and Novemthree and the third one Nebelung - all three are quite different in sound and mood though...

    and one more revelation that moved me deeply is Of the Wand and the Moon the project by Kim Larsen of Saturnus - some would say this is quite a radical departure from doom metal, but i think i can see the same roots, same sadness and passion for making music.
  • Imogen Heap gets it spot on!!

    6. Sep. 2007, 20:41 von willow21



    Just for now
    Just for now
    Just for now

    It's that time of year
    Leave all our hopelessness's aside
    If just for now (just for now) leave awhile
    tears stop right here
    I know we've all had a bumpy ride.I'm secretly on your side

    Translation:= 12 months of the year we look forward to this..Christmas/ holidays for my American friends! Yes the hype starts at the end of August and we all agree to meet up as it will be so lovely...yer right! ..why in all sense would it?

    How did you know?
    It's what I always wanted
    Could never have had too many of these
    Well I, quit kicking me under the table
    I'm trying; will somebody make her shut up about it?
    Can we settle down please?

    Translation:= There is always that dreadful present that you have no idea what to do with let alone describe! And what is more you have a drawer full of upstairs!! Your partner is kicking you and trying to make you laugh.....

    It's that time of year
    Leave all our hopelessness's aside
    If just for now (just for now) leave awhile
    tears stop right here
    I know we've all had a bumpy ride.
    I'm secretly on your side

    Translation:= Why Oh! why did you agree to host this farce ..the kitchen is a mess it will take weeks to clean the oven and the booze is just flying off the shelf ..you can feel the tension mounting!!

    Lie down
    Deep breaths
    Count to ten
    Nod your head

    Translation:= OK! so you dash up stairs and have a minute to yourself ..try out those breathing exercises then return to the merry throng wearing a stupid grin!

    I think something is burning
    Now you've ruined the whole thing
    Muffle the smoke alarm
    Whoever put on this music?
    Better quick shop remove it
    Pour me another
    Oh, don't wag your finger at me

    Translation:= Now the bloody dinner is burning...and that stupid smoke alarm is going off! give me a drink ..then your mother makes a comment on the amount you are drinking....please... and who bought that music turn it off I cannot think PLEASE!!

    It's that time of year
    Leave all our hopelessness's aside
    If just for now (just for now) leave awhile
    tears stop right here
    I know we've all had a bumpy ride.
    I'm secretly on your side

    Translation:= You Just think it cannot get any worse when ..you realise they are all staying for Boxing day!!!!!!


    Get me outta here
    Get me outta here
    Get me outta here

    Desperation:= You dash out the house!!! HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!
  • The First Train Home from the Ellipse Album

    31. Aug. 2009, 19:51 von willow21



    "The First Train Home" the first track on Ellipse and the new single is a really beautiful but sad song. I know it is only my personal opinion but I see it as a woman who finds herself in a sad and doomed relationship. She feels if she can just run and can but only get home all will be well with the world.She see the first train home as her escape and her solution to all her problems
    It sounds like her her relationship has run it's length, she asks her partner what does it matter that he has had one too many to drink or that he does not find her any fun anymore. It is finished to the point that she does not care what he looks like or even knows why she stays.
    She just wants to get home where everything is so much better , she remembers her childhood playing in her hideaway with Play-Doh and fun times like painting the kitchen. Sadly she no longer loves her partner and she desperately needs someone to love .
    I know I can't be the only woman in the world who has ever felt like this. Most of us have to stay and make the best of things and we often end up happy again, some cannot mend the gulf between themselves and their partner and move on. But we all see our childhood in a rose tint!
    Personally I hope she never catches that first train home I would like to think she faces up to her failing relationship and grows . I really love this song !


    (I've got to get on it) (3x)

    Bodies disengaged, our mouths are fleshing over.
    It's just an echo game, irises retreating
    to ovals of white.
    The urge to feel your face
    And blood rushing to paint my hand print
    A Frisbee one by one
    Your vinyl on lamente
    Desperate for some kind of contact.

    First train home, I've got to get on it (3x)
    To Catch, to catch, catch catch catch.
    First train home, I've got to get on it (3x)
    First Train home

    Temporal dead zone where clocks are barely breathing
    Yet no one cares to notice for all the yammering on
    I calm up to hold it together.

    I want to Play-Doh wave forms in the hideaway
    I want to get on with getting on with things
    I want to run in fields, paint the kitchen
    And love someone
    And I can't do any of that here, can I?

    First train home, I've got to get on it (3x)
    First Train home

    So what? You've had one too many.
    So what? I'm not that much fun to be with
    So what? You've got that silly hat on
    So what? I didn't want to come here, anyway.


    What matters you, doesn't matter, matter to me.
    What matters to me, doesn't matter, matter to you.
    What matters to you, doesn't matter, matter to them.
    What matters to them, doesn't change anything.

    Got to get on it first train home.
    Got to get on it first train home

    First train home I've got to get on it
    (I've got to get on it)
    To catch, to catch, catch-catch, catch.
    (First train home)
    First train home I've got to get on it
    First train home.
    (First train home)

    To go, to go, to go
    Get, get, get, get
    Out, out, out, out
    Now, now, now, now
  • Bad Body Double From The Album Ellipse By Imogen Heap

    22. Aug. 2009, 20:37 von willow21



    Bad Body Double............ well we all have one of those! She pops into the shower uses all your make up, poses and preens in the mirror . She holds her breath to make her thinner yes we all have a bad body double.

    She even follows you to the gym she looks odd in the sports wear heavier on the hips than you and she has gray hairs not to mention the dimples in her thighs ...she will never get rid of them............

    You go to a bar or a job interview and you are fine until you see yourself in a mirror or a window. That dress looked great last time you wore it but now on your bad body double it looks frumpy............

    Then the worse case scenario you meet this fantastic guy and there she is you ask her to go because you were just fine ten minutes ago before she arrived...... But no she is here to stay at this most intimate moment.

    Yes we all see ourselves at our best in our heads it could be twenty, thirty even seventeen but when we look in the mirror it's our bad body double looking out at you!

    I am seventeen in my head but why do I see my mother looking out at me from the mirror .......... get used to your bad body double she is here to stay .

    Of course there are the odd few who are fabulous and know it and they escape the bad body double... but she will catch up with them eventually...............
  • Chaka Khan: She's all our women.

    1. Aug. 2009, 21:45 von idiotsdream

    Whenever you're low, with a dreaded impending sense of doom and 'that quicksand feeling' like i've currently got at the moment, there is, but one song that will always respond to your feelings of despair, your bottom-of-the-barrel lowness, to your rapid lack of self esteem and unwanted feelings of doubt.

    And that incarnation of the holy grail, comes in the form of the 70s, disco classic Chaka Khan's I'm Every Woman .

    The song that seeked Bridget Jones out to make her feel better about herself after seeing her boss cheat on her with 'an American stick'; the song that President Obama sung to his wife Michelle Obama in public rallies; and the song that Whitney Houston did a Grammy nominated cover of.

    Normally, this is where i'd post the YouTube video and mention the five different Chaka's to represent 'every woman', and how the video was apparently one of the first music videos ever made (i doubt this however, i read that on Wiki).

    But there's no video of it on YouTube.

    So instead, i'll post this live version she did on Oprah, from 1996 (it used to be the theme to that particular programme). All the single, young, empowered, feelin' good females in the audience really put all the energy and excitement into the performance what with the 'WHOOP!' and everything.




    And so yes, personally i think one of the best songs, not only from the 1970s, but from the past 35 years. A song with confidence, bounce (not that i exactly know what that means) and the anthem for women, drag queens and trannies everywhere.

    Rock on Chaka. Thanks for putting fire inside us.

  • Nine Inch Nails @ the O2 Arena - 15th July 2009

    21. Jul. 2009, 0:30 von Al_73

    This tour has been billed as their last ever tour, so there really was no excuse for me to miss these godfathers of industrial music, particularly as I'd never actually seen them live before. Also, I'd never seen either of the support bands live before either & after tonight, I still hadn't! What can I say? I got there too late - in fact I only got in there about 10 minutes before NIN took to the stage! Well, I did have to buy a wee drink & a souvenir T-shirt first of course! So, humble apologies to anyone who was waiting to read what I thought of the Mew & Jane's Addiction live experience, but all is not lost - Mew are touring in the autumn, so hopefully I can get round to seeing them then :) Oh & for anyone who's never been to the O2 Arena before - a few words of warning - the actual arena is just one tiny part of the enormous O2 complex & depending on where you have to get to in the arena, its a long, long walk! Also, if you are in the seated part of the arena, I must warn you about the tininess of the seats & the fact that there is little or nothing to stop you from toppling several rows down if you should lose your footing! Also, sufferers of vertigo had better hope they aren't in the upper seated area, like I was - you really are a hell of a long way up & its a long way to fall! Anyway, long enough introduction, let's get on with the reason you're sat here reading this!

    At just after 9pm, NIN took to the stage to deafening cheers & with the arena lights still on, they eased us in gently with the short & relatively mellow Now I'm Nothing, then suddenly the lights went out & we were plunged headlong into darkness as the brutal opening chords of Terrible Lie reverberated around us & we entered the dark, bleak world of Trent Reznor. I had a feeling that there would be a few tracks from The Downward Spiral & I wasn't wrong as we were next treated to four songs in a row all from that awesome album. Highlight of these was a blistering March Of The Pigs that was like being caught inside a tornado, interspersed with those deceptively gentle interludes complete with tinkling piano & Trent cooing "& doesn't it make you feel better?" before the next assault of chainsaw guitars & roaring vocals. On the album, the track ends with more gentle piano & that's how it was tonight until everything stopped, making you think it was the end of the song, but then it came back with one more apocalyptic blast that genuinely made me jump! What a tour de force - awesome!

    Later on, a mellower interlude followed & the hyperactive & epileptic fit-inducing light show faded to a soothing blue light as Trent lulled us for a few brief minutes with the beautiful piano-based La Mer, that really was gorgeous & a chance to catch our breath. Another relatively obscure track from The Fragile album came soon after & the sludgy, industrial clattering funk of The Big Comedown really sounded 100 times more menacing than it does on record. In fact, every track tonight was multipllied in intensity from the studio versions, by a factor too high to measure & it was truly exhilirating. Next up was the title track from The Downward Spiral & anyone who knows this track, knows that it is deceptively gentle but menacing for most of the track & tonight was no exception as it gently unfurled before us & there was a genuine & palpable sense of foreboding in the arena as we knew what was coming & when it came, it was enough to make your eardrums beg for mercy - a truly terrifying wall of noise that sounded like the end of the world, with continuous, distorted screaming & Trent buried deep down, muttering about how easy it is to kill yourself - its pretty much as uncompromising & utterly unrelenting as music gets.

    There was no let up as Wish burst into the arena like a Tasmanian devil on speed & the sound of countless thousands of people simaultaneously bellowing out the words "fist fuck" was truly unsettling, to say the least! After Down In It, Trent spoke to us for a long time. "Way, way back, this was our first ever single...I remember coming to London with my demo tape & wondering if anyone would want to listen to this, but 20 years on we're still here & I'm still alive, which is something!" Cue huge cheers! He then went on to speak about his musical influences & explained to us about an artist who was probably his biggest influence & then, to everyone's surprise, introduced Gary Numan onto the stage! He then sang a couple of songs - Metal & then a truly mind-blowing Cars. I've never been a big fan of Numan, but hearing Cars live was a curious, totally unexpected & wonderful treat :) After that, Trent came back & set the arena jumping & dancing with the brilliant industrial pop song (yes, there is such a thing!) that is The Hand That Feeds & the frenetic light show that was like a digital display gone completely loco, went into complete overdrive. A bleakly soaring Head Like a Hole followed, then all was silence...

    What followed (& was the final song of the gig) is surely NIN's most famous & best-loved song. Mere words really can't do justice to this song, but I'll try my best to describe how it felt to hear this song live. Of course, the song I'm talking about is Hurt - NIN's masterpiece, an industrial classic, in fact, its a classic that transcends its genre. It's stripped back, bleak with a curiously soaring chorus & IMHO, there really can't be many more atmospheric songs than this & of course, it was harrowingly covered by Johnny Cash, shortly before he died & the promo video is truly uncomfortable to watch. So, to the performance then. The hyperactive lightshow faded away, leaving Trent bathed in a pool of gentle light & the opening bars wafted around to enormous cheers & then what followed was one of the most beautiful gig moments I can remember experiencing. EVERYONE in the arena sang along to EVERY word, gently & respectfully, never drowning out Trent, but rather like a 15,000-person ghostly backing choir. Apart from Trent in the pool of light, the only other thing you could see were hundreds of mobile phones waving in the air - the modern equivalent of waving a lighter, I guess. Then as the song went on & the gently thudding pulses came in & built towards the chorus, lights gently flashed in time at the back of the stage & everyone clapped along gently, again, never drowning out the man in the light-pool. Everything happened in slow motion. We built towards the finale "If I could start again a million miles away. I would keep myself. I would find a way" & there was a final searing blast of noise & it echoed away & the song burned itself out & was greeted by people all around the arena standing & applauding & cheering. I clapped until my hands were sore, for that was seriously one of those perfect & utterly unbelieveable gig moments that will live on in my memory forever.

    Well, what a show! What more can I say? Well, I wasn't sure what to expect but Trent Reznor came across as a guy who was genuinely humbled by the rapturous reception & genuinely appreciative for supporting him & his band for all these years. Unless I'm missing something, I think they played tracks from all their albums tonight in a career spanning 20 years. Of course, when you have such a massive back catalogue of songs as NIN have, there are always gonna be songs that you wanted to hear but didn't - Something I Can Never Have, That's What I Get, Closer, I Do Not Want This, Mr Self Destruct, Piggy, The Great Below, Even Deeper, All The Love In The World, Only... all faves of mine that weren't played, but to complain about not getting to hear all your personal faves is crazy! How can you possibly complain after a breathless, brutal, 2 hour long, 23 song show that assaulted the senses from all sides? Pure & simple, this was the most sonically brutal gig I've ever been to & it was breathtaking, it was a massive rush, it was, in short, a stunning show. I know that after this tour, Trent wants NIN to disappear for a while & he's said that this is their last ever tour. If that is the truth then all I can say is that I'm so glad I grabbed this final chance to see them. If you've never seen them before, I hope for your sake that Trent takes some time out & considers returning to performing live. Only time will tell...

    Oh ~& before I forget, here's the mammoth setlist complete with links for your listening pleasure!

    Now I'm Nothing
    Terrible Lie
    1,000,000
    Heresy
    March of the Pigs
    Reptile
    The Becoming
    I'm Afraid of Americans
    Burn
    Gave Up
    La Mer
    The Fragile
    Non-Entity
    The Big Come Down
    The Downward Spiral
    Wish
    Survivalism
    Down In It
    Metal
    Cars
    The Hand That Feeds
    Head Like a Hole
    Hurt

    "Everyone can sleep safely & everything is alright..."
  • Glastonbury 2009

    30. Jun. 2009, 16:54 von dave-boy

    Wed 24 Jun – Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts

    Thursday

    First off, I should mention that it’s been many years since I’ve been to a festival, so I wasn't sure what to expect or whether the discomfort of camping etc. would be detrimental to my enjoyment.

    Glastonbury is around 5 hours drive from where I live, and I set off with my three fellow Glastonbury virgins at 9:30am on Thursday. The trip to the West Country was used to debate who we would like to see, and what clashes of favourite acts were likely. There were many decisions to make . . . . .

    We arrived at around 3:00pm on a very warm Somerset afternoon, pitched two tents next to our campervan and set off to the site to check things out.

    In the weeks leading up to the festival I was constantly reminded by people of the poor weather that the festival has experienced over the years.

    Somewhat inevitably, four hours later we were walking back to our camp in a thunderstorm!

    Friday was therefore set to deliver us three things: the proper start to the festival, rain until early afternoon and muddy conditions . . . . . .

    Friday

    Wellies on, we set off to the site early in the afternoon.



    After some wandering, we ended up at the Jazz World stage (unplanned) to see The Hot 8 Brass Band. They’re not really my thing, but sitting with a beer watching the world go by was pleasant enough.

    From here onwards there was a plan, and I set off to see White Lies on the Other Stage who turned out a workman-like performance and warmed to their task as their set gained momentum.

    Off next to see Lily Allen on the Pyramid Stage as one of our party was keen to see her perform. This area was extremely busy for the popular British Singer and she was surprisingly good and the huge crowd were very appreciative. On the downside, it was impossible to get a beer!

    I stayed at the Pyramid Stage for The Specials whom I’ve always liked. They were very good and livened up when the brass section joined them mid-set.



    I had to skip the end of The Specials performance for a dash to the Jazz World stage to see The Streets, another favourite of mine. Mike Skinner was on top form and the band also did a cover of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, which was a nice touch.



    Around 12:30am, after lots of music, beer, food, mud and laughter, we set off to our camp to retire for the evening. . . .

    Saturday

    We began the day with purpose as I wanted to see Blue Roses play at midday in one of the smaller venues, The Queen’s Head. We enjoyed another fine performance if a little short at around 35 minutes.



    I then tried to meet friends at the Jazz World Stage who were watching Rolf Harris but I couldn’t get anywhere near as the area was so busy. We therefore arranged to meet at The Other Stage as they wanted to see Jason Mraz and The Script and I had nothing planned for a couple of hours. They were both pleasant enough, although not really my thing, but the sun was out and all was good with the world.

    Back to the plan: next stop Gaslight Anthem at The John Peel Tent. There was a great atmosphere in the tent, a fantastic performance by the band and a surprise guest appearance by Bruce Springsteen for The 59 Sound.



    On the way back we stopped off at the Dance Village which consists of four separate dance marquees:-



    A gap in proceedings for dinner and rest and we were off to the Pyramid for a sing- along with Kasabian. Cut Off was especially good and with the sun setting behind the stage creating an atmospheric setting:-


    We stayed at the Pyramid for the start of Bruce Springsteen and watched for around 5 songs before returning to our plans to see The Wonder Stuff play at the Avalon stage, which is one of the smaller venues at the festival. One thing that struck me was the fact that we had left probably 60,000 people watching The Boss to see The Wonder Stuff play in front of around 1,000 people. Anyway the atmosphere, a few beers, the late slot (11:15pm) and sing-along favourites such as Don't Let Me Down made for a real party in the Avalon tent. Definitely a good decision and one of my Glastonbury highlights.



    Back to camp with doughnuts on the way completed Saturday for us . . . . . . . .

    Sunday

    I had a late start to the day due to feeling quite tired by this stage. However, after a couple of isotonic sausage sandwiches giving me the lift required to open a can of Becks, I was ready to wander down to the site for around 2:00pm!

    Enter Shikari at the Other Stage were first on our plans. Technical problems delayed the start of the set which resulted in their slot being cut short. This was a shame since they were on good form, although I felt they played too many unfamiliar tracks from their new album for a festival set.



    We stayed at the Other Stage for the start of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs . As you will see, Karen O was wearing a quite bizarre stage costume:-



    Sunday was full of clashes for me. I’d like to have seen Bat for Lashes, but Madness edged it so we headed off to the Pyramid to catch their set. I’ve seen Madness a few times before and their set of classic pop hits were interspersed with a couple of tracks from their (highly recommended) new album. Their children coming on stage to dance during Night Boat to Cairo was a fitting end to a fine sing-along set.

    Sunday evening produced a three-way clash for me: Blur, The Prodigy and Echo And The Bunnymen all on at the same time. I’ve seen the Bunnymen several times over the years, most recently in Liverpool last December, so the reformed Blur got my vote.

    Blur were fantastic. The best performances are those when time seems to fly by and this was one of those occasions. The Universal was a highlight for me. Parklife with Phil Daniels was pretty good too:-



    There were so many highlights over the weekend, just wandering around we came across some really interesting stuff:-



    We had a fantastic time, so until next year . . . .




    Dave :)

    Ps – I’ve heard that U2 may headline the Pyramid in the Saturday 2010 ;-)
  • Lift me up, lift me up, higher to the chain.

    10. Mai. 2009, 19:16 von idiotsdream



    The Chain is an imprinted memory, not just in your head, or on Fleetwood Mac's career, but in the world Formula 1 as well.It's a definition of the words 'cool' and 'awesome'. It's a classic, and one of the reasons that Formula 1 returning to the Beeb was a good thing. It goes very finely tuned with Murray Walker's baritone, haven't you noticed? You could wish it was the 70s forever.




    Maybe it was the over flashyness of the intro, or maybe it was because whenever the programme went for an ad break this would always play (so you'd hear it seven times during the 3 hours a race was on), but Christ alive, 'Lift Me Up' got annoying, and it got annoying quickly.It's not that it's bad, but it's more style over sustenance, whereas 'The Chain' blends both, equally, and successfully. Maybe this is something you'd notice between ITV and the BBC.

    Or maybe it's just that long, slow, climatic build up of bass and guitar riff was always better than a vegetarian going 'Hiiiiiigher no othaaaa' and sounding very bored by it.












    Fleetwood MacMobyThe ChainLift Me UpRumoursHotel
  • I love to read.

    13. Mai. 2009, 13:40 von idiotsdream

    Which is exactly why i've been jumping for joy of late, with the news that the 'recomended reading' feature has returned to Last.fm:

    98.5%. Which is close enough show you guys. It's not fully public (it's not linked to anywhere but here), but you can take a look and let me know how you find it. http://www.last.fm/home/reading I've been a bit overwhelmed with the new Radio page launch for the last few weeks, that's mostly out of the way now though. I'll carve out a day next week to do the final few bits to this to make it 100%.

    Thank you Underpangs.

    Since Last.fm went fulltime Beta, it lost anytime reading, and in the 10 months that it's taken to come back, it's a bit of an understatment to say that i've missed it a bit. It's always good for the soul to read something, be it a chart, a lyrics game, someone's 10,000th song, or a foul mouthed user having a good old rant against the lack of audio between Warner and YouTube. It always gave the user a small look into someone else's mind, to see what they're thinking, how they're writing it out, and we all react to it.

    Another thing with recomended reading was, how i liked that it would always used to appear on the front page of the site, and suddenly you're getting thousands of thoughts and opinions all at once. With this gone in the redevelopment of the site, not only did it make reading the journals more difficult to find, it was also more duller in general. What with this, i still think that the lack of many comments on thousands (millions even) of journals probably stemmed from not finding a good outlet to entice the casual reader into.

    Unleash your inner bookworm.

    And let's all have a nice toast to the return of recomended reading.And hope it doesn't go away any time soon.



    Bye bye.