Before I hit the good stuff, first some catching up before I forget it all.
This might be the last post that is automatically chucked on facebook by RSS because facebook is retarded sometimes. I'm too lazy and forgetful to chuck it up myself, and to be honest I don't care enough. If you're a dedicated facebook reader (god help us all if you are) my crap can be found at http://updatesat10.blogspot.com/. I know it says updates at ten, but I've found it's more of a loose deadline.
So, picking up where we left off, finished that assignment I was planning, handed it in no problems. Celebrated with a couple of cheeky ciders with Angus, Wells and Bennett and some FPS Russia. Can't say I've done much else this week, though I did find a place to live on Riversdale rd that looks very interesting, and cheap. Only problem is, I can't do an inspection on the place because they don't have a free apartment until when it might be too late. Damn housing... Puggs was also pretty awesome this week, smaller crowd but four times the amount of cute girls, go figure.
Anyway, to business. This morning I rose bright and early, donned my Portishead shirt, and looking far too much like a hipster for my own good headed down to Werribee. Luckily, everyone else on the train was a hipster too.
Shuttlebus over to the festival, it was being held at the Werribee mansion, near the zoo. Nice place, really, there's a photo on facebook. Went in easily enough, no lines (not yet, at least), had a look around. On the main stage, a dj with a jazz big band and barbershop quartet were playing (only highlight was Baby on Board from the Simpsons, woah).
First thing I noticed was that almost all the trees in this place had random crap like picture frames or streamers or eyeballs dangling from them. Crap hanging off trees does not an art installation make. Some of the "lol so randum" stuff seemed to be put there just for hipsters to take photos of each other with (in sepia tint), which was stupid. The usual Sea Shepard/Amnesty/CLIMATE CHANGE HURR people were there, as well as a lot of "alternative" market stalls. I have never really understood this trend, as festivals and shows are not the sort of place where one buys stuff. Unless it's a camping festival and you need a beanie or sunnies or something.
The crowd was really interesting, there were a lot of teeny boppers, but not as many as I thought. Lots of people in their late twenties. I suppose they grew up with Portishead/Flaming Lips more than we Gen Yers did. Also, crowd was much, much bigger than I was expecting, and clearly this was the case with the organisers. As nice as the setup was with its "art installations" and "hidden secrets", there weren't enough places to get drink coupons or drinks, not enough food places, and definitely not enough toilets. I don't really want to hear from every girl in the pit about how they're busting but don't want to wait an hour in line for a toilet, thanks.
(it's great being a dude sometimes, even if I needed to go there were trees everywhere. bliss).
Back to the music, I suppose. After getting an overpriced spicy hotdog (a trend?), saw the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Very cool, and very strange seeing a euphonium and sousaphone. Worth checking out, band geeks.
After that, got roasted in the sun while flicking through the program. Turns out the old timetables were in there, which gave me some hope about seeing Mogwai after Portishead, but it turns out they changed it.
The main stage lineup was pretty broad, there was a jazz band, a brass band, a funk band, then an art rock band, an alt folk band, indie rock (how I hate that term), then the second best trip hop group ever. Compared to the other main stage, which was pretty much all rock apart from Death in Vegas. Didn't go over to the second stage much at all, sadly.
The Family Stone (minus Sly?) were alright, I suppose. The mixing wasn't kind to them, the trumpet solos kept getting lost and the only way I knew one was occurring was from the big screen. Their most popular song was the one featured in Shrek. I suppose this worked for Joan Jett at Falls. They lost me when they started shouting about Occupy and the 99%.
While they were performing, some balloons were floating up from behind the mansion. Turns out there was a wedding going on at the zoo, felt kinda sorry for them since not very far away at all was a four-stage music festival going on...
Went into the crowd proper after refueling on overpriced sugarless Pepsi (the alternative, un-sugarless Coke or beer, would mean waiting two hours and more money. Festivals, honestly...) to catch TV on the Radio. Grinspoon, classic Silverchair and Karnivool were getting piped out, which was a little amusing. Saw a girl in bare feet carrying her boots around in the mosh, very strange.
TV on the Radio put on a pretty good show, they're a lot more energetic live than they are in the studio. I like their stuff, but not enough to dig deeper, and now I'm thinking I should. Haven't given their new album a spin yet. Opened with Halfway Home, which was excellent, and closed with an absolute rager of Wolf Like Me (reminded me of Search and Destroy at BDO, so much fun as a singalong). I did like Tunde Adembimpe fiddling around with his vocals with a couple of delay and phaser pedals attached to his mic stand. During Repetition the requisite singlet-and-fake-tan douchebags kept trying to crowdsurf (really trying, bless their hearts), but settled with a three man high shoulder stack.
Somehow I ended up ten rows from the fence before Bright Eyes started. I do not know much Bright Eyes, so there's always that little bit of guilt that someone who really loves them should be in your spot. Still. Had a chat to some older women who wanted to do obscene things to Connor Oberst, and 50ish year old dude who loved the National and told me to check out the Felice Brothers. Huh. As the crowd grew again, I had flashbacks to Angus and Julia Stone at Falls. You'd think a folky, lyrical alt-countryish band would have a fairly chilled crowd, even if it is mostly teenage girls. I hoped it would. Funnily enough, this occured while Angus and Julia Stone were featured in a sepia-tinted ad on the big screens about saving the coral reefs (followed by a similar ad featuring a talking fish...). Saw Clive Deamer, Portishead/Radiohead's touring drummer (he likes head, doesn't he, the poor bald bastard). Little bit of a fanboy moment.
So Bright Eyes came on, Connor Oberst looks like a wrinkly 18 year old (isn't the dude approaching forty or something?), and he seemed slightly crosseyed. Girls were swooning everywhere. His setup was interesting though, two drumkits, slide, shedloads of keyboards and a trumpeter. Had no idea what I was in for.
Turns out it wasn't the worst girl-oriented blind set I've been in. However, the band did suffer from Cloud Control syndrome, where it looked like the moment a song would turn really awesome just sort of petered out and went back to gentle altpop crap. Hurm. Girl behind me was singing every word, she was there with her mum. I did like all the lyrical references to Greek myths and stuff, but I don't think the audience would know who Sisyphus was, nor would they look the story up. Rest of the lyrics seem very, very angsty. Meh. The poor guitarist's lead kept falling out, little funny. Saw a flugel horn (WOAH), the guitarist from Tripod in the crowd, and Wayne Coyne watching from side of stage (MORE WOAH BECAUSE HE SAW US STARING AND WAVED!).
After the set finished, moved up to third row behind the barrier. Right behind two tall guys looking after their girlfriends (read, immovable). Damn. Chatted to a guy who was trying to light his cigar (yeah, I know), he turned out to be a bro. He's looking forward to seeing Justice at Festy Hall, and is mad about the National. Once his girlfriend left we were roaring the songs. Did like that they were piping Gimme Shelter, and had a camera following them onstage beamed up to the big screen (cue people behind us "hey, that mansion they're in front of looks just like the mansion behind the stage!")
Excellent set, very similar to Falls and very heavy on the High Violet stuff, which I'm cool with as it really is a brilliant album. Sadly, that meant less stuff from Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers (I did want to hear Murder Me Rachel even if they don't like playing The Cardinal Song anymore...). I forgot how funny the band can be between songs, they were joking about annoying the rhinos once they finished their set because they have access all areas passes. Towards the end, during Terrible Love, Matt jumped into the crowd, taking the microphone with him. He got pretty far too, judging by how much lead the roadie had to give him. This would have been awesome if some drunken douchebag hadn't stepped in front of us just at that second.
Chilled out waiting for Portishead on the barrier, life is good. Chatted to a few people who'd been waiting so long for them. Then, bam.
Can't believe I'm writing about a Portishead show. Very creepy videos going on in the background, first of all. Definitely added to the whole thing, especially the manipulations of the live footage (as in, what was happening in front of you being Persephone'd). Setlist is pretty similar to what they've been doing lately, so again, not much from their self-titled, which is disappointing as I'm a sucker for Elysium/Half Day Closing/Only You/All Mine/Humming/the other half of the album that they did not play. During Machine Gun (which was incredible), they flashed up images of Tony Abbott shooting lasers from his eyes. Hilarious. Their big finish was We Carry On, which had this awesome instrumental bit towards the end. After taking a swig of beer, Beth jumped down from the stage (OMG) and ran over to shake hands and hug people (OMG!!!). So, I can now die happy knowing that Beth Gibbons shook my hand, however briefly. She's always so shy (cf recent performance on Fallon, she did not look at the camera once). So that was pretty awesome. Then, since I stuck around instead of going straight to the Flaming Lips, a roadie chucked me a setlist. Brilliant. It's now up on my wall.
I am seeing the Flaming Lips on Thursday, and I was exhausted, so I was in no real rush. Saw some strippers (I mean, burlesque performers) in the circus tent, and caught a bit of Holy Fuck's set. I think if they tour again they'd better have a sideshow. Wandered over to the other stage, since the only way in is through a single gate there was a huge crowd, but I did see (from a great distance) Wayne Coyne strolling around on top of the crowd in his plastic bubble, and heard Worm Mountain. So that was awesome. Also picked up Portishead's limited edition single (on vinyl, because I'm weird like that) on the way out.
Shuttle and train home were quiet, if packed, and now I'm home and it's empty. Internet's playing up, it's taken me an hour to put up fifteen photos, but oh well.
Tomorrow... sleep. No idea what to do after that.