Come on readers, come on readers, one pound blog post.Except reading it doesn’t cost a pound, it’s free.
I went to my first ever music festival at the weekend. I didn’t do it properly: I went with my family, and because it was only about a 40 minute drive, we went home in the evening and slept in our beds. Not very rock ‘n’ roll, but we never said we were.
The festival’s called Y Not, and if you don’t live in South Yorkshire or the East Midlands you probably won’t have heard of it: you can find the lineup here:
I did a review of the bands I saw for Bang the Drum magazine, which I’ll post under ‘Articles’ when it goes online. I’m not going to review it here, then, but rather share what I learnt at my first festival.
• The headliners a bigger deal than I thought. Looking back, I don’t really know why I ever thought this wouldn’t be the case, but for some reasons I had the idea that a lot of the time headliners might be a bit arrogant and bloated, and the best bands would be on earlier. In practice (and maybe it’d be different at a bigger festival), it took most of the day for the crowd to get really excited/ drunk/ for what was going on. Plus, as the biggest bands on show, they’re going to have the most fans.
Of the three headliners, I saw Dizzee Rascal and Frank Turner, and both were excellent: in both cases the crowd was so excited before they even came on that they didn’t have to do warm them up at all. I didn’t watch the other headliner White Lies because I wanted to see Reel Big Fish. Plus, I don’t think White Lies is a very good name for a band: I like bands that have names like Necromantic Invocation, Barry Rotter and the Pitbulls, or Gothic Black Rose 666 .If you’re wondering, in my head Necromantic Invocation look and sound like Sum 41.
• If the band is good live, knowing the songs is a bonus. Anyone who’s ever seen live music will know this, but I’m a very OCD person and not knowing songs tends to bother me. I think being at a festival definitely helped me relax, because there were just so many bands whose songs I was never going to know. The best example of this was Reel Big Fish. I enjoyed them more than I enjoyed Itch, and his new songs are ace. Go and see them live, even if your name’s Simba and you hate ska. Do it.
• There’s a hell of a lot of fancy dress. It really is just like being at Woodcraft Camp, but with a hell of a lot more people, and the focus being on music rather than, you know, campfires and games and long discussions about politics. There was one very convincing Pikachu wandering around, and another whose costume, I’m sorry, was a bit crap. And then there are the people dressed as themselves- my thanks to the bloke with the dreads wearing a leopardprint coat and trousers with brightly coloured pictures of animals on them who stopped me falling over in the pit when Sonic Boom Six were on. Unless you were wearing real leopard fur, in which case shame on you.
• Baby Godzilla. Believe the hype. I wasn’t going to talk about individual bands in this post, but this one stood out too much. Now, I’ve never seen Trash Talk, or Gallows when Frank Carter was in the band, or Rage Against the Machine, but this band is definitely the most chaotic thing I’ve ever seen live. The lights were flashing so fast in that tent that I thought I was going to have a fit, and I’m not epileptic. I think precisely one person apart from the band actually knew the words to the songs, and fair play to him trying to shout them over the crowd. Eventually the drummer ended up playing in the middle of a circle-pit. I’d say go see them live for the experience if you like that sort of thing, but the songs don’t really sound like much and I won’t be in a rush to by the Baby Godzilla album.
• Beans On Toast is really, really popular. For reference, I mean the folk singer, not an actual plate of beans on toast. I really enjoyed his set, I just didn’t think anyone had heard of him.
• Sometimes there’s just a bit too much humanity. That was my feeling about the woaded-up man in the kilt with only a sock shaped like a horse’s head covering his embarrassment (bad choice of word) dancing around on the edge of the crowd. And don’t get me started on the bloke who was stood next to me when Frank Turner was on.
I recommend: Natives, Sonic Boom Six, Beans on Toast, Frank Turner, Dizzee Rascal, Reel Big Fish
That’s the end of this post, and once again you can read my review here:
Feel free to leave a comment telling me to cheer up, or explaining why Catfish and the Bottlemen are so popular, because I just don’t get it.