Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The Great Big Axl Truck Festival Blog Part 2

The first part was not some of my best work, but it got the fundamentals across. Hopefully this one will be better.


11 in the morning, the main stage, The Walk Off?!?! Really?!?! Was there ever a more inapropriate setting for this? I'm standing in a field with group of just woken up and extremely hungover human beings first thing on a Sunday to see the drum 'n' bass 'n' noise behemoth that is The Walk Off. There could not be a worse time or place for this. Apart from at a Grandparents funeral. No, actually that would be better. Oh, and of course I have a twisted ankle, so I can't even help with a bit of a dance. To their credit, The Walk Off played a really good set. Put it in a tent or even the Barn Stage on Saturday night and it would've been the fucking highlight of the festival. The Walk Off simply aren't an 11am Sunday open-field band. End of. It's a real shame, and a wasted opportunity on Truck's part.
To top things off, Ol' Luca Hansman The Walk Off Bear saw me, bounded up and jumped on my back, unaware of my ankle problem. Immediately my left leg just said "NO! This aint happenin'!" and just gave way sending us crashing to the floor. Bizzarly I just felt guilty that I couldn't help try and inject some life into this crowd. I wasn't particularly bothered by the intense pain that had just shot thru my ankle. Luca looked at me later as if to say "What happened man?! Where were you when I needed you? How could you just leave me out in the cold like that man? I thought we were buddys! I can't believe you man!" and other war film related statements of being let down. Don't hate me Luca! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Ahem. Anyway...

I missed Baby Gravy coz I forgot where they were playing. I missed Fonda 500 for the same reason, then later found out I'd got the time wrong anyway. I was gutted. I fucking love Fonda 500, and haven't seen them play for years.

Did see Hreda tho. It was the first time I've seen them with the new addition of a Cellist. I was a little dubious when I first heard about this, but it really works, I think because they don't have a bass player it sort of substitutes for that. Substitutes is the wrong word, it's not like "Our bassist's injured! Quick, call the cellist!" It's more that the fact Hreda don't have a bass player, the fact they've added a cellist fits very naturally as it provides a bass layer. My other worry was that it may sound like a post-rock cliche. No need to worry, the fact that the Cello "fits very naturally" as I just said, makes this a non-issue. No, the Cello is a fine addition, and helps Hreda play the best set I've seen them play. A definite highlight of the weekend.

I'm pretty sure the next thing I saw was the Neon Productions piece. A dance choreographed to Fuck Buttons music. This meant I actually got to see a little bit of Fuck Buttons live. The fact that I couldn't get out of work meant I missed them on Saturday, which I was gutted about. That said, the focus was very much on the dance. Although, I'm not sure if it was the way they were performing/choreographed or the music itself, but as the music got more intense, the dancers did aswell. It was a really good dynamic that worked well, whether intentional or not. So yeah, it was good.

Sunshines next, although apparently they changed their name due to a member not being there. Basically it was the Hootie Birthday Roadshow. It was pretty hilarious watching drunk Hootie failing at putting a mic in a mic stand, talking to his mum on the phone, counting a bit too loudly, and flashing a gonad. But in the moments when there was nothing to laugh at and Hootie & Alex were doing their keyboard drones piece, I have to say some of it was actually pretty good. There was a really nice base melody to it. If they decided to commit to it and practise a bit more they could have something real decent on their hands.

Then I went to catch The Schla La Las on the main stage. The end of Hootie ran into the start of Schla's, so I only caught the last 25 minutes or so of their set. I hadn't seen them before, and it's a good job I did coz apparently it's their last gig together and now Hannah won't kill me for never having seen them. It's a shame they've split, they're a really fun band to watch. Catchy poppy rock 'n' roll songs with the best stage banter of the weekend. Admitedly not the kind of thing I'd really dig on record, live they do it well and it's really easy to get into and just enjoy.

What was next? The next thing I remember was going to see The Rock Of Travolta but them starting a bit later than billed so having to leave before they started to go to the Quilting Tent for The Walk Off's acoustic set, then bumping into Mya on the way who told me they'd all gone home, by which time The Barn had become very full indeed and I couldn't be bothered to go back so went to the Trailer Park tent to wait for Jonquil to play.

Me & Michael shouted abuse at Bevan & her out of control children. It was fun.

Jonquil were really good. They've really nailed the whole live performance thing now. It's wicked to see them play their slightly poppy folk songs so well, and as is now customary, everyone who can must sing "Lions" at the tops of their voices, even though half of us don't actually know what the line about the council actually says.

I'm pretty sure Disco Drive were next. If there was someone before them then I obviously either didn't see them, of Disco Drive were just so stupily good that I forgot whoever it was. Disco Drive were possibly the best band I saw all festival. An awesome three piece playing some of that disco-rock that is so in at the moment it would be tedious if they weren't so bloody good at it! When the guitarist isn't playing guitar, he's playing a drumkit (usually having set up a loop on his guitar first). There are two drummers! In a three piece band! They're very rhythm heavy and make me really wish I had fully functioning ankles.

Rolo Tomassi are disturbingly talented for their age. They sound a bit like Blood Brothers. Their fingers move stupidly quickly on the fretboards. They seriously rock hard. It's just a shame that in about 2 or 3 years time they will have probably split up and been forgotten about. Watching them, I can't shake the feeling that they are just gonna crash and burn out in about that timeframe. I hope I'm proven wrong. They really are an awesome live band.

Next thing I remember was being in the main field wondering just how Idlewild are still pulling a crowd considering how dire and dull they've become. Seriously middle of the road stuff. So boring it hurts. Hang on, I remember those notes. That's "When I Argue I See Shapes"! I fucking love that song! That was the first Idlewild song I ever heard back when they were awesome! This'll make having to stand thru this utter gash worth it. Oh my God, he's fucking crooning out those lyrics like a rejected Paul Anka track from the "Rock Swings" album. Rejected for being really rubbish and no fun at all. It sounds awful! STOP FUCKING CROONING! STOP DEFILING YOUR PAST! You may well be total shit now, but that's no reason to sully your good past with this hideousness! God I wish I was in the Trailerpark tent seeing Nervous_Test_Pilot. I caught about half of one of his songs while me & Rob were looking for Rhyannon and I fucking loved it. That's where I want to be, not wathcing yet another band who've totally lost the plot. I kind of hope I am right about Rolo Tomassi now. If they ever turn into this, it'll be fucking horrible.

And that was it. The end of my first Truck Festival. Overall I had a really good time. Bring on next year!

P.S. Can't remember what my P.S. was going to be now.
P.P.S. My next blog will be my 100th! I'm gonna have to work out how to make it special.


han said...

i think your 100th blog should be a scratch 'n sniff special

Le_Gore said...

I think your 100th should have a competition element to win...ummm eerrrr. Either: Hair or a signed transcript of the blog (as the written word is becoming less & less common, what a shame).
Thanks for making me feel a tiny tiny bit like i was there dude. When the first Truck was rained off i now realize i should have been even more annoyed!! cause i fricken missed it forever now.

More of a blog than a comment sorry.

schmemma said...

meh..i too am mad about it being rained off the first time round..i was at stupid work while everyone was having a lovely truck time..bah..[isn't that jonquil line 'the council wasn't there, just answerphones'? i may have that completely wrong, like..]