Sunday, April 06, 2008

Though I've never been there I know it's always greener

I've put up a set of photos from V festival 2008 in Flickr. I haven't managed to find a new angle for festival/gig photography yet. Shots of the big screens are still keeping me amused.
Air at V Festival

We spent a shorter day at the festival this year. We arrived about 3ish and the whole thing was over earlier this year, all done by about 10pm.

When we arrived, Cut Copy had a huge crowd (huge considering the early hour) bouncing wildly. They sounded pretty good but we went wandering. We ended up mostly seeing halves of various sets.

First I sought out Modest Mouse because of the allure of Johnny Marr - but they were disappointing. So we quit early and moved on to Roisin Murphy, who sang that huge hit for Moloko 'Bring it back'. None of her solo work is quite as catchy but she has a great voice and I enjoyed it, including her crazy hat - a cross between a formal hat and a Devo flowerpot.
Then there was The Jesus and Mary Chain - great music, although not particularly animated musicians. Yes they used to be famous for some kind of mayhem though, it appears, from the fans as much as the band. I know it's kind of the wrong way around but I was just staring at the screen thinking it's Christian Slater! The sunnies, the hairline?

I was keen to see Air, and we tried them for a while. But the crowd was just wrong. I couldn't get into the music for all the loud talking of the people around us. It didn't help that it started raining lightly. Apparently they were doing a show at the Opera House, and I think that would have been a much better way to enjoy this kind of atmospheric and sometimes quiet music.
QOTSA at V Festival
Queens of the Stone Age was the main act of the day for K, and this was the only full set we saw. Once again the festival crowd made things less than ideal, and strangely the sound was not turned up nearly as loud as it had been for JMC and others on the same stage. With this kind of band you DON'T expect people talking near you to be a problem! Regardless, I really enjoyed the set, and now I think I would go and see them if they tour again.

We arrived at Duran Duran's show halfway through and struggled through the unfamiliar mid-section of the set until they returned to the greatest hits catalogue. I don't know if it is just his stage persona but Simon Le Bon is pure ego. Kind of fantastic, and repulsive at the same time. As a lead-in to playing Girls on film he did this whole bit about having met with the 'Chief of Police' before they came out that night and ascertained that it 'if any girls wanted to take their tops off, that would be ok'. Sigh. And with one camera trained on the crowd, a few pairs did bounce onto the screen throughout the rest of the show. Also during Girls on film, Simon introduced band members one-by-one in suitably over-the-top fashion. Finally, with finger to his lips he shushed the crowd, paused, and yelled at the top of his voice, 'What's my name?!!!'. Like I said, pure ego.

Finally we wandered off to catch a bit of the Smashing Pumpkins. I did love the long skirt that Billy Corgan was wearing. They played the Star-Spangled Banner which seemed a bit misguided while touring Australia. It might have made sense if it then morphed into Waltzing Matilda, but no dice. After that we heard only the end of the Presets last song, and it was time to go. Overall we felt a bit flat about it after the huge highlight of last year. I'm happy though, to have seen bands like Duran Duran and the Jesus and Mary Chain. And of course QOTSA.

Edited to add: I found a couple of pics showing Billy Corgan's long, tiered, metallic skirt. Though it didn't look as shiny as that from where I was sitting.


Donna Lee said...

Music festivals can be wonderful or annoying depending on the crowd. I never understand why people can't just stop talking when the music is playing. And I wonder how drunk/high one has to be to want to see your own breasts bobbing on the big screen?

Bells said...

those big screen shots are fantastic. Kind of surreal.

Billy Corgan in a skirt sounds so funny!

Festivals really are a mixed bag aren't they? So many factors to consider.

kms said...

...ooooh QOTSA....drool.....

Jejune said...

Queens of the Stone Age was playing live in Australia??! Why did I not know! They are my FAVOURITE band. I play them while driving. And working. And ... well, all the time ;)