Our good friends Claire and Guy got us a pair of tickets for this as a 50th birthday present for Lee. We used the excuse to get away on our own on the Saturday night (the first time we’ve been away just on our own without kids or friends or family sine we got married 13 years ago!) then headed to London for this on the Sunday. Lee hadn’t seen Nick Cave before so was most excited…
It was a gloriously sunny day – perfect for mooching around, catching bands on the 3 stages, bumping into friends (even our neighbours were there). I made a point of telling everyone who’s T-Shirt I liked, that I liked it – a guy with a “Blinders” one on, was from Donny and said he’d taught one of them guitar….a guy with a “Bob” T-Shirt knew one of the band….
Bo Ningen rocked out the mainstage with a high energy set that made me want to see them in a small venue – they’d be wild! Their throbbing finale was fantastic with lead singer/bassist leaping off his amp….ace!
Nadine Shah was the first act to officially pull out of the Great Exhibition of the North (beating Commoners Choir by minutes) when she found out BAE Systems were one of the sponsors. BAE systems pulled out soon after due to the bad publicity and both acts are back playing the festival later this month…..Title track of her new LP ‘Holiday Destination’ talks about the lives of locals there and has the line “How you gonna sleep tonight”
I loved Courtney Barnetts first couple of EPs and LP – haven’t got into the new one yet so it was the older tunes that got me going in her set – lovely loud thrashy guitar – what’s not to love?
Had a very quick look at the Furs but they didn’t grab me and anyway – had to get to…
Brix Smith and the Extricated played the small outdoor stage and were great – SOOOOOO good to hear Steve Hanley’s bass playing again – he can make anything sound good. Brix was lead out with a blindfold on and went on to give a passionate performance “That one was about Hollywood, this one’s about Blow Jobs”. They played mainly a set of their own stuff with a couple of Fall covers thrown in (Dead Beat Descendant and Totally Wired) – loved it!
I’m not sure how old Patti Smith is (over 70 I believe) but she puts in a performance that would be impressive at any age – full of passion and fire with a message to get out there and be the change and not take any shit from those in power……Her band are fantastic too! The ‘Horses/Gloria’ finale brought the house down.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were on terrific form with Cave commanding the crowd right from the off. He’s such a compelling prescence that you sometimes (fantastic as they are) forget that there’s a band behind him – he owns the stage – screaming blue murder one minute and the next you can hear a pin drop. He stalks the stage like a caged animal with outstretched hands trying to touch him whenever he stepped out onto the extended stage. During ‘Deanna’ he disapeared into the crowd….the band kept playing…and playing…still no show….eventually he freed himself from the crowd “Well, that was intense!”. It was ironic that the biggest cheer of the night was when he introduce Kylie Minogue to the stage….you could hardly hear her as the crowd sang along. Other unlikely singalongs were ‘Into my arms’ (couples hugging and cry all around us) and ‘Push the sky away’
It’s hard to pick highlights – the hour and a half set seemed to last about 10 minutes to me. They covered all bases starting with Jesus Alone from ‘Skeleton Tree’ to the title track of ‘From her to Eternity’. He got a lot of punters up on stage at the end commanding them to sit down and they did (apart from one guy who tried to get a selfie – he nonchalantly knocked the phone from the guys hand with a gesture of contempt to huge cheers!).
A great act – a great day – Thanks G+C xx
Bob the Chiropodist