Stand up Salena Godden, Rachel Rayner, Claire Nicholson, Max Doray, Savo, Sean Dylan, Rich Lacey and the incomparable Kate Tempest. Stand up tall Book Club Boutique. We just got back from Electric Picnic, Ireland’s Glastonbury and bugger me thrice, it was amazing. We had hospitable hosts, a rocking set and enough Jamesons to floor a herd of roughneck elephants. It’s always amazing to see how musicians speak in notes and rhythms and as Sean and Savo had never played with the Book Club Boutique band, we were in for a treat.
After a train to a train to a ferry to a taxi mounting up the Euros, we were in the
Dublin suburbs, crowded into a busy hotel, crawling with hurling fans of the Kilkenny team and the biggest rockstars known to man. Headlining the lit area had its advantages. Stand up Brian Wilson, stand up Chris Cunningham, stand up bearded man crawling back to your tourbus… is it a Fleet Fox? Oh wait it’s musical hero, Jeffrey Lewis. He was very amiable and sweet despite his hurry and even promised to listen to my CD, though I doubt it. Totally worth it.
Moments of the Festival:
The XX – sheer spine-tinglingly intense music, throbbing and pulsing with malevolence and anger and emotion. A spectacularly dark stage and some flashing lasers made for some aggressive and brooding music.
Meeting James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem. He was super-duper nice.
Watching the triumphant Flaming Lips show from the side of the stage, dancing with yetis, pumping my fists in jubilation to the ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah Song’ and swooning to ‘Fight Test’, watching a crowd of fans reduced to tears from Wayne Coyne’s POV. Powerful stuff.
Meeting Passion Pit and them being nerdy pleasant and funny guys, hilariously deconstructing the many tattoos of David Cross, the bassist sounding like Jerry Seinfeld, the internal machinations of the music industry and which member of Vampire Weekend is the nicest. Then just as Passion Pit were leaving our hotel room, Amadou and Mariam’s guitarist coming in and teaching me Malian scales, and various members of Ebony Bones.
The Wailers’ hospitality and beer and coming to see our show, as well as the blonde Fleet Fox.
Berkavitch’s hilarious money-making scheme involving collecting the plastic beer cups from the debris and claiming their 3 euros each, building up to 300 euros.
Kate Tempest’s incredible freestyles.
The shuttlebus back to the hotel where the Whitest Boy Alive grabbed my guitar and decided to serenade us with cover versions of Paul Simon, Abba, and Prince. Afterwards he gave me a drunken cuddle that lasted a little too long. I told him it was getting cheesy and he asked me to top the cheesy emotional drunk hug. ‘Thanks for the music man,’ I replied and we fell on the floor laughing.
Fleet Foxes being surly to me about the newspaper and then being superflirty with Rachel Rayner when she offered it to them.
Our sets. Our sets. Our sets. They were magic, chaotic, tight, spontaneous, fun, and funny, we had a huge tent of people dancing to Salena’s wailing stomping ‘Make Light’ by the end, screaming and pogoing and by the second night running over by an hour, completely intuitively pushing the audience higher and us higher and jumping harder and screaming and pushing through. It was a beautiful musical experience. I can never camp conventionally now I’ve experienced a hotel room option and thanks Ireland for the hospitality and the Jamesons and Book Club Boutique for an awesome weekend…