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I'll try and keep this short, but there were a LOT of highlights. I met The Understudies at Alfreton Station and shared a taxi to the Travelodge with them, where I INSTANTLY thought "Aah, staying in a hotel is a GRATE idea!" I tried to get to the site in time for Rocky Nest and thought I'd MANAGED it... except my train went tootling happily past Swanwick Junction to go to the other end of the tracks and come back again. It was a lovely voyage, but a shame to miss them!
I was due on the Merchandinsing Table at 3pm - it was the first shift so I was expecting it to be quiet, but we got MOBBED. HUNDREDS of pounds of CA$H were thrust at us, especially by a Spanish Contingent who bought EVERYTHING. I staggered away at the end of it EXHAUSTED!
I then, however, went on to miss pretty much EVERY OTHER BAND, instead spending the day hugging people. This happened a LOT! The GRATEST thing about indietracks is that nearly EVERYBODY i know from ROCK is there waiting to be pounced upon, it was absolutely LOVELY. On many occasions I'd nip to the tram shed to get a beer before a band started, would meet two or three different bunches of people on the way, some more at the bar, then stop and chat to a couple MORE on the way out, realise I'd finished my pint while doing so and then turn round and do it all over again!
The only band i DID manage to see on Saturday were Camera Obscura, who were FAB, and then I heard La Casa Azul from the CAR BAR with Team Sheffield. Then there was meant to be some DANCING but, again, I ended up talking to various people before it was time to be DRAGGED onto the train and head home.
I woke up next morning with a SPLITTING headache - I'd been drinking the CASK ALES all day which was very nice but DID give me a proper Beer Festival Hangover. I was thus RELIEVED that The Understudies were on in the Church, as it meant I could have a bit of a sit down.
I then staggered about a bit feeling AWFUL, whilst worrying about my gig - I was playing on the train, and was wobbling between worrying about nobody coming (The School were on the main stage!) and it being FULL. Astoundingly it was VERY MUCH the latter, there was actual REAL LIFE PANIC on the Platform as it looked like not everyone would get in - i had to fight my OWN way in, and spent the next 45 minutes with the audience MERE INCHES from my sweating face.
It was BLOODY GRATE tho - Mr J Walsh held my setlist for me whilst BOOTLEGGING the gig, and there was MUCH singing along. I was amazed to see that I didn't actually KNOW huge sections of the audience - there were all these NEW people there, i hope they hadn't got on expecting the Manhattan Love Suicides or anything!
It was VERY VERY VERY VERY HOT INDEED throughout the journey, including a lengthy stop STALLED in a field, but nobody seemed to mind too much and I think it actually SWEATED OUT most of my hangover. Here's what i played:
The Gay Train
Hey Hey 16K
The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
Billy Jones Is Dead
(theme from) Dinosaur Planet
Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
Do The Indie Kid
The Lesson Of The Smiths
I Did A Gig In New York
Boom Shake The Room
It was DELIGHTFUL, and I got off the train VERY happy and VERY sweaty!
The rest of the day DID involve me managing to see bands - half each of Lucky Soul and Smittens (both GRATE), Pocketbooks being IMMENSE and LOVED, the end of BMX Bandits, but NOT The Pete Green Corporate Juggernaut. There was a HUGE queue of people trying to get into the church to see them, in the RAIN! It was ASTOUNDING, and my disappointment at not getting in was tempered somewhat by knowing SO many people wanted to see them.
And then it was time for Art Brut, who didn't just do the best gig of the weekend but also one of the BEST GIGS i have EVER seen. They were INCREDIBLE! It was like someone had dropped a STADIUM ROCK BAND into the middle of it all - they commenced the set at SUPERSONIC SPEED and just kept going, and everyone LOVED them. At one point Eddie walked into the crowd to do "DC Comics Makes Me Want To Rock Out" (not a typing error, re-written song!) and everyone just went MENTAL. The whole tram shed was POGO-ING!
It would have been my favourite gig ANYWAY, but then there was... well, something so DERANGEDLY ODD that I find it hard to think about too much, but basically Mr Argos dedicated "Slapdash For No Cash" to ME and went on about wanting to get here in time for the train gig. AT SOME LENGTH. I'd like to pretend I was embarrassed, but i LOVED it! HOORAH!
Then it was HO! for the main stage (featuring many people shouting "MJ Hibbett! Top Of The Pops!" at me: again, a better person than I would be modestly embarrassed, I however COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE PLEASED!) to see Teenage Fanclub, who seemed a little TAME after the ROCK HISTRIONICS of Art Brut. But then, so would anybody, and once that thought had been turned down they were just brilliant, the perfect way to end the festival. And the new stuff sounded GRATE too!
All that was left to do was to stagger round doing some more chatting before it was time for the train again and home. It was an utterly utterly FANTASTIC weekend!
posted 27/7/2009 by MJ Hibbett
We enjoyed it too! Singing along to your songs in the train and playing our choo choo whsitles was one of out highlights!
posted 30/7/2009 by Fabric Nation
Oh Mark, I finally got round to reading this and it's proper ace. I'm welling up. I'm also laughing at the memory of seeing you getting off that train looking like you'd been cooked in a dutch oven and LOVED it.
Lovely to hug you all weekend. Let's do it again.
posted 31/7/2009 by Marianthi
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