Monday, August 20, 2007

v festival 07: sunday

In the Sunday morning drizzle we pack up the tent, because even the Foos can’t redeem a festival this poorly organised, with so little regard for anyone attending it. Despite the fact that all of my festival family expressed a heartfelt desire to jack the whole thing in and leave yesterday, everyone has agreed to let me watch Iggy and the Stooges before we go home. I feel very loved.

Rodrigo y Gabriela warm up the crowd in the rain with nifty cameras slapped on their guitars and beamed onto the screens to showcase the exent of their talent. Pixelboy spends most of the set catching flies. Highly impressive, virtuoso stuff, and despite the fact it’s drizzling and barely past midday, they finish to a huge, happy crowd.

If you were a young teen in the mid ‘90s, then it’s likely you either received or made some young crush a mix-tape featuring The Goo Goo Dolls. The three years between minifig and I open like the great division they were when we first met, as he heads off to watch Seth Lakeman, while I stop with my little sister and her boyfriend to watch an embarrassingly old Johnny Rzeznik try to pull off emo for grown-ups. Although it’s cute to hear Black Balloon and Slide, as Pixelboy puts it, you can just imagine them soundtracking a scene in Dawson’s Creek. I leave them with the stark realisation that Iris was actually never that great a song. Who’da thought such things were possible?

Captain play as we drink beer and are followed by The Cribs, fronted by a man who appears to be far too familiar with the sunbed and St Tropez. Despite all their rock ‘n’ roll posturing, The Cribs also reveal themselves to be rubbish at both crowd-surfing and smashing up their equipment. Rumbled. And thus another dull indie band sinks without a trace.

Joined by numerous guest singers (but no Lily Allen, lazy moo), Mark Ronson, celebrity producer extraordinaire, and his multi-talented band entertain a smiley, tipsy crowd. To my mind, as good as Ronson is at his job, live, he's just the guitarist in a glorified covers band. Still, a surprise rendition of Phantom Planet’s California (theme tune from The OC for those of you too busy/clever/old/sensible to watch such utterly genius tosh) is greeted with a mass sing-a-long and some very adventurous crowd-surfing (walking on hands, no less) by an over-zealous fan. As much as I enjoy it, I can’t help but think I’m getting far too old for such things.

Rilo Kiley give such a disappointingly, and atypically lacklustre performance I would be very surprised if they attracted any new fans. Willy Mason, avec band, are rousing. James, with a new, bald, kilted Tim Booth sound great from the interminably long portaloo queue as minifig and I take the two vocal parts of Out to Get You. Looking back, I imagine we’re quite annoying to look at. En route to another stage, it appears that the entire world is watching Lily Allen being obnoxious.

While waiting for Iggy and the Stooges, minifig gets into a conversation with a man who has brought a disturbing portable urinating device which he uses, very publicly, much to the distress of everyone in the general vicinity. I take a detailed mental picture of his face so I can avoid him before leaping into the impossibly tiny crowd of older men that have gathered for Iggy and the Stooges. With the sound turned up all the way to 11, Iggy flings himself around the tiny stage like a man-possessed, humping the amplifiers, scaling the lighting tower and baring his backside and aged penis to anybody who cares to look. Marvellous. Throwing himself into the crowd with abandon, he sprays us with bottled water which is provided by a devoted woman poised at the side of the stage like a ball girl at Wimbledon. When I emerge to my waiting family, my sister’s face is a picture of shock and delight. I bound back to the car screaming I Wanna Be Your Dog, and as we speed back to London in a steam-filled car, we simply shrug at missing The Killers.

Pleased to be going home we make a promise to each other never to return, waving goodbye and good riddance from the car window.


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