THURSDAY. I see good bands.
Another fine PHILCO FICTION jam. I must say, even as a two piece they are effortlessly miles ahead of the competition. My feet feel like someone was beating them well with a baseball bat while I slept, so I make a decision to go to one place and hang all afternoon. Luckily Pitchfork have laid on a brilliant line-up. I see a note of DANNY BROWN and like it. Next up is THE WAR ON DRUGS. I was not taken with their record but live they are perfect; like a stoner Springsteen they keep the pace up and deliver tune after tune after tune. Must go back to that album. Next we skank a a little to PEAKING LIGHTS’ infinidub in a stupidly packed sideroom. Perfect.
Then outside into the sun, we meet up with Philco for SBTRKT. They queued for over an hour to get in. True Love for SBTRKT. Again, wasn’t mad about the record but this is amazing. Some propulsive drumming and maximum vibes make this a highlight. Inside, a teeny look at TRASH TALK’s heaving crowd is enough and so on to the acid scratching of CLOUD NOTHING’s abrasive but tuneful set.
Then back into the sun, for EL-P. Actually El-Motherfucking-P. He delivers in spades. New jamz and classics from Company Flow and Fantastic Damage cause me to go extremely fanboy and technically, technically….I was rapping. Ahem. Goddam. Guest spots from KILLER MIKE and MR MF EXQUIRE and SBTRKT. Absolutely brilliant. Nice to see some brains behind the mike. And the first, and ONLY mention of politics onstage that I recall all week. Except from ANR, who always give you some salt with the sugar.
I eat a burrito. It tastes of nothing. I realise I have had no free beet yet and have spent a fortune. Time to swing the balance my way.
We head down to the river for cake. And then Ruben points out that THE SHINS are playing a massive outdoor free show across on the other bank. Amazing. I love the Shins. The sound is a bit shit and they are playing in a hurricane which washes most of the sound away. Annoying.
We then head off to catch someone across town, who fails to impress.
BUT THEN, we head over to THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN. Sheer indulgence. A massive massive queue outside but we are on the guest list. A career spanning set, with the band on form. John Moore and Phil King helping the Reids deliver what is one of the loudest shows I have ever been to. They are like a fucking hurricane and that is definitely not calm in their eyes. This is easily the loudest outdoor show ever. In a tiny courtyard with a festival PA. The final Candy Talking, Taste Of Cindy, Never Understand delivers wave after wave of ear-shredding feedback that drives the less battle-hardened elements of the crowd out with their fingers wedged into their ears. Take that, other bands. We have a little driks party with the band and all of sudden it is 5am.
No cabs. At all. A drunk cowboy eventually gives us a ride in his pick up. I decline his offer to travel in the cage he has in the back. We are not killed. People are nice.