Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Man Who Paints the Rainbows

On the second day God created the wellingtons. I put them on in anticipation of a rainy day and looked forward to some good old puddle-jumping. The weather had been great for most of the first day, but the Saturday was worse. It wasn't difficult to kill time though as there were enough people I knew to keep me talking until 5 pm. We also got a chance to listen to my tape, although we were almost interrupted because Patrik was drunk and needed some Boyracer badly. Lovejoy were first on and Richard arrived punctually an hour before the gig. He said he wasn't very well rehearsed and did a fairly short set. It was great to meet him, and I should probably say 'hi' because it seems he has been reading this blog. I'd seen him once before three years ago, but back then I didn't have the confidence to talk to strangers, even if I happened to love the music they made. I got to take some pictures from the stage while Richard did a very casual soundcheck. From this one you can probably guess the cover he opened with, if your myopia isn't getting too bad.

The best thing was probably a medley of "Radio" and "I Dream of Angels". And it made me very happy to hear "The Beat Hotel" as the last song. Lovejoy was probably the biggest attraction for me that day, because I still wasn't counting on TVPs. I hadn't seen Dan since yesterday and it wouldn't have surprised me if he'd gotten lost in the woods or if he hadn't survived the night. The next band to play were My Darling You!, whom I have also seen before and that gig didn't exactly leave me craving for more. I think it's something about the way the guy sings... It's simply too Gothenburg. I would have loved to see The Dreamers play at Rip It Up, but I had to settle for Action Biker. I don't think Sarah has done any gigs as Action Biker for a while and most of the songs were new to me. Sounded great though! The Dreamers' album should be out on Friendly Noise sometime this year.

Sarah also sang a bit with the next band, Kissing Mirrors, who were probably the biggest surprise to me. I'd only heard their old ep, but they were really good live. Kissing Mirrors grew out of the Unreal Scarlet's Well that played at Mitt Sista Liv. Bid came over alone and had various Swedish musicians as his backing band. At that time Scarlet's Well didn't have a fixed line-up anyway. Kissing Mirrors have many different vocalists and at Rip It Up Hanna Fahl, Sarah Nyberg-Pergament, Mikael from The Honeydrips and the guy from Nicolas Makelberge took turns. Another band that I know many had been looking forward to was of course Cats On Fire. With a debut album that makes most of the competition look pale and an increasing international buzz speaking for them, things have never looked better for the Finnish quartet. It showed that they're getting confident and the gig at Rip It Up was among the best I've seen them do. My friends Kajsa played the organ as well, and it sounded great. It was smiles all around as they did an excellent version of "My Friend In a Comfortable Chair" for the encore. Now all they have to do is prove that they can follow up! Everyday Mistakes played after them and in that light they weren't very interesting. I saw them years ago at Mitt Sista Liv, when they sounded very different and I hazily remember that as being better. Dickon Edwards had been walkling around festival area as well that day, wearing a suit as usual and thickly applied make up. I spoke to him a bit after the Lovejoy gig as we're playing with Fosca in London on August 1st. I had to say hello, I figured. Some of my friends sensed an unforgettable moment as Dick and Dickon went to get some food at the small kiosk, and brought out their cameras. "Dick och Dickon köper korv" is a headline that sounds great in Swedish, but it just doesn't work translated so I won't bother. The Fosca gig was great actually, much more of a rock-out than I'd expected. Plus Dickon was left-handed so might be able to borrow his guitar in London! They played some new songs, like "I've Agreed to Something I Should Have", and some old, like "The Millionaire of Your Own Hair" and "The Agony Without the Ecstacy".

The last act were Television Personalities and I think they pulled the biggest crowd of all the bands, which only makes sense. But what doesn't make sense is that it was obvious everyone wasn't there. Did some people think "hmmm... am I going to see TVPs, or am I just going to stay here in my tent and drink some more?", or what?. It's possible not everyone knew who they were, but come on! The might never play in this country again. Because they did play - kind of. Everyone was standing in front of the stage, waiting, wondering if it was actually going to happen. Then suddenly they came in - Dan, a drummer, a bassist and a backing vocalist in a pretty dress. Patrik (Ring Snuten!) lent him his guitar and the sound guy had help him to get it on. After much shouting, from the audience and from Daniel, they started playing a song. Then the guitar went quiet. Dan was too drunk to understand what was happening - he'd probably been drinking all day, and he asked for at least two beers during the time the gig lasted. He had hit the mic switch on the guitar, and I don't know if maybe one of the mics didn't work but there sure wasn't any sound. Eventually he understood and flipped the switch back. Then he started playing again, and hit the switch again. So it went on and on throughout the gig. I don't think they finished one song properly. He tried to play all the hits though, as far as his memory allowed. It was a lot of "Alright, I'll fucking play Smashing Time! I fucking wrote that, you know!" and the like. He didn't seem able to deal with the audience very well and interchanged between shouting "fuck off!" and smiling happily at the outstretched hands. God knows most of them were probably as drunk as he was. You had to admire the backing band though, who were very patient and really tried. But it just wasn't possible, Dan was simply too drunk. I left before they stopped because it felt like this could go on forever. It was a very sad affair the whole thing. I went to get some sleep and luckily woke up just in time to get the ONLY bus into town before my train was leaving. Apparently there were many who just had to get on that bus to be in time for the train. The desperation was increasing as the bus queue grew and grew and the rain kept pouring. It turned out everyone got on ok, thank god. Hopefully it was all successful enough for the arrangers to try it again next year. I would go, at least!


brogues said...

Hey Kris,

The TVPs' performance sounds pretty similar to their Triptych shows of 2005 when Dan was so out of it that he couldn't remember the words to his 'hits' and when they to play 'Baby Honey' as a tribute to The Pastels (who had arranged the show) he could only remember 2 words ... guess which ones! The goodwill in the room evaporated pretty quickly and the hall was pretty empty by the end. On a similarly sad note ... I just got the 'Are We Nearly There Yet?' cd on Overground and it's easily one of the worst records I own. I doubt it'll grow on me, either...


Anonymous said...

Hey Chris

Is this you wearing the green jacket in the Cats On Fire crowd?


Bet it is!


The Rain Fell Down said...

hey basil!
can't watch anything on youtube at the moment because my connection's too slow - but i was wearing a green jacket so it should be me :)
when is it you're playing with them?