Careless Memories

21Jul09

To be honest I’ve never been much of fan of music festivals, I admit that in the main it’s because I agree with a certain Mr Sartre in so much that “Hell is other people”, particularly crowds of people. In fact the last time I attended a music festival was Reading in 1991 (alarmingly eighteen years ago now) where I saw Babes In Toyland, Silverfish, Nirvana, Chapterhouse, Dinasour JnrPop Will Eat Itself, Sonic Youth and Iggy Pop – you can tell how much I enjoyed my time there in that I left in the middle of Iggy Pop’s set and didn’t return for the Saturday or Sunday (although having travelled back through the time tunnel to check details of the line up for those two days my departure may well have been a remarkably wise one).

However with all that taken into account I did try to give Lovebox an even chance although given that we (and I use the term loosely) were there to see Duran Duran it was always going to be a very very long shot.

So arriving early afternoon after a long walk from our temporary lodgings (albeit a long walk improved by the fact we were staying close to Erno Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower (a precusor to the more famous Trellick Tower) – although idiot that I am forgot about Robin Hood Gardens round the corner (just hope it’s still there next time I’m down)) we successfully negotiated our way past the sniffer dogs at the entrance (are there always this number of police at festivals now ?) and proceeded to wander aimlessly for the next six, seven maybe eight hours catching a variety of bits and bobs including : Monosteryo – OKish Hot Chip laptronica, Temper Trap – boring antipodean pop rock, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – who were an early highlight (always nice to see a sousaphone in action), Mr Hudson – hugely dull main stage fodder, Au Revoir Simone – three keyboards, three young ladies, pleasant enough, Gang of Four – who were far too shouty and as such a huge disappointment (and for someone unknown reason obsessed with their microphone stands), some Zimbabwean (?) band rocking up in the Cake & Ale tent, N*E*R*D – diverting but perhaps not of any great appeal to the feminists in the house,  Friendly Fires – competent and tuneful, and finally Duran Duran – fronted by a man wearing a selection of bad hats.

I would perhaps look upon the day more favourably had we not (due to engineering works on various Underground lines) had to walk back to our hotel after the day had finished – for an hour and a half through a dark and disturbingly desolate East London with no map. Thankfully our room was lovely and cool and beautifully quiet given that it over looked the East India Dock Road – sarcasm eh ? The lowest form of wit.

So we were both of us weary travellers the next morning and after a late departure we decided on a Sunday morning stroll and a coffee at Thames Barrier Gardens – a wonderful (and surprising) little haven tucked away next to the rather grand Thames Barrier – highly recommended if you’re in the area. Would love to have spent longer having a nose around and about but home beckoned and hey that’s where the heart is eh ?



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