Tuesday, September 03, 2002

MORE-AG ON LEEDS: Another bsn perspective on the Leeds Festival, from Morag this time - no thanks to James Naughtie...
They day started with a panic; I had been told the train strike would not effect Manc-Leeds trains; Today said otherwise and a quick call to the national enquiries revealed only one train to leeds all day! Aaaaargh! In a tizzy I grabbed a cab to the coach station, bought a ticket for a coach only to try and board it and be told it was full up and I shouldn't have been sold a ticket and no I couldn't get a refund because I could hget a later (too late coach) Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh! On the off chance I walked to the train station, only to find a train for Leeds leaving in 3 minutes with no reported problems. So, actually I arrived in Leeds early and for the first time ever got to Avani's house with no Beeston-related mishaps.
Despite the fact we've all lived in leeds for years, and been to temple newsham many times, we still ended up going round in circles and getting lost and missing the mouldy peaches. grrrr.
anyhow, we got there in time for mercury rev who are one of my favourite live bands ever. Its been recoreded before how I believe they were better with david baker and that I never ever play the last two albums because except fotr a few they bore me but still I love them and try never to miss to show. They sounded very symphonic today; I sat in the sunshine smiling and when they played frittering I cried a little, simply because I was thinking about how many times I've heard them play this song and how I've never felt as happy with myself. Goddess sounded good and the dark is rising is spine tremeblingly good (it always takes me back to lying on a floor in brooklyn listening to a holiday tape and wondering what neil young album it was on)
Avani and Cathy went somewhere else but returned to inform me, much to my dismay that they were really really looking forward to seeing the dandy warhols because they are a huge favourite band. eh? I was having none of it; not when peaches was on. I didn't love her as much as I wanted too, largely because it was too early and I was surrounded by pissed up lardy white boys leering at her. I stayed to cheer but then I spotted some people io really really wanted to see and so drifted off towards guided by voices who are a band I never think about but always really really enjoy.
There was a tangible sense of excitement about the white stripes; I'm surprised they weren't on later. They were utterly fantastic and totally sexy.. Oh I want, I want, I want. kind of funny how the monitors never showed them in the same shot but I got close enough to see the real thing sigh They played a fair range of stuff, best version of hotel yorba I've heard and good to see the crowd liked theolder stuff too. There was a mass singalong to I know you and me are gonna be friends and a few groans there was no fell in love with a girl but they made me feel like a giddy teenybopper and that can never be a bad thing. yum, yum, yum. There was a very dangerous crush on the way out, mainly cos all the sheep were off to see the vines. We were headed for the loos instead; now I don't like talking about festival toilets and I expect them to be grim. But I don't expect there to be hardly any and for them to be fenced off and for them to be mixed sex (in practice if not by design) and the crush against the fence really was disturbing and I'm not someone who gets freaked by crowds.
This sort of typified the festival for me; a too big mass of people many of whom bad tempered and ill managed. there was a very uneasy atmosphere; too many people too pissed and with too little to amuse them; there seemed to be an awful lot of arguments and kids being bolshy with each other (and no; I don't think it's cos I'm getting old) There didn't appear to be many stewards around, although to be fair those at the gates were very polite and happy to help and slightly apologetic about the petty bureaucracy (eg Cathy had to go 5 miles up a hill as she had a weekend ticket and couldn't get her wristband from the same place as us; they couldn't sell me a sunday ticket on saturday – although this turned out to be a blessing)
Anyhow I escaped out of the arena to see rory and sarah which was ace and have some beer which was less ace but still very welcome. We talked about lots of stuff and put on some glitter and then I felt bad about missing bands and they had to go do stuff and so it was back into the lions den only this time I wasn't smuggling sandwiches.
I saw a bit of the breeders (ace as ever) and then went to see the reindeer section (ditto) They had Aidan Arab Strap with them and sounded mighty fine, but I wanted a joyous festival singalong experience and so went to see pulp who did not disappoint. They were fantastic. Jarvis had bare feet and was at his god of pop sparkly best. It was pretty much a greatest hits set; I whooped with joy at a wonderful version of babies and I still love the heavier version of common people they do. The I love life stuff is still fabulous and even the slight this is hardcore sounded better than I recall. I'd forgotten just how good e's and whizz is when sung to a crowd; It was proper festival appearance and it made me feel glad to be alive.
Jarvis was on top form; when they played bad cover version he talked about stars in their eyes and how he did rolf in exchange for contacts for the video (that is still my favourite tv moment on the last few years right now) and he took the piss out of people bungee jumping and best of all launched into a tirade against toploader (`you know when there's a song stuck in your head, I've got that shite dancing in the moonlight…..) If I believed in such things I would demand him a knighthood. Sir jarvis of popdom; I love you.
One of the things I love about leeds is bumping into drinking buddies from my past, I love just wandering round being sociable in the sun (and erm rain) and so it was all pretty cool. This is the most time I ever spent by the main stage of any festival. I had wanted to see the polyphonic spree but Avani was worried about the crowds and the dark and wanted me to stay close, so I saw the Strokes. They've improved since last time I saw them but still I reckon they are one trick ponies with rich daddies who got lucky. Last nite rocked my socks tho.
The rather poor line-up and the terrible conditions disuaded me from returning Sunday. It's not a decision I have come to regret although I did have a good day – Jack and Meg and Jarvis saw to that. For all kinds of reasons I'm not surprised there was a mini-riot and for all kinds of other reasons even if there is a leeds next year I won't be going

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