Wednesday, September 01, 2004

ITV GOES TO THE FESTIVALS: After the BBC's great job at Glasto and T, and Channel 4's decent-if-doomed attempt to turn V into TV, ITV had their chance to show what they could do with the Reading Festival. Eschewing live or on-the-day coverage, they made the odd choice to put the highlights package out for an hour at eight o'clock in the middle of the week - Charles Allen is apparently saying that ITV need more channels, and if we believed that this was the only slot they could find for the programme (on ITV2, mind), we'd agree - although, to be honest, that they couldn't make time for this before amidst the Hells Kitchen re-workings and other junk of the last couple of days beggars belief. Admittedly, the presenters (Matt Brown and Sarah Cawood) weren't as bad as they could have been - this is ITV2, so Kate Thornton and Michael Greco would have been a real possibility; or Jonathan Wilkes and Kerry McFadden. But Matt Brown has got no screen presence at all, and it must be disheartening for him to be passed from project to project like an especially inept work experience boy nobody wants to find themselves lumbered with. And lovely though Cawood is, she doesn't actually seem to have a day job of any sort.

The programme did itself no favours by mixing its order up - so we get matt and sare doing an intro in broad daylight, before cutting to The Darkness in, well, the darkness - yes, we're starting with the headliners. There's a clip of the Jurassic Five, proving that the rubbish about 50 Cent's bottling off being down to an intolerance for "urban" music was baseless - he was bottled off as a judgement on his performance, not his genre. Brian Molko is interviewed for a short while by Cawood (who is unable to talk at this point due to a wonky throat); the interview lasts so long they could have had another track from the band. Incidently, what's with Molko's hair? Two long bits hang down at the side, so that when the wind blows he has an evil uncle's moustache, and at the top there's a strangely thick patch cut in what would be a short back and sides peeking out from longer hair. It looks like a cultivated lawn in the middle of a meadow.

A couple of weeks ago, we might have snorted at the NME getting Razorlight to take their clothes off. Having watched Johnny clearly getting excited at getting half naked in front of a large crowd, we realise we were wrong on that one. More naked Razorlight writhing, please.

But in an hour - or, really, forty minutes by the time you cut out the pointless interviews, the ads, and the thirty seconds of the Dropkick Murphys (why?) - how are you going to throw a girdle round a three day festival? It's just not possible. Maybe ITV has plans to use more of this material in the middle of the night sometime (ooh, and there's another forty-odd minutes tomorrow night, too) but even so: you wonder why they bothered to buy the rights if this is all they can think to do with the footage. Thank god they stay away from the Olympics nowadays.


3 comments:

Joe said...

I have to take issue with the 50 Cent / Jurassic 5 comment: it's a bit ridiculous not to recognise that these two are barely even in the same genre. J5 peddle a kind of hip hop that is explicitly retro and unthreatening - it's a wonder they haven't turned up on the soundtrack to a KFC advert yet - and as such, they've always been welcomed by the kind of people who don't listen to any other hip hop or r&b...

Jack said...

Have to disagree, Joe - you're an experienced hip hop fan with highly developed critical faculties, so to you 'hip hop' is a broad church/genre. To me for example, as probably a good representation of the older element of the Reading audience, there ain't a great deal of difference except in tone - J5 sound 'relaxed', 50 sounds 'tense' (maaaaaaan).

Now, if you want to compare that to (for example) the differences between Van Halen and Bon Jovi, or Black Flag and The Dead Kennedys, I'm all over THAT...

Anonymous said...

Maybe I could mediate in a Solomon-like way? I do hear a big difference between J5 and 50 Cent, but would still have lobbed stuff at him if I'd been there. I like the thought of a man who has women being led around on leads and wants to glamorise sex slavery having to dodge my warm piss. It's not a racist thing. I'd do the same for Maroon 5, just because I don't like their faces.

-- Alan Connor

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