Monday, September 24, 2007


Port O'Brien
The Wind and The Swell [BUY]

A slow and grey start to Sunday in all sorts of ways. But what ever the weather or state of my head I was determined to enjoy the third and final day of End of the Road - and without becoming maudlin at it all ending. Port O'Brien (who had played the Bimble Inn in the small hours of last night) were first up on the Garden Stage. Can't work out how to describe their music - sort of ramshackle Americana that moves easily from poignant to shouty. The final song, the faster version of I Woke Up Today, encouraged lots of crowd hollering. Just what was needed to clear the head and the skies.

Next over to the Big Top Tent to see Pete and the Pirates. Hearing the single Come Out Feet led me to expect great things. And they did not disappoint - possibly best new band of the Festival? Great mix of new wave and power pop guitar tunes with some outstanding drumming. Any remaining cobwebs truly blown away now.

Pete and the Pirates
Come On Feet 7" [BUY]

Back to the Garden Stage for Euros Childs and three piece band. They had a hesitant start to the set it felt (more bad heads?) but loosened up three songs in. Set included the 15-minute The Miracle Inn with Euros giving clear instructions not to clap right until the end.

Euros Childs
The Miracle Inn [BUY]

Caught the end of Jeffrey Lewis in the Big Top before back to the Garden Stage for yet another band I had never seen live next on The Garden Stage: Herman Dune. I expected ramshackle and sloppy (why?) but the playing was really tight and accomplished, the songs were sweet and harmonious and the vibe was of a band really enjoying themselves. Didn't play Little Wounds sadly but you can't have everything. Missed an opportunity to buy Mas Cambios (hole in the collection there) and get it signed by David in rush to get to next stage.

Herman Dune
Giant [BUY]

Missed the beginning of Malcolm Middleton's set in the Big Top which was a shame because the rest was excellent. Simple set up - Malcolm on acoustic guitar, violinist and bassist - really brings out the best in his songs. Set covered everything from the first album (Loneliest Night of My Night Came Calling) to the latest (Fuck It I Love You, A Brighter Beat) and included a new song (Blue Plastic Bags I think) which was excellent. An acoustic album is due later this year....

Malcolm Middleton
A Brighter Beat [BUY]

Some more hopping about now. Squeezed into the Local to catch 3 songs of The Young Republic's covers set - It's All Over Now Baby Blue, Paperback Writer and ("a song written by a murderer...well not convicted yet") Be My Baby. Then ducked back to the Big Top for Misty's Big Adventure.

I've seen Misty's several times now and they never disappoint. Wherever they are playing they play as though it deserves all their energy and they never look as though they are having anything less than a brilliant time. Is there a happier band in the UK currently? Even selling copies of the new album at the end (not out until 5 November but "because it's our own label we can sell it when we want") but the finger puppets had sold out by the time I got there.

Misty's Big Adventure
Funny Times [PRE-ORDER]
Well after the exuberance of Misty's what were The Broken Family Band going to be like? Perfect was the answer - and this was not just because I was on my second hot and spicy cider from the Somerset Cider Bus. Decking the set with flowers, handing out long stems to the audience and then launching in to a powerful, punchy set that mixed the old (At The Back Of The Chapel) with songs from the new album Hello Love that already sound like classics: Leaps, Dancing on the Fourth Floor, Love Your Man Love Your Woman and Hey Captain (dedicated to Seasick Steve).

It was Jason's birthday so his on stage present (lucky boy) was an elephant mask.

The Broken Family Band
Leaps [BUY]

Left the Big Top feeling deliriously happy. Not maudlin at all. And even the early closure of the Pieminister shop could not dent the mood. From here after a food stop to a packed Bimble Inn for James Yorkston.

Here was another act suffering from a hangover but it didn't show. Well it did in a couple of false starts but when the playing is this good who cares? James on guitar accompanied by Reuben on accordian and Sarah (or Emma?!) on clarinet played a long set but utterly entrancing and moving. Admittedly by now the refreshment of choice had become 12 year old single malt whiskey (from a plastic bottle - no glass allowed on site) but this only added to the mellowness of the experience. Even James taking his shirt off to reveal a Adam and the Ants T-shirt (hey?) couldn't detract from the beauty of it all.

James Yorkston
Roaring The Gospel [BUY]
A few changes to the schedules meant that I then got to see Jens Lekman which was not of the plan. Always dismissed the little of his music I had heard as overly-sentimental and overly-synthesised. But live with a nine piece band this was a revelation. All the songs had the audience bouncing along and a great performance. Fantastic bonus to a great day.

Jens Lekman
Night Falls Over Kortedala [BUY]
All that remained was to top up with some stir fry noodles and then dance the last few hours away in the Big Top tent. Apparently it was Everett True and friends DJ'ing. Whether it was or not got a great mix of 60s Motown, Jonathan Richman, The Undertones and The Sex Pistols to finish the Festival.
Saw close to forty bands over three days. And still DID NOT see Lambchop, Howe Gelb, Seasick Steve, Midlake, Scout Niblett, Viking Moses, Super Furry Animals, Danielson or Charlie Parr.
And final Festival tip from The Archivist: get a shower at 2am. No queues and plenty of hot water.

1 comment:

Lily Livered Heart said...

Thank you, though not before time!