by Aaron McCann
“I jus wanna FUCK SOMETHIN!!!….. I’M SOOO LOOOONELY!!!!!” Yep it’s 12am in the morning and this is what we hear as myself and Chris Callan try to set up a tent in the dark, sober… Not like myself and Mat de Koning attempting to do the exact same the year before… not so sober. But the strange yelps and cries for sexual gratification from the children, most likely on acid, a few tents away, made me chuckle. So how did we end up here? Lets go back shall we? Yes, the question is redundant, we’re going back… I’m telling you, not asking you.
I get a text from John Macliver at 9:27am “Yo make it 10:30 at the office” (we were meant to meet at 10am. I didn’t wake up ’cause of that CRAZY iPHONE BUG that stopped your alarms going off and made the weather unbearable.
10:40 I rock up at the office and we take off for the long, long, long drive to Busselton to shoot SOUTHBOUND 2011 I’m exited about this one because I really want to see The National, Joan Jett and Sleigh Bells. That’s it. That’s ALL I wanted to see. “But what about this person, and that band and this band?” Who gives a fuck! I’ve been to enough fucking festivals where I can be content with seeing who I want to see and not have you fucking lecture me about how good this band was or is or will be. 3 Bands. Done.
We arrive and it’s HOT! I mean the kinda hot that makes you go “How am I sweaty there?” Hot. Lugging camera gear from cars to trolleys, trolleys to gates, gates to camping ground, ground to media tent and then to back stage and back again… Pain in the ass. We Have VIP/Press access… Still a pain, But 3 bands. 2 on the 1st night. Not complaining. First up is an interview with Tijuana Cartel. I can’t hear anything and am just focused on the shot and getting a cold drink (Even if I shoot the interview, in situations like this I really only “SEE” the interview for the first time when I edit it… Strange? Maybe…. Too HOT don’t care)
SECURITY: “You can’t come through here without a AAA”
US: “We’re standing in the AAA section… we want to go to General Admission”*
*This conversation happened over and over, again and again. We gave up by day two and mastered horrid looks to express our distaste for them not being able to remember our faces, and more interested in the half torn pages of a porn mag they left discarded in the staff toilets like many actual condoms found in the regular toilets.
So then we packed up our equipment for the first day and I went off to see The National. I primed myself right up front so I could get a great view and be in the crowd and experience Frontman; Matt Beringer’s amazing vocals in awe… What I wasn’t expecting however was when they started off with “Mistaken For Strangers” from their acclaimed 2nd Album Boxer (one of my favourite tracks) some fucking retarded, vocally inept walking failed abortion starts singing every line from the top of his lungs, right behind my ear. Not just a Chorus (that I could handle) NO! Everything word for word (he fucked up a lot of the words… and the key it’s meant to be sung in, the general pace… FUCK!
I CAME HERE TO LISTEN TO THE NATIONAL…. NOT A NATIONAL FUCK-TARD!
So I left for the back of the pit. More room, but not up close. Still great, still amazing. (Got told off for smoking… fucking hell… why not rape me while i’m here!) So when, for their final song “Terrible Love” from High Violet, kicks in and Beringer launched himself into the crowd, to about the point I was originally standing, where fuck-diddly-umptious was still singing every word, was I angry? Kinda. But that that stage I had had my festival highlight and could go home in peace.
Two more drinks. Not drunk yet. Off to Joan Jett.
The crowd was slim, mainly cause it was full of girls who just saw the movie “The Runaways” and now think they know everything about their music. More about stupid people like this in
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts played. They were good, not great. They played “I Love Rock & Roll”, “Crimson & Clover”, “I Hate Myself for Loving You” and older Runaway’s tracks like “Cherry-Bomb”… But I think by that time of the night I was tired and it had dawned on me.
We hadn’t set up a tent yet and were just hoping to crash somewhere in Busselton.
CUT TO: Where we began. It’s late, we’re tired and we’re setting up a tent and some random drunk is still yelling: ““I jus’ wanna FUCK SOMETHIN!” and then every now and then he’d yell “Watermelon!!!” some girl was egging him on…
*for more on stupid girls like this see above statement about “Runaways” and a rant in Pt.2
So. Tent is up and I’m off to bed. The ground is hard. The Acid freak, wont shut up. Someone is snoring in the tent beside me and some fucking bug from hell just crawled into my ear. Still… Seeing the National was Worth It!
… More madness in Part 2…
Read part two of Aaron’s adventures here
Check Out who as in the crowd thanks to Court Maccah’s snappy snaps
Read about Chris Callan’s fight with a sailor in a shower here.
Check out Maccah’s shots of the bands you went to Southbound to see.