I really am not meant to camp. I will freely admit that here. I like a bit of comfort, something soft under my head when I wake in the morning, especially if I am woken by the scorching sun and some sort of demon hangover that makes me feel like there’s a drum and bass party going on inside my eyeballs and a thousand people are stamping on the precious few brain cells I have yet to destroy.
The thing we do best at Cut & Paste is quality artist interviews to camera, so when my hangover and I pitched up for our first interview of the day, I was pretty confident that things would go swimmingly. Which of course reminded me that I should have gone swimming earlier in the day and eased my hangover away with some cool and soothing ocean waves. Perhaps that was what caused the fatal error that was only moments away…
The Inspector Cluzo and I communicated with erudite words and a range of hand gestures. The band were really generous with their time and pulled no punches when it came to issues they were passionate about. Early next week will post parts of the video interview here and the full and final version will appear on Cut & Paste DVD issue 9 but here’s a couple of choice phrases to get you thinking:
“We have to dedicate the website to bassplayers www.fuckthebassplayer.com …the bass player is really the second division.”
“Fuck the U.S way of life, we like U.S. guys but the life can fuck off”
“We now have in France a new President who is a fucking asshole”
The French aren’t opinionated at all…much…
So with a rather contented grin on my face and my gear under my arm I headed back to the media tent to check my footage and make sure that everything had gone as well I thought it had.
Well. That’s when I had my first disaster. Instead of all those intriguing French accents and an eloquent stream of expletives the only sound captured was something like the sound of abusing an expensive microphone with a combination of heavily distorted NKOTB and steel wool scouring pads. Totally useless.
We had no time for a do-over but the band decided, no, insisted we get an exclusive to film their entire set instead of just the single or three songs normally available. Their performance was one of the best live gigs I’ve seen in a while. A fantastic presence onstage with an energy that pushed straight out into the late afternoon crowd.
Then we redid the interview. So to The Inspector Cluzo I pass on my personal thanks.
Whilst stumbling from an underwhelming Wolfmother performance I saw, what I thought was Seasick Steve. I was so convinced it was him I almost ran over with my camera and best fanboy fawning smile in place to see if I could score a quick chat. Rather disappointed I was when closer inspection revealed it was a convincing doppelganger.
Meanwhile Cut & Paste operative Matt Hogan was trying to liven up a reserved Phenomenal Handclap Band. The band seemed reticent to express opinions, maybe they’re over managed? The final edit will reveal more.
As the night progressed I got to see Grizzly Bear and the crowd was so full of serious music journalists that you know you’re watching an act with some clout. Personally I didn’t find them that convincing and left wondering what exactly all the hype was about.
OK so while I am having a mini rant about performers that leave me confused I also caught some of Kate Miller-Heidke’s set. I feel like there’s about half of her audience adores her and the half is standing round wondering why and how they got there.
If you’ve seen the film Rize then you’d be all over the differences between Clown Dancing, Stripper Dancing and Krumping. Amanda Blank does the Stripper Dance. In fact she was stripper dancing so hard that I overheard someone in the crowd suggest the her stage set just needed a couple of poles on it to complete the effect. Apart from that she rapped from time to time but it was a performance that didn’t do very much for me.
Thankfully the final act I saw on the Saturday night was everything I wanted from DJ set and then some…and not just because the VJ part of the performance worked in perfectly. DJ Yoda thank you for making my feet hurt so much I got the the best idea I’d had all day…I danced straight to a hotel and finished my night with real sleep in a real bed!
After a night which included some real sleep I returned focused, sharp and ready for my interview with Fredrik from Datarock, even though I was keeping to a schedule I was still ten fashionable minutes or so late. Then of course there came the a bout of security vs media ‘negotiations’ wasting a further ten minutes of precious interview time while I used small words and flash cards to help explain to the security-beast what a camera was and that it was an important part of doing my job.
The major downside of spending a lot of time in the middle of huge open parkland is that there are very few places a person can charge their mobile phone. Luckily for us media types there are places hidden in tents where we can get our fix of electricity – something i needed rather badly! When I was able to get some juice into my phone I quickly tried to make contact with another media rep to sort out the details of the Datarock interview. Unfortunately this person had fallen victim to the festival monster and had gone native, lost somewhere in a field possibly returning in an hour…maybe…
Realizing I had no time I jumped into new-school journo mode and asked the internet for help prepping this interview and as usual she delivered in spades: I was ready. Bring on Datarock. That was the moment that I was informed by Ivana, Awesome Media Liason Officer (new official title as bestowed by King Jon Ill), that Fredrik wasn’t on site. Interview rescheduled for 6pm.
Given this surprise reprieve I took the opportunity to head side of stage and bathe in the wonderful frenzy of Tame Impala and to “plot my revenge”….
Next filming session was the Kill Devils Hills who played a ripper set to a decent crowd..well the crowd size was decent can’t speak for their moral character. As we wandered off into the sunset a cloud rose out of nowhere, a strong smelling cloud, then we could hear the sound of a didge in the distance…that’s when we realised we had stumbled into Xavier Rudd’s set…maybe it was the smoke in the air but someone thought it would be funny if XRudd and KRudd got together and worked on some serious environmental policy.
Later on and it was pack up time and head for bed so it was off to the media tent to collect our gear. Which would have been easy had the whole place not been shut down already! Stealth was required and when that failed we just applied some traditional brute force to make our way inside and collect our stuff; slinking away into the night somewhat sheepishly.
All images courtesy of our good friend Jordan Shields