Reflections after seeing 27 bands in 72 hours:
Well, I think I could do better.
I had to go to work on Friday, and I prioritised being a good friend over seeing several things. I’m hoping to be a lot less friendly, and to up this number by at least 25% next year.
Lots of music is 7/10.
I saw lots of bands who are basically just fine. They don’t do anything wrong, but they’re not doing anything new. Wild Feathers are a really good example of this. I liked their gig. My dad would like it. I would go to see them again. But in a festival for new music, they just don’t stand out. It’s not their fault, but reviewers aren’t really there for this; we’re supposed to be pointing you in interesting directions.
What’s popular is not the same as what’s cool, and not the same as what’s good.
Maybe I’m jaded and old (I am). Having said all that, when Anna Meredith (who I would classify as “cool”) tried her version of “new” I felt ill and ran away, so novelty isn’t as important as health.
Jagwar Ma are a great band, but they’re popular, not cool.
Elifantree are good (great really), but that’s only my opinion, and they will never, ever be popular. Ary will be, and she’s quite good, but she isn’t cool.
Lots of short gigs is better than fewer long ones.
I prefer this format to field-based festivals. Half-an-hour is plenty to decide if you like someone or not, and the band can choose what they want to present. Yorkston Thorne Khan made amazing use of their time.
There’s no point choosing a winner.
My “band of the festival” isn’t going to work. Yorkston Thorne Khan are different on record. Elifantree are just too out there, and you need to be able to watch Anni Elif Egecioglu’s face really. Pumarosa don’t need my help, and at the end of the day they’re a bit too dancey to be my new favourite band. I think Music is the winner here *punches self in face as punishment*.