Monday, 31 August 2009

You think it's all over, It IS NOW!

Okay, so it’s all over for another year but how did 2009’s Leeds Festival fare?

Well for a Festival with little to no need for introduction, it’s veterans could be excused for thinking they’d stumbled into the wrong campsite or at least an alternate reality! Walking through hoards and hoards of semi-pitched tents you could barely fail notice the new festival persona. What would once have been fields filled with Rock and Roll loving folk seemed to have changed some way. The aesthetics, mostly the same with the bright colored bunting, rolling hills of tents, fair grounds and flags flying in the air no, it is the festival goers that have evolved. Evolved into something less than spectacular. With sights that would make the Festival veteran throw up his own snake bite and forcibly ram Rock and Roll albums down the necks of this new audience just to teach them a little about the music this festival celebrates, it was clear that maybe this time, the organizers had gone too far in commercializing the festival and changed it’s world famous vibe altogether.

Rather than camp circles filled with the expected personas of the Gallagher brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Ronnie Wood and Ian Brown sat by camp fires, over drinking and over indulging, we see crowds of a more fluorescent and neon nature indulging in more Rave than Rock.
It does beg the question, ‘Have Festival Republic sold out the worlds finest Rock and Roll festival?’.

Yes the Line-up remains a selection of some of the finest new and vintage Rock and Roll artists, it’s not this which suggests the festival may have been compromised but the post Headliner entertainment. Instead of the expected dance tent uniting festival goers everywhere though classic Rock and Roll music to entertain us until we’re drunk beyond comprehension and sparked out in a stupor we are faced with ‘The Relentless Tent’ which was amply named. DJ Sets from Chase and Status as well as other unknown Dance, House and DB artists dominated the entire weekend. It’s followers (drunken, chin chewing, face paint sporting teenagers) dominating it’s vibe.
With such a calling for unsigned bands, one would surely see evenings as THE SLOT for them to showcase their talent and entertain until the early hours?! Apparently not…. For instead of Rock and acoustics and hours of hillbilly entertainment we were subjected to drug fuelled raves and heavy continual baselines.

This Festival was full of surprises. The Arctic Monkeys failure to pull of a headlining set was not one of them I’m afraid. It would seem all his exploration of the States has left little Alex Turner on a different planet to the rest of us. After playing a set which saw the vast majority of it’s crowd leave half way through it wouldn’t surprise me if he still grants their set a success. In reality, they didn’t have the material. They may have three albums but the fact remains that only one of those was truly successful enough and it was only one of those albums the crowd wanted to hear… and of that album only two tracks were played. I’m sure they killed the festival spirit of thousands of festival goers.

What was a surprise was the lack of attendance in the NME/ Radio 1 stage for the legends who are Faith No More on the Sunday evening. Pulling off a fantastic set to close the festival, one could only feel for them having to perform to a less than half full tent. However, the few hundred present were definitely subjected to an outstanding performance and could only leave the festival feeling somewhat completed to have seen the band play on top form post a decade of non touring.

Surprises come in all shapes and sizes and the Alternative Stage is turning into a real gem. With a phenomenal performance by Tim Minchin attracting thousands into the over crowded tent, one can only hope this stage goes from strength to strength in the years that follow. I LOVE BOOBIES!haha…

It’s hardly going to make your jaw drop to hear that I’m now about to complain about British Weather. Come rain or shine, we know how to have a good time but why oh why for one weekend a year can it not rain and just shine?! For the heavy showers did put a dampener on the festival. It’s just sometimes nice to be able to sit on the grass and soak in the atmosphere, it’s however not nice sitting on the grass getting soaked because there’ no shelter! Maybe that’s somewhat down to the fact that we as a nation are destroying the atmosphere. Maybe the Lord is raining on our parade to teach us all a lesson… well, It’s a thought haha…

Moans aside, believe it or not I had a fantastic Festival. My highlights being performances by:

Eagles of death Metal, Ian Brown and The Prodigy on The Friday.

Tim Minchin, Vampire Weekend, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Radiohead on the Saturday.

Florance and the Machine, Jamie T and Faith No More to finish on the Sunday.

Campsite parties and the funfair remain firm favorites of mine and were explored with due respect on the Friday and Saturday evenings! Combine with this two bearded lizard dragons in a glass of alcohol, crate after crate of beer and a great bunch of guys and you can see why I still had a great festival ☺ The festival remained hitch proof once you discounted the pathetic attempt at directing people to the site and if you don’t count the fact we had to be rescued from the Car Park by the AA! All good stories though eh?! I’m now home, slightly sun burned and more than slightly worn out!

Oh! AND REMEMBER ‘Only a Ginger, can call another ginger ginger!!’

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Voters: Floaters, Loyalists and Royalists.

So it’s coming close to that time of year when abstract artists specialising in social governance and truth twisting stand on their podiums to testify their good will and ambition to serve the people and direct our country to triumph. This same time of year defines the personality and moral values of the vast majority of UK inhabitants. Voting Season.
So where would you position yourself? To the right or to the left? To the far right or to the far left? Or just so far in the middle that you’ve got enough splinters in your rectum from sitting on the fence to qualify for reconstructive surgery on your rear courtesy of the NHS?

There are four types of people and three types of voters. You have the dedicated audience, the loyalists, that abide by the policy of their party come rain or fall. You have the reflective voters, the floaters who decide where to mark their ‘X’ on the policies fronted by each party at each election. You have the Monarchists or the Royalists who will vote according to the traditional tracture of our Monarchy and then you have those that don’t vote.

This 4th of June our primary aim should have been to eradicate the world of the non-voters. The United Kingdoms rise to democracy is one of the magical traits of our country and should be treated duly, especially considering how hard we fought for our rights. It would seem however, that succeeding in our attempts to draw in votes (weather by free will or by kidnap and pen forteture) the bigger challenge is teaching voters how to use their vote wisely. Of course what I am referring to in this fairly recent plight of negative reinforcement used to send a message to the labour party this EU Election. Proof in it self that Joe Public still abuses it’s position and involvement in the running of this fine country.

Why did Social Democrats, BNP and Green party gain their seats? Well put it this way: Should all those who voted for ‘any party but Labour’ have sat down and thought about their decision and researched party politics…. They wouldn’t have gained those EMP seats. But Hell… it’s only the running of our country we’re deciding! Why should we take it seriously?!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Considerations for Impending Adulthood

Have you ever wondered when the time will come that some switch In your brain slides into an offensive position and you suddenly realise that you’re an adult, have responsibilities, an accumulating amount of debt and no direction in your life? Well I’m beginning to think this is a myth, you don’t actually wake up one day and realise you’re an adult. I mean, I’ve been told this all before but it made me wonder, can anyone really get away with being a child for life? Or at least is it possible to shirk the responsibility until lying on your deathbed?

I realised my dream last night. It’s not to be a Barrister. Well, I say that loosely. I do want to give it a try. Mingle with high society by night and help the people who need a voice by day. I reckon I’ll try it out for a few years, see if I can’t make some money BUT that's a job. My dream, my real dream, my one singular ambition in life at the moment if you discount the shrubbery of creating future generations because your cells are screaming at you from deep inside your genetics to reproduce, my dream would be to create a concrete architectural masterpiece.

Have you ever watched Relocation, Relocation and compared the properties on offer to those true works of art created by the individual on programmes such as Grand Designs? Well I can probably safely assume that I have seen pretty much every aired episode of Grand Designs and my dream is to have the money to one day dedicate 15months to the creation of my fortress, the home of all homes, my identity, my signature piece.

The exterior, a mix of ultra modern and 18th Century classic architecture will be surrounded by land and lakes and fitted with the best Bespoke interior fittings. Stairwells contracted to artists and craftsmen creating the furnishings. I want to produce a place of real joy and delight. I think £1.5million to show the world a piece of your soul is small price to pay and with what would work out at a £2million+ retail price, a good Pension Plan also. Of course now I’m dreaming…

In all seriousness though, my own house I shall build and you will all look on in awe (one day).

Back to my original statement, the one I made prior to running off on a tangent, Finance. In an age of financial uncertainty the world seems to have plunged into the depths of despair, with only the middle/ upper class and the recession-proof teenagers unaffected, credit is harder than ever to secure with rates rising and lending grinding to a Holt. I was procrastinating at around 3am today when a documentary about dressing up your credit rating appeared in front of my eyes on channel 4, or maybe it was the BBC.

As a lot of my friends know, I have to apply for a loan soon to cover the excess of my Bar Vocational Course, which I embark upon in September of this year. Now, 3 years ago this wouldn’t have been an issue but with the banks inability to borrow money and an unwillingness to then lend money in today’s age, borrowing a large amount is going to prove difficult. Help is apparently at hand though since if I cut off closed accounts, un-used cards and disassociate myself with joint accounts previously used to pay rent, my credit score should be in tip top shape.

It was all this thought of money, the prospect of going into full time work and starting a career in little over a years time that made me realise that with my 21st birthday looming in the wings, I will have to grow up soon…

Now THAT is a scary thought. What does it mean to ‘grow up’ and ‘accept responsibility’? Am I expected to settle down in relationships? Do I have to find more permanent residence, you know, make a house a home? Must I spend nights in doing mountains of ironing? Do I have to echo my flare for a minimalist style of interior on my Social Life? Is it a one night a week, one night a fortnight social calendar now?

I just don’t know what adult life is supposed to offer other than stress headaches and lots of Nescafe. I’m 20 (nearly 21), single and still enjoying my life and dancing to it’s soundtrack and sharing it’s monumiscent tones with friends and family. I’m the king of my own Castle and one day I’ll have a real castle to live in.

I think I’ve mumbled enough now, especially when I should be reading Statutory Authorities on Company Law. I am however going to leave you with something I’m loving at the moment…

In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes,
For they in thee a thousand errors note;
But 'tis my heart that loves what they despise,
Who in despite of view is pleased to dote;
Nor are mine ears with thy tongue's tune delighted,
Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone,
Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited
To any sensual feast with thee alone:
But my five wits nor my five senses can
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee,
Who leaves unsway'd the likeness of a man,
Thy proud hearts slave and vassal wretch to be:
Only my plague thus far I count my gain,
That she that makes me sin awards me pain.

William Shakespeare