Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In the eye of the Hurricane

I'm slightly sunburnt, a bit knackered and very, very happy. Hurricane comes with strong recommendations, ladies and gentlemen. I saw Pixies live. I may now die happy.

Germans do festivals correctly. Entirely sanitary toilets, decent food for reasonable prices, one euro beer, friendly atmosphere, paying you to pick up after yourself - all combining to produce an unforgettable weekend.

Three days of music, four days of camping, lots and lots of drinking. The weather played its part, too, with the sun making a welcome apperance for most of the weekend. Scattered showers were just that, but nothing could possibly have dampened proceedings. I mean, come on, Pixies were playing.

Music-wise (and that's what a festival is about, after all, besides horrendous levels of drunkenness), Hurricane = win. Let me indulge myself by going into a day-by-day breakdown;

Friday

Having been tricked into not seeing them by Glasvegas (bastards), Katy Perry was the first act that I laid eyes upon at Hurricane. To use a very thinly-stretched metaphor, if I'd have kissed this girl, I wouldn't have liked it. Her show was dull, lifeless and flat, and it's hilarious to see her trying to be taken seriously as a "singer-songwriter" when all she is is yet another box on the pop conveyor belt. Still, everyone loves a drunken singalong to I Kissed A Girl.

Editors fell upon disinterested ears while I was divulging my hunger, but thereafter came the biggest surprise of the weekend. Let me explain my relationship with Franz Ferdinand. I find their albums boring and their live show equally so. Yet, in spite of this, they are a band I will give an infinite number of chances to. They are a band that I want to like, but cannot. All that changed on Friday. They did an awesome live show which, with drink admittedly taken on board, had me dancing, roaring and shouting along with the best of 'em. Fair play to you, Alex, I knew ye'd repay my faith.

From the beginning of one beautiful relationship to the sickly demise of another - I am officially over Kings of Leon. Never have I been so bored in all my life. I spent more time looking at my watch than watching the stage, but like that awful last date before both parties call it quits, I stuck it out. That's the last time they'll be seeing me (until the awkwardness ends and we can become friends again.)

Saturday

Don't ask me how I ended up at Less Than Jake, but I did. I'm sorry, I really am. Blame the excitable Americans I was with. In a effort to redeem my musical soul, I sat through Blood Red Shoes and The Wombats, without really listening to either, though my opinion of the boys from Liverpool was changed slightly - if not dramatically. Then came the moment I'd been waiting for - but only after having to sit through an excruciating hour of The Mars Volta. Before I have any MV fans jump down my throat, please understand the situation I was in. I came to this festival solely for the band that were to follow them. They could have played the sweetest music known to man and I still would have paid them no heed. They were the wall between me and my goal. (Subsequently, I spoke to numerous MV fans who assured me that they had indeed played a cracking set.)

Then they came. Like some wonderful wave crashing over me.

Pixies.

They were fucking class. They played my three favourite Pixies songs (No. 13 Baby, Vamos, Gouge Away) and now I may die happy.

Is there any point in continuing a description of the weekend's events after this?

Alright, alright, fine.

I needed a rest after that, I really did. What followed was equally enjoyable. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds were easily the best act I saw over the course of the entire weekend. He's a incredible showman and the Tom Waits-esque way in which he creates whole worlds within his songs is something that I can only one day dream of emulating. And so to bed, contented.

Sunday

What better way to begin one's Sunday than with just an ever-so-little bit of gypsy kings Gogol Bordello? Got me energised, anyways. Unfortunately, two events subsequently brought me back down; having regrettably overheard two songs from the God-awful Anti-Flag and making an ill-founded decision to sit through Lily Allen's set in its entirety. I'm not entirely against lil' Lilly herself - in fact, I quite like her deceptively offensive pop offerings - but the sound was desperate where I was standing, not to mention the fact that she seemed a little lost on the Main Stage. She did, however, do an outstanding version of Womanizer.

Not to worry. Eagles of Death Metal swooped in to sooth my woes (and my sunburn). I must say, I've never been rocked by a moustache as hard in my life. Fair play to Jesse Hughes, he's an excellent frontman and he had the crowd in rip-roaring form. Ladyhawke was a bit of a comedown, but she was still enjoyable. Shame she didn't have a bigger crowd, though.

Fettes Brot
? A German band that looks like your dad and his mates rapping? Hilarious. Good thing I only stuck around for one song. Nine Inch Nails were another massive surprise for me, namely because I never saw what others saw in them until then. They put on a great show. Shame it's their last year of touring. Friendly Fires closed out events with a nice, peppy bang. Delightful.

To sum it all up in three words?

Hurricane: fucking savage.

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