Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Great Escape 2008 - 17th May (Day Three)

Right day three now. Or day one if you're reading this blog from the top (but it's still day three though...clear? Right?). Anyway, kicked the day off with The Young Republic on the pier. Pour yourself a glass of Jack D and listen to Comes A Time. Beautiful bluegrass tinged country folk with a Beatle-ish knack for catchy, timeless melodies (it seems today they were more 'unplugged' than normal thanks to one of the band walking out before they left Tennessee). The cover of Outcast's Hey Ya was pure genius.

Next up a triple bill of Japanese music, featuring Vola and the Oriental Machine, Levelload and Bo-Peep (we got free sushi and beer too...deep joy). Vola were the pick of the bunch for me. The Japanese take on rock n' roll has always been ball bustingly exciting and Vola were no exception. Iggy Pop meets James Dean shagging the B-52' Tokyo...with free sushi...and the Gang of Four.
Okay, we're into the home straight now. Next Speck Mountain, then The Crash, then loads of dashing about missing loads of bands. Damn those dodgy timetables. Damn! Somehow we lucked out and ended up in a big tent watching band of the moment Bon Iver. Quick history (as I understand it). The lead singer, Justin, get's binned by his girlfriend, fucks off to a log cabin on his own, lives off deer that he kills with his own bare hands then writes a bunch of gut wrenching lost love songs. Not sure that this was the best place to see the band (big tent full of slightly drunk middle aged people...oh shit...that's me isn't it...) but Skinny Love came off really well and I started to 'get' what the fuss was all about. Sure beats James Blunt.

Pitched up at Komedia for The Displacements, then ANOTHER band of the moment Glasvegas (the one band Seymour Stein wishes he'd signed...praise indeed). Imagine a more upbeat Arab Strap with power chords and a large does of The Might Wah! and you won't be too far off. It's good but I'm not sure the critical overkill is totally justified. maybe that's just my cold dead heart speaking...or maybe it's because I prefer Japanese transexuals playing ragga house with a dose of opera thrown in (now there's an idea ).

Knackered yet? Imagine how I feel. But stick with it. I have a final treat in store. After a restorative kebab (heart attack...schmart attack) we caught the tail end of Norwegian pixie Silje Nes before...Nils Bech (pictured). Yes. Nils Bech. I'll say that once more. Nils Bech. That's B E C H. Regular readers will know I love a touch of the camp. Gay disco. Jobriath. That kind of stuff. So Nils was right up my (oh, here we go) passage. It''s...well...funky Kraftwerky, jazzy, synthy experimental pop...Human League meets Miles Davis in a Sauna. Actually he sounds a little like the German officer in 'allo 'allo that fancied Rene. The set was all too short (around 20 minutes) but it goes straight (if that's the right word here) to one of my top 10 gigs of all time. I have to get the album. I have to see him again. I have to get a Nils Bech tattoo in a special place. Lovers of Sparks, Hercules & Love Affair, Anthony & The Johnsons and Marc Almond are strongly advised to follow suit.

After Nils we crawled to bed. The Great Escape 2008. Done.

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