A victorious weekend – played both V Festivals and have to say they are two of the best shows I’ve done this year. I arrived at the first on Saturday up in Stafford and wasn’t too sure about how it was going to pan out – not many people dancing and a subdued vibe but going out in the crowd I sensed people were ready for some action. The guy who was meant to go on before me didn’t show so they asked me to play half an hour extra/earlier. I took this as an opportunity to do the same trick I pulled at the Cargo gig the previous weekend. I went on and played some 4/4 bangers and immediately the crowd picked up. I think V attracts a more mainstream crowd in general so playing house seemed a good way to build up the crowd and the vibe before unleashing the jungle. So when I dropped the Show Me Love mashup I concocted the crowd were fully primed for detonation. I wondered whether dnb would hold a festival crowd like this for 90 mins but they were there the whole way, loving it. A great gig with so many happy faces in the house. I didn’t think the next days show at Chelmsford could possibly top it but… I think it did.
Got a bit caught up making my way to the fest and showtime got too close for comfort so I ended up being able to drive my car all the way through into the middle of the site, right to my stage, which is always a winner. I had to jump on with only ten mins to go. I did feel a bit sorry for the band on before me because the crowd were chanting my name during the few songs I heard. The crowd were gagging for the dnb. And when the first tune I played dropped, I think that’s the most kinetic reaction I’ve ever seen at a show – the place just erupted and it seemed like everybody just spontaneously threw their drinks into the air and at each other. If anyone has video of this please post it here, shit looked crazy. That crowd was LIVE. Even the security were brocking out, something you don’t normally see at fests. And at the end, think we had to do four one-more-tunes. Heavy gig.
UPDATE: Here’s a clip that conveys some of the mayhem at Chelmsford.
And the other victory this weekend was of course QT’s – Inglourious Basterds rocked straight to number one at all the major box offices and gave him the strongest opening weekend he’s ever had as well as the strongest opening ever for the date. A basterd’s work is never done – go see it again this weekend.
Incidents of note:
1. At the Stafford V, whilst walking around the main site gauging the vibe, I heard a voice say ‘Excuse me’. It was frail and far too quiet for a festival. It came from a young woman sat on the ground with her legs crossed. She asked me something but I couldn’t hear her, so she repeated ‘Can I have a cigarette?’. I said I don’t smoke. She asked again, her voice cracking. I tried explaining the perils of smoking but she kept asking in more and more unintelligible tones, lowering her head until finally she started crying. I tried to ask what was wrong, could I help but she just sat on the floor crying. Quite an odd situation, the loud music and frivolity of the fest, this lone woman crying on the floor to a total stranger. Far too awkward for a Brit like me to handle but just as I was starting to wonder whether I’d have to, you know, reach out to another human being or something, another woman appeared who knew her and consoled her. Let’s just hope the jungle cheered her up.
2. The hotel I stayed at in Stafford was a pretty shabby Holiday Inn located at Wolverhampton race course. Nothing major to report about the hotel except for the fact that the walls were made of rice paper apparently – WAIFER THIN! So I just had to stand in the hall way, pretending to fumble with my keycard, and was treated to private conversations more entertaining than the telly, coming from all directions. One of these in particular just kinda blew my mind. Scene from a marriage.
WIFE: What the fuck were those marks on your body?
HUSBAND: Why the fuck would you wait until we’ve gone away on holiday to bring all this up?
W: You’re trying to tell me those marks were from when you fell down the stairs drunk at your work’s doo and not from having mad sex with that woman?!
H: I don’t know what you’re walking about!
W: I can’t believe you would do this to me. Not the love of my life. The father of my children. I thought you were different. But you’re just like every other man I’ve ever been with. I thought once we were married that was it, I’d never have to deal with this shit again. But you’re just like all the rest.
H: I have no idea what you’re talking about, where has all this come from?
I paraphrase, it would have been a step too far to actually record it and up it, no? But the whole thing went on for more than five minutes – so strange hearing this very private moment belted out through the corridors of the hotel, they clearly couldn’t be too bothered about privacy issues. I felt pangs of guilt eavesdropping but this shit was too good to pass up. They dropped all the old classic lines, it felt like a scene from a movie or maybe a soap. Perhaps people in a traumatic situation fall back on lines they’ve absorbed over the years from relentless media exposure. When I walked past their room a couple of hours later all was quiet except for the chatter of the TV. Maybe they found peace watching Eastenders.