Monthly Archives: July 2005

Our tent

Continuing the theme from my post about Benicassim, we tried our tent out yesterday, in preparation for the main event.

Gemma’s dad, Jaume, took some photos of our progress. The images do not capture the sound of me saying “Look, Gemma, I’ve read the instructions, ok?” over and over again.

FiberFib 2005

In just three weeks, we will be pitching our tent at the Festival Internacionál de Benicassim (Fiberfib)… after about four years of talking about it!

The line up for the festival is pretty good, with some ‘smaller’ bands (I just can’t help liking The Kills… I know they’re a Royal Trux rip-off, but I like the sound of their music playing) as well as Oasis, who I’ve never seen and whose first two albums are proper classic, and Nick Cave who’s a bad seed. I’m not that fussed about The Cure, but am willing to see them in the context of ‘important band’. I do like Basement Jaxx, Yo la Tengo, The Raveonettes, !!!, Peaches and someone I know likes Dinosaur Jr. So it should be grand.

Also, there are loads of DJs playing, there’ll be a shirtload of sunshine and grease, and more than a little of the Vino Tinto will flow. It also falls on my 25th birthday. So I’m allowed to get well wasted.

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy live in Barcelona

Last night we went to see Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Matt Sweeney play the Sala Apolo on Paral·lel.

The show was fantastic, but marred very slightly by the crowd. As usual. Thing is, in Barcelona, people go to concerts to chat with their mates. But I go to hear the music and see the performers. I find it incredibly rude when during a quiet bit (and with artists like BPB, the quiet bits are some of the most sublime), crowds of people around you start laughing and chatting. It’s one of those irritating things which if you complain about them, you sound like a loser… but the reason I wanted to go to that concert was to get away from the shittiness of living in a time when it’s practically a crime to take anything seriously.

Ah well, never mind.

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy mostly played tracks from the current album Superwolf, recorded with his cohort Matt Sweeney. Perhaps in a reflection of the many references to the sea in his songs, BPB’s live show seems to rise and fall like the ocean swell. Listening to the music, I was at times reminded of Nick Cave, Arab Strap and even some post-rock bands like Mogwai. His lyrics are bizarre and fascinating, often concerning animals and on this album, death in the sea.

He also played a firm favourite with the audience, Ease Down the Road, which I hadn’t heard before but will remember. Not even the dickhead with his big hair who couldn’t stand still and kept swaying and twitching around in front of me, obscuring my view until I moved, when he would twitch again to re-block my view… not even he could ruin my enjoyment of this concert. Mainly cos we moved to the other side of the room from him.
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Matt Sweeney at the Sala Apolo – 1 out of 1

Live8 was a revolting sham

It seems obvious, but I am willing to break into my summer holiday from blogging to note it: Live8 and the Make Poverty History campaign are a shocking abuse of people’s trust and intentions.

Live8 was a shameless day of self promotion by a bunch of people far richer than me parading their high morals in a sort of guilt-cleansing strip show. The idea behind it was even worse: with our rock star heroes, we are supposed to go cap-in-hand to the leaders of the G8, and ask them to make things better. BUT – we’re not allowed to mention, to suggest, that it might be those fat bastards who are to blame for the problems we’re all so upset about. That wouldn’t do.

There is no real moral equivalent for what’s been going on over the last few days but it is a little like asking the BNP to ‘fix the racist issue’ and then just leave them to it.

The leaders of G8 – some of the most powerful men in the world – should not be trusted. They have their power not because they are kings or lords, but because they have risen to power with the backing of big business. He who pays the piper, and so on.

There’s this creepy feeling now that whenever we discuss political change and solving the problems of the world, someone – sounding like the latest looping Coldplay noise – has to say “Oh well, obviously we can’t change the way we live” or “Socialism’s dead, so it’s best to just forget about it” or “There are some things that just never change – lets try and work with what we’ve got”.

No. What we’ve got is rotten and unstable. We’ve built our great nations on the rape of Africa. No one at G8 or at the Live8 concerts is really interested in changing that, because the changes we would all need to make are so huge that it’s much easier to just lie about it or close our eyes.

We need to change the way we live, the way we travel, the way we eat and the expectations we have from life. The reason these facts are being ignored is that our leaders have us hooked on all this crap we have around us at the moment: cheap, cheerful and shallow, but with just enough sugar to keep us going. If you try to take a look at life in 2005 from a distance, it’s really worrying just how flimsy and stupefying things have become. And it’s only going to get worse.

Hey, Live8, Make Poverty History, Angelina fucking Jolie, Tony Blair, Ronald MacDonald, Dido, Bob Geldof, Gordon Brown, Stevie Wonder, and the rest of you: this is one man saying I don’t give a fuck what you think. I am not interested in your warped morality or your perverse charity. You are wrong. Y esta.