Saturday, September 07, 2013

End of The Road Festival 2013

I'm back from the forgoing festival and anyone that has paid more than passing attention to this little site will likely have noticed that it is in fact anything but the end of a musical year for me. It is indeed the start of a new one and for more than one reason.
For a start I have already bought my ticket for End of The Road 2014, and that harks back to the issue of trust that I mentioned in my last post, but also because it has now become so important to the writing of this blog that I associate one with the other. I simply can't list the music that I have heard, the people I have met because of it, and all because on a whim back in early September 2006 I decided to comment on someone else's blog post (about Bat For Lashes' début album Fur and Gold) and to do that (at the time) I had to create a blog account of my own. I didn't then imagine for a moment that today I would be writing a piece about the seventh anniversary of that wilful post. It is one of the happier accidents of fâte.
This year I made a particular effort to arrive in time to see all the "warm-up programme" on Thursday evening. King Charles in that rôle last year made me determined to do this this time and it was well worthwhile - five acts, with a predominance of electric guitar taking to the Tipi Stage from 17:30.
I have mentioned before my policy of watching opening acts on any stage as well as those those on 'lesser-stages' generally as a matter of priority. It may not be Simon Cowell's idea of entertainment but, on the other hand, it does have its own merit I believe.
I don't always do this but I think in this case it makes sense. I will list the five acts from Thursday evening and then add some pictures and comments about each:
  • Evans the Death
  • Annie Eve
  • Catfish and the Bottlemen
  • Tigercats
  • Deap Vally
Evans the Death had two problems here and neither were of their own making. The first is the real and well documented one of being the opening act at a festival. The other is that I always take a few hours to get into the mood to take half-decent pictures. Only a fraction as gloomy as the band name might suggest they were an admirable choice. They are currently working on finishing their second album, they are signed to independent label FortunaPOP!, and I rather lean to the idea of buying their self-titled first.

Next up was Annie Eve, already mentioned, but that to me seems no reason not to do it again not least for the reason of her recent eponymous EP in a year that at least for me has been remarkable for their number and quality.

One thing you can say about East London's Tigercats is that they favour playing, if not all bare-footed, at least shoeless. I have no photographic evidence of their drummer in this regard.
I know that some will find their kind of indie-pop irksome in the extreme. I am not one of them and should I be feeling slightly down I might well add their 2012 album Isle of Dogs to my playlist, along with those by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and others including Los Campesinos.
Catfish and the Bottlemen are much in favour over at Amazing Radio at the moment. This is probably how I first became aware of them and it was gratifying to see them live. I know my fellow blogger Geoff Spence enjoyed this band and is looking forward to their forthcoming show at the Westgarth Social Club in Middlesborough. This is, it seems to me, exactly the kind of venue that up and down the country we need to be supporting.

The same cannot be said of the next band, the evening's head-line act and it is rare in my experience for one to warn its potential audience of factors concerning loudness. Welcome to the garage rock world of Californian duo Deap Vally. Often, seemingly for want of any other touchstone, likened to The White Stripes I rather favour the opinion that they exist in their own space and time.
I any case I would find the idea of Jack White dressed in the attire of Lindsey Troy more than a little disturbing. They are actually signed to Universal - and you may be aware of my thoughts about major labels but that is a story for another time. Sistrionix, as well as having a rather inspired title, is actually a good LP but live they are quite something else.

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