Friday, September 20, 2013

EOTR 2013 - more from the Garden Stage - Part 2

As the title might suggest this continues directly on from my previous post. One thing I should add is that, for all the wonderful things that go on at the other stages, the Garden Stage is probably my favourite and certainly so for photography.
Here, early on Saturday afternoon, is someone probably better known as a producer of other people's records - including Laura Marling's last three albums - 'I Speak Because I Can' (2010), 'A Creature I Don't Know' (2011) and 'Once I Was An Eagle' (2013) but the only time I had previously seen him play live was (twice) at Latitude 2010 as a guitarist in Sir Tom Jones' live band when the latter was performing the album 'Praise and Blame', which Ethan Johns also produced. In fact he produced much of The Staves début album 'Dead and Born and Grown' too (see previous post).

EOTR likes tying things in knots, which only adds to the fun!
Whilst clearly busy with all of that Ethan Johns is also a sometime songwriter, singer and (mostly) guitar player and his set on the Garden Stage was all about that and his recent album 'If Not Now Then When'. On the other hand some of the prickly critics of such reinvention failed to curl up in a ball and proved to be rather soft-centered; PopMatters was just one such and they did not stand alone.
This however did not give us real insight into Ethan Johns' own music, although logic surely suggested roughly where it might lie. It is true that this assumption was not confounded but - and this is a very important but - neither was it derivative or a pastiche of any of the aforementioned artists. This is important in the evolving relationship between UK and US music and I shall return to it later - probably towards the end of this year.
The next is another band I had not seen before, and they do hail from the US, but the story of how the band came to be is as remarkable as it is improbable.
In one way perhaps the biggest winner on this stage was Fossil Collective. The band unexpectedly opened proceedings at noon on Saturday because Jessica Pratt (not to be confused with the Australian classical soprano singer with the same name) was unable to play songs from her self-titled début LP. Fossil Collective also played their booked set on the Tipi Stage late the same evening of course. I saw all of both sets making them one of the few acts I have ever seen perform full live sets twice in the same calendar day. Many, but far from all, songs came from the album 'Tell Where I Lie' (2013). You could likely write reams on the influences this band may have but then so could I and you might not want that. The point is, if it sounds good, does it actually matter?
It doesn't. Here is Fossil Collective, Garden Stage, End of The Road 2013.

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