Saturday, May 15, 2010
The final day always has a strange air to it, with the least sleep and most drinking done on Friday and the added bonus of the FA Cup final disrupting most of the afternoon plans. A late start on the first floor of Revenge saw us with an entourage after I held court on how great Susanne Sundfør was the previous night earlier in the day. Predictably, the set doesn’t quite hit the previous night’s highs (though left my gang suitably impressed) but some of that magical quality can be put down to the venue being slightly less reverential – for example whereas her hushed tones filled the rafters and pews of Unitarian Church, the 1st floor of Revenge has a stage in the shape of a cock and balls.
This was pointed out by following act Alessi’s Ark, who noted the stage we were sitting on was an ‘interesting’ shape. Alessi waltzed through some of the highlights of last year’s underrated Notes From The Treehouse and new EP Soul Proprietor in her own graceful and bewitching way. We even manage to settle an ongoing debate by asking her how tall she is afterwards (we went with 5 ft 9 in case you were wondering) – she is quite lovely frankly.
Having lived in Reading for half a decade, and most of our group from there, we were very familiar with Sarah McIntosh’s The Good Natured. I hadn’t seen them for a while and I was very impressed by her growth into something more theatrical and gothic than her earlier shows when we got down to Audio. Similarly impressive was the fact that despite her last minute replacement status the room is pretty packed out. Amongst the onlookers were Becky Slow Club and Ellie Goulding and a few industry bods, so The Good Natured’s star could very well be on the ascendance.
Young Legionnaire, who are Gordon Moakes and Paul Mullen, from Bloc Party and Yourccodenameis:milo respectively wasn’t really something we were that fussed about seeing but we don’t always get our own way. We don’t really remember much about it musically as it wasn’t something we were going to like but that’s not to say it was no good or anything, just didn’t leave an impression. This means we get to Anna Calvi, back at Revenge after the start and find it hard to get in to. This was a real shame as we really like her on record but at this stage of the weekend feet start to ache and paying another four quid for a beer seems slightly less fun than it did on Thursday lunchtime. We will try to see her soon in fresh-as-a-daisy mode to compensate.
Mixed in with the normal Saturday night punters, most venues were pretty busy by 10pm and we didn’t get to see Band of Skulls, Slow Club, Crocodiles or Tunng due to issues of time and space so end up seeing the hotly tipped Ganglians back, again at Pavilion Theatre. This was the Californian’s first gig outside the UK and to say there were issues with the sound is a bit of an understatement – we decided enough was enough after three songs and constant taping of bits of equipment back together had aged the crowd significantly. Admittedly, just as we were leaving they seemed to find their voice again but we are out of the door half cocking our ears back at this point.
With potential long walks to Esben and The Witch or Sleigh Bells to come we thought a quick stop at the hotel on the way for a rest up would be the way forward. Alas, it meant a chorus of snoring within minutes all round leaving me watching a man who deals with time and space frequently, Doctor Who, on iPlayer.
Another successful year all round, we can’t fault the bands on offer and the daytime entertainment. The venues were even more close knit than previous years bar Concorde 2 and Duke of York’s Cinema but there was again that problem that after the pub venues close there’s a limit to what bands can be seen after 11pm or so, when the choice becomes long walks, DJ sets or paying to get back into the venues that have now (understandably) been turned over to their weekend punters. We fear that it’s a circle that may not be possible to square for the organisers as it would lead to even larger queues earlier, as people get settled for the night in one venue, which ironically given the amount of choice on offer remains the best option for those of us with priority wrist bands, let alone those on the general ones. These are minor gripes though considering the clement weather, the number of bands local, national and international and, of course, Brighton itself.