Monday, 4 August 2008

Vive les Festivals

So here's what I've been up to in July. Basically, the festivals have taken over my life. I was planning on keeping this summer a little more low-key; last year I made it to eight festivals in all. This may seem entirely bonkers, and I suppose to some extent it is. But when your passions are live music, partying and dressing up in improbable combinations of clothes, there is no better place to combine all three. As July unfolded, I took the first Eurostar of the day to Brussels, where bemused business travellers sat amid huge rucksacks, cagoules and tents, the zzcchhvvip of fastenings sitting uncomfortably next to their pink shirt-and-tie combos. Rock Werchter is Belgium's answer to Glastonbury, and it showcased many of the same bands, but for much cheaper, and with the added bonus of a 24-can crate of beer costing just €13. Crowdsurfing to Justice, being awed by Radiohead for the second time in a week and rocking it up to everything from Kings of Leon and Beck to Duffy and Digitalism; the whole weekend melted into a blur of music, beer and good times, the photos marked only by the differing outfits. A favourite was using an old orange mountaineering cagoule over a tshirt and shorts, cuffing the sleeves and belting it in at the waist with a gold braided belt and accessorising with the gold visor and some purple canvas shoes. Sounds ridiculous, and it wasn't until I got back and spent the first half of the week marvelling at Facebook that I realised it was. The following week was party central, no time for recovery - Simian Mobile Disco, Jamie Lidell and Rockfeedback at the Cross Kings flashed past, all bleeps, sax and dancing on tables. Just a few short days of work (and some very civilised jazz in Stoke Newington) intervened into this party schedule as Latitude loomed into view. Another chance to see the majestic Sigur Ros, and experience the fabulous Joanna Newsom, as well as catch Interpol, Blondie, Midnight Juggernauts, Shortwave Set and Lykke Li. Unlike RW, Latitude was a tad more civilised, but that didnt stop the backstage forays, beer-filled breakfasts and ridiculous dressing; a highlight here was an outfit of 1980s CITV presenter pullover with burgundy jeans, blue shoes and a multi-coloured silk cummerbund patterned with New York theatre tickets; it looked as though a rainbow had been sick on me. Post-Latitude, a couple more gigs followed and a triumphant night of DJing at Club Rees @ the Fly rounded off the week. All that remained of the month of festivals was a quick day trip to Secret Garden Party (guttingly missing the inimitable spectacle of Grace Jones), and then a Leicester Square premiere (natch); here I managed to pull off gingham shorts on the red carpet, pairing them with grey bstore round-toe lace-ups, a black polo shirt, silvery scarf, belt and sunglasses. This sort of month barely leaves time for work, and I think, one month (or perhaps two if you feel like pushing it) of the year should be reserved for this sort of partying. With a veritable glut of festivals across the globe all summer, from April right through to September, it's important to be able to let go, follow the music and just go and have a damn good weekend (or 4) with your mates. Festivals are a Staple, but more important is your approach; push where you need to, rest where you need to - there is no place more suitable constructed for a week of hedonism. Bring on Field Day! Amongst this festival of a month, other Staples comprised:
Festivals (Rock Werchter, Latitude, Secret Garden Party)
Estelle's infectious single, 'American Boy'
Patterned cummerbunds
Warm cans of lager
The feel of grass constantly underfoot
The magic of Facebook's photo-tagging
Home-made lanyards and line-ups

No comments: