on being weird: Glastonbury as a journey: part two.
As a music festival Glastonbury’s scale seems unsurpassed. Many stories are told, many lives are led, and each one appears to follow a different path. I’ve heard stories of people’s experiences that are almost entirely different to mine, as if they went to a wholly different festival. I’ve met people who’ve never seen the sun rise from the stone circle or experienced some of the more absurd tents that can be found dotted around. I, for instance, have never really spent much time in Arcadia, which I know is a firm favourite of many, long enough to properly take it in. It just something that I’ve never done. Although my friends and I only appeared on the Saturday and stayed until Monday morning it still felt all-encompassing. I guess it has something to do with the gigantic nature of the event which with every turn entrances and captivates. There is always another place to visit, always another activity to involve yourself in. Continue reading
on being weird: Glastonbury as a journey: part one.
I guess it was a bad idea to arrive at the 40th Glastonbury Festival on Saturday afternoon, midway through the week and a day and a half into the official set-listing. This was the result of having little money at the time the tickets went on sale and being promised entry through some nefarious juncture, coalescing in my mind as a perfect opportunity too good to miss. Unfortunately as these things are want to do, it went a little tits up, meaning entry could only be gained on the aforementioned Saturday afternoon. Official Glastonbury guidelines will tell you that entry to the car park can only be made with an official ticket with which you then buy a car park permit, but through trickery, quick witted-ness, and general confusion we managed to elicit a parking space – rather less Derren Brown and more through accident, the second official believing that we had secured a permit from the first. As we left the car the sun had reached an oppressive high of 24 degrees centigrade causing violent ruptures of sweat to pockmark my white t-shirt with reservoirs of damp as we made our journey from the edge of the Blue car park to Pedestrian Gate C. Continue reading
on being weird: before glastonbury
Staring out from the Stone Circle, as many of you will do this coming week, watching the sun alight from the night-sky and witnessing the people bustle about as if in some medieval market town, each one a merchant of sorts, selling alcohol, drugs, their music or their thoughts, it dawns on you that the whole festival is bound in an supreme collective spirit. Each person like the tiniest atom contributing to the organism that is the festival as a whole. It was with this simple metaphor that a friend of mine, sitting on that same Stone Circle a year ago this week, was possessed of an idea just wildly arcane enough for Eavis to take note and make it real. Continue reading
This actually came out last week, and frankly not enough people have written about it so far – on a related note I can’t believe my colleague at FST has failed to write about in my absence, but for better or for worse I am writing about it now – Prize Pets’ New Weirdos 7″ on Sex Is Disgusting. Unfortunately the record is already sold-out on Sex Is Disgusting’s Big Cartel but perhaps you can gaze upon it longingly, one day hoping to own the disorientating magic that lies beneath. In the mean time listen to it here, or simply hold out your hands to the future and wait for one of their orgiastic live shows to pass through – I’m thinking of the lead guitarists bouyant legs as I type this. Continue reading
Real Estate played Stealth in Nottingham this week, being a fan of their debut album Real Estate, since it’s release on Woodsists Records last year i’ve been looking forward to seeing them live.
The band, which is made up from members of Ducktails, Predator Vision, The Parasails and Silver Futures, played a solid set of nostalgic, sun drenched tracks with highlights including, Pool Swimmers, Fake Blues, Beach Comber and Atlantic City.
Real Estate are finishing their European Tour before heading back the the U.S. for a summer of shows. Continue reading
on being weird: wetness
Contemporary romantics have been rediscovering the epic song of nature as of late, well our whole culture has taken a shine to it ever since the all too perfect marriage of Planet Earth and Sigur Ros. But then Iceland has often been attached to the epic, how could they not dwelling in that mountainous and glacial region sitting just outside the Arctic Circle? Within such easy reach of great tracts of visually arresting imagery the epic must come easy to them, just as London produces a wealth of urban music relaying the mix of decadence and depravity of city-living. The environment surrounds them and turns their gaze upon it, it is simply a natural reaction to their own landscape. The localisation of the epic causes further contemplation. When the Romantic poet Shelley visited the Chamonix Valley in 1816 it was the localisation of the epic, or to put it another way the soul gazing deep into the infinite, that caused him to write his poem Mont Blanc, below is an excerpt:
Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky,
Mont Blanc appears,-still snowy and serene-
Its subject mountains their unearthly forms
Pile around it, ice and rock; broad vales between
Of frozen floods, unfathomable deeps,
Blue as the overhanging heaven
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On being weird: Nottingham illuminated.
From the Exchange Arcade, a monolithic visage in Portland Stone, you can look West across Old Market Square where Angel Row lies just out of distance concealing the tiny Chameleon Cafe, upstairs of which hosts a dislocated living room-cum-club; and Northwards too among a newly refurbished stretch of the city lies Goldsmith Street, where tucked behind a imposing black ornamental fence lies one of Nottingham’s most famous clubs, Rescue Rooms; if you look East from the Exchange Arcade Pelham Street rises up revealing a tight coterie of shops and bars, of which The Social neatly fits in; further on from The Social and you enter Hockley, the dwelling place of The Old Angel, and further still over towards Sneinton an independent arts centre called Moot hosts one off gigs, film screenings and galleries.
The principle of the self-regulating organism, as proposed by James Lovelock in his Gaia Hypothesis is that massive change is constantly checked through minor alterations or fluctuations within a complex network of interactions. Homeostasis is achieved and allowed to maintain balance because it supports life and allows it to exist in relative stability. The Earth is one organism therefore, checking itself and regulating itself through a Darwinian system of survival of the fittest. One organism growing in a multitude of directions, pushing and pulling but always breathing steadily through creation and destruction.
The Earth is of course itself, set free by the Sun to continue to support life, it stares at the Sun and honours it, receiving in return for it’s genuflection the key to life. As the planet revolves and turns round the sun like a dancer in a great ballet, it itself is truly remarkable. Luminous among the planets, the Earth is an orb shining to the universe as a glitter ball, receiving the constant flickering attention of the stars.