peteg's blog - noise - music - 2007 03 31 VFestival

The V Festival: Jarvis Cocker, Beck, the Pixies.

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A well-after-the-fact pseudo-review:

mrak was back from overseas, and I had no trouble meeting up with him, Mad and her brother Richard out the front of the Coopers bandwidth-limited boozer. He looked about the same, so either the scars have healed or the Qatari know where the soft flesh is. Ralf showed up a bit later on, but I had less (actually no) success getting organised with Peodair.

It was Paris Hilton clone city, and I was forced to acknowledge the pernicious effect she has had on sunglass fashion. Apart from outsized sunnies, loads of teenage girls sported the full get up. In the words of mrak: "come sundown, they'll be wishing they'd brought more than their underwear."

Of the three or so bands I came to see, Jarvis Cocker was the first, on the main stage. I was a bit surprised he had an hour's worth of his own material, but then he did play most of his solo album and a new (?) track. As he spent too long crapping on in the first half of his set he had to gun through the last half playing songs back-to-back. For mine it was much the same as listening to his CD in the car with a Jumpin'-Jarvis swinging from the mirror while inching forward in Sydney traffic. Whatever Pulp brought to the story was missing here.

We missed the Rapture (?) as the schedule had slipped too far for them to set up by the time we wanted to be elsewhere. Though Beck opened brilliantly with his classic Devil's Haircut and the Team America marionettes sure were cute, his set soon went to shit as his vocals died. The flu, he claimed. I was saddened by the much-abbreviated Loser and could only just make out his tributary Wave of Mutilation from the beer tent.

After forty minutes in a generally amiable mosh, ten rows from the speaker stack, the main act, the Pixies: Throughout Black Francis was wearing his "I never expected to be playing Wave of Mutilation at age 41" expression, though he was gracious in accepting the crowd's adulation. In contrast the bass player and drummer wore ecstatic grins, as if they hadn't had a meal ticket during the ten-year hiatus. (More generously it was clear they were getting off on the crowd getting off on their signature rhythms, which is just as it should be.)

The mosh was quite peaceful apart from a couple of blokes trying to get a rise out of someone, anyone. mrak had been hanging out for Gigantic, with which they closed their encore. I was happy to hear Debaser, though it seemed somehow quietened, perhaps a lack of dynamics or not enough bass. I may have been deaf by then. There were two versions of Wave of Mutilation, slow and album-speed.

As Peodair said, it was pure necrophilia.