Well, I’ve just returned from V Festival 2004 having seen a veritable plethora of bands, some good, some disappointing and some just darn ace! I decided to give awards to all the bands I saw, since they all deserve them one way or another… so the awards, in order of appearance, are:

Best Opening – Kosheen – The award sounds nonsensical since they were really the only openers, but they were really good, funky and fun.
Most Likely To Buy The Album Of – Jamie Cullem – he’s really good at what he does – didn’t go down too well at a festival, but I want the album – sounds top.
Most Unexpectedly Good – Snow Patrol – I know their stuff, but they were good live and not such girly rock as I thought they were.
Most Forgotten About – The Thrills – Some of it was good, but didn’t make a big impression on me really.
Funkiest – Scissor Sisters – sounded good, but couldn’t see. Would have danced, but couldn’t move.
Biggest disappointment – The Strokes – not only the biggest disappointment, but probably the worst band I saw all weekend. Far too samey, far too up themselves, far too american. Didn’t like. Didn’t like at all.

Comedy Value Award – Big Brovaz – lots of attitude that didn’t really fit, but their music’s fun.
Best Entertainer – The Divine Comedy – love their music, well performed, lots of interesting talk and explanation of the songs, funny too. Top marks, well done.
Best Pop Act – Pink – granted she was probably the only pop act there this weekend, but still… she was good – lots of people danced and sang along, particularly to “Hey-yey-yey-yey-yey! Hey-yey-yey! I said hey! What’s going on?”, which isn’t hers, but was still the best bit.
Most danced to – Faithless – they were great, good performers, good songs that represent what they believe. Was a bit preachy though… see my next entry for my thoughts on that.
Most Average – The Charlatans – saw them, forgot them.
Better Than I Thought – Dido – was good, but I’m still quite indifferent to her. Better than expected though.
Most Superbly Good And Awesome, also winning the Lived Up To Expectations Award, along with the Darn Fine Trophy – Muse – top class. Took a bit of getting started, but once they were up & running – were brilliant.

And some other awards:
Most Gutted I Missed – Keane – saw The Charlatans instead… what a mistake to make!
Wish I’d Seen Because They Were Recommended By I-Don’t-Know-Who – The Zutons – was it you that recommended them to me?

Anyway, that’s my review of the weekend. It was sunny Saturday and Sunday for the gigs, but it rained on Friday & Monday for the coming & going – that’s the right way round. Took us 6 hours to get there & set up. Took us 3 hours on the way back (thanks to getting up at 6.30am).

Now for my more philosophical entry…

Author: Alex

I am X3JA

7 thoughts on “Review”

  1. I saw the Divine Comedy’s performance at the Cambridge Folk Festival on BBC Four. If they were anything like that good at the V Festival no wonder you enjoyed their set. At Cambridge they really went down well.

    Not quite sure why there were at a folk festival in the first place though. Is it folk music? Is it traditional music of any kind whatsoever? Or is it just good music?

    They should call it the Cambridge Good Music Festival next year 🙂

  2. They were really good, and it helped that I knew quite a few of the songs, as I own their “Best Of” album. I wouldn’t class them as folk… but then I think my definition of folk might be rather limited and revolve around morris dancing…

  3. Hah, maybe it does. Folk is a fairly broad genre these days, but I still wouldn’t class Divine Comedy as folk. It does get pretty extreme – Jim Moray, for example – but no matter how techno his music gets it’s still traditional music underneath, just different arrangements of it. Wildly different at times, yes, but still the same basic song or kind of song.

    Actually, one of the main differences I’ve noticed between folk music and most other music is that folk (and country, actually) generally tells a very explicit story – the ballad is alive and well in folk music and some country (for that, witness the Dixie Chicks’ “Goodbye Earl” which is a ballad if ever there was one). Where pop music seems to be either moaning about love, or singing about the state of love, or one’s current emotional state, folk is often about the daughter of a wealthy merchant, or the Duke of Somewhere waging war on the Earl of Elsewhere, or something like that.

    MUCH more fun, in my opinion.

    A farmer he lived by the northern sea
    And he had daughters one two and three

    A young man he came a-courting there
    And he made a choice of the youngest fair

    He bought the youngest a beaver hat
    The oldest sister didn’t like that

    As they walked down by the water’s brim
    The oldest she pushed the youngest in

    (lots of attempted murder in folk music, actually)

  4. Think it was my bro that recommended the Zutons…didn’t we listen to the album when we were in Norwich???…hmmm…dunno…(are you impressed I’ve left a message for you hon?!) hee hee, see you later x

  5. Ahhh, yes, I think that’s it. I don’t remember them making a huge impression on me though…

    And yes, I’m impressed that you left a message – you’re getting used to the idea that the best way to communicate with me is via a computer… none of this Real Life stuff 😉

  6. Heh, yeah. I do like music that tells a story – The Divine Comedy and The Eagles spring to mind as doing so quite obviously. However there is nearly always a story behind a song… and that’s what’s great about going to gigs – often artists will tell you what is behind the song. Like Dido, she told us that the song “White Flag” was very personal to her and had caused a lot of trouble for her in her private life (I’m assuming she wrote it about someone in particular and they didn’t appreciate the sentiment). Pink similarly you can see stories behind her songs – Family Portrait for instance is about a girl who doesn’t want her parents to fight & split up. Whether this is about Pink herself or another girl, it’s still a story.

    Muse, on the other hand… I don’t think I could tell you what any of their songs are really about, but I still love their music. I guess some bands you love for their musical style, some for their lyrical skills and some very rare ones, both.

    I have to say, whilst the lyrics of folk music do look interesting/amusing I think their oldy-worldy style puts me off, as does my concept of what the music is like. But hey, I don’t believe it’s bad or anything, just I don’t think I’d like listening to it.

    Wow, is this the philosophy of music or something? Weird 😀

  7. Heh, yes, some non-folk music has stories to it. That’s one reason why I like Pink and Dido actually… Family Portrait is an incredibly powerful song, and Don’t Let Me Get Me is extremely relevant to my own past. Unfortunately the songs on ‘Try This’ didn’t seem to hit the same kind of storytelling vibe from ‘Missundaztood’ 🙁

    ‘White Flag’ is clearly a storytelling song, and I’m not saying that non-storytelling songs are bad necessarily, but I do prefer the ones which either tell a story or explain a feeling or an experience, or just have a meaning. Actually, I’m sure most songwriters would argue that their songs have meaning, but I’m hard-pressed to find anything worth noting in something like Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’. If it does have meaning, it’s hidden in all the shouting, but that could just be stylistic problems.

    Folk isn’t necessarily oldy-worldy – just mostly. There’s such a vast pool of traditional songs and poems to draw on that it’s entirely possible for an artist go to through their career without writing a single song from scratch, just coming up with new arrangements for old songs and performing them well. Jim Moray’s album ‘Sweet England’ has a grand total of one original song on it – the rest are innovative arrangements of traditional tunes. And it won best album at the BBC Folk Awards. You might like it actually.

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