Friday, 5 September 2008

Underage Festival 2008

Gallows @ Underage Festival


FOALS @ Underage Festival

Dizzee Rascal @ Underage Festival

(All photos by me, please don't use without permission!)

The one-day extravaganza for all of London's annoyingly fashionable topshop-lovers returned for its second year. It was bigger, louder and more chaotic but I'm going to be honest: it wasn't as good as last year. This is mainly due to the fact that the line-up did not include as many bands I loved, but also there were way too many stages, and it didn't seem to be as organised as before. I managed to score myself a photopass which was a very interesting and fun experience, but from it I have also learned that the actual fun in gigs is definitely from jumping round and getting horribly sweaty. So, no more photopassing for me I reckon. Unless someone wants to pay me, but this is quite unlucky to happen.

First act I managed to catch was Kid Harpoon, but he was pretty boring so I headed off to see a bit of Nick Harrison, and to be honest I cannot actually remember for the life of me what I thought of this band, but they were probably OK. After this I saw Polly Scattergood playing in a shed for about 2 songs, and she was really good. I hadn't heard of her before but she is honestly really good.

From there it was Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man. This is a group I have been casually aware of for a while, but hadn't actually got round to listening to, and upon seeing them live I have no idea why anybody would want to listen to them ever. The singer, who runs around calling himself Frederick Blood-Royale, puts on this ridiculous moaning posh voice, like Antony Hegarty but about 10 times worse. The songs themselves seemed reasonably well-written but the rest of the band need to find a new vocalist.

From here I saw Pull in Emergency who I didn't really have an opinion about and still don't, White Williams who I thought were really intresting and inventive, and if we are going to go along the Santogold/MIA method of describing bands then they are a bit like a cooler New York version of Metronomy. I didn't stay for the whole set because I wanted to check out a bit of Poppy & The Jezebels who I though were OK and then I saw Cheeky Cheeky and the Nosebleeds in the Topman tent and they were absolutely fantastic. Really good slightly shouty indie dance-punk. After this one of my friends persuaded me top see a bit of Count and Sinden, who were good in terms of the actual music but they had a really annoying rapper person just sort of repeating 'yeah, yeah Count and Sinden' on top and this totally ruined it.

Care Bears on fire were crap. They were yet another band of american 10 year olds. There was one of these last year and they were crap also. Nobody had heard of them or liked them or decided they were good after watching them. Sorry, I am being horribly mean and nasty to these spoiled american tweenagers or whatever the disney channel is calling them at the moment but whoever decided to fly out this rubbish band and put them on the main stage is a fool.

I decided to go see FrYars, and have now made up my mind that I do not like his music, because it is annoying. Team Waterpolo I thought were reasonably listenable but slightly too middle of the road to appeal to me, Those Dancing Days were awful and then I saw some very small new unsigned band called A Girl Called Kate which is a rubbish name for a band but they were really good. Then for about 5 minutes I saw SCUM and they were the most amazing noise terroroists and it was fantastic, but based on the music on their profile, the recordings bear no resemblance to the live show. Then I spent a short while being slightly more impressed than I thought I was going to be with ridiculous emo outfit My Passion before i headed off to take about a million photos of Florence and The Machine, who was amazing in just about every way every way possible. That's all there is to say really.

After that I saw a bit of Sons & Daughters. i was quite impressed, but not so much that since then I've actually bothered to listen to any of their stuff. XX Teens are crap. In every way. Goldilocks was quite good, but rap when it's not knowingly taking the piss out of itself I never find that exciting. After that it was back to the red bull bandstand to see a scary girl metal band called Kasms. I think my obsession to weird scary electro bands is translating into also having the ability to appreciate non-electro scary hardcore music, which I find slightly worrying. Next time you see me I will look like this probably. Then it was off to see Ipso Facto, who aren't that good, but for some reason in my head I think of them as nice people even though they wear strange black and white outfits. From here it was Dizzee Rascal, who in terms of musical skill is not a great live performer but everyone was dancing and having fun so we will forgive him for that.

I left Dizzee early to check out the amazing Bonde do Role, who were incredibly fun to watch and came across as really genuinely hilarious people. From here I saw Foals, which was absolutely insane. The tent was so packed that the crowd barriers were actually bending, and some safety-conscious stage manager decided to temporarily stop the set and get all the photographers OUT RIGHT NOW, ALL OF YOU, IT'S FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY YEAH ETC ETC. Which was quite annoying. After this was headliners Gallows, who were not exactly something to listen to whilst doing your homework but the insane onstage (and eventually offstage) antics were a sight to behold.

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. More than a month late, and badly written as well, and no mp3s either. I am spoiling you people I really am.


Florence & The Machine



Ipso Facto @ Underage Festival