Monday, 25 August 2014

The Purbeck Festival

I've just got home from a fairly challenging weekend at The Purbeck Folk Festival. 
It's set on a splendid little peninsular in Dorset, just up from the Jurassic Coast.

Four days surrounded by other people's noisy children, dressed in onesies (them, not us) and seemingly training for future life in a circus. We resided in a yurt and could be found permanently balancing our bums atop that now infamous 'long drop' before taking gloriously cold showers whilst standing in other peoples drippings... I think that they should introduce the practice as a replacement for the much maligned idea of National Service for toughening up the young or feeble minded. Four days of that prepares you for anything.
Di and Lou (our neighbor) had arrived early and were keen for our company. Di welcomed me with 'They're all into Bread', which I took to be a sure sign of middle age and quality control; whisper it, but I like a bit of David Gates myself. I said as much and the girls looked at me strangely until I realized that Di was making a disparaging remark about the bloodline of some of our camping neighbors... Aaah... 'They're all interbred...' I've got to admit that there was a high count of overbites and wandering Adam's apples. We tried not to make eye contact. And these weren't the cheap seats; this was the posh 'glamping' area; cordoned off with red tape and everything...

The music on offer was a real mixed bag, it seemed that most of the musicians were struggling with the austerity and stink too. Chris Wood was grey, grizzled and gloriously grumpy, poking at our comfort and conscience; breaking our hearts with his social commentaries and domestic dramas. 
'My Darling's Downsized' was just exquisite.

Emily Barker (resplendent in a 'C*untry' Ain't a Dirty Word T shirt) and the Red Clay Halo were pretty damned fine too; their new album 'Dear River' is cracking and received a full airing.  
This particular song kept the bottom lip wobbling after Wood...

In contrast, Eddie Reader was a joyful bundle of newly wed bliss. Boo Hewerdine was there too, to keep an eye on proceedings, and did a sterling job.
The live highlight was a surprise. I've got all Turin Brakes' albums; liked but never loved. 
Live they were just awesome; a tight four piece; two guitars, bass and drums. It was a good old fashioned show. Exhilarating in fact. This clip is from elsewhere but gives you a taste of the dynamic...

Lloyd Cole played solo and also seemed to be suffering 'The Long Drop' blues. There sure seemed to be a bad smell under his nose. He didn't have much to say but when he did chat it was mumbled, acidic and arch. He wore a velvet jacket and slippers and played a fine set, re-imaginings of a fine back catalogue; brutally edited; I think that 'Rattlesnakes' was barely 2 minutes long. He encored with 'Forest Fire' which of course lacked that awesome guitar solo but was still fairly incendiary. 

We drove home this morning in horizontal rain to upright loos with soft toilet paper and warm baths.
And then I opened up my laptop and the first email awaiting me was this from Toronto Tim. 
Strange serendipity...


I just stumbled across this video of a recent Lloyd Cole show. 
You know how I've been moaning about how LC seems to be terminally glum, and getting a little long in the tooth to "rock"? 
Well the bugger has proven me wrong. 
Seems that he's having a ball here performing a blazing version of "Forest Fire" with a stellar band of Glasgow mates he's assembled, calling themselves The Leopards. Mick Slaven (Deacon Blue), Dougie MacIntyre (Love & Money), Campbell Owens (Aztec Camera), Jim Gash (Pearlfishers/Ricky Ross) & one of my favorite organists of all time (along with Federici & Tench) - longtime LC cohort Blair Cowan. 
A fan spliced together this video with uploads of 4 other fans at the concert and did a pretty nice job. Low budget but fantastic!

Old Lloyd or Young Lloyd... Which do you prefer?

FOREST FIRE (live 1985 - Munich):  Lloyd Cole and The Commotions - Forest Fire (Live HQ)

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