BRISTOL BIG JEFF: CUTTING FROM THE EDGE (AUGUST 2011)
That big monolith of a swampy festival called Glastonbury kept me busy at the end of June, where somebody called Bono was playing, ever heard of him? He fronts them there U2. So what were my highlights from the festival? In no particular order, Jannelle Monae, Queens of the Stone Age, Twilight Singers, Warpaint, Pulp, Radiohead, Big Audio Dynamite, Caribou, Little Dragon, Anna Calvi, The Pierces, Asian Dub Foundation, Wu Tang Clan, Sound of Rum and the Wombles (yes those furry things from Wimbledon did turn up with their killer set of Beatles rip offs and they played Wombling Christmas as well). The lowlights were me nearly knocking myself out by accidentally head butting the ground after watching Queens of the Stone Age and falling asleep and collapsing of a park bench. That, plus losing my phone and wetting myself 3 times!
St Pauls Carnival (the largest carnival outside of London) came along and trashed my already spaced-out brain, I think it was the mix of dope fumes in the air that did it; as per usual I was the only sober person there. I do kind of like being sober, it means I can function with people. There were lots of function 1 sound systems blairing out ragga music all across the surrounding area and I spent most of it down by the main stage Where Talisman brought the proper old school Bristol Reggae, as part of their 25 year Reunion!
I must admit, that sometimes, it is hard for me to remember things because my brain is a complete obliteration. I saw a brilliant post rock/math rock show at the Louisiana, with Austere, Monster Build Mean Robots, Branches and Squeeze Me Macaroni, it was pretty much a best of Bristol show. I must admit I was having a bit of a sugar rush at the time because I had just come from a disabilities day festival where I had gorged myself on cake and listened to a one man Juke box play a very random selection of songs, I have never laughed so much at an East 17 song.
I saw The Computers bring their usual assortment of punk rock fun times to the Croft. They’ve played Bristol 3 times in 3 months now. And they always deliver. Stripped-down, punky Rock’n’Roll, no messing around,somewhere between Rocket From The Crypt and Black Flag. One of my all time favourite bands played The Fleece, Trans Am. If you ever wanted to see me like a 12 year old kid on Ritalin then you should have been at this show. I was hyper and some! I couldn’t keep myself from glee, just praying that they would play several songs from the Redline, a life changing album for me.
I also played a couple of shows myself, I know I am not any good at bigging myself up, in fact I am pretty pathetic at it and I dont know why. Anyway, I did an improv beat poetry set with a guy called Finglebone (this gig nearly didn’t happen because he had £1000 pounds worth of equipment nicked). But it went really well and I managed not to repeat myself too much, which is quite impressive for a completely improvised set. Both the other acts on the bill Ria (falls between Tori Amos and PJ Harvey) and The Pen Wears Trousers (imagine the Butthole Surfers on steroids with the world’s most flexible man fronting them) were amazing.
The other show I did was with a completely improvised psychedelic rock band called the Super Psychedelic Cranberry Jamm Spectacular. It certainly was a spectacle, all 9 people playing together. So there was me on vocals, all of Holy Stain on an assortment of instruments, including guitars, drums and percussion and an extremely drunk onstage dancer. Cue lots of dark lyrics and almost homoerotic moments with the drunk dancer, plus smacking the microphone around the back of my head as I was going nuts. I can still feel it now as I am typing. Oh yeah, I almost got punched by someone because I shoved the mic up his shirt, you see I go nuts sometimes!
Speaking of which, yes I did go to Pride and yes I did go to see Kelis, and she was pretty good fun, She wore one of the best cat suits I have ever seen, topped off with a diamond head piece. There were also good sets from Heg Doughty and the Wolf Chorus, Gecko, Siddy Bennet and Eric Ness. On the same day I saw The Big Naturals’ first gig in 8 months. Its fair to say you can’t get more further away from Kelis than the Big Naturals! They are the sonic concoction of Lightning Bolt and the Melvins. Everytime I see them, Gareth’s bass stacks get bigger and bigger it is like experiencing an tidal earth shift.
Right so what do we have in August to look forward to, Well I personally will probably be hopping round festivals like Standon Calling and Shambala. Some of you may be going to Reading and it actually does have a pretty good line-up, but we have The Heads and the Big Naturals doing a secret show together in Bristol as well as Trash Talk, Shonen Knife, 2ManyDjs, Boysetsfire, The Cave Singers, Heg Doughty and Givers…all in all a bit quiet really.
by 247 Magazine