Thursday, December 27, 2007

Meredith '07

Now that I'm all rested up and all Christmas committments are complete, it's time to start delivering the noos from the rooves.

Firstly, while you folks are probably starting to look ahead to Golden Plains, I'm going to reflect on Meredith just past. Once again, it was a great weekend, and kudos again to the organisers for putting together a great lineup. Could have done with a tad more variety in the acts, and perhaps a reshuffle of the scheduling, but these are ultimately just minor criticisms.

Here's a few thoughts on every band I saw on the Friday and Saturday. Sorry there's no pics folks.

Lady Strangelove
Heavy stoner-psych in the mould of Wolf n Cub but only with more instrumental and tangential diversions. Still relentlessly loud though, and also not that interesting

Black Pony Express
My first time seeing this dark soulful and textured country sextet, and I was impressed. One of the unexpected pleasures of the weekend.

Ned Collette
Still can’t seem to enjoy his new approach. Many of the songs just seem to meander into nowhere, and with his dry soothing delivery, it was a weird choice for this timeslot. Would have been better suited to Sunday morning.

The Galvatrons
Ridiculously tight eighties synthy hair rock seemed to appeal to many, but after enjoying them early in the morning at Roxanne several months ago, my opinion has changed. If it's a joke then i'd prefer and see a comedy show. If they're serious then they have a limited lifespan with this type of music.

Dr Dog
I find their songs overly derivative, but I was expecting a fun, wacky and flowery performance that would overcome their deficiencies. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite there. Not as much energy as I hoped, the sound was boomy and the lead singer’s voice screeched and grated a little.

Eddy Current Suppression Ring
Admittedly I was pretty drunk at this stage but I had a crazy time up the front during this set. My highlight of the festival.

Crystal Castles
Lead singer Alice Glass had wonderful stage presence with her punk attitude, sultry pouting and bouncy energy. Like Yeah Yeah Yeahs had discovered electro. Unfortunately there was a bit of crowd inertia which suggested I was one of only a handful of admirers.

Devastations
Great way to kick off Saturday. Disturbed and seedy new sound was complemented perfectly by Conrad’s sleazy shoulder roles and hip movements. Guitarist Tom Carylon was a monster with the effects pedals. The squawking sprawling Rosa, a perfect closer.

Little Red
Fun as always with drummer Taka even cheerier than usual, mounting the drum kit for a joyous clapping routine, and some onstage dancing. Unsurprisingly they managed to win the crowd over with their enthusiasm, despite a few too many dud notes. Some of the new tracks sounded a bit too much like commercial R&B though.

The Black Lips
As with any fucked up rock band, the music was loud, raw and scuzzy. And then of course there was the confronting, and weird white trash rock n roll performance from this reportedly intelligent garage group involving vomit, blood, saliva and even a bandmate pash. Unlike anything I've seen before.

Andrew WK
I didn’t get close enough to the stage for this one, but simple themes combined with non-existent poetry, hair metal, elementary keyboard ability, and wacky interpretative dance isn’t just my thing. Maybe I just need to learn a little about L.O.V.E and instead just party party party?

Art Brut
Despite his obvious lack of vocal talent, Eddie Argos confirmed his reputation as one of the most dominant and witty front men around. The whole performance was really fun too, although at times it was over engineered so it was slightly irritating. Would have been great to get more vocals into the mix too to hear those deliciously ironic lyrics.

Midnight Juggernauts
Mysterious, sparkling disco stomp was rocked for this performance. Barely a still moment and more crowd interaction from Vince Juggernaut than I've ever seen before. One can only imagine the reaction if they had a later timeslot on Saturday.

Cut Copy
Started off quite flat, but hit their stride towards the middle of their set. Their fashionable synth washes over me fairly quickly but I still enjoyed them and were much better than in their Thursday night support set for Daft Punk. It must have been hard for them after the Juggernauts rocked the Amphitheatre earlier in the evening

The Gossip
Beth Ditto is, of course a great performer, but apart from her on-stage presennce, I didn't like them that much. Her ranting was quite tedious, and the music didn't seem to have much variation. A disappointing end to the night's live acts after Muscles was a late cancellation.
Pat.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Rick said:

Finally, Art Brut get some recognition!!!
Did you notice all big blogs totaly ignored 'It's a bit complicated' in their top albums?
I'm grateful for blogs like yours and like this one that actually remembered them.

2:45 am  
Blogger Pat said:

http://www.wirelessbollinger.com/general/insight/meredith_wrap_up_-_another_year_another_triumph/Wireless Bollinger have published a good review of Meredith

Why don't I read this site more often?

9:36 pm  
Blogger Pat said:

Sorry. I fucked up the link

9:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wish I had seen the Andrew wk show. Your description sounds really amazing. I saw him on my vacation in Florida last year and I was just blown away: crazy dance moves, banging like Jerry Lee Lewis on the keyboard, party and love and major loss of ego for everyone in the crowd.

Getting closer to the stage would be good for you next time. Or just losing your ego and not being a hater. Go along with the crowd when it comes to AWK. There's nothing else like it.

1:43 am  
Blogger Pat said:

It was way too cultish for me. Seemed like everyone was going crazy for him without even thinking about what he had to say...More love,less hate, more partying??? WTF???

11:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said:

Since when is "more love, less hate" cultish?

3:46 pm  
Blogger Andrew said:

Also:

http://www.iamfauxpas.com/blog/

top three life-changing live shows

- andrew wk at meredith
- andrew wk at meredith
- andrew wk at meredith

3:47 pm  
Blogger Pat said:

I guess it seemed cultish in the way he was preaching to the crowd, and the way crowd seemed devoted to his message.

1:29 pm  
Anonymous tim faux pas said:

nice wrap pat, i'm surprised there aren't more meredith breakdowns floating out there on the blogs.. some quick thoughts

- dr dog sounded a bit too by the numbers for me too

- cut copy and midnight juggernauts totally should have swapped slots, i don't think you and i are the only ones who had that brainwave. juggers were electric, better than i thought they'd be (my first time)... cut copy were, god bless them, a bunch of haircuts and pretty disappointing (also my first time)

- andrew wk. yes totally life changing. i'm with anonymous.. "more love less hate" is something to be agreed with, not to rally against. i totally agree about the loss of ego thing though i wouldn't put it like that its on the money. his aim was to unify everyone, get people to do the monkey dance, and make peoples lives better. if you were open to it, your life was a little bit better at the end of the set than it was at the start. i dunno it just worked for me... with a less able or genuine and charming guy, it wouldn't have. he can play the keys like a motherfucker, and it bizarrely worked with the john carpenter/vangelis thing that is coming back. methinks wk knows his oxygene, wakeman etc

- clutch made me go to bed when i wanted to stay up and party. because they were so bad

i wish i had more positive things to say about the bands at meredith, but mostly wk blew me away and everything else seemed a bit pointless after that. oh and mu-gen was absolutely nuts, so nuts that i couldn't even dance to what he was doing, i just stood there in a stupor watching him going "woahhh"

viva blogosphere interaction

7:48 pm  
Blogger Pat said:

Hi Mr Tim faux pas

Thanks for your comments. From what I heard, I agree Clutch were pretty dull, although they didn’t get that much of my attention on the night to warrant a mention them in the earlier wrapup.

On Andrew WK, I’m not quite sure what is meant by losing your ego, but I will try and respond to yours and others comments!

I’m all for loss of ego if what anonymous means is to lose your inhibitions and just enjoy the moment, cause that what makes live music so great sometimes. Hell, if everyone could just do the monkey dance at gigs when they really felt like it, then I agree live gigs would be so much more enjoyable and we would all be better for it!

But if something doesn’t hit the mark, (and it’s always going to be a personal thing with music) then it doesn’t matter how inhibited you are, then it’s not going to work. I didn’t really like WK’s music so I was unlikely to respond like many of the audience did.

For this reason I guess automatically I was less likely to be receptive to anything he had to say. Telling me to just love more and party more, or whatever he said is unlikely to change my mind.

But I also thought they were painfully simplistic suggestions. And that in itself is OK I guess, because in reality lots of pop music has very simple messages, even if I generally prefer it conveyed with more subtlety than WK. Unifying people is a cool aim, but reaching people through happy non-provocative messages is only one way of unifying an audience, and not a particularly sophisticated one. I guess to me, he seemed to be preaching his universal message of love and happiness, without any irony at all, while commanding the stage and suggesting to the audience that we were listening to something profound.

So perhaps I was being a bit/very stubborn, and not as open as I could have, and maybe overly cynical, but I think that the main reason is that, when someone doesn’t actually have anything to say, I just find preaching quite irritating, no matter how noble the intentions.

May your blogosphere adventures continue.

Pat

1:01 pm  
Anonymous tim faux pas said:

yeah i think thats all fair enough.

at the end of the day i just totally got sucked in by his 10-minute doom-prog-baroque keyboard solo and he could have done anything after that and i would have lapped it up... he had me at hello..

just as a disclaimer, i haven't really connected with andrew wk's music, before or after the gig. just during. happy new year pat! keep the blogs coming

6:27 pm  

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