To quote Digitiser … “I am risen!”
Well after spending a 5 days in the land of little flags on car (I thought they had to walk infront of the car with them), I have returned to the ‘Jewel of the Welsh empire‘, well about 4 miles north of there.
Luckily I loaded my laptop with some music to listen to while I was away, mainly the new Tool album & Dresden Dolls and an assortment of tracks from various artists.
10 Things I Hate About Commandments
Drinking : Crusha and JD, tho not at the same time.
Have a bank holiday coming up followed by my birthday on the 3rd (yay) although i’m having my party on the following weekend just before a week off work and going to see Tool in London, which i’m looking forward to.
I’m keeping my eyes peeled for more gigs as there are a few albums due out and hope that they remember to include the UK in their touring schedule.
Also in movie land, Messers Pegg, Wright and Frost are about to serve us up another slice of fried gold! The team behind Spaced and Shaun of the Dead are currently filming their next movie, entitled “Hot Fuzz”, in which Pegg play’s a hot shot copper from London who is so good at his job his bosses send him to the country to stop him showing up his collegues. The guys have very kindly been making video blogs of the entire filming process and have posted them for your viewing delectation HERE.
Doors opened 6 and if you arrived in time your will have caught perfomers in the crowd, but sadly I didn’t manage to see alot of it, so can’t write much about it.
Thomas Truax was on the main stage first. Accompanied with a fascinating collection of instruments (all self made excluding the guitar), his songs seemed to be composed on the night with the use of sound sampling that he would record at the start of a track. His drum machine Sister Spinster (that appeared to be constructed out of 2 bike wheels ) was his only on-stage companion.With one song (The Butterfly And The Entomologist) being performed using a hand-held fan and his roaming throught the crowd with his guitar unplugged (seeming to puzzle the sound techs) it was a damn fine performance and a good start to the show.Amanda appeared on stage to thank Thomas for his performance and to introduce the next live act.
Wearing their bright orange coloured combats Katie and Dave, Bang On (who Amanda had seen perform in Edinburgh) hit the stage literally using everyday items from plastic bins to frying pans to delivery a organised frenzy of noise from their self constructed drumming rig. This was a great interlude between bands that got the crowd chanting along with them.
The second band to take the stage was DeVotchKa , the quartet between them had on stage a drumer/trumpet player, Singer/guitarist, Accordian/Violin player and Sousaphone/Double Bass player. Combined this generated a varying style of music from fast-paced/haunting Spanish/Mariachi or Romani/Slavic tradtional styles of music. They perform a rather upbeat verson of Venus in Furs that was different to say the least. The band were accompanied by both Amanda and Brian from The Dresden Dolls for a version of ‘Oh What A World’ by Rufus Wainwright.
As DeVotchKA left, the stage was perpared for the Dolls (just drums and keyboard), the crowd was treated to a display of aerial tissu (performer unknown) which was pretty cool and had the crowd captivated.
With their new album hot off the press and some rave reviews the Dolls finally took the stage in the Astoria. Playing through a fine selection of their best work including Mrs O, Missed Me, Perfect Fit, & Coin-Operated Boy. Thrown in were 2 wonderful covers of T-Rexs Cosmic Dancer and a verson of Black Sabbaths War Pigs (which was unusual with only drums and piano).
After a short break Amanda returned to her piano and performed an outstanding version of Leonard Cohens’ Hallelujah. Brian re-took the stage with his guitar as they performed a cover of Jacques Brels Amsterdam with Amanda swaggering around the stage with a bottle of beer. There are gigs and there are performances, this was definately the latter. The whole event was a wonderful combination of entertainment and music. The bands seem to enjoy the day as much as the members of the crowd.In all the night was a blast and a great time was had by all.
*Thomas Truax picture by Chris Saunders.