Monday, August 03, 2009


Level of conviction in own genius: 6
Amount of creative activity achieved in last 24 hours: 2
Watching / Reading: 'How to be a Composer' on BBC4 - can't hurt ha ha ha / 'The Suspicions of Mr Whicher' which is marvellous.
Hair Day: wispy

Am far too busy to have a whole weekend free to do a festival this year, so made do with (sigh!) having to walk 10 minutes up the road to Vicky Park (oh, the fatigue and bother!) for Field Day last Saturday. In its third year, the festi has come under fire in the past for its lack of loos and bars and suchlike, but that all seemed to be under control this year. Sadly what they hadn't managed to do was have a word with 'im upstairs about the weather, so we had half a day of murksome clouds before the rains kicked in mightily. Perhaps because of my proximity to a bath and kettle, it made it easier to squelch off home, shivering and miserable, before the headliners, rather than being a tempter for me to stay. I am a super-wimpoid. And thus missed Mogwai's 'nice quiet soothing guitars NOWVERYLOUDINYOUREARS' set, plus Toumani Diabate's no doubt session of jewel-like kora joy.

I did at least manage to see SOME acts, starting with charming chamber-folkie-popsters Fanfarlo, who were very Beirut-meets-Sufjan-Stevens. Andy prefered the glacial electro artpop of the Sian Alice Group. I caught quirky friend-of-friend-of-friend Micachu and the Shapes in the Adventures in the Beetroot Field tent. They were really fun, all angular scratchy avant-pop, if rather too subtle for the very loud chatty crowd who were far more interested in using the tent as an umbrella rather than a forum for itchy math-skiffle. Then made sure I saw the rather ferociously feisty Juana Molina, who seemed permanently on the edge of fiery Argentinian fury and spent most of the set trying to kill the sound guys with her eyes, as nothing seemed to quite work for her. Still, I enjoyed her looped folk-tropicalia and it works much better live than on her rather droney second album. Then a touch of the Horrors, all doom-laden whine-rock, before the deluge really hit and I scuttled off home, full of bratwurst and pear cider to my bath and some macaroni cheese.

Yesterday I had a small gig of my own, a solo spot at Craig's Moose Factory afternoon at the rather brill George Tavern in Stepney, a scruffy artpub owned by an artist whose car encased in tiny mirrors, which once was installed outside Tate Modern when it first opened, now sits, half-smashed at the back of the garden, glittering jaggedly next to a raggedy cat who stretches out on a hospital chair in the sun. I was on first, and was fine, though have to remember to open my eyes occasionally, no matter how much I'm trying to show off my lurid turquoise eyeshadow. Had some nice comments from hardened locals afterwards, including a charming gothy artist chap who told me he wanted to paint while listening to me and made a few animal noises for good measure, and a sporty East End fellow who racked his brains for who he thoughts I sounded like and came up with... Enya. Hmm. After me were two very good bands, both giving me the ultimate 'coin their sound in three words' challenge: the first, Snorkel, I'll call freaky cerebra-funk; the headliners, Rude Mechanicals, colourful nightmare-vaudeville. And that's all you need to know....

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