Every hipster kid with their ironic day glo kids shades, feathers in their hair (yes really) and ironic t’s have done their roundups of Coachella but I haven’t done mine – I don’t do what the hipsters are doing…so now it’s like, so uncool it’s time for me to rock the joint. Fuck yeah *fist bump* – (yes they actually do that in SoCal. Scary huh?).
I really enjoyed the festival and had a great time, although with 5 stages going at the same time you couldn’t do everything. So in the ‘I sadly missed’ section was Presets, Gayngs, Delorean, Joy Formidable (saw the first song, stupidly went to go look for phone credit), Twin Shadow. Menomena – partly because of conflicts but most because of the over 100 degrees F / 40 degrees C heat I didn’t want to arrive early on the Sunday and repeat the burn out of Saturday which lead me to junking CSS because of too much heat and Erykah Badu cos of lack of shade.
And what is with SoCal crowds and going MEH at the biggest tune of a band? When Go Outside by Cults, Undertow by Warpaint or Big Wave by Jenny and Johnny hit I seemed the only one going YEAH and bopping away. Very odd. Too cool for school? Been there, done that? It’s very odd. Oh and my pix of pretty much all the bands mentioned in this post are here.
My ‘Coachella Moment’ as Jeb (50PoundNote) calls it was on Friday, I’d seen a lot of meh – just missed Excision who was good but Skrillex was half good deep bass/8 bit but too many ‘look at me’ hands-in-the-air trance nonsense – and when Korn turned up I had to leave…WTF KORN? So Warpaint were a revelation – love the album but live they just gelled, I’d heard after some said they were too loose but not at all, Warpaint are an all girl group and were lazy afternoon sunshine perfect – and even brought on an accordionist at one point. <3 <3 <3
This was my #1 until I saw Sleigh Bells which made it really hard to choose…unlike Warpaint I’d not heard all but maybe one of their tracks, no expectation…wandering by the Mojave tend I heard this strange Iron Man Sabbaf riffage with 808 boom and strobes for days. WTF is this? It sounded like the sort of band many have tried and failed – kind of like Walk This Way for a new generation, thrash noise metal meets 808 hiphop crunk boom meets cute girl vocals. I became an instant fan…they really are better live than the record…which I bought the next day on vinyl and got it signed, so unusually fannish of me but really they did become My Favourite New Band in the space of a set. And they are lovely people and like dubstep. Bless 😀 Various comments about Alexis’s performance was ‘she almost turned me straight’ to ‘I want to fuck her’ from the nice woman in the record store. She was amazing…and the video above and below is a ghastly pale shadow compared to the real thing. Can two people REALLY make that much noise? Wow.
Cults had a small crowd but were wonderful, and proved they are going to be a bigger force after the album drops in May – I was worried literally only 4 released songs wasn’t going to translate but they put my mind at rest with a whole album’s worth of material on the way, all good.
HEALTH were amazing also (see the video I took below) – one of the few times crowd surfing was seen and again not a massive but very devoted crowd. I loved their Get Color album and it also makes complete sense live…they should be and will be a lot bigger. And for all the wanna-be MBV chancers (step up Joy Formidable etc) at Coachella this was the REAL intense noise deal. And like the rumours that Madonna was going to guest at Gogol Bordello someone naughtily told me Dhani Harrison was part of the band…BULL! SHIT! Shame I only realised now *blush*. BASTARDS!
Jenny and Johnny were pretty good, but deserve being here not just for the aforementioned Big Wave and being the new TimBuk3 (not a bad thing) but the wonderfully sardonic cover of ‘We’re All Stuck Out In The Desert (And We’re Gonna Die)’ (which seemed to have inspired some freaky Vulture baiting dancing here) – parts of the later heatwave, I thought just that…
Surprisingly Magic Moments (for sharing…and caring…etc)
You know what I wasn’t expecting much at all from Suede (London Suede here) because as a Bernard Butler fan, Suede lost their way I think after ‘Beautiful Ones’ and definitely by ‘Trash’…but obviously no-one had told Brett Anderson this wasn’t a headline gig cos he sang for all his life was worth, and I was 20 again. The Drowners, Animal Nitrate, So Young and a transcendent The Asphalt World -all present and correct. I was amazed…you don’t expect a band going on for 20 years to give it that much energy.
Paul McCartney turning up and dancing to Afrojack (?) – I’m not a big one for dutch house but the crowd carried me along…and then look up to find Macca there was odd, but not the main attraction…seriously those people in the Sahara tent were raving in 80-90 degrees F heat (notably less bouncy the next few days when it topped 100F!) but I was swept along like I’d dropped a few E’s – something I wouldn’t do in that heat (in fact I didn’t even drink during the festival, just mainlined water all day). Watch my vid for the drop at 1:12 – if you’re not smiling inanely at that utter complete craziness then sorry, you’re dead.
Big Audio Dynamite back and rocking and opening with Medicine Show…closest to the Clash we’re gonna get, but fuck me they were great, ignore the mehsters, they rocked it for me…they did play the extended 12″ versions though so about 1-2 mins before end you were like FFWD PLZ but Mick is allowed that and is the consumate performer, and was everything that similarly aged punks The Wire were not (rock and roll rather than unhappy band of geography teachers reforming for their kids school disco – yes they were that (not) good)
Band I’d Like To Take Home Most Cos They Were So Lovely And Cute
Special award this, and goes to Pains of Being Pure At Heart (my video of Come Saturday)…wasn’t so much into their set, pretty good but a little like The Drums, it didn’t totally grab me – but usually with bands the bits in between the songs you wish they’d shut up but not here – they revealed how starry-eyed they were there and were doing this just to come see all the other bands they adored, and they seemed genuinely happy to be there. Bless. Complete poppets, all. And they were right about Suede.
Best Dance/DJ set
Dubstep was the order of the day at the festival, hence me wearing my Pub Step T-shirt which got quite a few comments. Well Magnetic Man (Skream, Benga and mate) were special, as was Don Letts dropping some serious bass science as some might say mixing old skool dub with dubstep but I have to concur with Jeb 50PoundNote the set of the festival was Joy Orbison on the Sunday. Mary Ann Hobbs set was pretty good also, but he dropped I think the classic Armand remix of CJ Bolland’s Sugar is Sweeter which not only links back to my speed garage past it also shows he knows his stuff (since dubstep came from speed garage via grime). I wish I could have stayed for Bloody Beetroots – the lighting set ripped off the roof alone, and I had to rush off for PJ Harvey (yawn) and Kanye (slightly less yawn, but did you know his mother had died *insert name of venue* I love you all!).
As with every event some things don’t go that well or translate…I didn’t see Cee-Lo being all diva-ish and getting booed as he was over an hour late and got cut off after saying he should be on later – get her (forcing Ms Lauryn Hill to actually be pretty good and steal her best diva moves)…but I did see Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All slag off the Coachella engineers – to give them credit there were a lot of ‘technical problems’ with the sound and video for the first few days – but their Rap Karaoke just bored me after the first song. I heard Pharrell popped up, but by then I’d switched off and left. Shame, cos on record and video they have something, live is just boring…and starting 10-15 mins late is not cool. And they apparently are Illuminati Masonic Tools of Satan anyhoos.
Another of the late set was Tinie Tempah, who obviously passed out or had a tantrum and started 15-20 mins late…apparently he pulled out the likes of Whip Your Hair when he did, so I think Tinie’s B.O.B-a-job moves aren’t going to impress America…at a festival especially in the US if you start late people slow clap, boo or leave…they seemed to be doing both at Tinie’s gig – I left before he started.
Skrillex as mentioned should leave the crowd-pleasing tranceisms to the likes of Deadmau5 – his Oakeyhair didn’t save him, although the crowd seemed to be loving it…it’s not dubstep or even drumstep it’s just dumbstep. Especially with Korn in the mix. Sad cos I love him on record…
That has to be Duran Duran – an amazing set, and when they played Ordinary World I again was 20 years old. Fuck I’m getting old. And Suede pops up in this category too, as does Scissor Sisters…not the OMG WOW WTF but a really good fun set and Invisible Light at the end where I took my top off – something I NEVER do and danced with the Happy Homosexuals was one of the highlights of the festival, even if apparently someone called Kelly Osbourne was there *eyeroll*.
So in that spirit here’s some bears singing to Planet Earth – step up Donovan, Jeb, Thomas and Steve:
P.S. And y’all thought I’d be ‘THIS BAND WAS SHIT’ and ‘THAT BAND WAS SHIT’ – nah I only do that after being poured massive doubles at the Toolshed then discussing bands for the next day with my housemates. *Oops*. Err *blush*…oh and did I mention I met Bob Mould? < running joke. (He is lovely btw and looks lovely in the flesh, why did I think he was too thin? Odd. Must be the Jewish Mother in me. He loved Warpaint too!).