Moshing at Space Siren? A month ago that would have been unthinkable. Now it’s as if that confidence in celebrating something good hit the audience foursquare.
Wymer from Vox Von Braun (also happily present in the room), whispers to me that “Frank’s got his guitar”. This is akin to Mercury passing on the orders of Zeus, and we are duly excited.
..we just wish we could have seen more: Franz Ferdinand, Josh T Pearson, Mayhem, The Olivia Tremor Control, more of St Etienne, Wild Beasts - nowhere else does the list of what you missed because you were watching something else look quite like this.
Now there are very, very few "bloke with guitar" acts I can be arsed with but there's something about Mangum; it's his phrasing, the folk-inspired intervals, the dynamics of his vocal melodies as much as the words. He is at once voice and instrument.
No, it's not exactly the same, but who wouldn't like Peter Solowka back in the Wedding Present, Hugh Cornwell in The Stranglers, Jah Wobble in PiL? Sometimes you just have to get over it.
Now for years I have delighted in instructing younger music fan friends in the insurmountable fact that Mudhoney were better than Nirvana. This might sound like arsey music snobbery, but in this case it's not, it's just true.
God knows how, as the ID checking process is roughly akin to the border controls of a country that doesn't trust foreigners, the result being the slowest we've ever seen a sold out venue fill up.
I used to shrug at those who bought Glasto tickets every year without a clue of the line-up. I guess you just have to find your festival..
What a strange night – some incredible highs and some frustrations it has to be said, but yet again SUB071 came up with something memorable. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a boring gig this past 5 years.
At one stage singer Ike was writhing on SUB’s filthy floor, eyes rolling and gob agape, howling through some form of bozo incantation, waiting to be beamed up to some guitar playing alien world where beer was permanently cold and Ash Ra Tempel played all day on the coin-op.
...one thing Truus de Groot has is presence, and an awareness of how to use the stage.
Afterwards the Qbus came together in a mild celebration coloured, it has to be said by a considerable outpouring of relief that such a difficult prospect had come off so beautifully, but then there’s no substitute for great music, wherever it’s performed.
The gig was a funny one two – whoever was playing the instructions about elk hunting, or the experiences of the Hawaiian girl, succeeded in making most of the audience laugh. It was bucolic, slightly dreamy stuff - like watching some strange radio show where the receivers were picking up some very strange broadcasts...
There’s also quite a lineup of bands in the audience too, a veritable roll call of Subroutine bands and ULTRA-Nieuwe acts. An indication of the growing power and popularity of this label? Or just a collection of like-minded souls who suddenly realize that yes, they all know each other & are happy in each others’ company?
Covering yourself in a litre bottle of olive oil and standing stock still as this oil courses down your face and torso in front of your audience is not everyone’s way of celebrating a closure of a triumphant gig, but at the time it seemed wholly appropriate.
The prism that is ULTRA issued another, as yet undiscovered shaft of colour forth from its complex form. Wild dancing ensued – the Roodkapje lot turned up in bridal wear and Incendiary, Subroutine and ULTRA deejays were told to stop making people so happy by playing tunes they wanted to dance to.
Euphoria gripped the room – people young and old cut some rug, ran round in circles, talked incessantly about the meaning of art, stole posters and hugged and made up. An absolute triumph and TAC should be proud as punch they pulled this off, this was near legendary.
Out of all the nights this was the one that felt closest in spirit to what went on - and this was probably due to the fact that the programmers were original ULTRAs themselves and demanded high standards to do their movement justice.