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1-2-3-4 Festival – 09/07/2011 – Review

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Without wanting to spoil the conclusion of this review, I had a great time at 1-2-3-4. Perhaps my enjoyment of it has coloured my memories of the event a little rosier than it really was, but I don’t believe that. All enjoyment is subjective, and my morose compatriot of the festivities is testament to this fact. Aside from a late start, and some as-per-usual sound issues, I can’t think of much that went wrong. The weather was fine, and Shoreditch Park seemed to escape the rain that happened outside London.

The main things that struck me about this festival were probably the size and the people. Some may not look at it as a boon, but this festival is good because it’s small. I could probably jog from one side to the other in a minute, no probs. Yet inside there were four stages, plenty of bars, copious toilets, one large silver Kopparberg Kube (hello again friend!), a VIP area and some dodgems. The people were also (clearly) local. They were not the chumps that come into Shoreditch on Friday/Saturday night and start fights outside the kebab shop; they were the people who lived around Hoxton/Kingsland/Dalston and actually cared about the great (relatively unknown) bands and artists playing at this festival.

First act we properly saw were Arrows of Love who got off to a good start, but fell flat by the second song. Part of that was probably the fault of the awful sound work on the Art Rocker stage. Not enough bass, sounded weak and thin. So we left that pretty quick to go get something to drink and look around. At this stage in the day, there was a lot of space around and you could move from one stage to another in a few minutes. That was refreshing.

We ended up in the dance tent, which probably had the best sound alongside the main stage, and saw Attaque, someone we hadn’t heard previously. He wasn’t bad. Did a pretty good electro set, if a little bit mainstream for the too-cool-for-Ministry of Sound crowd that he was playing to. Could be good playing a heavier set in a dirty warehouse on Scrutton Street or something, but at this time of the day in this atmosphere his otherwise very good work went unappreciated.

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I don’t know if you can see Rainbow Arabia in the background there on the Noisey stage, but they were fairly good. Her vocals do get a little raw after a while and if they hadn’t written some very good songs then I’m not sure I’d be a fan. As it stands, they were one of the bands at 1-2-3-4 who I expect big things from. Next year they will have an album and be playing further up the bill, although I’m not sure they will be headlining anything soon.

The real star of this show was the tiny Asian man standing at the front. Why was he there? How old is he? So cool, with that nonchalant stance and his hat probably obscuring his vision. So effortless. A massive contradiction in a sea of pretence. I figured that the most likely reason for his being there was this:

In Yokohama in 1967, Hiroshi (I have no knowledge of his name or nationality) worked in a little camera shop selling film to the neighbourhood scene kids, when this rock musician walks in to get some photos printed. The two people strike up conversation and one Damo Suzuki invites Hiroshi to a gig at the Town Hall. Hiroshi takes his girlfriend along and they all go back stage to drink Whisky and eat rice crackers. A couple of weeks into their friendship Hiroshi finds his girlfriend in bed with Damo and vows revenge. Damo runs off to Europe to have a career in Can and only now has Hiroshi raised the money to get a flight over and exact that revenge. Underneath that hat is hidden a tiny poisoned dagger small enough to pierce Damo’s heart. It’s possible that Hiroshi missed, because Damo didn’t die whilst we were watching, and so, poor Hiroshi’s grudge remains, probably to be carried into the afterlife.

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So this is Damo freaking out. He was good too. I was worried he was going to get a bad neck though because he kept pulling his head real sharp to the right when he sang, and it was probably doing some damage. I don’t really know Can, or Damo Suzuki’s music, but Krautrock is cool, right?

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This was Sex Beet on the Rough Trade stage. They have some great songs, and were pretty good on the day. No complaints. Definitely one to watch. However, I can’t remember too many details about them mind, so I was either having too much fun, or they weren’t that special.

Lydia Lunch was good for an aging punk who looked like my ex-girlfriend’s mum (that said, my ex-girlfriend’s mum was quite cool). Autokrats were fairly consumate too; something like a cross between Soulwax and Duran Duran, they were both industrial and hard electro but 80s and ridiculous at the same time.

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Black Lips, on the Noisey stage, were obviously who everyone was there to see, and they didn’t disappoint, although I did remark later that they might have been a bit disappointing. An Irish girl I met later thought they were awful live, and that they were awful live as a rule. However, I really enjoyed it. Getting smashed around at the front like I was 15 again at my first Taproot gig was a lot of fun. I was launched into a crowd surf more times than I care to remember and have a lot of bruises to show for it. I had a lot of fun, I was pretty drunk by that point, and my friends just kept throwing me back up there.

At one point the band threw a plethora of toilet rolls into the crowd and we had a TP party for a while, but that was about as crazy as it got. Given that Black Lips are known for on stage fights, vomiting, stage invasions and more I was surprised we didn’t even get a snog between band members. On all other fronts, I can’t complain about their performance.

All-in-all, it was a great day. Small is the new big. You get to see the bands you want, there are no dickheads about pissing in their cups and throwing it at your head, and 80% of the people there could walk home in 20 minutes. This meant that the after parties were a great option. Twenty minutes walk and a can of K-cider later and we were watching Babeshadow at Hoxton Square Bar and Grill continuing to have a good time.

Special thanks go out to the guy who found my phone in Shoreditch Park and called my friend who subsequently met him, gave it to our other friend and returned it to me later in Hoxton Square Bar and Grill much to my elated surprise.

5 Crumbles – Because it was fookin’ great!

YOWICS xoxo

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2011 in News, Opinions, Uncategorized

 

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Star of Love

Well, the Basque electro motherfuckers Crystal Fighters are finally releasing their debut album ‘Star of Love’ on 20th September. We fuckin love Crystal Fighters aswell. They are releasing Fallow/Swallow as a single at the same time and it’s pretty damn good. We saw the band a little while back at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, but didn’t report it on here because the gig was so dark, and some douche-tard I call a friend couldn’t use my camera so we didn’t get any pictures. I was too busy at the front cracking onto some mental dancing girls and getting blood all over my white t-shirt from some chump in a gold(silver?) jacket (who turned out just to be having fun, bloody fun) and so we didn’t get any pictures and apparently no one on Youtube got a video either. Either way, the gig was insane and I would have told you about it sooner only crumble has been sleeping. This was about the best my mate could do:


MIT – Rauch (Crystal Fighters remix)

They didn’t play this song but they did play their brilliant new single:

Crystal Fighters are playing plenty of UK festivals, so check out their website for dates. They are also playing a date at an exciting new East London club opening soon called XOYO. Nuff crumble heads gonna smash it there! Par example Neon Noise Project night there on 2nd October is going to be big. We Have Band, Feadz (where is Uffie??), Punks Jump Up, JBAG and Jerry Bouthier (remember Kitsuné Boombox?) will all be there, and crumble will be enjoying very much!

They were also supported by the brilliant loops and beats engineers from Brooklyn Blondes, whom we have another excellently shot picture of:

And a fantastic tune, ‘Moondance’

(buy)

Another fine example of their brilliance:
Sunshine (Blondes remix) by John Talabot

———-

In other news, if you actually read this garbage, you might have noticed that we haven’t updated in a while. We apologise. We have been busy touring the country under our secret identity – Arcade Fire – and just had to get another album out because management were hassling us. So, while we were making the brilliant new album ‘The Suburbs’ (buy it here), we haven’t had a chance to report on our adventures.

Rest assured, crumble is here, and it is going to continue into the near future (nothing is certain in this world of transience), so news on that soon.

.YOWICS

Mwah xoxo

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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