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Impressions & Interviews From Rockaway Beach 2019 - Part Two

Breakfast Veggie Sausage/Pancake Overload - The Orielles 3.0

I woke up with a start from my editor in chief announcing it was breakfast time. Can't argue with that. In case I haven't rambled on enough about what all you can eat from the buffet each day, it was excellent. Well, aside from the pensioners avoiding the carefully laid out plastic tongs to serve themselves and instead use their meaty, fleshy, appendages instead. I noticed this only after my third helping on the last day, too late now! Upon getting yet another helping of veggie sausages and pancakes I noticed a slightly worse for wear Henry in the queue. As I'm without shame I thought I'd shimmy my way into the queue and chance a 'howdy'.

Cpt: Good morning Mr. Henry, I just wanted to say I really enjoyed your set last night.

Henry: (drops ladle of beans for his toast with a start and readies himself for an attack) Oh hey, thanks man. Hey, aren't you the guy that said getting the setlist last night was your Silver Dollar Moment?

Cpt: The very same! Best venue in Toronto, or used to be.

Henry: Yeah, we were sad to see it go, have you ever been?

Cpt: Yeah, it was the place I first saw the now defunct 'Hot Springs' We'd travel 3 hours to get to that venue.

Alex walks by.

Henry: Hey Alex, what's your name (pointing to me)?

Cpt: Inner monologue 'Don't say Captian Stavros' Ca....Steven.

Henry: This is Steven!

Alex: Hey Steven.

Alex clearly wanted to start scarfing his breakfast, who am I to judge? I'd just downed 3 of them.

Cpt: I hear you (to Alex) ate a fuck-ton of these veggie sausages.

Alex: Veggie whaaaa?

Henry: That was actually me, I love them. My Mum only lets me have 3 so I kinda went out of control and had 8 or more yesterday.

Cpt: Wow, no judgment. I discovered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at 15 and ate them exclusively for every meal for an entire month.

Henry/Alex:...........

Cpt: I see you're wearing a Sport Team (to Alex) t-shirt, I saw them tear the Scala apart, a most excellent gig.

Henry/Alex: That was a great show! (Both start singing Sport Team songs at the top of their lungs).

At this point we parted ways so they could enjoy their breakfast but if you're reading this Henry and Alex I shot Sports Team a message and they said, 'send them our regards!'.

Squid (@squidbanduk)

I had missed Squid on Tuesday when they played the Old Blue Last. I'd mismanaged my time and only have myself to blame, but boy-howdy, do I regret it. Squid was the first act of the afternoon on the third day, you can imagine what I expected. Nothing. I was just there to get some pics for the blogs and hadn't even heard their stuff at this point. They rolled out on stage and from their first notes I was hooked.

Ollie and the boys cranked the fuck out of the tunes with lyrics like 'HOUSE PLANTS, HOUSE PLANTS, HOUSE PLANTS!' and 'Decoration is not behaviour!'. The music was all energy and colour and this had to have been the most energetic afternoon band of the whole weekend. The crowd was full of hungover dinosaurs but Squid got hoots and hollers from all the geriatrics. I wanted to grab a quick chin-wag with them but unfortunately they hightailed it out of Butlins as per their Insta-Story. I dropped them a line and I surprisingly got a pretty speedy response.

Cpt: Just caught your act, I'm doing a small thing for Muso's Guide, was wondering if you wanted to be in it? Really dug your sound and had some questions about your lyrics, what was your inspiration for 'decoration is not behaviour'?

Squid: The song is about a theory of mine that people our age buy houseplants as a means to distract themselves from how terrifyingly bleak our future is. May never be able to buy a house but we can rent on and fill it to the brim with houseplants.

Cpt: Sharp insight and can't fault your logic (I have in fact felt similar sentiments, guh, London). Pretty sure everyone would identify with the sentiments, I know I do. Can I quote you?

Squid: Of course!

Squid are playing The Lexington this Friday the 18th and the MOTH this month on the 26th. Check 'em out, you will NOT regret it, you WILL regret missing it. Ficus.

Art Brut (@eddieargos)

I've just been informed by my editor this article is due, like, tomorrow so brevity here I come. I checked out Art Brut before I hit Rockaway on the YouTubes. Sounded punkish with a lot of grit and spunk formed in 2005. Fast forward 13 years to a fat, and quite drunk by the looks of it, Eddie Argos. A too short button up shirt with a lot of jumping around and gut hanging out coupled with 5min+ ranty monologues. Jumped (slowly and very gently hopped off stage with a thud) and could not get back up without help from the security guard. End of review.

 

Echo & The Bunnymen (@officialbunnymen)

Do you eat the Olive on a tooth pick atop a comic sandwich first or last? In this case last. Echo and the hoppers took a well spaced stage with the confidence and grace that only rock and rollers that've seen it all can. Throughout their set they also spliced classic favourites like Lou Reed's 'Walk On The Wild Side' and The Doors' 'People Are Strange' (I'm not 100% it was this track even though I was singing it. Why am I this way?). It was the classic set, which even included 'The Killing Moon' the track that my generation discovered this group a-la Donnie Darko. Great lighting and sound and every song sounded like it was being recorded in studio's velvety tones. Observations during the set. Echo has a voice like an angel but when he's talking he's indecipherable. Will Sergeant, I have never seen a dude with more guitars at a gig, I lost count at 8. Weird dry bar on stage in front of the drum kit, from what I could see, consisted of:

Coconut Water

Apple Juice or Beer

Orange Juice or Orange Juice and Vodka

Milk/Milk Plus

A bottle of honey

Wet Naps

Moisturizer

All items were seemingly used and or drunk throughout the course of the gig. There was also a hand towel that was turned into a makeshift football and kicked into the audience. The audience fought over it and a man attempted to rip it out of a woman's hands (he couldn't manage it, you go girl!). With this the weekend came to a close. I can say one thing for certain, I'll never be the same again. I also bought a model of the H.M.S. Bounty at a thrift store for a fiver ( I talked them down from seven), all and all a great time!

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Rockaway Beach 2019, Butlin's, Bognor Regis - Part Two

  • Published in Live

Photographs by Steven Velentzas

The Saturday headline slot was filled by the obvious big draw of electronic/industrial pioneer Gary Numan. Various t-shirts from past tours were in evidence throughout the camp all day and people we chatted with had seen him anything up to a dozen times since he started out. Anticipation was naturally high and it’s fair to say that there was little room for disappointment. ‘Are Friends Electric?’ was rather too industrialised (with the quiet passages being almost acapella) but aside from that the material both old and new was delivered in consummate fashion. Certainly a pleasing show if, like me, you’d never seen him before.

Sunday saw us starting early again to see Squid at Noon. And well worth it they were too. An eclectic, Parquet Courts-influenced (or I’m a Dutchman) quintet, they had bags of energy and a lot to say about houseplants and older movie icons. Too-short trousers were in evidence again (something, along with moron antennae, the general age of the crowd thankfully means few of) but musically they manage a sound beyond their years & so should hopefully gain wider acclaim as 2019 progresses.

Post-Sunday roast the earlier momentum was somewhat lost by the pedestrian Yassassin. They were making all the right musical noises but I failed to engage. Lorelle Meets The Obsolete were as good as expected but still rather too dreamy to hold my attention for long, particularly when a good seat couldn’t be found. Standing up for shoegaze isn’t as fun as it used to be.

Rounding off the shows in the smaller hall tonight was another first sighting for me – Luke Haines. Given the equipment littering the stage for the bulk of the weekend it was almost a shock to see him there with just his guitar, to deliver songs about “wrestlers, terrorism & Peter Sutcliffe”. But deliver them he did, to the obvious enjoyment of the numerous fans in attendance. Merriment ensued at one point when, having merely raised his arm to illustrate a point in a song, he broke off to assure us he'd not been attempting a Nazi salute & then had to be reminded where in the song he’d been, all the time laughing at what an odd moment he’d just given us all. Not a manner in which you’ll often see acts trip themselves up.

Eddie Argos had been watching Luke Haines although the arm incident wasn’t something he included when mentioning the fact later on upstairs. ‘Cult Band’ was the song being introduced at the time, the inference being that Haines is a cult figure. Which seems fair to me. Art Brut were the third of this weekend’s acts I’d previously not seen but was keen to and they were on the bill in just the right spot. Whipping the crowd up, despite a rather long bit of waffle during ‘We Formed A Band’ and another later on when Eddie dithered about the stage wondering whether to get into the pit or not (he did eventually then regretted it) they were on point and got the crowd bouncing along, with the newer material  from Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out! sitting comfortably alongside the older songs. His Mum would have been proud.

 

Echo & The Bunnymen were the final act of the weekend. Still arriving onstage to the accompaniment of Gregorian chants they're clearly back in love with their own material as there was none of the cover version malarkey from the same event four years ago (although apparently some random Doors lyrics were bandied about later in the set) so the adoring fans were well served. And that was it for another year. The Jesus And Mary Chain have already been announced as the main headliner in 2020 so get booking and start the year of perfect vision in fine aural style as well.  

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