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Monday, 14 September 2009

The end of The End Of The Road

Rather than a diary like re-telling of the fantastic End Of The Road festival this weekend, I thought I'd try this...

Performance Of The Weekend: The Hold Steady
Runner-up: Fleet Foxes

Most Enthusiastic Watcher Of Other Bands Despite His 80-odd Years: T-Model Ford (seen watching Pack AD and The Hold Steady after his own performance)

Best Cover Version: Fleet Foxes throwing Fleetwood Mac's Dreams into their set at short notice for the band (and being joined by Robin's sister - see below)
Runner-Up: Brakes' version of Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra's Jackson

Most Clear Non-Music Illustration of EOTR Being A Middle Class Festival: The scrabble garden
Runner-up: The availability of pinot noir wine behind the bar

The Least Efficient Use of the Guitar Around His Neck: Craig Finn Of The Hold Steady

Best Festival Toilet Trip Tactic: Plan visit for just after they've been emptied by the big smelly lorries (sounds obvious but it took me all summer to work it out)

Best Festival Shower Trip Tactic: Take a book to read in the queue

Most Surprising Addition To A Festival Site: The lovely decorated acting stage in the arena of the main stage...

Best EOTR Meal: A much needed healthy breakfast from the Scandinavian stall

Best Education of an American Musician in English Ways: The crowd telling a highly amused Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) that he should take his tea bag out of his onstage beverage (he normally leaves it in for the duration of the drink, for which he got roundly booed). Drummer (and solo artist in his own right) J. Tillman was quick to think of a Tea-bag Alarm that sits on the side of the mug in the shape of an angry Englishman and after 4 minutes goes off with an irate "Boooo".

Best 80s Throwback Rock Star In Waiting: Simone Felice of The Duke & The King

Most Endearing Inter-band Onstage Camaraderie: T-Model Ford and his smiling drummer

Best Festival Tactic For Reminding The Audience That This Is A SMALL FESTIVAL: Get all the bands to do their own soundcheck in front of you while the audience pretend you're not there (such as Fleet Foxes below)...

Best Drummer: The Dodos' thunderous Logan Kroeber (who proved that the current interest in African rhythms isn't just confined to Vampire Weekend's Paul Simon-esque beats

Best Use of Onstage Banter To Show That Their Mother Brought Them Up Well: The Leisure Society

Worst Waste Of My Time: The rubbish pop quiz which was badly researched (cardinal sin of quizzes)

Most Lovely Presence Of Animals: The roaming peacocks

Most Disconcerting Presence Of Animals: The myriad spiders who occupy the camping site...

Worst Stage Set-Up: The bizarre configuration of the Tipi Tent

Best Revealing Of A Beautiful Relative: Robin Pecknold's sister joining Fleet Foxes for the cover of Fleetwood Mac's Dreams (she's the one without the beard)...

Award For Band I Still Don't "Get" That I Think I Should: Dirty Projectors

Biggest Monopoly Of Crowd At A Festival: Fleet Foxes during their Saturday headline slot after The Horrors cancelled their appearance (that said, I was still disappointed that Blitzen Trapper clashed)

Most Disappointing Set: Okkervil River (didn't quite live up to expectations, which perhaps were unfairly high)
Runner-up: Magnolia Electric Co.

Award For Least Wardrobe Effort: Neko Case (whose voice is still gorgeous)

Best Use Of Set To Sell Current Album: Steve Earle who turned his set into an advert for his new set of Townes Van Zandt songs (great set, still)...

Most Effective Taking Of My Money: Rough Trade (as ever)

Surprise Package Award: Pack AD (raucous two girl guitar/drums noise a la The Black Keys)

Tickets for 2010 onsale soon, so I hope to see you there...

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