BluesFest 2010 – Sunday

Sunday is the main day of the festival, with it being the last day for those with the 3-day festival tickets.  As such the timetable is very clash-y with lots of big names playing all at the same time.

The day’s two main highlights are Crowded House and Rodriguez.  Crowded House has long been a fixture in my record collection and although I’ve seen Neil Finn play Homebake as part of The Finn Brothers, I’ve never seen his main band before.

From a photographic point of view, the first three songs are a nightmare and a really unpleasant experience, with apparently 46 photographers in the photo pit as well as security and also the two platforms that the video cameras are on.  In addition to the place being completely rammed (which leads to some repercussions from Security the following day in terms of the Health & Safety issues, way too late considering it took until Day 5, the last day of the festival, to address it) I find myself on the ‘wrong’ side of the stage, with the view of Neil Finn being blocked by his mic stand set-up as well as one his keyboard and Nick Seymour being right over the other side of the stage.  Due to the melee in the pit it takes the best part of three songs to squeeze my way over to the other side and into a spot where I’m hopefully not blocking anyone’s view.  Despite everyone getting on well over the whole weekend, photo pit rage does occasionally start to show itself at times over the festival, particularly when photographers decide to take photos with their camera held above their head, blocking the view of every other photographer behind them, something that usually isn’t not a problem but is when you can’t really easily move 50cm to one side to get a clear shot.

From a musical point of view, the band sound fantastic.  I do miss a chunk of their set to go and quickly photograph Roger Hodgson at the Crossroads stage, only he starts about 20 minutes late starting so it ends up being a sizeable chunk, although luckily it coincides with them playing a lot of their new songs (to be fair the new songs do sound good, even though their last album, Time On Earth, was really disappointing, largely due to being way too long and having far too many filler songs on it).  Seeing them play live, you really get to see what a fantastic guitarist Neil Finn; the strength of his songwriting is already given.  It’s good to hear a lot of songs from Together Alone, my favourite album of theirs, although I don’t hear anything from Temple Of The Low Men (I might have missed this whilst off photographing Roger Hodgson though).  Apart from the really obvious, you could easily say that Crowded House were the best Britpop band there was; a big cut above what was actually coming out of the UK during that time and afterwards.

Being proudly Un-Australian, I didn’t know anything about Rodriguez, until I was at the festival, but it’s a fascinating story and, despite his general frailness, it’s really enjoyable watching him play even without knowing any of his songs.

Although Crowded House and Rodriguez are the notable highlights of the day, there are a few more performances of note.

I catch a couple of songs from the late-starting Roger Hodgson.  He starts with Supertramp’s Take The Long Way Home and follows it up with Give A Little Bit before heading into solo career-mode for Song 3, my cue to get back to Crowded House.

Strangely I know the members of The Gang They Couldn’t Hang a lot better than their singer/leader, Robert Gordon (although I do recognise the name Tuff Darts, the NY punk band he was in during the mid-1070s), but getting the chance to photograph a Sex Pistol (Glen Matlock), The Stray Cats’ stand-up drummer (Slim Jim Phantom) and a well known session guitarist who’s played with everybody and produced the Sex Pistols demos (Chris Spedding) make them a must on the timetable, if only for cover versions of three classic rock ‘n roll songs before it’s time to move on.  It’s fun, they sound great and they seem to be really enjoying playing.

And starting up the day is Justin Townes Earle, who will never be separated from his origins (Steve Earle’s son, a middle name tribute to Townes Van Zandt) but who has the songs, charisma and an absolutely classic country voice to make himself a really big name.

More photos from Sunday at BluesFest 2010 on Flickr.

Crowded House
Crowded House

Crowded House

Roger Hodgson
Roger Hodgson

Roger Hodgson

Fat Freddy’s Drop
Fat Freddy's Drop

Fat Freddy's Drop

Robert Gordon & The Gang They Couldn’t Hang
Glen Matlock

Slim Jim Phantom

Rodriguez
Rodriguez

Rodriguez

Jessica Mauboy
Jessica Mauboy

Jessica Mauboy

Kev Carmody & Friends
Kev Carmody

Kev Carmody

Justin Townes Earle
Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle

One Response to “BluesFest 2010 – Sunday”

  1. […] is slowly coming to an end, with this year’s old school heavyweights of Peter Green (63), Rodriguez (67), Buddy Guy (73), Taj Mahal (67) in the twilight of their careers and unlikely to be playing […]

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