Splendour In The Grass 2008 – Part 2

Saturday afternoon continues with The Music, who I might have seen before at Reading a few years back, although my memory of gigs and especially festivals is getting a bit fuzzy, even more so having recently celebrated the 21st anniversary of my first gig (U2 at Cardiff Arms Park, 25 July 1987). Either way they are pretty impressive, with the crowd really getting into it. The photo pit is very full for the first time, and with Rob Harvey’s mad dancing in amongst all the smoke it’s some what tricky to photograph.

The Music

Yet another walk over the to the GW McLennan stage and yet more security issues not letting me into the photo pit and meaning that I have to photograph The Gin Club from the crowd. It’s really annoying as I had hoped to make the most of having a photo pit to photo them and the rare benefit of having some ok-ish lighting. It is even more annoying when I find out later that a couple of other photographers had turned up after me and strolled into the pit with out any problems.

The Gin Club

Next up, Gyroscope on the Supertop stage. Except a load of the photographers were waiting for the PR guy to escort us into the pit and because we aren’t stood exactly where he told us, but about 10m away he doesn’t check if we are wanting to photograph them. And that’s why they are only a handful of photographers in the pit for them.

But when The Drones are the next band to see and photograph, bands like Gyroscope are just meaningless, irrelevant and immaterial Oz Rock. The Drones are easily one of Australia’s best bands, if not the best. As with all the best Australian bands they’re much more appreciated in Europe and the UK and in another 30 years time will probably be looked back on and revered, much like The Triffids and The Go-Betweens are now. I stay for a few songs, the downside of photographing festivals, but it’s the typically astonishing brutal and ear-bleedingly beautiful set you expect from them. Totally awesome, and a real highlight of the day.

The Drones

The Drones

From the sublime to the ridiculous; next up it’s The Fratellis. Word on the street is that their gear hasn’t made it over from Perth and The Living End are going to play their slot, with The Fratellis playing the later slot if their gear arrives in time. But we get into the photo pit and the drum kit says ‘The Fratellis’ on the front so I guess the gear did turn up. Although it then takes an age to sort out bass amp issues, so that by the time the band start we’re 30 minutes behind schedule. And I could have been watching rest of The Drones’ set… And all that wait for that… DiS summed it up best when they reviewed their latest album – ‘It is appalling, the worst kind of revivalist Britpop shite that no band should be allowed to unleash unto the masses’. They do have one redeeming feature in that their drummer is absolutely fantastic (even if he is called Mince), so I spend most of the three songs trying to get good photos of him as he does his best Keith Moon impersonation. They play ‘Flathead’ and ‘Chelsea Dagger‘, the crowd go wild but it’s the aural equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel for the Triple J-listening punters.

The Fratellis

Then it’s another walk across the festival site to the GW McLennan stage, via Govindas for curry and rose lassi, the first thing I’ve eaten since breakfast, to see Clare Bowditch. Thanks to The Fratellis the Supertop times and my plans for the day are all over the place so I only end up photographing her for a couple songs. It’s only in the cold, sober light of day, when I’m editing the photos that I realise what a mistake this was, and that I should have made the most of he time available, as she’s really quite stunningly beautiful. I only notice this during editing as it seems she was giving me the eye in just about every photo… And as she’s relocating to Berlin it’s going to be a while before I get to photograph her again. I can’t really remember what the music was like (although myspace is reminding me now), too busy photographing quickly and trying to update my shooting plan for the day in my head.  Bloody Fratellis…

Clare Bowditch

3 Responses to “Splendour In The Grass 2008 – Part 2”

  1. Great shot of mince…your memory isn’t that bad, I’m flat out remebering stuff that happened this week. Great shots and summary!

  2. Justin says:

    Thanks Adam. Been writing up Saturday offline since last week, so it least it was a bit fresh in my mind. About to start on Sunday which is a bit fuzzy now. I did use Twitter to send myself micro-blogs during the day and have been using those to remember what happened.

  3. […] think I’ve probably said enough about The Drones on my blog like here, here, here and here.  And knowing that I’m down to cover them again in a couple weeks, when […]

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