Updates have been quiet this week due to my unexpected participation in the Golden Plains Music Festival 2010. I had not budgeted for this event this year (my poor student funds are way low) and resigned myself to a long weekend at home. However, AFB jumped to the rescue and brought forward my birthday present by a few months to save the day (umm... weekend). So it's BIG UPS to AFB. That is until I reveal that it seems the main reason he couldn't bear to have me absent this year was because then he would have no-one to bag mercilessly. Yeah, thanks for that Andrew. ;)
Firstly to the folks - great times. After avoiding such festivals for years (I like to bathe daily - you damn hippies) I am now a huge convert. Whilst there are plenty of idiots, and more than a fair proportion of ugly people to spunks, the atmosphere at Golden Plains is an absolute revelation. It is proof that people can live in tents in close proximity, high on drugs and fueled with alcohol, without bathing, and being bombarded with loud music of almost every persuasion incident free.
It also appears to be the only annual event that unites the tribes North and South of the Yarra River. Wonderful to spend time with Tim and Loz (yes, even the spirited political discussions); Nicky and Jamie (who is such a Gregan clone I had to double take a few times); Paul (Balki) Young and the delightful Julia; and Tim's mate Matt - the communist version of Frasier Crane.
The Castlemaine crew were there again. Dave and Yodhi (Dave seemingly recovered from his tubgirl experience and Yhodi dancin' up a storm - "I'm f@#$in' OUT OF MY MIND!!" she screamed whilst dancing at one stage); and Paul and Robyn (sorry, Robyn is still my favourite - she's so dreamy). There were a few other Castlemaine Crew tacked onto to the periphery of our site this time around, but to be honest they were of dubious benefit to the vibe. I was particularly resistant to one woman who enlisted the help of three people to help dismantle her tent. Three people helped to dismantle her tent whilst she did absolutely NUTHIN' to help. Didn't like her at all.
There were a few stories of abject failure. Kev got coerced to have a beer (as if it is possible to coerce Geezer into having a beer) at breakfast time Sunday, and slipped down a very slippery slope resulting in us (ie: Shane) carrying the poor wee unconscious Kev to bed at bout 3pm - never to surface again that day. This served merely to lessen the softness of AFB's effort (8.30pm) and Shane's effort (also 8.30pm). You are all SOFT.
What I got up to probably doesn't belong on this blog, but (without going into specifics) it was fantastic. Each of the million drops of rain that fell onto my tent Saturday night set off a pinprick of light of infinite colour, infinite vibration and infinite intensity. My mind was a moving, talking, singing, drowning Mandelbrot set that was as joyful and religious an experience as you could ever wish for. That as until AFB started heckling me to the point that I had to rise from my trance-like state. Although, to be fair, had I not emerged I probably would not have witnessed the Ferris Wheel contorting and spinning in a wild cacophony before transmorphing itself into the shape of a giant elecronical baboon that took on the entire festival with its War of the World light-beam claws.
As for the music, well, let's say I was mildly disappointed. Pavement were by far the highlight for me. I've been a huge fan for years and to get the chance to see them live years after they disbanded was simply magnificent - even if the set lagged a little. But Pavement weren't the only culprit in this - my biggest disappointment of the entire festival was the number of bands that seemed to lose interest two-thirds of the way through their set.
Nashville Pussy (who were rated as easily the highlight of the show by the majority of our crew) were just about to suck cynical ol' me in with their renegade devil-may-care muthafucking Southern Rock and Roll (which, to be fair, they did brilliantly) when they commenced a dire twenty minute version of "Nutbush City Limits". Diabolical.
The Cruel Sea were close on the headline act and even they disappointed with the same misdemeanor. Tex has got charisma to burn, and much like Tim Rogers and You Am I did last year had the potential to rip the crowd into tiny pieces and blow them away. However just as it seemed they were about to fire up and rock out they reverted to this lame and unconvincing twenty minute white-boy faux-reggae schtick that fell as flat as the singing of the guy from "The Wooden Shjips" (who were my suckarse award winner for most pathetic impersonation of a rock band I've ever been subjected to).
It rained, but we barely got wet. MEGA-TARP did its job once again. The rain that attacked us on Sunday night was relentless and forced me inside prematurely, but seems it was far milder than the savage storms that attacked Melbourne in our absence.
So once again, huge thanks and big ups to everyone who helped make this weekend so special once again,
xxx (and an extra x to Robyn *blush*)