1st September, 2012
The hotel here in Ireland is superb. Damon did a fine job of weaving down the country roads to get us here. Ben, Stu and Damon have gone to the pool for a swim immediately on arrival and I don’t blame them. The hotel is 26km from the festival site and we have a 9am start to pick up our passes.
I sit in the front today to help program the computer that will guide us down these twisty roads. After 3 attempts we find something the computer recognises and that I can also see on the map. I don’t trust computers. I use them a lot which is why I know not to trust them.
We get to the festival site and park in the Artist area. No vehicles are allowed on site so transport will be sent to pick up our equipment and take it to our stage. This festival is very well organised and there are a lot of festivals that can learn an awful lot from this one (cough *Bestival*).
The Artist area and dressing rooms are stunning. A massive tent with little tents coming off of it. I cannot even begin to describe it so see the photo at the bottom of the communal area.
We play at 14.30 and everyone is in good spirits. The setup goes well and we are ready to move when our half hour change over slot slides along as it inevitably does. The stage crew and stage manager make the change over so very easy, in fact, they make it how it should be at every festival on the planet. We have 45 minutes to play and after Thursday’s nigh on 2 hour set this should be a breeze. A fair amount of people turn up to see us (I thank you all) and we burst through our 45 minute set to a wicked onstage sound. Marks for the monitor engineer, 10 out of 10. He was attentive and responsive. I needed one change and got it immediately. It was a cool show. The only thing I didn’t like was that it was over all too quickly. A fleeting moment of stage presence and then gone. But that is festival shows and I have grown to love their manic time constraints. The Blue Meanie spat molten guitar all over the audience egged on by a boisterous and rousing Mesa Boogie. Lovely.
By 4pm Damon and I had safely locked our equipment back in the van and we had the rest of the day and the Cure to enjoy. Next came food. Delicious, large, tasy home cooked Irish food. Am I making you jealous? You fucking well should be.
After food I strolled across the Artist area and I heard my name called. It was the phenomenally welcoming and all round great guy Reeves Gabrels. I had met him at the Rome show a few weeks ago and we had written since so it was jolly lovely to see him and his lovely wife, Susan, before their show. We strolled over to watch a bit of Crystal Castles and then we talked about guitars and amps for a good while until he left to prepare for their show.
We were given stage passes so that we could watch the Cure from the side of the stage, always cool, and this was the last show of their summer festival tour. Reeves told me it was going to be long.
To be fair, and I like to be fair, they nailed their fuckin’ set. All 3 hours and 15 minutes of it. They played a blinder.
Afterwards there was a backstage gathering. Robert had a lot of family in attendance and it was humbling to be invited to take part. Ali took my photo with Reeves and without realising or trying, managed to get Robert, Roger and Simon in the background. It’s a pity Jason isn’t there too but he’s just out of shot.
A good show and a good evening. Ben and Stu had retired to the communal area to sleep as it was getting late by this point so I refrained from referring to them as filthy dogs. I promised not to leave them there and wasn’t even tempted to go back on my word. Jim and Ali spent quite some time in deep conversation with Robert and I mooched around chatting and eating their food (I was told I could). We must have left at 4am and I think I got to bed at 5am. A long old day but worth it.
Artists Communal Area – Backstage at Electric Picnic
Reeves, Robert and Simon
From side stage – Electric Picnic
Reeves and I backstage – Electric Picnic