Adventures at Stalag V

April 7, 2008

Waking up a little worse for wear after the excellent CSS concert at the Prince. I made my way down to the V festival. I had two comp tickets on the door and Kristen was going to come down after she knocked off work at 4, so I had to bullshit my way in… so as not to use the two tickets. A line worked about needing to get my camera man in and that I had to write a report on Robyn for a newspaper, blah blah. Something to that effect got me past the guards at Stalag V. Yes, another fenced in detention center music festival.

Robyn was already on. She’s a Scandanavian goddess with a hip new CD of electro hip hop shenanigans. I have an old CD of hers from the late 90’s that sucks (housey and commercial), but her new stuff sounds like a happy version of The Knife and is very nice. She played well with a microphone drop and is a spunky chic with attitude. Then I had a wander about to get the lay of the land and a bite to eat (German kransky).

Next up Cut Copy who have a great new CD In Ghost Colours. Excellent electronic music from local lads who Dj’d and played at Kristen’s Teknikunst a few years back. Their star has risen with a new Giorgio Moroder style LA electro sounding CD that is very strong. Wondering how they’d handle a big crowd I was surprised at how polished and pop-staresque they were. The lead singer is Bowie Low period thin, that is always a good look for a pop star and the whole band really got into what they were doing.

I then left to get Kristen with my two tickets still intact. No Pass out, well there was pour moi…

I went home, freshened up, change of clothes and picked up the kooky K and back we went to Stalag V.

Jesus and Mary Chain were on and the vibe of the place had picked up as night approached. We wandered round and saw pals. We also saw (and Kristen photographed) people who had just jumped the fence and were being chased madly by security. I saw two punters bowled over by this high speed chase. They caught the illegal immigrant of the V festival (a feral hippie dude that could run like the wind). I started a chant of “Deport him, Deport Him” much to the crowds amusement as security dragged the dude away.

We also realised there was a VIP area. The Transcendental Fascist in me demanded we enter its hallowed halls. Our comp tickets had failed to include VIP passes. But we bumped in Hank from 161 who was leaving to go to dinner. He gave us his pass. I went inside the VIP area and asked around for a spare and soon Mikey from Vice whipped one out from his back pocket for the glamorous Ms Condon to enter.

By now fatigue from the night before had gone and Kristen and I decided to get tight and a little merry. Kristen was wearing red Ray Bans. She has been for the past two months. We couldn’t help noticing a lot of red sunglasses on female’s at the V fest. Kristen has always been a barometer for fashion. She would wear clothes with big lettering on them about a year ago, ala da 80’s, then suddenly everyone was wearing them. I have counted at least ten occasions when what Kristen wore, became a national trend within a year or few months. Either she intuited what others did earlier or that she actually started some of these trends by dressing a certain way. I mean someone has to do it?! One girl wears something on Chapel or Greville st and then a cool designer sees it and makes some clothes like it and “Voila”. A new fashion trend is born…

N. E. Way, Air were boring just like their music, sounding more like Muzak. A couple of really up and bouncing songs lifted things but we were bored by the slow instrumental tracks. So more booze…

We bounced in and out of the VIP area… allowed to take our drinks on the run!

Duran Duran were next. Being a fan of the whole New Romantic thang and being old enough to remember it when it happened, seeing these guys was cool. I was always disappointed that Duran didn’t stick to the electronic sound of their first two or three albums or that cool Arcadia side project. When they rocked out or got funky, I got bored. I dug Depeche Mode who stayed electro pure for example. But the new Duran CD is good, more electronic and combining their interests in funk/rock. They have always been a cool band living in a world of Bret Easton Ellis style fashion, drugs and women. They were great live mixing up old and new stuff and have aged well to be icons of the 80’s.

Next back to the VIP room. Saw Roy the fashion designer who designed clothes in my new movie – stylish as ever, Will Mclean, we said “Hi” to, who I know from the Hellfire days, James Young of course was present at this big music fest to give it his critical ear, Mikey and Briony from Vice we hung out with most and discussed Briony’s heavy necklace she picked up for a song… was it gold or no? But the king of the Emo’s called us…

Smashing Pumpkins were playing already on the main stage. Corgan just didn’t look happy. Not EMO fake unhappy but really bored, going through the motions. Whenever he (rarely) played an old track, people went mental, including Kristen and I. When he played a new one, people stood around bored or left. The new Pumpkins material is mostly tuneless, meandering noise. The old stuff is Indy pop classics. We left as people screamed, “We like your old stuff, better than your new stuff” ala the Regurgitator song. Corgan needs to rediscover his pop self or fade away gracefully.

That left the Presets. Excellent Electro mayhem, drunken dancing, etc. Can’t wait to hear the new CD, I’ll get it this week.

We then pulled the plug. Good venue at Show Grounds with stages close together. The line up was more Electronic than the BDO and probably more to my (and the young Volk of the 00’s) taste. Rock is so passe. Rage Against the Machine, who cares? I liked TISM’s clever send up Machines Against the Rage…

So that’s all from Stalag V. We did a Charles Bronson and got out of there before the madding crowd, bevy’s in hand to fight another day. Tally Ho!

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