Monday, 15 September 2008
Back from the End of the Road
I arrived back at home today after three days soaking up the loveliness at End of the Road in Dorset. What a perfect way to cap off a rather wonderful summer. It was great to spend a few days in a beautiful place (the Larmer Tree gardens where the festival is held is home to peacocks and parrots and quaint folley type constructions and some pretty massive trees) with some nice people listening to some of our musical favourites (thanks to Woodpigeon who made is possible for us to go for free!).
Far from this being a music blog I would really like to share some of the best bits with you because there really was some super special music going on. Please excuse my inadequate writing and aimless rambling.
For me friday really belonged to Laura Marling. Its easy to criticise a singer like Marling ('she's too young to know what she's singing about', 'she's too obvious' etc etc) or to have preconceptions about what her music may be like (It really would be wrong to lump her with the droves of female singer songwriters clogging the charts) when in actual fact she deserves far more respect than many fashionable indie types would be ready to admit to (I will admit to being an occasional music snob). Her voice was flawless and endearing and she never hit a superfluous note. I stand by my belief that Night Terror (which you can download here) is one of the best songs of the year.
Saturday Bon Iver won for me although a more than honourable mention goes to the Bowerbirds whose album I've been listening to for a year now I think and it still hasnt lost its inescapable charm. Anyway Bon Iver was incredible. There have been innumberable folk praising the soaring wonder of Jordan Vernon's album 'For Emma, Forever ago' and I was fairly sure the live show couldn't live up to how much I loved the record and yet he managed it and more. That guy's voice is astounding and frequently heartbreaking and as the whole audience sang 'what might have been lost' at the end of Wolves (act I & act II) it was fairly obvious that every single person stood in that garden was completely in love.
Finally Sunday and The Mountain Goats. Oh god the Mountain Goats. They were always going to be the best bit for me and they didnt dissapoint in the slightest. They played No Children! Yes! John Darnielle sings songs about awful, sad, horrible things with so much enthusiasm and childish joy that they become triumphant and wonderful without ever losing sight of the sadness and frustration that they were born of. Its a pretty special thing when every song an artist plays feels like an old favourite. Amazing.
Anyway that was my weekend. I hope you enjoyed yours too!