Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hyde Park Calling

Yesyes, I went and it was fantastic! Picked up in a limo (yes, I know, but actually not much dearer per person than getting the train or airport bus, and about a milion times more pleasant!). Found a great spot near the front. Ate food. Drank beer. Watched warm-up acts.

Fell totally head-over-heels with The Feeling all over again. Damn, this is a great band--and a really great live band! Even if Dan G-S did forget some of his own words. Poor poppet. I'm pretty sure he skipped on stage with a glass of Pimms, so maybe that's why. To quote my brother, "Is that a session drummer? He's really good." No, I said, squinting at the stage, I'm pretty sure that's their regular drummer. "Wow," Rich said, "he's as good as a session musician!". Of course, The Feeling were a live band before they ever went into a studio, they toured on cruise ships, so no wonder they're so together on stage. Looking forward to their next tour!

Now, as I write it's just started raining, really heavily. Anyone who's gone to see Aerosmith at HPC today is going to be in for a muddy time. Still, not as muddy as Glastonbury, as the HPC organisers and bands kept reminding us. Neil Finn, who likes to impro a little at the end of Weather With You, sang, "We're bringing the sun, we're bringing the sun to Hyde Park...but it's raining in Glastonbury..."

And then it was raining in Hyde Park. Not the light drizzle of earlier: big fat heavy globs of rain that came right through the umbrella. Did anyone laugh at me for wearing my green Wimbledon plastic rain cape? No, they did not! Of ourse, it only covered me to the knee, so I got to discover if my big fat chunky heavy duty trainers were as waterproof as I'd hoped. They were not.

But anyway, who cares. I was watching Crowded House! They were fantastic. Another great live band, they really know how to interact with the crowd. A lot of the stuff they were playing was from their new album so I didn't know it, but it was very Crowded House. It grows on you. You hear it and go, "Yeah, it's okay," and then you hear it again and go, "Actually, it's pretty good," and then after a while you're in love with it. Or maybe that's just me.

Plus of course all the hits. Mean To Me was played through the downpour, during which all I could see was the big TV screen over the sea of umbrellas (which Neil got us waving about in unison, like the Last night of the Proms). Stagehands scampered about covering all the equipment with tarpaulins. Neil asked what their insurance was like in case of electrocution. Nick Seymour's bass went out. The rain was coming full in their faces, they were standing on a large metal structure and holding electrical instruments. They called it a day!

You know, I don't really mind. The bands were fantastic--in the case of The Feeling whose album I love but who I hadn't seen live yet, even better than I'd expected--and I think it's not a proper festival unless someone gets soaked. Of course, afterwards we found ourselves wandering around Mayfair looking like drowned rats. In streets where every other car is a Bentley, I feared we were about to get thrown out for making the place look untidy. but we found a sweet little patisserie restaurant thingy on South Audley Street, dried out, ate food, and went home happy.

I hope the Aerosmith fans going today like mud.

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