Sunday, 26 April 2009

Roadburn 2009, Day 3 (Beyond The Pale)

A fine Sunday salute to you! Day 3 of the 2009 Roadburn has been & gone and now all there is left to do is pick through the carcass, discard the rotting bones and savour the taste of it's still warm flesh. Remember kids, the dark meat is the best. And always eat the ollies first before somebody else gets to them!

Day 2 really took a lot out of me, so I'm going to keep today's post-ramble to a short meander. Day 3 offered up more good bands than bad, and the whole day climaxed with a 2 and a half hour set from Neurosis. We can't grumble about that, huh.

Here's what I can remember from day 3:

We arrived at the venue late today, hangover are a heavy load to carry my friends. It took the spring out of our step a little and made our walk to 013 a slow and stuttering one. I missed out on seeing GRAILS, AMEN-RA and GREY DATURAS because of my tardy disposition. Apologies to all the guys in the all the bands.

Nice bit of stone drone to start my day off. I headed into the photographer's pit and got some shots of Dylan Carson rocking back and forth like a slowed-down pendulum, then made my way up into the stands to sit in the darkness and enjoy the vibes. It was like being massaged from the ears down. Great show.

On the way to the venue on Day 3, we got into a conversation about why we all seem to appreciate Roadburn more than most other festivals. This place has got something about it, I have never been able to put a finger on exactly what that something was before now. The conclusion of this conversation was that the good thing about Roadburn as a whole is that there is no ego to the occassion. We can sit around in the bars that surround the venue, sipping on Erdinger, watching the world go by... and then suddenly Wino will walk by, smiling to himself, and wave hello to you. Then the guys from Neurosis stroll past looking amiable. And so on, all day long. This is why Roadburn is "a cut above", because there is no media hype to it, there is no need for anyone there to prove themselves to anyone else.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. Eugene Robinson's spoken word set at Beyond The Pale made me realise that not everyone thinks about Roadburn as a chilled-out doomer/biker/hippie festival celebrating the leaf and chilling the fuck out. Eugene (of OXBOW) came to the stage with a book under his arm and took hold a microphone, then proceeded to explain a cut-down version of his life story to the audience. As he spoke, all of the good-will and mellow vibes of Roadburn evaporated, within 5 minutes it was a totally different atmosphere. I didn't expect this, but then I guess I should have. After 30 minutes of telling us stories (that cannot be repeated), Eugene then introduced his "good friends", BLACK SUN, who took to the stage in the form of a backing band and they ran through a new song called Tabula Rosa, which I think is from the next BLACK SUN record? Powerful, intimidating performance.

Dammit, my credits are about to run out on the hotel internet! Shoot. I will have to cut this review short, sorry guys. It's not like anyone is really reading this the whole way through though, right?

Here's the briefest of band lists I can squeeze into 90 seconds:

NADJA - They played the Batcave, I caught a very small section of their set but I never spent nearly enough time to be able to appreciate them fully. Good to have seen them though.
OM - 2 guys, drum & bass (but not in a dancy-dancy way). I liked this a lot.
ZENI GEVA - Japanese band who I have never heard of before. Will be checking them out for sure.
NEUROSIS - My good God, they just don't stop!
GUAPO - After Neurosis I was spent. This weekend never stopped, at all, even when we were outside the 013 venue. Guapo began to play just as we decided to head away for the night. I caught the start of the 1st song and that was us outta there! Sorry guys, I was really hoping to hang around and see this set too. Damn you, Hoegarden.

I'm away back home today... it's been a blast. Photos and thanks coming soon!!

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