Gradually getting my admin back on track

Now that I’m no longer at a music festival (now, that was well timed with being so ill!) I am really feeling the effects of the weekend, and am very slow and groggy.  It took me until eleven to crawl out of bed this morning, as I was just feverish and dozing up until that point.  Once I’m up, though, the Lemsip Max Strength really helps, and I was able to get a bit of admin done today.

Tomorrow I might even catch up with my OOTDs.  They’re all a bit sickly-looking though!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – Come Undone
Culture Club – Victims
Ariana Grande – Santa Tell Me
Soft Cell – Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
The Human League – The Things That Dreams Are Made Of

Electric Dreams day 3

By Sunday, I was really starting to feel the effects of trying to do a music festival with a bad cold, and so I sort of staggered through the day powered by a lot of Lemsip Max Strength!  I’d given up drinking by this point as well, which meant the drunks in the venue were even more annoying.

The Butlins cooked breakfast hadn’t done it for me the day before, so I went for a giant stack of pancakes on the Sunday morning, which was marginally tastier.  Geth and I then went back to the hotel room and groggily took ages getting showers and things, so we were a little late into the Centre Stage for the Sunday afternoon session and the first band had already started.

Bands I didn’t see on day 3: nobody, because it was just stand-up comedy in the Reds bar on the Sunday, so I didn’t have to miss any bands!

Bands I did see on day 3:

Black Box

Black Box were mainly doing their late ’80s/early ’90s dance classics, but there was a good highlight where they did a mash-up of Sweet Dreams and Seven Nation Army with the vocals from the former over the bassline of the latter.  They also (obviously) finished with Ride On Time, which was much appreciated by the crowd!

Big Country

Big Country get super major plus points for being the only band of the weekend with the balls to make a ‘Hi-De-Hi’ gag.  Great stuff.  I was also excited to tick off the first of the ‘message’ artists on my Band Aid baby bucket list!

Otherwise it was a very enjoyable hit-laden set – with Look Away, Wonderland, and Fields Of Fire (complete with an interesting interpolation of Whiskey In The Jar) all present and correct!  In another example of the Butlins stage managers not being able to deal with bands trying to do encores, the band went offstage and the DJ launched into Heaven 17’s Temptation (at which point I expressed my surprise to Geth that the band hadn’t done In A Big Country and Geth shrugged and went off to the bar to get us another drink)…and then Temptation abruptly cut out and the band came back on.  ‘We are Heaven 17!’ announced Bruce Watson wryly, before we finally got our rendition of In A Big Country.  I have no idea what’s going on with Butlins and their aversion to encores.

We then had a good long break before the evening session, which gave us some recovery time to have a bit of a doze.

OOTD 2nd December 2018
Sunday OOTD: still in my ‘ill at a festival’ uniform! Jacket unknown brand (estimated vintage 1990s, bought at vintage shop 2003), necklace Claire’s Accessories (2003), t-shirt Punk Masters (2018), jeans Levi (2018), boots Primark (2017).

Peter Hook & The Light

We’d already seen Peter Hook & The Light at Infest this year, but as I’ve alluded to, the crowd at Electric Dreams is a vastly different type of audience.  As such, it was a subtly different show, with more of an end-of-term party atmosphere – Hooky, resplendent in a Christmas T-shirt, explained that it was their last gig of the year, and we got the first (but strangely not the last) of the evening’s Jimmy Savile jokes.  Geth went down to the front of the stage while I kept the seats, and from where I was sitting, it just felt really, really weird when the crowd didn’t react at all to the band launching into Joy Division classics like Transmission (especially as I last saw the band at a goth festival with lots of other goths, a subculture in which the Joy Division stuff is absolutely sacrosanct).  Geth reported after the set that from his viewpoint near the front of the stage, the band pretty much phoned in the first couple of Joy Division songs until they realised that there was a small group of people down the front who were actually fans, after which they did things properly.

The audience all went nuts for Blue Monday though, so that’s something!  Hooky also did the gag about turning the lights up on the crowd and then immediately going ‘argh, no!’, which would probably have been funnier if Big Country hadn’t done the exact same joke earlier that day.

The set was pretty much the same as when I saw them at Infest, except for there being a couple of extra New Order songs – they did Regret, which is one of my absolute favourites (I had it on my Greatest Hits of 1993 album when I was eight).  It was also great to hear Temptation again, because the music geek in me was thrilled that it was the first of two famous Temptations we’d hear that night…

Heaven 17

…because Heaven 17 were headlining, and they were hardly going to avoid playing their Temptation, were they?

Before the inevitable closing song, though, we got all the classics – (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang, Come Live With Me, Let Me Go – and a lot of very funny stage banter between Martyn Ware and Glenn Gregory, who’ve been doing this stuff for nearly forty years and have moved firmly into ‘old married couple’ territory.  This included another Jimmy Savile gag (apparently he introduced their first Top of the Pops appearance) and some slightly risqué Morecambe and Wise references.

There was a cover of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, which is another song that’s a bit of a theme for covers at the moment.  They also played Being Boiled, which was the Human League’s biggest hit while Martyn Ware was still with the band – which meant that in the space of five days, Geth and I managed to see Being Boiled performed by both the Human League and Heaven 17!  Geth preferred the Human League performance, while I gave the edge to Heaven 17.  Both brilliant and very different though!

I enjoyed the performance so much that I was really surprised when they launched into Temptation to finish the set – it honestly felt to me like they’d only been playing for about five minutes.  I’m so thrilled I got to see them, and not just because it means more artists ticked off my Band Aid baby bucket list!  I’ll make sure to get tickets again when they’re next on tour.

Afterwards, Geth and I finished our drinks and sloped off to get some rest.  All in all, it was a fantastic weekend of music and the bands were great…it was just a shame we had to go to Butlins to see them.

Updated Band Aid baby bucket list progress: song artists 4/37 (10.8%); message artists 2/7 (28.6%); total artists 6/44 (13.6%).

Flying Monday post

Back in Newcastle tonight, and knackered after travelling.  Will update about Electric Dreams day 3 tomorrow!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Soft Cell – Sex Dwarf
The Human League – The Things That Dreams Are Made Of
New Order – Temptation
Heaven 17 – Let Me Go
The 1975 – Too Time Too Time Too Time
Jon Bon Jovi – Please Come Home For Christmas
Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
Squeeze – Up The Junction
George Ezra – Shotgun
Dee C Lee – See The Day
Dean Lewis – Be Alright

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Joy Division – Dead Souls

Flying Sunday post

One last festival flying post!  Will update properly tomorrow night.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale Of New York
Spandau Ballet – True
Hazell Dean – Wherever I Go (Whatever I Do)
Major Lazer, DJ Snake and Mø – Lean On
Ultravox – Vienna
Skyrim – The Dragonborn Comes

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Dua Lipa – New Rules

Electric Dreams day 2

I had expected to be able to chill out for a bit on Saturday morning, but Electric Dreams isn’t like Resistanz or Infest where the bands don’t start for the day until four o’clock in the afternoon!  There’s an afternoon music session starting at about half past twelve on the Saturday and Sunday, so by the time we’d gone and had our breakfast, it was pretty much time to get going again.  When we walked into the Skyline Pavilion, they were doing a silent disco showing of Live Aid from 1985, which was a nice touch!

Live Aid showing at Electric Dreams
That is Live Aid up there on the screen, but I’m not familiar enough with the concert to tell you who’s playing. I would have quite liked to go watch this, but we just didn’t have time!

Bands I didn’t see on day 2: Altered Images and Hue & Cry, who were apparently turning the Reds bar into a wee piece of Scotland for the evening.  Under any other circumstances, I would have liked to go see both of these bands (especially seeing as Hue & Cry were on Now! #10 – no, I’m not starting another bucket list, but I do like to see those songs live when I have the chance!).  Unfortunately, because the Centre Stage arena was very popular on the Saturday night due to Marc Almond playing – it took us twenty minutes to get through the queue when the arena first opened – I wasn’t going to risk dashing between venues and not being able to get back in again.

Bands I did see on day 2:

Hazell Dean

Some artists who were big in the ’80s are so opposed to being seen as retro ’80s acts that they wouldn’t touch ’80s revival festivals with a barge pole.  Some artists embrace the whole thing to the extent that they show up on stage wearing the same ridiculous ’80s ‘costume’ as half the people in the crowd.  Hazell Dean is…one of the latter.  The set opened with a cover of Shalamar’s A Night To Remember, which pretty much set the tone.

What I did really appreciate, as a music geek, was that Hazell kept coming out with fun facts about all the songs she was singing.  I was surprised that she played Wherever I Go (Whatever I Do) second, as I’d always thought of that as her biggest hit, but apparently both that one and Who’s Leaving Who (played third) got to number four in the charts!  I also didn’t know that Turn It Into Love was her last Top of the Pops appearance, or that Searchin’ was her first hit.  It was a highly educational set in that respect.  She also did some Abba covers, which went down well with the crowd.

What I’ve found this weekend is that the stage managers at Electric Dreams don’t really know how to deal with bands trying to do encores.  Hazell Dean’s was great though, as when she was told she could go on for an encore, she announced over the microphone, ‘okay, press the button’.  Geth and I had been taking the piss out of the karaoke-style ‘sing along to a backing track’ performance up until then, but we did appreciate the complete lack of bones being made about it at that point!

The Art Of Noise

The Art Of Noise were advertised as doing a DJ set, but as Geth and I are used to industrial performances (which often involve dudes standing still and doing nothing except pressing buttons on laptops), it seemed more like a live performance to us.  The band (collective?) have had fingers in many pies since the ’70s, and so the set included a mishmash of pretty much all the most famous tracks in which they’ve been involved.  Highlights for me included Close To The Edit, the footage of Max Headroom (one of the many awesome visuals that accompanied the music), Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Video Killed The Radio Star, and the mashup of the Prince and Tom Jones versions of Kiss.

Johnny Hates Jazz

Johnny Hates Jazz apparently released a new album in 2013, and so they were mostly playing stuff off that, which was actually really good!  One of those albums I need to check out at some point.  They did do the hits as well, though, and I especially loved I Don’t Want To Be A Hero (another Now! #10 classic!) and Shattered Dreams, which was the closing song.

There was then a break between the afternoon session and the evening session, so we were able to go get some food and investigate what was going on with the DJ sets in Bar Rosso (answer: not much worth listening to).

OOTD 1st December 2018
Saturday OOTD: still ill (although the Lemsip pills are really helping), still rocking the jeans ‘n’ t-shirt uniform. Jacket unknown brand (estimated vintage 1990s, bought at vintage shop 2003), t-shirt Gildan for Infest (2018), necklace Claire’s Accessories (2003), jeans Zara (2018), boots Primark (2017).

Blancmange

Blancmange were the first band of the evening session, and they were great – brilliant energy, really enjoyed it.  Don’t Tell Me and Living On The Ceiling were predictably the highlights, but I also enjoyed Feel Me, which included interpolations of Pull Up To The Bumper and Pop Musik.  Awesome set.

Marc Almond

I took about ten pictures of this set, but they’re all so blurry you can’t actually tell it’s even a gig.  As such, I won’t post one.  I do have some standards.

There were a lot of bands I was really excited about seeing this weekend, but Marc Almond was probably the biggest draw.  He did a brilliant mixture of Soft Cell classics – Bedsitter and Torch both appeared early – and solo stuff (The Days Of Pearly Spencer and Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart were highlights for me, the latter partly because I love the Gene Pitney original so much and it’s a lovely tribute).  Towards the end, he got into the real crowd-pleasers like Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go? and Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, before finishing with a cover of T.Rex’s Hot Love, which seems to be a bit of a theme at the moment.

Incidentally, a lot of the ‘I’m wearing an ’80s costume’ types showed up to this performance either carrying or wearing inflatable pink flamingoes.  I’m not sure how I feel about that, and I think I’ll probably end up doing a whole separate post on the subject.

Pat Sharp

When I was a little girl, I loved watching Fun House, which ran through the late ’80s and early ’90s and involved a lot of daft stuff like people chucking gunge at each other and other things that kids find hilarious.  It was presented by Pat Sharp, who at the time wore his hair in an infamously bad mullet, except that no-one called it a mullet back then.  Nowadays, he’s made a new career out of ’80s nostalgia, and is always presenting countdown shows on the classic music channels like Vintage TV and Now! ’80s.  As such, it’s not really a surprise that he showed up at Electric Dreams to do a DJ set.

At the start, he promised the crowd that although he’d mainly be playing electro stuff, he’d also be taking a few ‘sideswipes’.  Geth and I only managed about four songs of the set, partly because we were tired but mainly because Geth couldn’t stand it for very long, but it definitely seemed as though there were just as many ‘sideswipes’ as actual electro songs.  The first one was Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, which was terrible for three reasons:

  1. He could at least have chosen a Christmas song from the ’80s!  Last Christmas would have been a good shout, but there are so many options!
  2. They had cheesy fake snow coming down from the ceiling.
  3. As soon as the song finished, Pat restarted it again so that he had more time for taking selfies with the crowd.  Double Mariah!  Nobody needs that, not even at Christmas time!

I think that was the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as Geth was concerned, but then as we were leaving, out came Sweet Caroline.  Just dreadful.  Especially as it was absolutely pissing it down when we left, so we had to hurry through the pouring rain with no umbrellas or hoods and Sweet Caroline merrily earworming its way into our brains.  Not a great end to the day.

Day 3 review tomorrow!

Flying Saturday post

Busily attending Electric Dreams.  Feel strange not having to write my NaNo novel today!

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)
The Beatles – Do You Want To Know A Secret?
Take That – Babe
Duran Duran – Violence Of Summer
ABC – The Look Of Love
Little Mix and Stormzy – Power

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Sheena Easton – Morning Train (Nine To Five)

Electric Dreams day 1

Geth and I have been meaning to go to the Electric Dreams festival for a while, because we were always seeing it advertised on Vintage TV.  (Incidentally, I found out why Vintage TV has disappeared from our channel list – it’s gone online-only for the moment!)  Late November/early December is not usually a good time for us to go away, because of Geth’s work schedule, but he’s got a lighter workload this year, so we decided to go for it.  My decision was also cemented by the fact that Marc Almond is playing – we missed out on getting tickets for the one-off Soft Cell reunion gig earlier this year, so this is a way of making up for it.

The journey from Newcastle to Bognor Regis was as straightforward as it can be when you (a) only realise last-minute that you don’t have seat reservations and (b) have to tube it through London in the middle of the journey because journeys to the south coast always require tubing it through London.  I’d booked inclusive dining at the resort, so we were able to get some food and get settled in our room before getting ready to go out and see the bands.

OOTD 30th November 2018
Friday OOTD: too ill to do proper festival dressing, have shown up in a jeans ‘n’ t-shirt uniform instead. Necklace Claire’s Accessories (2003), t-shirt Punk Masters (2018), jeans H&M (thrifted from Steff 2016).

Bands I didn’t see on day 1: The Blow Monkeys (we’ve already seen them supporting Level 42 this year so didn’t feel the need to see them again), China Crisis (I’d have quite liked to see them but I’m still suffering with my cold and didn’t want to waste too much energy running back and forth between venues), and Living In A Box (they kind of only have that one song that I would want to hear…and we wanted a fairly early night on the first day, ’cause we’re old now and can’t hack it).

Bands I did see on day 1:

Ex Simple Mind

The singular in the band name is not a mistake.  There’s only one ex-member of Simple Minds in the band at the moment (Brian McGee).  This doesn’t stop them doing nothing but Simple Minds classics, which I was a bit disappointed about, ’cause their current singer is Owen Paul and I would have liked to hear him do his ’80s hit My Favourite Waste Of Time (number three in 1986, fact fans).

The set was basically split into two halves – the ‘moody’ stuff, according to Owen, and the ‘hits’.  The moody stuff included songs like Waterfront but sadly not my favourite Simple Minds song, Belfast Child, which would have fit in there perfectly.  The hits were fairly predictable – Promised You A Miracle, (Don’t You) Forget About Me, Alive And Kicking – but played in a slightly bizarre order.  Owen seemed to be suggesting (‘are you ready for the hits to get bigger?’) that Alive And Kicking was a bigger hit than (Don’t You) Forget About Me, which is…not accurate.  They closed with Sanctify Yourself, which was also a bit of an odd choice.

Modern Romance

I wasn’t hugely familiar with Modern Romance’s band history because, as Geth pointed out, they were a bit of an ‘early ’80s Top of the Pops background band’.  I obviously recognised all their Latin-tinged party songs like Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey and Best Years Of Our Lives, but they’re not an act I’ve been following, so I was reliant on the festival programme to tell me that it’s just the singer, Andy Kyriacou, who remains from the classic lineup.

After doing their three or four hits, they kind of ran out of their own songs and started doing covers.  When we left the Reds venue to go and get a space in the Centre Stage Venue for ABC, they’d just launched into Starship’s We Built This City, which, to be fair, was going down really well with the crowd.

ABC

ABC at Electric Dreams
I know, I know, I can’t take a non-blurry gig photo. That is Martin Fry with the microphone, I swear.

ABC were the headliner for Friday and, naturally, the band I was most excited about.  Geth and I did find some seats – as I’ve mentioned, we’re both suffering from colds at the moment – but I actually ended up on my feet a lot of the time, because I was enjoying the energetic, entertaining set so much.  My highlights were When Smokey Sings (much beloved by me due to appearing on the hallowed tome that is Now! #10) and The Look Of Love (my favourite ABC song) – it was awesome to hear them both.

The only small fly in the ointment was that they played the same song (Poison Arrow) twice, which is an absolute no-no in my book – but to be fair, I think it was because they meant to finish with The Look Of Love and then the stage managers told them they had time for one more song, so they had to repeat something!  The crowd adored it, anyway.

Day 2 review tomorrow!

Flying Friday post

Off to the first night of a music festival this evening.  Will have lots to say tomorrow!

I do want to say that I finished my awesome overachiever 120,000-word NaNo today.  Very happy with that.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Chris Isaak – Wicked Game
Robbie Williams – Dream A Little Dream
Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder – Together In Electric Dreams
Kate Bush – Them Heavy People
Sia – Santa’s Coming For Us
Duran Duran – Winter Marches On
Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)

Attempting to fend off the illness

I didn’t go to either Slimming World or Pilates today.  I’m still feeling ill and relying on the Lemsip Max Strength, and Geth and I have a music festival this weekend, so I wanted to save my strength.  It did mean that things were a bit less hectic than I expected today, which was good.

4,000 words done on NaNo, taking me up to 116,000.  One last push tomorrow!

OOTD 29th November 2018
OOTD: looking so ill! 🙁 Nice to have some sunlight for once though. Jumper Carlo Colucci (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017), leggings Primark (2018), boots Carefree (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Traditional – Itsy Bitsy Spider*
Robson & Jerome – I Believe
Kate Bush – Them Heavy People
The Rolling Stones – Let’s Spend The Night Together
The 1975 – Too Time Too Time Too Time
Adam & The Ants – Stand And Deliver
Boy George – Everything I Own
Bing Crosby – It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder – Together In Electric Dreams

*You can thank the fever dreams for that one.