Festivals

Rufus gets his kit off, and J Mascis is sort of ready for his set

Rufus Wainwright has just played up to all Benicassim festival expectations of a good ol’ show tune packed set. Within the space of four songs he went from Joseph in his technicolour dreamcoat to something out of The Producers – in between teasing the packed Esceniaro Fiberfib tent wearing his now de rigeur festival white bath robe.

We were late to the site, after slight misdirected navigational skills walking towards the expressway bridge which would take us to the festival. Luckily our small pattering of Espanol saved the day and some locals took pity and offered us a lift back up the way we came. And the bonus result was the sombreros that we are now sporting.

At least we made it to Rufus before the show ended, and it looks like he was on top charming form. Wearing a stripy multi-coloured two piece suit, looking very much a West End/Broadway star, the crowd are whipped into a frenzy of adoration and awe.

Coming on for his encore of ‘Hallelujah’ suddenly undressed and in a luxurious white bath robe – the crowd whooped and jeered for him to remove it!
‘Hallelujah’ was goosebump-making – even without the treat of sister Martha helping with the soaring vocals that we were treated to at Glastonbury last month.

He then came to the front of the stage – expertly put a fat dose of red lipstick on – without a mirror – and then went to the back of the stage, as a troupe of suited and booted chorus line male dancers flanked him.

It all then went a bit Producers, singing ‘Come On Get Happy’ with much flailing of arms and effeminate dancing from the now de-robed Wainwright. Wearing fishnet tights and black stilettos, what a performer.

Antony and the Johnsons are playing straight after, and I’m heading back that way now, after a diversion to the press tent.

On the way in, we chat to a rather dazed J. Mascis – he’s back here with Dinosaur Jr for the second time, after playing the main stage two years ago.

Asking him about what he’s planning to play tonight, whether there’ll be any back catalogue surprises – he thinks about it, but then says very slowly that he hasn’t made it up yet. He won’t be doing the show on the hoof though, it will be planned. He better find a pen soon though, they’re on in two hours.

Mascis is off to see Antony and the Johnsons, and we point him in the right direction, he smiles and toodles off.

Can’t wait to see him play guitar later.


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