COACHELLA FESTIVAL – DAY ONE – The Verve, Les Savy Fav, The Raconteurs!
It’s 97 degrees, 50,000 music tattooed fans are surrounded by palm trees and padding cowboy-hatted and barefoot across the lush polo fields of Indio, California while trucks spray water ON the site to keep the swirling dust down. Read it and weep Mr Eavis! It can only be COACHELLA.
This is the ninth COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL and this is how Uncut saw Friday 25 April, day one:
THE VERVE (Main Stage)
Their first US show for 10 years and they climax with a song they’ve never played before!
Richard Ashcroft – newly mod shorn but assuredly still the space commander – leads the amassed faithful through the psychedelic dusk with a majestic ‘Lucky Man’ and ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ which he dedicates to Hunter S Thompson because the band stop off at Vegas next. Then he takes us higher with this new cosmic thing that even the band don’t have a name for yet!
The band slope off triumphant and the crowd disperse leaving headliner JACK JOHNSON to pick up the pieces.
BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY
LES SAVY FAV
Weird beard Tom Harrington stripped down to his undies, (ugh!) microwaving lobster pink (double ugh!) on the sizzling open-topped, mid-afternoon Outdoor Theatre decides to proposition the crowd, kiss a guy then ascend 30 feet to the top of the lighting rig where he hovers precariously, leading us cheerleader style through set closer ‘We Rock The Party’.
We’re a mere three hours from Hollywood so the stars all rock up: ALICIA SILVERSTONE, ROSANNA ARQUETTE, AGYNESS DEYN, who dances on stage with Black Kids, STEVEN TYLER and PINK all show. Pink digs The Breeders. Tyler digs Raconteurs.
ROCK GODS IN WAITING
Jack does his best Jimmy Page impersonation, hair fresh cut and cool sideys, soloing like his life depends on it as the band hunker down to some heavy blues work-outs. Some of this stuff is on the recently out and already bypassed ‘Consolers Of The Lonely’. ‘Steady As She Goes’ is the day’s big Fest anthem.
WIN SOME, LOSE SOME…
Big, big crowd for the latest East Coast nonchalants and much screaming along to party anthem ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ but the sartorials are a Benneton nightmare, singer Ezra Koenig jittering around in pressed pink shorts for Chrissakes!
HEIGHT OF FASHION:
A draw between DATAROCK, who manfully sweat through the entire day in their matching blood red track suits, and SANTI WHITE of SANTOGOLD who performs a stunning set from her debut album in the Gobi tent dressed in a crazy-ass jumpsuit and red fishnet tights.
KEEPING IT OLD SCHOOL
Still can’t keep it together, the Deal sisters bitch about their mother’s Alzeimers, tune and detune, false start a lot and eventually bludgeon their way through a ragged collection of newies from their ‘Moutain Battles’ album (‘Walk It Off’ achieves some kind of stand-out) plus main stage set savers ‘One Divine Hammer’ and ‘Cannonball’.
SONG OF THE DAY
BLACK KIDS’ ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You’. Not just a brilliant title, the Jacksonville outfit tore up the Mojave tent, singer Reggie Young in fine rabble-rousing form.