Making our way into the depths of the woods, to the Sunrise Arena, we half expected to be assaulted by a Jack o’ the Green, or some ancient, primal force of nature.
Instead, we’re actually expecting to see Bondo De Role — Brazilians, you know, and much admired around these parts. Instead, we get Nu Ravers, on early, and “the only band playing this tent with a record out this week” — who’ll be New Young Pony Club.
I’m tempted to digress about Nu Rave — it all sounds like Movement-era New Order to me — but anyhoo. As it goes, NYPC sound rather more like the kind of punk funk Interpol and co have been dishing out for a while now, rather than anything I’d remotely call rave. And, being 38, I have somewhat fractured memories of that whole world.
As it goes, NYPC prove to be something of draw. They stop their set to ask people to move back, out of the tent, just as a barrier comes crashing down. Singer Tahita Bulmer offers to tell some Bill Hicks jokes, and eventually the crowd settles down. “Ice Cream”, though, starts more chaos, and the band finish their set somewhat early.
Which gives me the chance to check out main stage headliner Damien Rice. Ah, bless. His drummer, he tells is, in Germany, so the band is spread somewhat thin. Still, he delivers what the pretty loud crowd requires — largely acoustic, largely well-intentioned, singalong acoustic tracks. He lays on the feedback for a while, and we get Vocador action.
It all seems benign enough for a first day.
Anyway, the Guilty Pleasures tent awaits. Really, the sight of me singing “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen isn’t something you want to behold.
Call me Mr Fahrenheit.