Monday, August 12, 2013

Knee Deep Festival 2013

I must be a very irritating person to attend a festival with. I very rarely skip tracks when I'm listening to an album, and for pretty much the exact same reason, I don't like to miss even a second of a band's live set. Even if I've never heard of the act in question, I'll want to see the whole thing, from beginning to end, or it doesn't count. This results in a lot of running around, few opportunities to rest, and me shouting things like "come on, we don't want to miss Candle Wanker's first song!"

Just so we're clear, there was no band called Candle Wanker at Knee Deep 2013. But it was the first time I actually managed to disengage my 'don't miss a moment' drive, and I spent a good portion of my weekend hanging out with friends and investigating the food stalls* rather than catching every single set.

That said, I still saw a few bands over the course of the festival. Here are a few of my favourites:

Cloud Boat played on Friday night, just as it was getting dark, and their soothing, ambient sound was perfect for relaxing after a three-hour car journey (not to mention the stress of discovering that there was no cash point on-site). They successfully encouraged most of the audience to stand up and come to the front, but not me - I was lying on the grass, watching the stars come out, and as cheesy as that sounds, it was the perfect way to enjoy Cloud Boat's music. It's easy to take that voice for granted when you're listening to a recording, but hearing it come out of an actual person's mouth is something else entirely.

I saw Splashh at last year's Swn Festival, but I'm pretty certain they weren't as good then as they were on Friday night. They had a lot more personality than I remember, and while 'krautrock Oasis' probably doesn't sound like an especially appealing combination, it really works rather well. Bonus points for the bassist, who had a nice hat and an amazing capacity for playing the same thing over and over again for, like, ten minutes.

Sivu was the unfortunate chap who happened to be playing just as the rain started on Saturday night, but rather than run back to the tent, I shuffled right to the edge of the stage and huddled under the small but serviceable awning to stay dry. Songs like this are a lot more affecting when you're sat at the singer's feet, but even the people who were sat in the rain behind me agreed that it was a very intimate set. Sivu seemed like a lovely chap, too; he was absurdly grateful towards the people who were watching him, especially given the inclement weather.

Deafkid's set was probably my favourite of the festival. Their music is pleasant with just the right amount of weirdness. Have a listen; I really like this song, especially the 'what the hell...' refrain.

Were you at Knee Deep this weekend? Who were your favourite acts? Share your choices in the comments section.

*Most notably The Cauldron, who do a mean paella and an outstanding pulled pork wrap.

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