Tuesday, 15 March 2005

After much thought....

...answers to Sally's [slightly more than] Five questions ;)

1. What makes you really angry, and how would we know?
People making decisions on my behalf (that I am perfectly capable of forming my own conclusions/decisions about) without consulting me first. Pretty much anyone trying to limit and/or restrict my [human] rights to have my own identity and opinions, to believe and like or not like what I decide to etc. I'd go on but I've stood on this soapbox before.

To be honest I can 't really think of anything else at the moment. I don't really get angry about much. I guess I feel frustration much more often. Theres a big long list of things that frustrate me....

I think I broadly come in two states, "laid back relaxed" and "I'm going to kill someone [or break something]". The is a large amount of pressure relief space in the "laid back relaxed" state so its very rarely that I flip into the other mode. The transition is rapid however and its unlikely that you would know until you found the trail of dead. That or very loud thumping music. Probably mainly the latter :D

2. If you had to describe yourself for an on-line dating agency, what would you say?

There is so little chance that I would ever do this kind of thing. Very very small. Well in fact its _never_ going to happen. I will try to answer it though.
"Quiet, reclusive, thinker. Reads lots of books and always listening to music. Hates being the centre of attention. Doesn't do sunday mornings. Can be very internalised, and reluctant to lower barriers. Likes Cats."
I don't sell myself very well do I?. ISTP fits quite well I think.

3. What did you have in your test tube today?
I think I set the steady march of scientific progress back by atleast six months today. I mixed this compound (nice white shiny crystals), with this other compound (also nice shiny crystals) then added a bit of solvent and some hydrochloric acid and heated it for an hour intending to produce this really novel anti cancer drug but instead formed an intractable gum, or as it is known in chemistry circles, sticky black stuff. I decided then that it would be better if I put down the chemicals and stepped away from the fumehood. So I did.

4. Which are your 5 favourite bands of all time?
This is the hardest question for me to answer. Very very hard. Actually not that hard to write once I got into it, but still hard to choose. I have so many bands and albums to choose from and so many ways of grouping them into favorite 5's that it is well nigh impossible to choose the top 5. It depends very heavily on my current mood and the time of day, and the weather, and all kinds of other factors too.

Top 5 bands by number of their albums I own.
The Smashing Pumpkins, The Levellers, The Beautiful South, AC/DC, Metallica

Top 5 bands I never saw live but wished I had
The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Pulp, Black Sabbath, Rage Against the Machine

Top 5 bands I have seen live
Therapy?, Bush, Carter USM, Bjork, The Polyphonic Spree

Top 5 weird Scandanavian artists:
Stina Nordenstam, Emiliana Tourini, Bjork, Royksopp, Sigur Ros

Top 5 Singer/songwriters
Bob Dylan, Jewel, Tom Mcrae, Beth Orton, Kate Rusby

Top 5 folk/country
Bob Dylan, Kate Rusby, Cara Dillon, Levellers, Laura Cantrell

Top 5 things to listen too when I feel like crying
The Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Kate Rusby, Jewel, Beth Orton

Top 5 things to listen to when I need to escape
Blur, Muse, Gomez, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Reindeer section

Top 5 I've bought this week
Ameliana Tourini, Beck, Idlewild, Eels, Belle + Sebastian

Top 5 albums when I feel the need to break things
Pantera, Rage Against the Machine, The Ramones, Sepultura, System of a Down

Top 5 rock/metal/thrash/grindcore/goth
Marilyn Manson, Muse, Pantera, Metallica, Pearl Jam

Top 5 bands that sound like Pearl Jam,
Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Nickelback, Creed, Pearl Jam

Top 5 female artists
Beth Orton, Kate Rusby, Jewel, Norah Jones, Laura Cantrell,

Top 5 male artists,
Bob Dylan, Tom Mcrae, Nick Drake, David Bowie, David Gray

Top 5 Antipodean Bands
Silverchair, Crowded House, AC/DC, Midnight Oil, Nick Cave and the bad Seeds

Top 5 bands with People who used to be in other bands
Zwan, Foo Fighters, The Breeders, Gorillaz, The Reindeer Section

Top 5 who I've not included so far but really should have
Tori Amos, Turin Brakes, The White Stripes, Starsailor, PJ Harvey

First 5 Top 5 songs I could think of. (needed atleast twenty probably many more)
Name (Goo Goo Dolls), Disarm (the Smashing Pumpkins), 74-75 (the Connells), Paint it Black (Rolling Stones), Teenage Kicks (The Undertones).

Top 5 album names
Daisies of the Galaxy (Eels), And She Closed Her Eyes (Stina Nordenstam), Origin of Symmetry (Muse), Hats Off to the Insane (Therapy?), Jar of Flies/Sap (Alice in Chains)

Top 5 bandnames
Airstar, Belle + Sebastien, The Cooper Temple Clause, Kings of Leon, Soul Asylum

And to finish a Top 10 bands I've seen at Greenbelt
Billy Brag, Moby, Love Lies Bleeding, Never On a Monday, The Polyphonic Spree, The Porters, Griff Pilchard, No More Horses (when on the bandstand playing their first ever gig), Rick Wakeman, Angel Orange

5. Tell me about your very first Greenbelt, and how you came to be involved in the Bandstand?

I first went to greenbelt when I was 17, in 1990. I had just started going to a local church cyfa group and went along with 30-40 friends from there/school. Only a couple of very laid back YG leaders meant it was great. It was also my first time away with just friends and no parents. It was great!. I slept very little that first year, never getting to bed before dawn it seemed
I remember getting there late on the wednesday evening with the advanced party and finding the best place to camp, then fencing off a large area for the rest of us. Then there was a [moderate!?!] amount of alcohol consumption, that night and over the next six days. Then we went home. To be honest I remember the next years festival much better and much more fondly but hey it was still fun the first time.
That first year we spent loads of time just wandering round and round and round the village. Those days you could just walk and walk in the same direction and end up in the same place, having met loads of great people doing just the same. (I kind of miss that loopy walking with the current R/C site). We'd end up where we started, but it would always be different when we got there. We always seemed to end up (or start) at the bandstand or in the other fringe venues. Some of our friends were playing in bands that played in many of the venues over the years, and were even on mainstage a couple of timest. Might not have been this first year, but they were Detritus and Seventh Angel. Loud metal/goth stuff. Great times. Still see some of them each year at the festival. Some of that initial group of friends still goes to the festival and we always seem to meet up even if only for a short time. A few of them are also venue managers now which is strange. Its also hard because I have lost touch with many good friends, having moved away from home when I was 18 to uni and now more northerly. I rarely go home and I'm terrible at keeping in touch. Even with family.
Back to the first one. I've never been particularly engaged by the seminar side of the festival and I guess it stems from those first years at the festival. GB has been, and always will be for me, about the music and the people you meet. The more religious sides have never been particularly engaging or enticing for me. Having said that I have had some great spiritual revelations there, none of which I really want to go into here. There weren't any that first year, but then I wasn't there looking for that kind of thing either. We spent long hours sat in front of the bandstand, listening to all kinds of music, some good, some dreadful. Some even worse than that!. But thats what we did for the next 4-5 years. Sat around and watched music being tortured but more often played well and relaxed in front of that little stage. It played centre stage in my GB experiences for many years there after, and still to this day to be honest. I even fell in love for the first/last time in front of that little stage. Something that will follow me the rest of my days.

One of my friends from those days, by the name of Steve Croxton, went away for a year in 94/95 to work with/at oxford youth works. There he met up with a certain former chair of the festival, who was in those days leading up the GB fringe (RIP). Jude L was recruiting volunteers for that summer's festival, especially the fringe and Steve volunteered us for the job. I think there were six or seven of us that year who were lured by the offer of a free ticket to the festival in exchange for a few hours work on the bandstand. It was more like a few minutes of work every hour then loads of time to watch bands. Pretty much what we had been doing up till then, but this time we got a free ticket for doing it. It was a fantastic gig!. Over the festival I became friendly with Paul D (him of winnie the pooh story fame), and at the end of the festival, Kaz who had been running the Bandstand, asked the two of us if we would like to run it next year between us, and we jumped at the chance. Little did we know then that for every year (95-2003 minus the first at the RC) we would be doing the same. They were some fantastic years for us and hopefully everyone else who came, relaxed and spent enjoyable moments in front of our little stage over those years enjoyed it as much as we did. For a few of those years it was largely unsupported by the festival at large, but we still managed to get it there every year by borrowing kit or on a couple of occasions paying for it ourselves. It endures. Looking back at the huge number of bands who have gone from playing our bandstand to playing on bigger stages at the festival and beyond or in a few cases rushing straight from headlining mainstage to play to 2000+ six inches away on the bandstand (all star united to name the first I can think of), its made a great and continuing contribution to the bredth of music at the festival. Long may it continue.

If I'm not hidden in the depths behind front desk doing signs (please can I get a window this year, it dark in that corner), thats where I'll be.