Sunday overview

Hi:Fi (South) 2006 reviews

published: Thu 1st Jun 2006

Saturday 27th to Sunday 28th May 2006
Matterley Bowl near Winchester, Hants, England MAP
£99 (both days) or £54.50 for either day
last updated: Fri 31st Mar 2006

“Aghhhhh! Hot tent! Get out of sleeping bag fast! Nooo! Someone’s playing Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas or is it the cinema still going? Dunno, must get up” Bad move. There is nothing to do for hours but snooze and waste time waiting for the arena to open.

We spot the powder room a hairdressers would you believe and it’s full of girls getting their hair cut. Guess it kills time ‘til the bands start up. We wandered the stalls, took on board proper coffee from the only place selling it Café Ibiza and even chatted to The Samaritans (no we were mentally fine) about how the night had gone. Eventually the sun passed its zenith and we entered the cool Live Arena only to find it empty probably not even 20 people in there to watch Envelopes. Who in the words of a security bloke should, stick a stamp on themselves and be posted back to where they come from. I think that was a little harsh, I quite liked the off the wall Scandinavian band and I’m not surprised they regularly play European festivals.

We stroll about the site taking in the other stages (arenas) but the only one with anyone about is the PunchFunk Rock stage and that’s because it’s the only outdoor stage and even then it’s just the PA there is no one playing.

I wonder whether this is all those from the campsite as the camping fields are in the majority fairly empty. Both days it seems the numbers are swelled with day tickets later in the day. Either that or the ‘Dance Generation’ can’t get it together to get out of the campsite until much later in the day.

If so, they miss a treat in the first act of the day at the Live Arena, the irrepressible Crazy P who take us all back to an age of glitterballs, afros and flares and it’s ruddy marvellous! A groovalicious highlight of the weekend.

In search of food we happen to pass the local outdoor Purple Stage PunchFunk Rocks! Which showcases local talent and briefly catch the end of off the hook ska mentalists Wiservice before The Aviators. I’m quite impressed with the local talent and ~The Aviators sound fine, a little reminiscent of Pearl Jam or Soundgarden. A tight five piece who we’ll be seeing more of I reckon. ‘Aviator’ and ‘Beat My Girl’ are both well delivered despite the bassplayer having to sit as he’s broken his leg, w**king apparently. It’s nice to sit at this stage and soak up the sun, shame there aren’t a few more outdoor stages and true festie feel, but I guess that would be a big risk at this time of year.

Paolo Mojo is producing blessed out tunes in Godskitchen Arena. Infectious, soothing and danceable at once. We have fun throwing a few dance moves together, before checking out Brakes on the Live Stage, what a find! Real UK punk and country – my favourite combination! And they are stupendously talented and vitriolic and brittle and hill-billy heartache and I look forward to hearing more of them too.

MYNC Project in the Electric Arena get the crowd moving from the off and are missing like mad, breaking about 10 tunes in under 2 minutes! Scratching and mixing like professionals well above their age. Classic frenetic stuff! Whoot Whoot!

We bounce back to catch The Bees who I’ve seen before and love to see .... But they’re disappointing. Deflated, I head for the only other place I can see live music PunchFunk to catch local lads The Exits, playing some great rock. ‘Get A Life’ sure does the trick with spacey guitar and a ska beat from the bassist. I’m told the guitarist is lucky to be here, having got his dates wrong he flew in from the States at the last minute arriving in England at 7.30 that morning. Jet lag wasn’t apparent in his noodling and he also delivered some great keyboards too. The lead singer looks familiar and has a lot of front about him and they are much tighter than The Bees were today.

The total lack of children appears to mean some girls have decided to speak like 5 years olds innately irritating but it does make me realize a festival without kids anywhere is weird. Made even weirder by the appearance of the artists’ kids. A strange moment indeed.

I needn’t worry about Kosheen’s performance tho they bring the house down with the best performance of the weekend and they’re my tip to be huge again come September. Great old tunes and fantastic new tunes from Bristol’s trio who take to the stage as a five piece!

After we’d grabbed a bite to eat Lemon Jelly were a surprise less infectious tunes more hard rock but good to see none the less, and I’m not sure my foot could have taken a full dance work out.

Ian Brown plays a really together set, winning hearts and minds with classics from Stone Roses and his own back catalogue. He looks happy and relaxed and has assembled a terrific backing band of musicians.

Lisa Lashes has the Slinky crowd going crazy, Carl Cox is playing music to keep the zombies in the crowd happy, shame they aren’t moving much and 2 Many DJs bring down the house in the Soulwax Arena. Meanwhile in VIP Hed Kandi Live predict the future of dance with DJs and live musicians playing to a loved up crowed in a gorgeously decorated tent. Real drum patterns are so much better than repetitive sampled ones, this I realize is what I like about live acts. I’m a drum fill fan and they are few and far between in dance music.

A fantastic night, that’s warm and relaxed brings the two day event to a close. If it can attract live music fans to sample the delights of dance and vice versa then it’ll go from strength to strength. A festival reminiscent of early Glastonburys when dance was stealing crowds from live acts, now it appears the tables are turning. But the result is the same, perfect fun for all.
review by: Scott Williams

Saturday 27th to Sunday 28th May 2006
Matterley Bowl near Winchester, Hants, England MAP
£99 (both days) or £54.50 for either day
last updated: Fri 31st Mar 2006


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