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benali

2018 - Your Thoughts

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58 minutes ago, Yoss said:

Dunno whether you mean the full line-up or just the headliners, but either way I do indeed disagree. Strongly. So many good female artistes around, including several of my favourites of the weekend, that it didn't occur to me to question whether any of them were there on merit.

Headliners specifically. And I don't mean to cast aspersions on anybody's right to be there, or whether this year's offering were headline material (though I think it's arguable in the case of Feist). It's the repeat of St Vincent that has got me thinking that they couldn't find any female alternatives, so went with someone who has already recently played twice in order to keep the quotas up. 

Edited by Thruxton Appleby
mistake

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13 hours ago, IBee said:

A highlight which I've just remembered that can't be ascribed to the organisers was Mars shining so brightly over the Woods stage at night.

Thanks for reminding me of this! I'm crap at stargazing so I'm glad to read my suspicion about this being Mars was correct :)

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2 hours ago, Thruxton Appleby said:

Headliners specifically. And I don't mean to cast aspersions on anybody's right to be there, or whether this year's offering were headline material (though I think it's arguable in the case of Feist). It's the repeat of St Vincent that has got me thinking that they couldn't find any female alternatives, so went with someone who has already recently played twice in order to keep the quotas up. 

Feist is massive and has sold more records than quite a few previous headliners. Appreciate she wasn’t your cup of tea but its nonsense to say she’s not headline material 

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"It's the repeat of St Vincent that has got me thinking that they couldn't find any female alternatives, so went with someone who has already recently played twice in order to keep the quotas up." Let's think about that...

 

I do personally find the repeat booking of St Vincent a little uninspired, although she was one of the most popular acts of the weekend, so clearly not a problem for most.

I don't think it has anything to do with gender, though. I can't say there's much quota-filling or positive discrimination going on... Take last year's headliners, for example, where we had two all-male bands and a solo male. The year prior featured a favourite of many EOTR-goers (Joanna Newsom) and then two arguably quite weak headliners (Bat For Lashes and Animal Collective) although, again, I don't think Newsom nor BfL were booked for their gender (in fact I know Newsom was demanded by a lot of fans AND I spoke to Simon the year before she played and he told me he was hoping to book her...). The year before that was two all-male bands and a solo male... & so on.

Point is, complaints of quota-filling are unfounded. We're in a moment that is rich with female-fronted indie music, and in which there are conscious moves to open the field up to those that aren't men. As such, there's an abundance of popular female artists at the moment but, perhaps, few are of "headline" size yet.

I really enjoyed Feist and thought St V was ok, too. Beyond them, there's a number of female acts that will be vying for headline / high spots in the coming years: Courtney Barnett, Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, Waxahatchee, Jenny Lewis and so on... Then there's Snail Mail, Haley Heynderickx, Julie Byrne, Torres, Soccer Mommy, Big Thief who've played in recent years and will continue to grow in reputation... And then, of course, heavyweights like Bjork and Fiona Apple and PJ Harvey who are arguably too big for the festival.

Edited by WM Hall

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2 hours ago, WM Hall said:

there's an abundance of popular female artists at the moment but, perhaps, few are of "headline" size yet.

I think that's kind of my point. And I agree that many are on the way. But in the meantime, let's not just regurgitate what we've already had. I concede I might be seeing an agenda that isn't there, but that's what it feels like.

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"I don't like these musicians, therefore they must be there to make up a gender quota because they're female".

With the greatest of respect, fuck right off, mate.

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14 minutes ago, GETOFFAMYLAWN said:

"I don't like these musicians, therefore they must be there to make up a gender quota because they're female".

With the greatest of respect, fuck right off, mate.

Nice paraphrasing. Not what I said, and not what I meant. And nice language as well.

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9 hours ago, Yoss said:

Dunno whether you mean the full line-up or just the headliners, but either way I do indeed disagree. Strongly. So many good female artistes around, including several of my favourites of the weekend, that it didn't occur to me to question whether any of them were there on merit.

Beat me to it. 80% of the stuff I've listened to over recent EOTRs has been female/female-led, and that runs the spectrum from acoustic Julia Jacklin to power pop like SnailMail to weird stuff like Anna Meredith.  Never crossed my mind to consider gender. 

And I'd have Newsom back over most of recent headliners which left me cols (though that may have been the cold).

 

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I have to agree with the booking of St Vincent . 3 times in 6 years. Lazy booking. I adore EOTR but the repeat bookings are the reason I no longer purchase early bird tickets straight away i will wait for the first announcement. 

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Is it really, though? The first one was sold primarily on Byrne and the two since have been drastically different shows, not to mention she's a lot bigger now than she was even on that last visit. If we can accept repeat visits by John Grant...

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It’s still three times she’s headlined be it a different show or not. And in the space of 6 years. I think we accept it because we love Eotr but to be fair even John grant you don’t want these artists as great as they are playing year after year. 

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15 hours ago, Thruxton Appleby said:

Nice paraphrasing. Not what I said, and not what I meant. And nice language as well.

You've turned up, starting saying that the women on the bill aren't there on merit and try to pull the high ground when someone calls you on your bullshit. What about men's rights eh!

Here's a counterpoint - after decades of guitar based music being dominated by men, any act with the creative force coming from women is by default more interesting imo.

 

FYI "Widely held but rarely said" is the domain of people with awful opinions. Believe what you believe but dont try to invoke an imaginary majority

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Repeats has always been a thing at EotR. Whether a good or bad thing I guess depends on your fondness for the artists. I used to quite enjoy the Midlake/Low Anthem/Deer Tick/Bella Union love-ins, but I know some people who found them a bit tiresome and cliquey. But what kind of backs up my point (which I am hesitant to mention again due to some people's determination to misconstrue it) is that when it comes to main stage headliners the only repeats we have had, at least since the introduction of the Woods stage, are Newsom (2) and St Vincent (3). The field of potential female EotR headliners at present is narrow compared to the field as a whole. That is not the festival's fault, or the artists', or mine. But you can't tell me booking the same headliner 3 years out of 6 is the best EotR could have done for its regulars.

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8 minutes ago, robith said:

You've turned up, starting saying that the women on the bill aren't there on merit and try to pull the high ground when someone calls you on your bullshit. What about men's rights eh!

Here's a counterpoint - after decades of guitar based music being dominated by men, any act with the creative force coming from women is by default more interesting imo.

 

FYI "Widely held but rarely said" is the domain of people with awful opinions. Believe what you believe but dont try to invoke an imaginary majority

Another one paraphrasing. At what point did I say the women on the bill weren't there on merit? I was talking about the choice of headliners. And the reason people (and I never said majority) don't raise these issues is the kind of vitriol they get in return. And I like the "you've turned up" bit. Yes, I am new to efestivals, but I thought the point was to discuss. I didn't realise it was a private club for people who all agree with each other.

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Third time in six years, or first time since 2014...depends how you look at it. 

Still, I don't really think you can criticise them for booking one of the biggest female acts going right now. 

It's not as though anyone is forced to see her. 

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A week on, here are my thoughts on what I thought was really a pretty top weekend all round. Please note I’m a picky grouch.

The weather: couldn’t be faulted. Sunny all day, and for once I followed my advice and did a kit-change for the evening, thereby avoiding my prior usual 11.00 pm cold-and-miserable-in-a-t-shirt-and-shorts vibe. Mind you, it was so mild on Sunday night, a t-shirt and shorts would have been OK.

Parking: did anyone else get accosted immediately on arrival to donate towards the homeless, and having done so, found they’d actually bought a book setting out the life doctrines of Swami Prabhupada. I hope I wasn’t the only one. I note parking is going up to £15 next year, so perhaps the book will henceforth be part of the package. Liked the programme and Rough Trade compilation for £15 combo though.

Camping: one of the benefits of arriving early on Thursday was being able to head diagonally in a straight line across a tent-free general camping area to quiet camping. The people around me were lovely, and at night it was sooooo quiet.

Food: I know the prices have been edging up, but this year, as I balanced up my cash in one hand and the food I was buying in the other, too often I thought there was something of an imbalance, and not in my favour. Specific grudges I still bear: we always have the Goan fish curry, to the extent that I try to steer away from it, inevitably with little success. This year I felt vindicated – though not pleased – by reason of the fact that my fish curry did seem somewhat lacking in fish. The supposedly award-winning Vietnamese street food place: the pork and beef topping (admittedly quite nice) proved just window dressing for cabbage, noodles and water. On the other hand, after eschewing the fish and chips for about seven years (I had some in 2011 and didn’t think much of it) I can report this year it was really rather good. The rotisserie chicken remains the go-to Sunday lunch (if you have lunch at 4.00 pm).

Yakkers: yep, still no shortage but to me they seem largely stereotypical: most of the ones I found irksome seemed recent school refugees who’d escaped with wine bags. Having said that, may I out a man (rather surprisingly) as someone whose fame has perhaps gone to his head: Big Geoff kept talking loudly for far too long during Jim White even though all around made it quite clear it wasn’t appreciated!

The music: pretty much constant enjoyment from the rather wonderful YLT soundcheck on Thursday afternoon through to the surprisingly good (I don't know why I should have been surprised) closer from Feist on Sunday. No-one knocked me totally off my feet, but it was consistently good and if there was anything that wasn’t hitting the spot it was very easy to find something that would. Thus I could flee St. Vincent (sorry, it was just like watching a sterile MTV music vid) for Jeff Tweedy, or Julia Holter (I’d been looking forward to her but she was so up her own arse) for the aforesaid Jim White. Special moments would include Josienne Clarke singing Chicago (always special), Tweedy singing Jesus, etc., and experiencing the delight of bands such as Suggested Friends and Penelope Isles at simply being there. Personal gripe: scheduling Erin Rae against Haley Heynderickx, and then only giving her half an hour. And I missed the piano stage set.

Fifty one weeks to go.

Edited by RedRockRick

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39 minutes ago, RedRockRick said:

The rotisserie chicken remains the go-to Sunday lunch (if you have lunch at 4.00 pm).

 

My favourite EOTR food, although I always have it friday lunchtime as there's no way I could wait until sunday.

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54 minutes ago, Sean1234321 said:

 

My favourite EOTR food, although I always have it friday lunchtime as there's no way I could wait until sunday.

Our 17 year old son, who visited more food stalls than he saw bands, confirmed the chicken roll as the best bargain of the weekend.

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A bit late with this, but here goes for 2018...

 

Arrived Thursday, got caught with the homeless donation...Had a bit of a laugh in the snakey queue due to us realising that the security guard had clocked my two lads (22 and 24) when we joined the queue and us saying all the way in "he's going to stop 1 of you", ...and he did. Thankfully this was our 7th year so no glass or contraband... Enjoyed Shopping, and tried to enjoy Yo La Tengo but struggled, frankly. Also went a bit crazy on the Ale/ Gin/ Rum/ Warm Cider for some reason. Thursday night was a chilly one, grateful for the blanket purchased from the clothing stall.

Traditional Breakfast on Friday at the Bus, which was excellent as ever. Enjoyed Red River Dialect, Josh T Pearson, Fat White Familyand really enjoyed Hiss Golden Messenger. Split between St Vincent (technically excellent, but a bit too choreographed for me) and Jeff Tweedy, who we enjoyed. Didnt enjoy Daniel Blumberg.

Saturday was a strange one for us...Watched Screaming Females and Boy Azooga, but between 2 and 5 we just went back to the tent and relaxed in the glorious weather..Never done that before in 7 years, but it was great, having a few drinks and reading a book i purchased from Rough Trade. Back on site to see the wonderful Mulatu Astatke, and Gruff Rhys. Was pleasantly surprised by Vampire Weekend, and watched the whole set. Translated very well from spikey Indie to a field filling sound worthy of a headliner.

Sunday was all about the Garden Stage for me with Richard Dawson, Wave Pictures, Jonathan Wilson all on top form. My biggest disapointment of the weekend was Julia Holter. I had been looking forward to seeing her, but she seemed disinterested from the off, and the sound was appalling. Left after 3 songs and wont be bothering again. Anyway, Ezra was excellent, but for me the best set of the weekend was White Denim, who delivered everything that was required to send us home with ringing ears and a shit eating grin.

Thought the food selection was good again, with the always great Dish Cafe still serving the best Brownies ever. Actually bought an EOTR t-shirt this year for the first time, as the colour choices were much better. Beer was good, with some of the £4.50 offerings being very tasty (Gulp especially...). Toilets were not as good as previous years, but still way better that any other festival i have attended. Very good natured crowd as per usual, and there did seem to be more kids this year, but not a big problem for me.

Thanks for reading.

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On 9/7/2018 at 7:13 PM, benali said:

We camped right at the back of Family Camping and it was really quiet, probably slept better than I have at any festival. Certainly didn't hear any kids bombing around at 7am. 

There were even a few people without kids in that area, I guess they just wanted a bit more peace.

Yep, me and a few mates always camp in the family area although we are child free. We are early to bed (well relatively) early to rise types generally so a bit of child noise first thing is not a problem at all. It was very peaceful overnight all weekend.

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5 hours ago, The Nal said:

Agree about John Cale. First time Ive seen him and he nailed it.

Agreed. Highlight set of the weekend for me, it was a privilege to be there.

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