Now, it has taken us a little longer than anticipated to gather our thoughts about Hinterland here at Elba. It is possible that there is a causal link between the amount of enjoyment (beer) and our slight delay (burnout). Do not fret though! We have returned to the land of the lively in order to bring you tales of Hinter and of land.
We set off on our quest with the aid of some excellent scran and a lot of caffeine on the part of one of the Elba team following excess the previous evening; we shall let you decide who was so irresponsible the night before the big event. We opened our evening at Ivory Blacks with Make Sparks; a band who command your attention. Now I’m struggling to come up with an analogy that is not so hugely inappropriate that you’ll close your browser window in disgust… I think it is the lingering effects of the holiday weekend. So, I will just say: this band are tight. They even made an Eminem cover work. They closed with their single Rewind, which is the most sensitive, beautiful guitar driven pop song. This band surely have big things ahead.
We scooted off promptly to enjoy something that would please all in our little collective at The Admiral. Kitty The Lion brought (and clearly stole – read on) a lot of the sunshine of the day. Their little stage was just right for them and they charmed the pants off of everyone in the room. A hiccup in song announcement was endearing and handled gracefully and hilariously. Bird Flu was the song that had me singing their praises for the day with some beautiful harmonies to the ‘grovel song.’ Of the whole festival, these guys were definitely my favourite band.
We bounced out of the Admiral into the rain, which was rather ironic as we had spent the afternoon commenting on how nice a day it was proving to be, and dashed to Macsorley’s. Our hope was to catch Spectrals before heading to The Arches. Unfortunately this was not to be as we were informed along with a crowd of other soggy gig goers that the venue was full. We dashed back to catch ten minutes of The Darien Venture at Ivory Blacks who blasted us back out the door with their pounding tracks in the direction of The Arches.
Here we remained for the rest of the evening and this was where things got a little weird. The combination of the sound sucking venue and our high hopes took a little of the enjoyment out of the next couple of hours. Ambulances suffered worst in terms of sound. Their particular brand of melancholy music would have to be sonically spot on to work live. Mixed in with the nerves of their first big Glasgow show they came off shaky but they held tough and delivered some great moments. What I Thought of worked really well despite the interferences.
French Wives got the majority vote Elba posse when it came to picking their band of the day. Live this band are just going from strength to strength. They have picked up the reigns of the masters of twee in Glasgow. Its all violins, guitars, little quirks and dancing. French Wives even managed to make you look past the terrible sound. Though there is a chance we were just distracted by Stuart, the tallest man alive, showing his dancing skills.
Jeffrey Lewis drew a huge crowd and told stories then sang stories then put his foot in it big time with a geographical mistake that confounds international acts more than our nation would hope but won most over in the end. As a particularly small person I missed out on being able to see a thing for the duration and was subject to some ranting by a merry fellow to my left. Plus the beginning of set was plagued by a strange high pitched tone. These factors left me confused and distracted. I believe the hard core of NY anti-folk fans were in heaven for the duration, alas I could not quite reach that elysium.
The last stop for us was Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Now, as the only one out of our few who enjoys, nay, cannot resist a little boogie, I was itching to get a dance in as soon as he took to the stage. Decked in lizardish-head-wear the set that was delivered even managed to put a smile on the face of Phil ‘I don’t do dancing’ Smith.
So our day was most delightful musically, not to mention catching up with some rather sound blogging peers. The new setting for the festival definitely worked as we managed to catch a lot of music even though we were running from venue to venue. The atmosphere was great in every gig. The two day recovery period tends to point towards the success of the one day extravaganza. Here’s hoping this has set the bar for years to come.