Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Ashton Court Review '05
I had family, including kids, down for a fair amount of the event so most of what I saw was Bouncy Castle live, but I can post a review of some stuff…in general I had a pretty good festival. The expanded kids section was a cool asset, though we only noticed the free bouncy castle after spending a fair amount on the pay one. Ooops.

I did get to see Ivory Springer on the lagermeister stage. It was a great set. This is, despite being a fan, the first time I’ve seen them live. What struck me most is how tight the sound is. For example on the track Submariner, the timings between the band as they throw waves of sound at the audience is pretty impressive. The songs were great and they obviously had a few fans in the audience as there was a plenty of singing along. What more could you ask for – great music, cold beer and a cloudless blue sky. My only complaint was that the set was too short!

Next I caught the Spinal Tap delight of 'Flylow', a Finish rock export in the Acoustic tent. These guys are either a clever parody of hair metal or really mean it and are…well rocking the 80s still. They had it all – power-ballads, long hair, rock-tattoos and mega-guitars! In one hilarious moment of Tap magic, the lead guitarist climbed onto a stack of speakers and promptly vanished from the stage as the pile collapsed. Still he popped back up a minute later, seemingly no damage done and still rocking out. Great fun all in all.

Then finally I caught the Toxic Dancehall set in the Blackout tent. I was torn, wanting to see Blackout (the drum and bass crew and not the tent) again (last year they were great) – but I was looking forward to seeing how breakcore went down with the Ashton Court massive and (caveat for rest of review) the TD crew are mates of mine. The TD show had half the crew dressed as police, half as black bloc – amazing visuals including VJing and footage from the G8 protests (thanks to Indymedia) – the music was a top mix of current breakcore favs including Venetian Snares, Shitmat and the top-metal sounds of Drum Corps. The last being so metal that a mosh-pit broke out and extra security was rushed in! The TD sight and sound went down a storm, the tent was at capacity and it was a great finish to the whole event.

PS. You can still get the Megamashup CDs – Dissent still needs funds, especially for prisoner support!

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