Saturday, August 12, 2006


Yesterday, thanks to the rowdy Irishmen in the next tent, I got fuck all sleep and spent the majority of the day wandering the 20 hectare site in a bit of a daze. Seriously, if I was Britain, I would have left Northern Ireland years ago on a count of the noise. Well, it isn't that they're noisy, it's just that for the first time in a while I'm overhearing English conversations, which are pretty funny, so my attention is distracted from falling asleep. I did however stumble onto a nice little chill out area with bean bags and classical music around 4pm. But as I was drifting off to sleep, an abridged, rather loud Hungarian version of the Vagina Monologues kicked off on a nearby stage, making sleep no longer an option.

Before going in to take photos of Scissor Sisters, I met a Hungarian guy who can't have been older than 18, with a huge Nikon studio camera set up, pro lens and massive flash. At least ten grands worth of gear.. and this was his first act at his first festival. Ever. I wonder where his tent is? I getting the idea that this whole rock photography pass time has been flooded with peeps who have bought a DSLR and a fancy lens off ebay and are having a crack at doing it for a living. There is probably 100 photographers here, with about $500,000 worth of camera gear between them. I can honestly say that while I've taken a few nice photos in my time, I just lack the extra umph needed to be an excellent rock photographer. Hopefully these other camera types work it out that they are crap as well and quit so I can have a chance of getting some work. Oh well, it's getting me into music festivals for free for the time being, so I can't complain too much, but it would be nice to earn a living from it.

What I am enjoying is the eye that all photographers share and the identical moves that they make. I just came out of the camera scrum of dEUS about 10 minutes ago, but not after witnessing a few cool moments in photography:

1. The moment - In a performance there will be a particular moment after a lull where all photographers lift their cameras to take the same shot from all their respective vantage points.

2. The check - This is something restricted to digital photography, not that film is used much these days. Photographer takes shot, then curious to see how it turned out checks the shot on the screen. Looks good after "the moment" when it is the check is performed by about 30 people at once.

3. 3 songs, no flash - I've mentioned it in previous posts, but it seems to be pretty much the standard. This does tend to have a tolerance determined by the bands popularity. The more popular the band, the more likely it is that you'll get kicked out earlier. Example: Franz Ferdinand, about 50 photographers are in the pit. It was chaos. as a result, we all get kicked out about 1 minute into the second song. But the other night at the Meduza tent, where it clearly says on the back entrance that my photo-pass does not allow me to enter, I got in and onto the stage, where I took some nice shots of the crowd and did a bit of a dance with the DJ.

One of the absolute surprises and most enjoyable things for me so far at Sziget was running into a little side market stall last night that pumped out screen printed shirts and badges. The thing that caught my attention was the TV playing old school Hungarian adverts from the 1970s and 1980s. And if anyone can remember the Student TV stuff I did a couple of years ago, we used these adverts in a few episodes of Local Noise. I ended up sharing a few drinks with Tom, the guy who ran the stall and talking about designing badges and t-shirts. I'll write more on this tomorrow after I meet up with him tonight and talk about ironic cool stuff from our childhood.

The Music:

Thanks to the terrorism scare at Heathrow yesterday, Gomez had to cancel because their flight was delayed. If the same thing happens with radiohead today, I'm declaring my own world on terror. I'm all for giving the US/UK a good kick in pants occasionally for being imperialist bastards, but when stopping the deaths of a couple of hundred people inconveniences me, i get understandably irate.

Before they came out on stage I overheard a British guy asking his mate "how are they going to fill a 90 minute set with just a few songs", and only knowing about 2 songs myself, I was a little dubious about seeing the Scissors Sisters perform. However, these New Yorkers are one of the more entertaining acts I've seen for a while. The same sort of irony used by the Darkness for Hair Metal has been used by Scissor Sisters for Glam Rock. Rather than leaving the crowd waiting they kicked of their set with Take Your Mamma, and kept the pace going for the next 40 minutes. Taking their influences from Elton John's upbeat back catalogue (and wardrobe), these guys bounced around for the hour and a half knocking out fun, poppy songs which were about the frivolous things in life. Real entertainers.

Tonight: Radiohead.

The Venue: I still haven't seen all of this magical island. Tomorrow I will rent a bike and attempt to give a run down of all the different tents and places


JCriquet said...

Oh, man, I'm so emulating your music fest gauntlet when I go to Europe next year.

ElmoreGirl said...

just lerve the Scissor Sisters....
"i don't feel like dancin" gives you just the opposite feeling !