Last Sunday afternoon, at the ATP Festival I'll Be Your Mirror, in a rose garden down a tree-lined path by Alexandra Palace, there was a fountain. The pond around the fountain was completely ordinary, except that it had a Portishead 'P' floating in it. It was a hot afternoon (honestly, it really was!), and I started thinking about letters and words floating around, not just in ponds, on fridges and in dictionaries you look at when you're drunk, but the way random phrases or words sometimes seem to leap into a bit of your brain and get stuck there, knocking about, until they decide to drift off again. That's been happening to me even more than normal lately, a surfeit of stories and Japanese language drills spilling over from one brain 'room' to another totally unrelated one. On the one hand, it's annoying; on the other, inspiring!
We were hoping that I'll be Your Mirror would introduce us to lots of new and brilliant bands...but the narratives - side-acts, almost - ended up being the best bits. Alan Moore speaking beat poetry with guitar and silent film accompaniment
and an orchestral piece commissioned to give a new heart-wrenching sting to the 1928 silent French film of Joan of Arc. Wow!
The music was a bit give-or-take, so on the way back home, a bit squiffy from a day of standing about and drinking beer like it was lemonade, Sam and I decided it would be a good idea to go and listen to MORE music. Peggy Sue were actually better than any other non spoken word band we'd seen that day. Goes to show, I guess, that going to bed early and sober isn't always necessarily a Good Thing.
Here is hand stamp proof that I really went to both things: