Tag Archives: Faraday Festival

A PERFECT EVENING WITH JOHN GRANT

The weekend is over, and we’re back in business once more. Why time goes so fast when you’re enjoying? This is something I cannot comprehend.

There was nothing planned for these past days but John Grant’s performance at the Faraday festival, in Vilanova, so basically, all the other activities were decided on the go, very spontaneous, and plenty of fun.

Not necessary to tell you about Saturday night, plenty of punk rock and yeah, of booze, but I’d rather focus on the magic experience I lived in Faro beach on Sunday evening.

I had never heard of Grant before, and wasn’t acquainted with his previous band, The Czars, either. Just started to notice great reviews on the album Queen of Denmark everywhereat the end of past year. To be honest, the album cover seemed too odd as to take it serious, but, let’s say, certain trustworthy sources awoke my curiosity and ended acquiring my copy of the album.

When I first listened to it I really was in shock, very impacted, not only for the dark and personal lyrics, but also for the beautiful piano melodies. Of course, the presence of Midlake was an added value, so as you already know, got immediately charmed by the songs.

The confirmation of Grant (thanks Agnès, you were the messenger of such great news) at this festival located in a nice town by the sea, was a complete surprise, and of course I couldn’t miss the opportunity.

Fortunately I quickly found the perfect partner to enjoy the show with, my friend Marc, a music lover, away from the hardest stuff I like, yet one of the people  with  the finest taste.

We had been together hanging out the night before, so both of us initially were lazy and dumb due to massive hangover. The effort had its reward.

The location of the festival was really beautiful, pity it was a cloudy evening, because performances were held in the garden of an old and beautiful house by the sea, in fact the main access was by Faro beach. Everyone was very relaxed, sitting on the grass, kids all around, views were amazing, the beach, the sea, the beautiful lighthouse…totally idyllic, creating the perfect atmosphere for what was to come.

John Grant jumped on stage, dressed so humble and average, you wouldn’t realize he’s such a talented artist if you were passing by him on the street. A big man, a huge man, with a sincere smile, he opened the show with a speech in Catalonian, something unprecedented for me. Yeah! Sure I’ve seen many artists greeting people in the language, but I really found this very respectful.

He was only accompanied by another musician, named Chris, and the both were sharing piano (keyboard) and synthesizer. Yet, the execution of songs was unbelievable. Everything sounded perfect, and the arrangements adapted to this circumstance, were great.

Apart from the speech, he started his set with an unreleased song, waiting to be included in his next album, following the previous pattern, and then he focused on The Queen of Denmark songs, also adding 3 tunes of the Czars. I loved one named Little Pink House, inspired by his grandmother’s house.

With great calm and solemnity, one song after the other were charming people, and Grant’s introducing words to his songs, were really moving, confirming this guy has lived rough. Constantly telling about his previous life in Michigan, being a gay born and raised in a strict religious family, he admitted his writing was focused on the darkness of his life.

What can I say? I cross my heart, there were such intense moments, I was having goose bumps.

His voice, firm, deep and defined, didn’t have any weak point at all. And the guy barely looked at the piano when playing. Awesome!

There was a constant thought coming to my mind…you see a rough guy, like a huge bear, a man whose gaze transmits many things related to suffering and pain, yet with such sensitivity and ability to express feelings, in some way it’s disturbing and at the same time so beautiful…it was something unreal.

I have but positive words and thoughts for the show he offered on Sunday, improved by the beautiful surroundings and the atmosphere, it was something close to perfection. My weekend couldn’t have ended in a better way.

MASKS OFF! POP SOMETIMES ROCKS

Mockery against poppies and cool people has been a constant in my life. I know, I’m bad, can’t help it! You know, I love rock n’ roll, and prefer leopard and leather rather than cute shoes, vintage skirts and t-shirts with stripes, I’m too rough to be charmed by the love for cuteness and the beautiful things. Trash Vs. Spotless. Agnès, for instance, belongs to this second kind, it’s funny how different we are regarding aesthetics. I’m too rough for that in my daily attitude (of course I love beautiful things, but you know what I’m talking about).

Well, let’s get serious, I was kidding…only a bit J I’m quite basic in my appearance, and all this modern and cool fashion is something I cannot really comprehend, a pair of jeans, a nice tee and my sneakers and that’s enough for me.

Toi, cut the crap. At the end of the day, appearance marks huge more difference than we think, but what I’m interested in, right now, is music.

Music sensivity, for some people I include myself in, comes with the age. I guess this has to do with energy and rage.

During your teen days, you know everything and no one can step on your way, even less advise you on how to do things, no way! Still I’ve never been a troublemaker or too hard to deal with, my parents’ headaches had to do more with my appearance and my lack of interest regarding college, they weren’t even worried about my Saturday nights or who I was hanging around with, because my friends were exactly the same, and we weren’t bad at all as to our parents be in guardian mood.

Music came to my life all as to mark the difference with the rest of my friends’ trend. As I’m very passionate with things, I became a freak, moving away from the standard likes, and it’s true, I wasn’t too comfy either, unable to share my love for certain things, it was like talking to a wall, there wasn’t reply back, thus I had to start searching for people like me, which, at the end of the day, no matter how different and special you feel, there are always people like you somewhere. And I did find friends with same interests and musical taste, rock places, so I was well settled in the path to follow to what I am nowadays.

Considering my introductory musical decade was all the 90’s, and that I’ve always been loud and spirited, beside my hyperactive condition, it’s easy to figure out my course: Seattle 90’s, 70’s classics, stoner, punk rock… never been into Nu-Metal, though.

The fact is that as years pass by, eventually you high spirits give you a break and yield space for more stuff. It’s the actual turning  point in which your mind and taste start to be open to new sounds and sensations, and you become a diehard music lover for good. At least this is my personal experience.

You find yourself enjoying Pet Sounds and Diary of a Madman all the same, and such experience is so pleasant! You can change style radically at just a push on the play key and feel great

Well, all this mini summary of my musical evolution (I think I’ll talk about it more in depth) was an excuse to talk about the more I’m discovering new bands, the closer I find myself to Pop. And no, I don’t mean Spanish pop, or mainstream classified pop. By pop, I refer to all this new wave of American bands, labeled as many different styles, Americana, folk…whatever. I share with pop lovers my passion for The Avett Brothers, Dr Dog or Midlake, to put examples.

If I was told I’d assist to a Pop Festival, I’d had laughed OUT LOUD. But I already spent a day at Primavera Sound just to see Neil Young and The Jayhawks, and would do it again if necessary.

And I’m gonna be surrounded by cool people in freak hairdos once again, because John Grant, one of my latest discoveries, is closing the Faraday festival in Vilanova, a town close to Barcelona, on July the 3rd, and missing him is not an option. I’m so happy about this confirmation…can’t wait, in just a week, I’ll be at two festivals. Life can be great sometimes, don’t you think?