Alpha LL09

Almost forgot my traditional little post-Lowlands roundup! Well, traditional might be pushing it a bit, but I did one in 2007 and 2008. So here is a review of Lowlands 2009 in blurbs:

Best overall Lowlands performance (seen by me)
Florence + The Machine!!! Mesmerising. Overwhelming. Beautiful. Incredible.

Favourite glad-I-happened-to-pass-by-act
Hanggai. Who’d have thought inner Mongolian roots music would be so catchy! It was like Chinese polka with throat singing, quite the finale for the Lima tent.

Sad I missed…
Passion Pit, The Tenper Trap, Jack Penate, Metric, Peaches and most of all Fever Ray. So much to see and so little time!

Disappointing
Maximo Park. I now see why I never really got into this band, the songs just aren’t that great. Shame, cause frontman Paul Smith is obviously a born entertainer.

Most euphoric Lowlands 2009 moment
Saturday Night in the Bravo: Basement Jaxx blow the roof off with a frenetic performance of Where’s Your Head At.

Best crowd response
The Maccabees created an actual pit in front of the modest Charlie Stage, first I’ve seen there. And Fanfarlo charmed the socks of the audience who wouldn’t stop cheering until there was an encore, the only encore for a non-headlining act I witnessed.

Most fun had whilst dancing with friends
Lily Allen’s It’s Not Fair & Dizzee Rascal’s Bonkers.

Worst gig ending
Basement Jaxx. Everyone seemed to be stupefied it was already over. They could have kept it going for at least another hour I’d say.

Funniest on stage moment
Grace Jones’ amazing 61 year old hips keeping a hula hoop going for the entire duration of Slave To The Rhythm. Or Patrick Watson’s guitarist Simon Angell using an inflatable guitar thrown up from the audience. Or Florence spinning around so vigorously during Cosmic Love she fell down.

Most exciting outfit
There were quite a few! In passing I saw Patrick Wolf’s extravagant gold ensemble with blond whig to boot, there was Amanda Blank’s uncompromising bathing suit-esque getup and of course, Grace Jones takes it that bit further working it in a G-string and corset.

Best and worst covers
Best: Florence did a nicely customised intro using Fever Ray’s If I Had A Heart. I also really enjoyed Fanfarlo’s cover of A Minor Place by Bonnie Prince Billie’s. Worst: as much as I loved the Bon Iver set, I wasn’t that much into the drawn out cover of Talk Talk’s I Believe In You.
There was some nice sampling going on as well, Dizzee used MIA’s Paper Planes to great effect and Basement Jaxx even managed to work Somewhere Over The Rainbow into their set.

Funniest camping moment
That would have to be friend MBR stumbling into a stranger’s tent (slightly intoxicated) about ten metres from his own, crawling into their sleeping bag and konking out blissfully unaware, only to be woken up a few hours later by the rightful owners returning home! “What are you doing? This isn’t your tent is it?”

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