Cast Of Major Characters:
Ben Green - Civil Civic bass player and confused soak.
Almond The God - Civil Civic's agent at the Julie Tippex Mega-Corp. Reincarnated Squirrel.
Pierre Templé - Senior Production Staffer and Heavy Honcho at La Route Du Rock.
Marin Perot - Pierre's (red) right hand and pro-troubleshooter. Bad cop.
Roxie (surname unknown) - Photographer, loose cannon, possibly a drug addict.
My rhuemy eyes cracked open at about 10am on Sunday 12th of August, and I remember thinking that it could easily be my last day on Earth.
Three consecutive nights of hideously boozy up-fucking and tortured sleep had left me physically weak and in poor spirits. Three consecutive nights officially constitutes a "bender", I believe, and there was still one night to go, a night which promised to be the worst yet.
I checked my email, hoping for something to lift my spirits, but all I saw was an abusive FB message from the odious Marin Perot telling me I had nothing but pain to look forward to. The official LRDR after-party started at 3am on Monday, right after the last main-stage act, and I was expected to attend.
"You've caused us alot of fucking trouble, Green." The message ranted. "So the least you can do is represent your stupid band at the party and try to be entertaining. Toughen the fuck up, asshole!!!"
It gave me The Fear just thinking about it, so I decided not to.
Dan Kelly , Baaron Von Cuddles, and Ms. Lambert. My triple-wing-man posse, maxin' and relaxin' in the press area.
The Baaron had already flown back to London with his trouble-prone lawyer fiance and old pal Dan Kelly, so I was feeling a little isolated out there at the hotel (which was around 10km from the festival site). Down in the lobby there was usually a crowd of band-types hanging around, but they all looked cooler and much luckier than me, so I was afraid to try and mingle.
Mazzy Star, a-sound-checkin'! Look at the size of that fucking stage!
So I went out to the festival site around noon, to haggle with Pierre over getting a backstage pass for that night (something I was not entitled to at-all) and maybe catch a couple of soundchecks. My sickness and fatigue made me slow and vague, but when I buttonholed Pierre in his office he coughed up a backstage wrist-band with almost no fight at-all.
Pierre "Bring your troubles to me" Templé.
"Don't make me regret this, you sloppy idiot." He snarled as I put the thing around my wrist. "Your type are always busy making enemies. You should be in the fucking army, with all the other fuck-ups!"
Then he flipped a catering ticket at my face and walked away to attend to more important matters.
Job done!! All access!!! Free everything!! No fucking around!!!
When I visited Almond and her posse of no-goods at their campsite they took one look at me and started jeering and pushing me around. You can't show any weakness to these kind of animals, because they will put you head-first through a wood-chipper the instant they smell fear.
Amande and her merciless crew load up on moule and cider.
After they'd fucked with me a bit, we all wandered down to watch a bit of Colin Stetsons sound-check. There was about thirty or forty staffers and volunteers standing watching, so it felt like a miniature gig in a way, complete with applause every time Colin paused to talk to the sound engineer.
Then my boon companions were good enough to drop me back at the hotel so I could get some rest before the Last Big Push.
But that's about enough of a preamble. What about the last night of La Route Du Rock????
Chromatics. A really nice surprise.
Well you know what? Chromatics are really good live! I expected them to be a soul-less, sequenced, pile of cold, but then this awesome, groovy, personality-having band shows up!!!
They were really fucking organic and danceable and sat really well with me at that point. Bravo!
Circular breathing, bass sax insanity fucks the crowds heads.
How about some Colin Stetson though? Seen that guy??? Hoooooolyyyyyyyy shit.
Ever seen a solo saxaphone, contemporary-classical performer that did a slow-build, circular, head-fucking win-over on a rock festival crowd? Me neither, until that point in my life. Motherfucker.
Mazzy Star were great, but at that stage I wanted some action and the dreamy vibe just made me edgey. But then the Walkmen cooked pretty hard, with their garage-country schtick and classy moves, so I felt things were headed in the right direction again.
It was around the end of their set that I started to feel a bit woozy from drink and the deep-seated exhaustion in my body, so I decided to hit the back-stage building for twenty winks and some water.
That's when I ran into Roxie, a beautiful but unpredictable young photographer from Paris who the Baaron and I had met after our press conference on Friday afternoon.
She was obviously high on some sort of amphetamine, and for some ungodly reason seemed convinced that I'd lost some sort of bet with her.
"There you are! So where's that fucking fifty you owe me?" She barked, slapping her palm. "I need it now!!"
She seemed agitated and aggressive and in hindsight maybe I should have just paid her, but at the time I was in no mood for nonsense. I mean, I was pretty vague at that Press-Conference and I'm not at-all ruling out the possibility that I may have said things I don't remember, but as a rule I am not a gambling man.
"I haven't got your money, you dizzy bitch." I snapped. "Go talk to your teen-aged blogger buddies about that stuff. I'm a busy man."
Then I waved her away and started walking back towards the back-stage entrance
But she was not so easily put off. She balled her little fists and came after me.
"Bullshit!" she screamed. "You creepy old pig!! You're paying up now!"
There was no time to argue the point, because she was very suddenly transformed into a human whirlwind of violence. I remember hitting the ground and screaming for help, but people just pointed and laughed as she kicked me unconcious. I remember nothing after that until I woke up around an hour later, slumped against a crepe-stand on the other side of the site.
The contents of my wallet were strewn around me and someone had pissed on my legs while I was passed out. My cash and my phone were gone, but I still had my credit card, so I thanked heaven for small mercies.
There was also alot of very bad bruising, but I could walk, so I staggered back to the VIP area to see if anyone else had had the shit kicked out of them by a 22 year-old French girl, and maybe chat about it over a drink.
When I got there the Official After Party was in full swing. I re-connected with Almond and her cronies and re-commenced to drink heavily in a last ditch attempt to forget my woes.
I think that's when someone gave me some drugs.
Anyway, the rest is history, as they say in the showbusiness business.
I stayed at the after-party as long as I physically could, pulling the most rad-tarded dance moves I could muster and yelling stupidities and tweaking strangers nipples ect.
I'm pretty sure I left that after-party on my own feet and by my own choice, which means two very important things ...
A: I didn't get kicked out by security and
B: No-one had to convince me/carry me.
But never-the-less, I'm equally sure I made a 4 dimensional ass of myself, the butt of many cheap jokes and ultra-low in the general esteem of my peers ect.
Fuck it. I lived to tell the tale, and that's more or less the only thing that counts. To me, at least.
Anyway, everybody knows that next festival season is going to be all about the Fiesta Major Aiguamurcia, and we've already got a lock on the Saturday night headline. Main stage!!!!!
To hell with you people, and everything you stand for. I'm going home.