La Roux © Kate Goodacre, 2009

Bestival 2009 Clockwatch: Sunday, September 13th (Part 1)

La Roux © Kate Goodacre, 2009

La Roux © Kate Goodacre, 2009


00.10: "Why do you want to see La Roux?" must have been the question on so many Fugitives' lips before their editor headed for the Isle of Wight. Well - surely she can't be as bad as everyone says?

If people are voting with their feet, then they must be in favour. The Big Top is rammed, and there's hundreds more punters loitering outside hoping to catch a glimpse of Elly Jackson's famed flame-coloured quiff.

With pleasure, the Motel can report La Roux is not nearly as bad as everyone makes out. Sure enough, there's still work to do on the live show - Elly doesn't sound 100% confident, but at least she certainly looks it, swaggering around the stage. Tales of her not being able to sing in tune are vastly exaggerated - In For The Kill and Quicksand sound pretty good, actually. Everyone loves a bit of harmless fun, don't they? KG

00.50: One diversion past a packed XBox tent for an unannounced Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip later (it's impossible to get anywhere near, alas), it's off to the 24 Hour field where your esteemed correspondent has taken to stumbling around the site barefoot, drinking own-brand vodka whilst dressed like one of those door curtain things you get in shops to keep flies out (It was obviously supposed to be a comet - Sartorially Sharp Eff Em Ed). "Excuse me," asks a wide-eyed chap I encounter near Lost and Found, "do you think there's a stove in Outer Space?" Why, I'm not sure, I reply, realising I'm stood next to a sign bearing the words Outer Space. Perhaps he might like to venture inside?

Said gentleman dives inside a piece of corrugated tubing at my feet and wriggles through - one presumes into the bowels of Lost And Found - like he's auditioning for the Krypton Factor. 'Curiouser and curiouser', as Alice would say... KG

01.15: In previous years, the Motel has somewhat neglected the Rizla Arena. However, after the hip-hop kareoke earlier on, a chance meeting with Shaun and friends sees us making a beeline for an illuminated sign bearing two words every discerning lady or gentleman likes to hear at this hour: Gruff Rhys.

Indeed, although we can only see the resident disc-spinner from the back, it appears as if the man himself is on the decks. It would be disloyal to Gruff if we even considered upping sticks until those lights went out. KG

02.00: Casiokids are so rock'n'roll that they recently played a short set in a balloon. Google it if you're feeling sceptical, but I can assure you this is true.

A combination of too much liquor and not enough sleep means that songs soon begin to blend into one another, but in spite of this, their slick beats get people dancing, most notably on the right hand side of the tent. Complete with healthy lashings of cowbell and some serious sartorical style (notably, one member is rocking the Eleventh Doctor look before David Tennant has even regenerated) for the early hours of the morning, ensure your ears are paying attention to this lot as we collectively hurtle towards the inevitable end-of-year round ups.KG

© Kate Goodacre, 2009

© Kate Goodacre, 2009

02.20: Back on my feet for Future Sound Of London in the Big Top, where I bump into fellow Motelier Shaun and his inflatable guitar. I show him how to play it properly, before heading off to catch Drums Of Death… RW

03.30: Drums Of Death is mild-mannered singing Scotsman Colin Bailey - all dolled up in a fairly convincing imitation of the subliminal demon from The Exorcist - and his laptop, here joined by a couple of friends on extra drumming duty. It’s like AFI’s Davey Havok goes techno, and it’s all kinds of bloody brilliant. Hurrah. RW

11.00: The consecutive late nights have taken their toll on the Motel, be it food poisoning (poor Rowan), insomnia or self-inflicted hangovers. As such, this morning involves a lot of snoozing in the sun and reading the (still excellent) Bestival Bugle. Nice to see Robdoku making a return after its success last year, and the Bugle team deserve special praise for Friday's page 2 headline which made Motel sub-editors all over the site turn green with envy: 'Cubans Miss Isle: Crisis'. KG

12.45: Our third attempt of the weekend to get into the Time for Tease tent for their civilized burlesque show is, like its predecessors, an abject failure – no tea and tits for us. Music from the Penguin Café Orchestra offers some consolation, but is perhaps a bit more civilized that we were hoping for this lunchtime… RW

Blue Roses © Kate Goodacre, 2009

Blue Roses © Kate Goodacre, 2009

14.00: In spite of some scheduling jiggery-pokery in the Jim Beam and Cola Bar, it's time to return to the intimate tent to catch the final two snippets of demure folk from Blue Roses. Today, it's just chief rose Laura Groves and a violinist.

In the main, they offer a pure, pastoral sound which would make trad-folksters beam, but Groves' vocals lend a truly distinctive edge. At times, her voice bears flickers of, say, Kate Bush, Martha Wainwright...or even Bjork. KG

words: Kate Goodacre and Rowan Woods
additional reporting: Benjamin Thomas
pictures: Kate Goodacre

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