Last weekend was of course Infest 2006. This is certainly the highlight of my non-skiing year as it's a chance to hear some good tunes; meet some nice people and try my best to forget I'm in Bradford. Some of those who were there will have seen my taster pics on infest_uk, but I'll paste them beneath the cut. To start with nearly_everyone was present - and own personal definition of that now includes asw909 and crm who seem to be lovely people.
On Thursday I decided to subject my ears to a rather terrible mainstream noise with a visit to the Barfly to see Bedouin Soundclash, Beat Union and ZOX. It was a bit unimpressive to be honest, but got me out of the house and the car survived a visit to Digbeth without getting trashed. Anyway, thoughts and pictures are on the BBC site at http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/articles/2006/08/25/bedouin_soundclash_feature.shtml.
Friday was panic packing, cooking for five and then utter amasement that we all got into mr_cook's car for the ride up to Bradford. Amusement followed at the "Bradford Tourist Attractions" sign, but soon enough we were in the welcoming bosom of the Hilton; then out again in search of douf-douf-douf. Friday was Schmoof (amusing enough, pretty enough but not especially engaging); Destroid (better, more interesting but still not groundshaking) and Lab 4 (held my attention a bit but I'd never claim they were my thing). Saturday seemed incredibly long, partly due to a lack of sleep on Friday night and after a slow wake experience I dropped my contribution to the Dark Arts stall at the venue; then had lunch; then a quick change - and some more bands: O.V.N.I. (bored me mostly); S.K.E.T. (really worked for me despite being dreadful to photograph); Reaper (almost total lack of stage presence but I liked the music); unter null (good but I preferred them recorded); Architect (didn't grab me but I'd be interested in hearing more) and Rotersand (slick, professional and enjoyable). Sunday was much better on the getting up and out front, but this actually meant lunch took longer rather than being more efficient in getting to the venue. Bands were Autoclav1.1 (who I liked, despite not expecting to); Frozen Plasma (too soft, too poppy, too dull); Stromkern (ohmygodtheyweregreat), Wai Pi Wai (impressive) and Front Line Assembly (good, but not great).
There was of course further entertainment in the form of lovely company and conversation; and I even sold some prints - £60 of the £280 Dark Arts total was mine which pleased me - even if I did ended up spending all of it on a couple of drinks, petrol, lunch on the M1 coming home and the charity tin. Oh well - easy come, easy go.
So, roll on next year - even if the lighting is normally a bit crap and I once again failed to take many people shots. I only hope the company will be as good next time. Next festival will be Whitby in October, but plans are already starting for WGT next year.
One of each of the bands...
Some of the people...