I'm not a festival person - I don't like big crowds, I don't like standing for ages, and I don't like playing £8.50 for a bag of chips.
However, I went to All Points East in my old stomping ground of Mile End last Friday and Sunday. A few highlights from Friday:
Hot Chip: A little samey after a while, but their good stuff is delightful. Plus a splendid cover of the Beastie Boys' Sabogage
Little Dragon: I'd been underwhelmed by their gig at Printworks in London - partly because they were at the end of an over-long and badly organised gig, so I wasn't in the mood. This was much better - lots of energy, better sound, and though their songs don't set my world on fire (an old one, Twice, is my favourite), they're an excellent band.
Róisín Murphy: I saw Moloko 20 years ago, and loved their album Do You Like My Tight Sweater. Murphy's still a fascinating performer, doing what she wants to do, and committing to it completely.
The Chemical Brothers: Bangin'... though they were preceded by 45 minutes of torrential rain, during which I took shelter under a sandwich board:
Then on Sunday:
Metronomy: Cracking act that stands out from the vast pool of tedious electro-indie bands by virtue of their sense of humour and musicianship, rather than being yet another rich kid with Ableton dancing around like a pillock in front of a tragically wasted drummer (Looking at you, Friendly Fires).
Christine and the Queens (or, rather, Chris): Went into this knowing very little, but thinking a couple of songs were ok. Came out an absolute convert - Chris is a class act. Absolutely outstanding. The style was very Michael Jackson, but the completeness of the show without compromising on the music was more Bowie. But enough of the comparisons - this was a brilliant, uplifting performance in its own right.
"It feels so good to be OUT!" they cried. And while we've still got a long way to go, after seeing the crap that artists like Boy George had to put up with over the years it was so good to see Chris being themselves, unafraid, loved, and awesome.
As a Bisexual man who’s spent so long leaning up against the closet with the door open in case I need to pop back in for a moment, this was a profoundly affecting show.