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Monday, August 10, 2009

Sudoeste Festival, 2009

Yeah, it was grand!

Started off with a walk through a parking lot coated in a fine brown talc, which would pounce up and hungrilly latch onto your head as soon as you disturbed it.

Obviously, people feel quite artistic upon approaching a festival. (Ok, ok... I did two of these...)

C&M went straight in, and I had to wait for a friend of a friend who had my ticket. He showed up, vodka in hand, and a group of 6 of my buddies showed up at the same time.

Promises of beer, headbutts in the mosh pit, stage diving and more beer were handed out in glorious excess, as we headed in through the giant blue gates.

Brief pat down by the security guard (My trick: Put dirty socks on top of whatever it is you don't want found), and we were in!

It's one of the best feelings in the world!

Walking into a festival like Sudoeste. The mind reels at the assault on the senses.

Dust, grass and people-stench crack you on the bridge of your nose. Your eyes are treated to a feast, seemingly prepared by Jamie Oliver on acid, including an entree of greens and reds, a main course composed of the tiny people on the distant roller coaster flailing their arms around in apparent terror, the bread and butter on the side dish is the chubby chick bouncing, carefree on the bungee-trampolines, and as dessert: the three stages, perched up high and proud like medieval guards in a swamp of smiles, smoke, dust and man-sized frog-angels, sporting little green wings, seemingly stolen from some undiscovered exotic Brazilian parrot species.

Off to the fray!

Thinking it best to prepare for the night and morning ahead, the first group grabbed two tables, and each of us was dispatched to forage for beer, pizzas, greasy, grey-brwon cheese burgers, beer, chips and beer.

The feast only lasted 40 minutes, but it was filled with merriment, catching up on old times, and many a tale of adventures past.

The first group I managed to see was a no-name portuguese band who seemed like they were desperately trying to catch the attention of the 10 fifteen year old kids leaning against the stage perimenter. I really tried, like I do with most new music, but, no... these guys got sent straight to the little leather pouch I keep in my head for those really obscure daliesque dreams I have. (hey... stuff I put in there does seem to mutate and get... more interesting...)

Next up were the Mad Caddies.

These guys were a Ska band (although I knew they hadn't washed earlier... I could still smell the punk and raggae on them...) and this was the first time I had set eyes on their show.

The side-projection screens were roaring out green, yellow and red hues,

and just to make sure you were paying attention, now and again they'd belt you upside the head with a picture or two,

with what can only be described as ancient Zion kings with cool hats,

and great tastes in beards.

Blind Zero were up next, and as they cranked up their luso-made diesel engines, I was brought back to the day I left Portugal, headed back to Africas's Clitoris (yes... not many people know how to find it... but it's kinda cool when they do). I was at Lisbon airport, listening to the Chino-Latvian announcement about the next flight departure, when I decided to purchase their "Trigger" album. Partly because I wanted to try something new, and partly because I thought I might impress the blonde chick standing next to me in the "B" section with my musical taste.

....sorry... I'll try keep this short...

Engines roaring, they shifted through gears, and belted out "Shine On" in 4th.

At the end of the 6th song, I was looking away from the stage, hoping to see someone flying off into the now black-blue sky, having gotten thrown off the roller coaster mid-ride by the ticket guy, when I heard Miguel Guedes in the fog of noise saying "...and now we'd like to take you back..."

Battle stations! An "all hands on deck" alert was issued, and I scrambled to pull my camera bag out my back pack, unzip it, power it on and hammer down on the "rec" button in one swift move.

I really gotta practice my technique, because I missed the start by 3 seconds...

Once they finished their act, I wandered off, to do a little people-watching. I was wearing a red scarf over my face because of the dust, and because of this, all through the concert, people would stop me, asking if I was wearing it because of the Flu.

"Flu? What flu?" I retorted.

"You know... the swine pig flu type A HN A pig flu swine.... thingy..."

"Erm, no... never heard of it dude.... I'm just here for the music, and I'm allergic to Zambujeiran dust..."

"Oh... right..."

On my excursion into the bowels of the festival, I saw a frog-angel who had clearly fallen from grace as he was being... how can I put this... forcefully assulted from behind by a drunken band of bearded gorillas. Along this journey, colourful cavemen bonked clubs on each others heads, and although they looked realistic, instead of having an odour of rotting flesh, and unwashed bodies, they smelt like some over-zealous wanna-be Giuseppe Baldini tried to turn a clearly feminine odour into a sneak-attack bi-sexual smelling deodorant.

Off to the end of the festival area, was one of the best things I saw at the festival. I have seen a lot of content from the standar media sites related to the festival, but not one spoke of this attraction.

An array of several cubes made up of multi-coloured lightbulbs, pulsing, squirming and beating to an unheard rythm. It was simplicity itself. A steam-punk adaptation of Humphry Davy's invention of the first electrical light, pulling on the nerve endings of our current tech-culture.

All I can say is that the footage does not do it justice...

Fighting through the masses, I decided to head back to the main stage. Like many around me, I was forcefully pushing through the crowd politely enough not to get kicked, heading for somewhere... closer.

I'll leave this section up to your imagination....

After FNM, our tiny group of 3, who had started out at 10:30 that morning, decided to wonder around the festival, searching for that one last hit.

We were treated to a great rendition of a famous Bob Marley song, which we lapped up with gusto.

We then headed home, enjoying the sweet afterglow of a day well spent.

All in all, it was quite enjoyable.

With all this knowledge and wisdom I gained, I feel I am in the position to give you this one piece of advice:

"Always close up the foil, to keep the steam and flavour in."

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