Monday, 21 July 2008

6 July 2008 - Neil Young, The Hop Farm

Festival time - that means the great outdoors and fresh air and sunshine and rain. The Hop Farm paddock is a neat enough site - the ground slopes gently up towards the stage and the acoustics were good - but as far as the traffic logistics went - what a nightmare, one entrance and one exit! If they're thinking of holding this event next year, someone should send Kent constabulary over to the V Festival pronto to see how things should be done.

So - arrived too late for the Guillemots - sorry, but you did sound good from the car park. Rufus Wainwright next, sparking in the pouring rain and once I'd got over my bout of brolly rage (you're standing in a field fer chrissake!) The sun burst out from behind the clouds the moment he starting to sing "Hallelujah" - nice touch that, festival gods.

My Morning Jacket began with a seventies throw-back sound - not unlike John Denver's 'Welcome to My Morning' (just imagine what must have seeped into their subconscious minds when they were little dudes) - but soon pulled out the Flying Vs to get on with some serious head banging. Supergrass were engaging and won the audience over, but Primal Scream didn't seem to get it on - at all.

Nearly six hours after arrival, patience and camel-like tactics paid off (thinking don't eat, don't drink, don't even move) and it was time for the man himself, the king of dirty rock guitar, Mister Neil Young, inspiration for a legion of rockers. The two hours was barely enough to sample a career of such length, of wonderful bravura and devil-may-care musicianship - as if declaring "I'm still here, and I'm still up for it!" Ending with an inspiring "Day in the life" - wonderful. Yes kids, the man did play the Beatles. They're good, these oldies, aren't they!

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