Monday, 27 April 2009


Packing a spinning wheel for flight is not easy. We thought my blanky, duck tape and laundry bags were the best form of wrapping. The wheel was fine.When we arrived at the festival, we saw Reverend Billy, a soul /gospel / protest group, who excorsied the devil from credit cards, and sang chorus's about identity, climate change, recession and the world falling apart. Then we drank some beer in a glass which said 'beauty and obsession' and then we went to bed. 
In the morning we mixed jam and ham and cheese on rye bread and headed for the Girl Monster Orchestra rehearsal. It sounded great. We had tea breaks with custard pastries and talked to our heros the Raincoats about knitting. The Chicks on Speed made us feel welcome and Gustav put us at ease on stage. The wheel and tape sounded wonderfully perculiar.  After rehearsals we had a paddle in the Danube on a beautiful sunny day with a light breeze carrying the smell of lilacs. 
We couldn't believe we were in such a lovely place, and that this is our job.
We had a sound check at 16:00. Ian, dressed as the 'Farm Instructor', did some plugging in and twiddling knobs and Louise and I discussed having a conversation. It sounded great.  Anat Ben David noticed that we were English and needed more tea than everyone else and kindly had a kettle put in our dressing room.
 Thank you Anat.
'Men' came on. We didn't stop dancing. We are 'Men' fans. We bought the T-shirts the badges and the CD and then ran around screaming about 'Men'.
17.30 We had an interview on the telly. We talked about wool, tape, spinning, knitting, gold and freedom. Louise's wig kept slipping, but that didn't matter. The camera man tried it on . The wig that is.
19:30 Anat Ben David then blew us away with her energy. 
21:30 Yo Majesty. Boy that was good. Check that out.
22.30 Prick Your Finger.  We were not nervous. We made noises, chatted slowly in low voices and read Analogue Amnesty poem. Louise mic'd up carders and knitting needles, and clicked away. There were some men shouting encore at the end, and we bowed.  I said to the Raincoats that I couldn't remember how our performance went and they asked if it was fun, because that's how you know, and the answer to that is yes definetly. It has helped me see ways to develop the Analogue Amnesty. The spinning wheel is a powerful machine and the mix tape much loved. I shall write more about it when I've watched the films and let it sink in.
23:00 The Raincoats.  We were enlightened and very happy. They had applied 'make- down' and looked great. 
00:30  Girl Monster Orchestra.  1st Ramalangadingdong. It rocked. Anat Ben David played a black high healed knee length boot, there was a harp, Ann Raincoat on violin, Ana de Silva on the toy telephone, Gina Birch on the dictophone with the captain of the aeroplane saying 'welcome to the girl monster orchestra'  Chicks on Speed playing scissors and sticks and things, Koko Von Napoo singing and playing behind us. After the first song I kept the spinning wheel squeaking while Chicks on Speed did a lecture about feminist art. It was very interesting. I wish every gig had an art lecture in the middle of it. Then we shouted a tune Post Moderne Societe', which rocked.  The Raincoats started 'Lola' just like they always did, and we all joined in, just like we'd always wanted. Our mouths were wide open with the singing.
Girl Monster Song "She can dance, and she can sing, and....she sure looks good" was pure pop, we danced as much as there was space for and I think some tops came off and there might have been some boob action. What ever it was, it was wild and free, very happy and full of love, and the audience felt it and so did Yo Majesty, who came on at the end and rapped about love, lots of it, all buzzing around the room.
Big up Chicks on Speed for making history and being whole heartedly brilliant. We love you.
FM4, I hope you don't mind, I stole these pictures off your website...