Sunday, July 30, 2006

Suikerrock 2006, day 3 - 29/07/2006, Tienen


Tienen is one of those places that you have to know both French and Dutch names of if you're hoping to find it on a map, as it's Tirlemont in French. Road signs will switch from one language to another (Liège -> Luik, Mons -> Bergen) without warning.

The singer announced "This next song is by Christina Aguilera. It's called 'I eat Britney's shit.'" I was disappointed: I'd hoped for a "Ain't No Other Man" cover. The set started out fairly metal, but became more straight-forwardly rock as it wore on, which the crowd appreciated. They ended with the only song I recognised, "Diane," (because I heard it on the radio a few days ago) after having played "Die Laughing" "In honour of Syd Barrett. [crickets] Who died last week. [crickets] Big deal in Belgium." The bassist played shiny silver basses and spitted acrobatically. "Adios, motherfuckers."


Heather Nova

The main reason for our presence. Logically, she brought her rock band rather than the chamber group we saw last time. She didn't disappoint, her eyes distant and melancholic, even when rocking out.

The final sequence of "All I Need" (slow 12/8 quasi-soul) and "Sugar" (all-out rock, topped off with a great solo by the lead guitarist) was particularly good (and particularly well-suited to a festival called Sugar Rock). The lead guitarist's every gesture was that little bit cooler, simply because she was a woman, even if she was built like a trucker.




Freeform Five

Apparently, a studio/remixing project gone live. None of the five people on stage looked like nerdy studio types, least of all the two far-too-good-looking male and female singers. Pleasant, in a little bit of dance, little bit of rock, little bit of rap kind of way.

The Human League

Like opening a time capsule and being reassured that, yes, the 80s really were exactly as you remember. They even had three of those strap-on keyboards, which, unfortunately, I didn't get to see on stage all at the same time. The only thing added to the capsule was a Mac laptop, as resplendently white as the rest of the stage set. After a handful of songs, we closed the time capsule.


The Go Go Prophecy

A singer roaming the stage in front of a keyboardist/guitarist and laptop guy huddled in a cubicle. The second song consisted first of a cool, hoarsely shouted verse over a thudding beat, with lyrics that made me think "This is such a MySpace band" ("What's your sign/What's your colour" etc.) and second of a terrible sing-song, guitar-strum chorus that confirmed it ("From virgin smile to porno slut/From DIY to Web Web Web", "Cruising on the Internet"). Inexplicably, this song is not on their MySpace profile. They did play "Cannot Touch My Candy" and "Undercover," though.

The announcer came out afterwards and declared TGGP "100 times better than The Human League," which they certainly were, at least on the tiny "new talent" stage. Far from great, but very loveable, which sometimes is more important. IVN, O and I were hardcore fans by the end. Admittedly, my enjoyment was greatly enhanced by the very sexy girl dancing a few steps in front of me.


Praga Khan

We went into this one in "we'll stay a bit if it doesn't suck" mode, but ended up watching the whole set. I'm not much of a techno fan, but thanks to thorax-rattling sound, a mixture of electronics and live instruments and a couple of wild, sexy dancers, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I may even go to a rave someday. Weirdly, PK's leader is from Tienen, which seemed a very unremarkable, sleepy town.


Peripheral entertainment

Coca-Cola nurses (pictured above) giving out massages, a couple of P Magazine models posing for pictures with passing males (I convinced IVN to get a photo with them, I think she was the only girl to do so), Cointreau cocktails and a Superman-themed monster truck crushing a Jaguar, among other sights and sounds.