I went to North Norwegian expanse for 5 weeks this summer. I returned almost immediately to the open gnawing jaws of an intense english music festival. At least, it felt intense. Completely crowded, mesh of not much vacant space, seething multi-body machine, confusion of fancy-dressed people, uncertainly meaningful conversations, 30 degree heat, 20 stages, roaming pillars of white dust, bass, drum, electronica cities, built in tents, slow sentimental songs, emotions, emotions and blood and drugs all mixed together and sprung around frantically. Extremely startling. Oh, what festival? Bestival.
Yet somewhere within the tangle, i found something slightly untangled and well-worded, something that made the contrast between Place Chill and Place NotChill not so big, I found, heard and saw in my eyes probably the best lyricist I’ve ever seen live.
I wanted to write this post, (my first since before Bestival/North Norway), for Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard, a band who played at Bestival. Or to be precise, I wanted to write this post for one of their songs, Roll, Bus, Roll which was particularly memorable; a folkish story, a loose grasp on something really sweet. Lyrics to really sing for, the way a memory is sometimes sung in good daydreams. There were a few, but JL & da J were a real comfort during Bestival, music that made me insatiably close to the good times of my trip in Scandinavia, but that also inspired a bright weightless ecstasy inside, happy to be a body at the festival. With a mind still singing down a ten hour coach ride, where reindeers cross the road.
It’s a good feeling to have a song imprinted on your head through live performance and never ever to have heard the recording. It’s exciting, especially when the recorded version really lives up to the memory, as this one does.
Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard – Roll, Bus, Roll
JL seems to be extremely interesting as a musician/comic-writer; more than this post could contain, hence my concentrating just on this song. But! There are many ageing albums (most recent). There is a website. There are places you can go!
exciting blog things to come