Friday, 25 April 2008

Smack my 'tych up.

So goodbye then Triptych. Since I first saw your natty posters and groovy lineups I've enjoyed your all too brief appearances on the schedules. Sure, your publicity did consistently and hilariously overegg the pudding, your tickets were pricey, you never brought in the weekend ticket I desperately craved and the Weejies kept all the good gigs but hey, it was fun while it lasted.

The world and its ma is doing a Triptych "memories" feature so I thought why don't I.

Best 5 gigs:

1. Wire/Liars/Pan Sonic all on the same bill? The best Wednesday night I've ever attended. Despite the hour and a half wait for Wire to start. Pan Sonic lay the bedrock for an evening of scary madness with juddering sub bass, Liars in full-on Blair Witch mode clatter and moan and squeal, then Wire lead a singalong in a room full of misty eyed drunk old men. All for 14 quid.

2. Animal Collective. Miles down a bill which included Explosions in the Sky (or as a wag in the crowd called them "I can't believe they're no Mogwai") and Four Tet, Animal Collective breezed through Sung Tongs and I fell in love with them. One of those moments when a band you've never heard of before suddenly gives you flowers. Also notable for the experience of seeing a very earnest drunken man give someone from Explosions in the Sky a bollocking for being "middle class white music" and that the "real shit" was downstairs where the Soul Jazz Soundsystem were playing. I'm not a fan of EITS but his response to this lord of irony("Hey, fuck you buddy, nobody's making you listen") made me love them a just a tiny bit.

3. LCD Soundsystem/Hot Chip- A fantastic night at the late lamented Venue. Hot Chip seemed like the cutest thing I'd ever seen- like a cross between Belle and Sebastian and the Happy Mondays. A few hours later the place was rammed, the busiest I'd ever seen the venue and James Murphy and Co were tearing the roof off with their version of "Throw".

4. John Peel playing Teenage Kicks to a mixed crowd of techno nutters and reggae fiends a few months before his untimely death. Knifehandchop melting heads upstairs, Dr Alimantado being the Best Dressed Chicken in Town.

5. Maher Shalal Hash Baz. 2 days before I got married, my last weekend of "freedom" was a weekend to myself with a fistful of tickets to Triptych gigs. Watching this band, like the gentlest version of the Fall ever, you got a sense of the joy of discovery, of learning and friendship. If you get the opportunity to see this band drop everything and go!

Best memories:
1. Dancing with my pals when Optimo's DJ Twitch played their track just after LCD went off stage and the whole crowd went absolutely mental.

2. The hilarious publicity hyperbole. The 'Knee is right, pick ANY band- a veritable smorgasboard of superlatives!

3. Getting to see Madlib and Jaydee rip it up in the Venue.

4. Having a shite after Pan Sonic had rearranged my bowels.

5. Seeing Bob Moog and Jean Jacques Perry in conversation in the Queens Hall.

Biggest disappointments:
1. No shows. Danger Mouse, Matthew Herbert, Juan Atkins, Cannibal Ox. For shame!

2. Greedy Weejies: For keeping ESG, Model 500, Rhythm & Sound, Aphex, Derrick May, DJ Pierre, David Mancuso and countless others.

3. That Madlib and Dilla never got on the decks despite their constant reminding of the crowd that "we're just DJ's". And that Quasimoto turned out to be the "Very Special Guest".

4. The overreliance of a shallow pool of Glaswegian band talent. Triptych didn't really do anything for emerging Scottish artists over the lifetime of the festival.

5. The absence of a "Festival Ticket" that would have enabled festival goers to go to everything without having to pay for tickets and booking fee for every gig.

This weekend I'm off to see Jah Shaka, Theo Parrish and hopefully the RZA.

Goodbye Triptych, here's hoping we come up with some other way of luring maverick geniuses to Central Scotland!

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