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Valley Fiesta

Thought I'd send one massive email with a round up of the last three days.

Just briefly, a word of explanation about the Valley Fiesta. It's a Friday night to Sunday night festival of music and shopping that is held in the malls around my usual haunt, Fortitude Valley. The Valley is were nearly all of the live music venues are and, I'm told, is where the "cool" people hang out. Luckily, people like me are allowed to hang out there as well. You can click through to this site to find out more about the specifics of the Fiesta.


I was off sick again on Friday - it wasn't too bad as I worked from home, but I had these little marks/bumps on my tummy and was a bit worried about chicken pox. I've already had it as a kid, but I've heard that there is a new version of the virus going around and figured it was better for me to stay home and not infect my co-workers (many of whom have young children). Turns out it was just a form of heat rash from the high fevers I've been running with the 'flu. Never had heat rash before so hadn't recognised it. All better now anyway.

Friday night was the Fairy's housewarming party. She has recently moved in with this guy she met at Woodford in January this year who moved up from Sydney and moved straight in with her. I found this a little freaky I have to admit - they've only been together for 6 months, all of it a long distance relationship, and now they're living together. That would be way too much, way too soon for me. But each to their own and I was sure I would like this guy seeing as the Fairy is so taken with him.

I was wrong. I didn't. Initial reaction was that he's a pretentious prat.

I think the housewarming party was for all of us to meet him and most hadn't met him before, so maybe he was nervous meeting all of these friends who knew each other well and were happily chatting about their lives. So I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt and put aside my initial reaction to him and make an effort to get to know him better and hopefully like him. This is assuming that I actually see enough of him to get to know him. I haven't seen much of the Fairy lately and don't really know anything about her life and, unless she's heard gossip from The Tall Guy or The Ex, I know she knows nothing about mine because I haven't seen her on her own in the last couple of months to be able to tell her about it.

Despite still being a bit 'fluey, I enjoyed the party. The Fairy's Mum and her Mum's husband were there and I really like both of them and enjoy their company. Unfortunately, I didn't get to talk to them much - thought I would catch up with them at the Valley Fiesta on Sunday, but more about that later.

I also caught up with one of the Fairy's ex co-workers who we went surfing with in Byron Bay before I went overseas last year. I enjoyed chatting to her as well and caught up with what she's been up to in the last 18 months. And of course, T&S were there and are always good value, as are the K couple. There were a few people I hadn't met before there as well - but they arrived late (probably the Fairy's hospitality friends) and I was starting to feel a bit off again (and so anti-social) and didn't really talk to them much. Just enough for "Hi" and "Bye" really.

Surprisingly (to me anyway), The Ex wasn't there. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing or even worthy of comment. I actually didn't notice until my Mum asked me whether he was there, and realised he hadn't been. I supposed that he hasn't been to so many parties that I go to that it didn't even occur to me that he would usually be there. And I was enjoying chatting to the others and it didn't occur to me to ask about him. It's sort of nice to have that bit of external validation to the internal feeling that I really don't care about him anymore.

Anyway, I ended up leaving with T&S about 11pm. Probably just as well, because it took me about 20 minutes to get through the Valley (a section which usually takes about 2 minutes and I could walk in 10!) because of traffic from the Valley Fiesta.


I made a concerted effort to sleep in on Saturday morning which was mostly successful. When it wasn't, I watched TV, read my book and did a little cleaning.

I headed into the Valley at midday to check out the markets before the first band I wanted to see came on. The markets were a little disappointing I must say - I was hoping to pick up something cool and hand-made for the Fairy's birthday and couldn't find anything that I thought she'd like. I did pick up a couple of CDs (Best of The Pogues and a mix CD of the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival 2003) for my brother's birthday and the Machine Translations CD I'm currently listening to and a couple of $5 shirts for myself though.

So, onto the music. First up were Charles Foster Kane who I've been a bit of a fan of for a while. About 1/2 way through their set it poured rain (for the 2nd time that day, first time was while I was walking in! Go figure!) and they had to stop or risk electrocution. So it was a short set. The crowd seemed to be into them and they pulled a fair number of people for a 1:20pm set, so I'd be guessing they'd be happy with that. I stood towards the back of the crowd so I could boogy a bit and not feel awkward. Except for the rain, I enjoyed their (shortened) set. They did a lot of songs I didn't know but they have a new EP out that I haven't bought yet and those songs are probably from there. They also did a couple from their 2nd eponymous EP, but I don't recall hearing any from Northern.

Next, I did a little more browsing phoned the Nymph (who is a girl I used to know a couple of years ago who phoned me out of the blue on Wednesday and we arranged to meet up at the Fiesta - I call her the Nymph because she once had a worse reputation than mine, it's tounge in cheek - she's actually a really lovely girl and so I forgive her for being completely physically beautiful - think Catherine Zeta Jones but shorter and with a bigger bust in proportion to her size and you have some idea) and then headed over to the Warner St stage to meet her before Women in Docs. I had forgotten how good these guys are. I love their tunes, I love their lyrics, I love their stage presence, I love their "boys" (the drummer and violinist), and I love their sense of humour with their stage banter. Most bands never seem to get that down - they either make a heap of in-jokes which leave most of the audience alienated, mumble so no-one can understand what they're saying anyway, or just don't even try. Women in Docs do total entertainment. I'm looking forward to seeing them again... but not enough to go to the Gympie Muster, which is apparently their next gig in the area!

The Nymph and I headed back to my place once their set ended. My stomach was still a little dodgy and I was still on black tea and dry toast. So I was hungry and decided that this was a good time to do both. So we drank our tea, I ate my toast, and we caught up on what we'd been up to in the last 3 years or so since we'd last seen each other. It was nice. I'm looking forward to catching up with her again. We are thinking of heading to the Metro to see a play together sometime in the next couple of weeks.

We headed back in just in time to catch Doch at the Chinatown Mall stage. These guys are fantastic - sort of Eastern European traditional pieces mixed with gypsy-like originals. I've been a fan for ages - since I first saw them at Woodford a couple of years ago I think. As per usual, my style of dancing changed when they played and became more of a sort of belly dancer or harem dancer - I don't do the weird belly thing, but I do swivel my hips a lot. And I did so during practically their entire set. By the end, nearly the whole crowd were up and dancing - considering it was packed around the stage, that must have been a couple of hundred people! Pretty good effort I thought.

We left during the last song (saying a brief hello to the Law Student along the way), and ran over to the Warner St stage for the Neighbourhood Groove Collective who are a reggae/funk sort of band which includes Paulie B from george on bass and Nick Aggs from AfroDizziAct on lead vocals/keys/sax (?). I had wanted to see them for ages, but never got there. I really enjoyed their stuff, but they didn't have as much energy as I thought they would. Still good though - a band I'd go to see again, but probably won't go out of my way for. We started out up the front grooving away at the edge of the dancey part of the audience. The Nymph left after a couple of songs to meet this guy she's been dating who'd texted her that he'd arrived at the back of the audience, and I left about half way through the set when the little gang of 15 year olds that had surrounded me started to become too annoying. Met the Nymph's date and his friend but didn't really talk to them. I just boogied along at the back and enjoyed the band from there.

When NGC ended, I headed home and spent the rest of the night watching The Gilmore Girls and then chanel flicked until I fell asleep.


I woke up depressingly early, but I suppose that's the price you pay by falling asleep before 9pm!

Headed into the Valley for Love Lies Bleeding at 11am. Got in there right on 11:00, but they'd already started! For some reason, most of the bands were playing 5 min early on Sunday... and it wasn't just by my watch either! Met up with the Law Student and her Repetitive Date (they've been dating for about a month now and are still not considering themselves to be "a couple") during their set. I wasn't overly impressed by them, which was a little disappointing as they had been on my "must see" list (can't remember why now...).

After that, we all pottered around the markets for a bit until Wes Davidson started at 12:20 - I stayed for 2 or 3 songs and was impressed by what I heard. He manages to combine singer/songwriter sound with pop-like catchiness quite well.

Anyway, I left because I was hoping to catch the Fairy and her parents before Jaleos Flamenco started. Which I didn't actually end up doing. I couldn't see her before, during or after the gig - there were a few people there, but she usually stands out. Haven't found out yet whether she didn't end up going or if I just missed her. Anyway, if she didn't go, she missed a great gig. They did a combination of vocal pieces that had no dancing, and dancing pieces that had no vocals. I don't really get the vocal pieces, but then what I like about them is the guitar and dance and the guitar is played down when there's vocals and the dancing is non-existant. And of course, I can't understand a word the guy is singing, so the emotion of it is completely lost on me. I do love watching Andrew Vievers do what he does with that guitar though. There were only two dancers because of limited space, but they were probably the two best of the group and managed to get the effect of the whole group across quite well.

After they finished, I headed back to the main stage to catch Halfday. I had downloaded a couple of their songs ages ago and really liked what I heard. I can't remember if I've ever seen them live, but I don't think so - I think I downloaded their songs after hearing about them somewhere. Anyway, I missed part of their set because I was starting to feel hungry and headed off to grab a bite to eat, but I saw probably all but the first 2 songs and really enjoyed it. They are pure pop - but in a good way. In the foot tapping, can't get it out of your head way. The tunes are simple - neither the guitar or bass playing is interesting to watch (and the keys player didn't seem to play much) - but they're catchy. Overall, a band I'd rather see than hear, but they did a good set. They just need to crank up the energy on-stage a bit I think. A bit like The Boat People that way.

As soon as they had played their last song, I dashed off to the Warner St stage for Palimpsest. Made it over there before they'd started, which I was happy about, and in time to grab a great spot sitting in the shade of the fence, which I was very happy about! This is the band that has Tyrone Noonan from george as the front man. I've seen them a couple of times in the past, but I don't think that the midday, outdoors setting really did them justice. They do seem to be better in a darkened venue with comfy couches, more fitting for their jazz/blues blend. Anyway, Ty of course has a great voice (very suited to jazz standards) and the 2 non-vocals (guitar and double bass) are both exceedingly good. The double bass player was slightly off his note occasionally during the high notes of his solos (were they improv?) but that is quite literally the only possible criticism I could make of this trio. The guitarist is fascinating - quick fingered and skilled and his guitar had a beautiful tone. I noticed that Ty's Mum and Dad were in the audience as well. One of the most amusing comments of the set - a girl in the bathrooms saying (loudly) to her friend: "You know that guy sounds like the guy from george. I bet he isn't though."

Ran back to the main stage once they'd finished and caught the last couple of songs from Polyvinyl. They sounded good - I'll have to make a mental note to check them out when they gig next.

Possibly the most amusing incident of the Fiesta happened during The 9th Wave. I'll get to the band in a minute, but first the incident. I was sitting near the front with the Law Student and the Repetitive Date watching the band, but also the crowd passing by on either side of the stage, when I noticed this old Asian guy standing off to the right who looked like he was fiddling with himself through his pants... and he had a hard on! I looked, looked away, then looked back... and then asked the Law Student whether what I thought I was seeing was what I was actually seeing. And it was! The Law Student then told the Repetitive Date and we all started pissing ourselves laughing while we tried not to look. It was one of those "that's disgusting but I can't help giggling" sort of moments. I think (and sort of hope) that he noticed us laughing because he disappeared after that and didn't reappear.

Anyway, the band. The 9th Wave are usually a 3-piece of guitar, vocals and drums, but they'd recruited keys for some of the songs. The guitarist and keyboards player and both from Charles Foster Kane. I think that was probably where I'd heard of them from. I certainly didn't know their music, but they were on my list of bands to check out. I really liked them - obviously the guitar and keys were good, they're both good in CFK as well - but the female lead singer is also excellent - a little like the girl from Zephyr Timbre in both look and sound, and with a lot of stage presence. I just did a bit of research to work out where I knew her from - she and the guitarist were in Tangled who I used to go and see a bit. Mystery solved. I didn't recognise him when I first saw CFK though... ah well, she does stand out a little more than he does. Anyway, their sound... hmmm... sort of like Zephyr Timbre without the rap... maybe dark pop?

Anyway, I headed home once their set had finished. I'd planned to head back in for the Resin Dogs at 6pm, but was so buggered that I stayed home and slept instead. Of course, this means that I woke up at 4:30am this morning absoluted starving, but I don't feel at all fluey today, so that's a good thing.

*whew* You all made it to here? Congratulations, I'm impressed. I'll probably keep it short for the next few posts to make it up to you!

Listening to: Machine Translations - Love on the Vine EP


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