Hello dear friends,
today we go to Belgium of all places, yes, because if where I live has one advantage, then it is the fact that within five minutes you are as well in Belgium as in Holland.
Hechtel's Pukkelpop-festival has a very long tradition, it started on the local football ground in 1985 with 2.500 visitors, last year 190.000 people were there ... quite a difference, right?
All bands were fantastic, although I don't remember Faith No More and not all too much of what Nick Cave did, I must admit. I think beforehand I was most looking forward to see Mudhoney, because by then Peel had played their stuff for nearly two years, they really were the "Gods of Grunge" to me ... and no, they didn't disappoint me at all.
It is hard to tell whether Henry Rollins' or The Cramps' set was more energetic: if you have ever seen video footage featuring Rollins, you can tell that this guy gives sheer energy a new definition. Then again you can tell the same about The Cramps' Lux Interior, and in fact both bands were bloody awesome ... an unforgettable experience really!
The Buzzcocks of course are old heroes, old in a sense that I am too young to having had the chance to see any of those legendary '77/'78/'79 punk combos when they were still active. Pukkelpop changed that, at least for The Buzzcocks ... and it felt brilliant to have them hammering out the old favourites from yesteryear!
The highlight of the day though was seeing Billy Bragg for the first time (I went to see him quite often in the years to come): he simply was unbelievable! The whole performance was great, not only the music, but being able to witness how funny this man is was astonishing. I mean, if you ever have seen him playing live in a smaller venue, you will be able to confirm that he spends quite some time on chatting with the audience inbetween the tunes, he'd tell little stories with a certain tendency to digress (nothing wrong with that at all). But it was real fun to see him doing the very same in front of like 10.000 people, he talked without end all the time, between each and every number. I remember he interrupted one song to take the piss out of some poor drunken bloke who decided to take a leak against the aforementioned fence, quite some distance away from the stage. Bragg followed every move the guy made and informed the audience accordingly. Just imagine you really have to piss, can't hold it to the next plastic lavatory and the next thing happening to you are ten thousand people staring at you whilst one guy with a microphone is recommending that you turn around a little bit so that the wind won't wetten your trousers etc. pp ...
All in all it was a fantastic event and I don't think I have later seen many festivals as good as this one. And it was just 38,- Deutschmarks at the door, today this would be some 19,- Euros ...
Girl - factor, in case you should be wondering? Loads of them, but it was way too hot to concentrate on anything else but the music ...
And finally here's some of exactly that for you, my beauties:
Henry Rollins - 'There's A Man Outside' ('87)
Mudhoney - 'Touch Me I'm Sick' ('88)
Billy Bragg - 'A Lover Sings' (live King's College '01)
Buzzcocks - 'You Say You Don't Love Me' ('79)
Cramps - 'Surfin' Dead' ('85)
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - 'Slowly Goes The Night' ('88)
Take good care,