Out on the water’s where you’re gonna find me

Allah-Las_Press_Photo-640x424Well, back from Psychfest. A good time was had by all – loads of good bands, a few average ones, a chance to meet up with a few old friends. Yeah it was a good time, although in truth, not as all-encompassingly brilliant as some of the summer festivals I’ve been to. There’s no substitute for a massive field to bask around in when it’s all getting a bit too much for you. Psychfest was, of course, a much smaller affair and there was nowhere really to get away to – it was a bit like being in a giant 14-hour psychedelic ironworks at times.

Set my recorder to “everything” for the weekend, but unfortunately (I’ve a feeling you know what’s coming here)… well, let’s just draw a discrete veil over it and say there was an “operator failure” and that I didn’t get as many sets as I’d hoped. Sadly, one of the casualties was a stonking Saturday evening set by Woods, the last that I saw of the weekend. They were really very good, re-frying the more pastoral set I’d seen at End of the Road to one that was a little more suited to the occasion.

I did, however, captured this lot:

The Allah-Las

Actually, this was the best set of the weekend, and sad though I was to lose the Woods one, if I’d had to choose…

Strolling out of the desert like a Da Capo Love, all fringed jackets and beatle boots, the Allah-Las looked every inch the study in sixties cool that they clearly are. I’d had to choose between seeing them or the highly promising Early Years where a number of my more-knowing friends were, but I didn’t regret it for a moment. They were brilliant.

From the opening bars of “No Werewolf” right to the closing twangs of a glittery 45-minute set, they were very tight and strutted through a series of tracks from their two records with a needle-sharp guitar sound and a groove that set a drunken crowd jigging and, well, frugging (no other word for it…)

Cracking versions of “Catamaran”, with all its Stones / Standells echoes and more of that acerbic, twangy guitar, “I Had It All”, “Busman’s Holiday” and really pretty much the whole set – all of it skin-tight, none of it straying over the four-minute mark.

Quite a lot of noise over the recordings, I’m afraid, but that was a feature of the whole weekend. Although that annoyed me at times over the two days, here, with groovy youngsters jumping about enthusiastically, chatting, singing along, it just felt like I was in my own bootleg “live” album in a Seeds on Sunset Strip style…

Here’s a little selection:


Busman’s Holiday



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