Poppycock were an 8 piece band, all female save for the drummer, led by Una Baines who was an original member of the Fall from 1976-78. That means she must have played on "repetition", one of the few pop songs to name-check contemporary power names President Carter and Chairman Mao.
They had lots of harmonies, guitar, keys and flute and a variety of feels. Loved the track "Cleaning Woman".
We played our regular tour set we had been cooking up, though tonight we had a go at "chads car" and "you're just too hip, baby". (Because Una asked for it).
Health was slowly improving though Clare and Stu are still coughing like miners.
Thanks to Bob Osborne for helping to organizing the gig.
We made our way to Wales the next day. A drive that took a couple of hours.
We arrived and got set up in our chalet and caught the Necks who opened proceedings. I always want them to just slip into a nice groove like ELPs version of fanfare For A Common Man. Didn't happen. Again.
We were intending to play two shows, one that night and one on Sunday and thought we might as well do the same set in the two different rooms. The Festival booklet had it written that I was set to do a solo set though. Not having brought an acoustic guitar I did a set with an electric through a Vox amp on very clean settings with Stu Thomas on bass and vocals and Clare Moore on percussion and vocals.
We did songs like....
I wanna get lost again
you put a spell on me
saturday night bath
I will have always been here before ( as an homage to Roky Erickson)
my schthick weighs a ton
rock'n'roll is where I hide
all our friends were stars
everything was legendary with Robert
a woman skinnies a man up
It went down really well and sounded great.
Clare and Stu were heaving up for air and coughing madly after each song.
A hardcore roadie told me I was part Jonathan Richman and part Scott Walker. High praise!
Later that night we saw Roky Erikson play an amazingly good show . A young band fully committed to backing him on a set on Thirteenth Floor Elevators tracks. The guitarist was excellent. The sound was a bit too much on the big bass drum side of things but I got used to ignoring it and loved the show. Roky sat front of stage with a big hollow body and sang every tune- lots of words in those songs. The last three songs were "I've got levitation", "Reverberation" ( which really took off) and "you're gonna miss me". They came back on to encore with a solo track , "two headed dog". Amazing how many characters from that psychedelic period Roky has outlived!
The next day we caught Stewart Lee do a whole comedy show in the room we'd played in teh night before. A great live performer.
We also saw the Raincoats who must be one of the most difficult acts to describe. Three woman, violin, guitar, monosynth, bass and electric guitar. Three singers, not really harmonizing, just all singing. Not at all slick, pretty loose and wild. Riveting.
The highlight of the day was seeing Giant Sand. Howe Gelb and two guys from Tucson on guitars and a bass player, drummer and female pedal steel player from Copenhagen. Loved the songs and the dynamics. Howe is like a country singer. One minute he's talking and then you realize he's singing. You don't see the shift in gears. He played mostly electric guitar but also gave space to the two other guys to sing a tune while he changed a string and came back with a different hat to sing a great, upbeat (?) version of "he stopped loving her today". Some bloke dressed like an old hobo called Jason Lyttle came on for two songs which everybody went mad over but he was a lot straighter in his chords and delivery. I just wanted Howe's moody, dark eye-browed, grey weirdness. Excellent!
The Fall played after this. People will forever be asking , "what was that all about?" Powerful band, drilled and tense with such clarity. Then Mark.