London scares me and so do the people who are there… Well especially those who turned up for Underage Festival this year. Just looking over everyone in the queue I could tell that I was probably not gonna enjoy myself as much as I did last year or as much as I had done at any other festival this summer.

First act of the day were Lightspeed Champion a band whose first album I adore but personally I’m not a fan of his whole rock opera thing for album number two. So thankfully he played about a 50/50 split of new and old  but for some reason all the moronic kids insisted on clapping at inappropriate moments which ruined songs like the nine minute epic of ‘Midnight Surprise’. His live show isn’t all that exciting either and it certainly didn’t help that his piano wasn’t set up right. Would have probably been a lot better in more intimate surroundings. Darwin Deez was next on the fizzy pop stage and seriously as soon as Peanut Butter Jelly Time came on the PA I knew I’d be in for half an hour of pure hell. What I was witnessing in front of me was more like the house band to a rich kids birthday party. How can any true fan of all that is good within modern music enjoy this drivel. O.K. synchronised dance routines are one thing but it’s not even like his songs are any good. Sure if I was 14 again I’d probably love this but I’m not I have no interest in a band who have to reference going into space in every fucking song. “You are a radar detector” what does that even fucking mean. The music is equally unintelligent as lyrics nothing less than average at best. And Darwin himself is such a douche I mean come on does he really think people are impressed with his whole look at me I’ve got krazy hair and a krazy moustache, you got to be some kind of severe moron to think thats is actually quirky or krazy cos’ it’s all been done before. Now you could say that I don’t have a heart and that or just plain cold but I gave this guy a chance by sitting through his set and seeing what the fuss was about and that had to be seriously one of the most awful bands I’ve ever seen. Let’s just hope I never have to witness that monstrosity every again.

Redemption came in the form of Los Campesinos! who were spot on as always just what I needed after sitting through that crap. However although LC! are awesome I have seen the same set three times in a row now but that can’t take away the pure joy that songs like ‘Miserabilia’ give me. Wish the crowd were up for me as much as I was but instead of dancing there was just crushing instead. New drummer Jason looked good and played well but I’d much rather see Ollie up there still to be honest. An all-round decent set the they brought out the hits and the band did what they did best so can’t complain. But dear Underage why did you insist on putting a DJ who played nothing other that hip-hop and drum ‘n’ bass before hand. You could tell this guy had never hear of the band before surely it would have maybe made sense to play some relevant bands that fans of LC! would probably like. Might wanna throw in some Frankie & the Heartstrings or Xiu Xiu but no instead we were treated to the likes of Tinie Tempah. What happened Underage why did you loose your cool. It used to be all about interesting new music and not satisfying the needs of the mainstreamer’s.

Now came the wait spent two hours sitting under some trees watching some metal bands had a bit of a laugh at this one band whose synth player kept taking his synth of the stand and playing it in weird positions. It wasn’t even like Rough Trade had a stall this year that could have kept me occupied. No one worth meeting at the signing tent well unless I wanted to wait and punch all the guys in Hadouken!

So after waiting two hours decided to sit in a tent and watch New Young Pony Club, didn’t really do much for me their lead singer woman was a bit too yelpy for my liking so we went over to see upcoming Manchester four piece Everything Everything who weren’t bad. Wish the sound in that tent was better cos’ it really couldn’t cope with the falsetto and harmonies of the band which worked really well in the same way it does for Wild Beasts. Feel like there’s a good album on the way from these guys as their eye for a pop song came across well in-front of a relatively small audience. Deffo a band to watch out for in the next few months (but I’m sure you knew that already).

After this I saw Professor Green sounded like every other pop hip-hop rappy thing that’s in the charts at the moment. Didn’t want to see him of course I was just waiting to see Ellie who I choose over the scary, noisy Crystal Castles, really wasn’t in the mood for experiencing this afternoon. She came on twenty minutes late so me and my friend spent the time confusing people by sort of sounding a little sarcastic but then mixing that by saying that I’m a hardcore Ellie fan whose seen her once before. Ellie wasn’t bad not great but by no means bad. She rattled through hits from her début record to a packed tent but I left at the wrong moment to go and see if M.I.A. had come on the main stage yet. Didn’t even get to see her play ‘Starry Eyed’…

So in the wait to see M.I.A. I thought I’d go and catch the end of Crystal Castles, glad I didn’t go. Don’t really get the all the hype surrounding Crystal Castles sure from the song I saw it looks like they put on a quality live show but it’s just all noise and Alice Glass screaming. Not for me. Think everyone was coming on late during the day the question being was the wait for M.I.A. worth it. I’d say no I left feeling unimpressed by her performance would have expected so much more from someone whose come out and done a video like ‘Born Free’ and then go on to say what she has done about the government, google etc. There was no such craziness today and the crowd weren’t that great either all just there to see one song I presume. Maya came out and started on ‘Galang’ before jumping into the crowd for a bit. That’s all the excitement I got from her show (had to leave before she rolled out the hits cos’ of how long it would take to get back). Really did expect so much more from her but I suppose this sort of sums up Underage this year. A festival with so much promise but delivers nothing but averageness and nothing to satisfy the need of young music fans like myself who look for something a bit different from your Tinchy Stryder’s and Chiddy Bang’s. But what do you expect eh, I am 17 now and I have been to Glastonbury this year. Sure the majority of people who came had a great time this year and that’s important in terms of making sure that youth feel inspired to go out there and try music for themselves. Whether that be making it or going and to experience live music in the future. As for me I think it’s safe to say my time for this sort of festival has definitely been and gone.

James

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