Last night I was in the pub with Dave waiting for Ian to show up. When he did, he pulled the stool, sat down and said "Fucking hell, this is worse than ever before". He didn't even say hello. Our marathon stroll down memory lane (five days is a long time) included Dave getting up and doing a John Travolta dance, Ian pulling the festival programme out of his bag and going through the schedule, and me grabbing my double vodka with both hands and downing it in one.
We were talking about Indietracks, by the way.
I miss Indietracks so badly. It hit me on Wednesday night that that there's so much perfection and randomness in spending three days in the middle of nowhere under banners that say 'indiepop festival' that it's impossible to not need help to get over it. Anyone's got any drugs? DJ Polar's disco in the loco shed on Sunday night was the most unexpectedly amazing thing that had ever happened to me. I've seen many radiant, pop-happy faces in the last few years but that sense of losing yourself in the disco lights and the unfamiliar sounds of La Casa Azul and what felt like a 15-minute remix of 'Honolulu Superstar' by Helen Love, surrounded by the most incredible people - oh man, I wanted to kiss everyone, and maybe I should have done. I'd be surprised if there was anything purer than that moment. It had nothing to do with anything, it was happening regardless of life.
And when we started walking out of the deserted festival site, the last people to leave, like last year, and I saw that Elefant backdrop on the main stage, suddenly that weekend we'd just had came together. All those disparate things, the happiness and the anguish, and feeling lost and drunk, crying as you watch your friends triumph on stage or as you watch them flailing their arms around, the trains, the glitter, needing a cuddle, needing the loo, dying for some food, passing the vodka around, believing in impossible things... From 1993 when Luis used to send Elefant mixtapes out with every order to 2009 when I'm saying goodbye to a quiet field way past midnight looking at that stage - well, it turns out this is a loveletter, not a festival. You know how you fall in love and everything is perfect and you want to put it all down on a piece of paper so that it becomes more real? That's how I understand Indietracks now and it makes a lot more sense.
Sorry, I just need to lie down. Where is our tent again?
Welfare state trade-offs
2 hours ago