This is not a complaint, I’m just stating a fact; when you work in the entertainment industry the concept of ‘weekend’ becomes rather skewed. It’s no longer 3 nights of rest and recuperation, in fact Friday night often starts with ‘Right, time to go to work…’. And while we may, at times, consume similar amounts of alcohol to those who are not at work, that doesn’t mean we’re letting off steam. Generally it’s not a problem, but from time to time an itinerary pops into the inbox that makes you want to hide on the sofa and drown your sorrows and your phone in a glass of whiskey.
Last weekend was one of these. We started off with the Isle of Wight festival. Thankfully the mud deluge had abated by Saturday afternoon. We arrived to a relatively calm island – no traffic jams, a bit of mud but nothing too serious. PG headlined the biggest tent, playing to one of the biggest, most responsive festival crowds I’ve seen. A bit of voice strain for him, too much JD for Keyboard Carl, but nothing anyone hadn’t seen before. So around midnight we set off for London, a bit of sleep and the Radio One Hackney Weekend. And that’s when things took a turn for the worse.
We arrived at the ferry in torrential rain and discovered we were two hours early. Now trust me, there’s not a whole lot to do on the Isle of Man in the early hours of the morning. So we sat in the car, listened to the rain and those who weren’t in the kiddy seats did their best to sleep.
Onto the ferry. Cue DJ IQ suddenly being the life and soul of the party while everyone else is fading fast. Off the ferry and it’s 3 hours back to London. Check into a beautiful hotel at 5am, sleep on the sofa of someone’s room. Get up and out by 10am. Off to Hackney for the Radio One weekend. First slot on the main stage. Gig done. Off-stage… and then Stephen says ‘You’re coming to Spain….’ ‘O…..K…..’ Now at this point I was planning a night that was rather more ’2 pints at the football, bottle of red wine and a pizza’ while Green was suggesting ‘get to Spain for a 3am club gig in Magaluf’. I can’t lie, I’ve been to Magaluf and I didn’t like it. Now if you’re 18 and from a small town then the idea of going to a place that seems like one massive Spanish-themed bar populated by youngsters who give the cast of Geordie Shore a run for their money in the ‘let’s get mortal’ stakes, may well appeal. But for me, it’s just a shit hole with a load of bollocks bars.
That said, if anyone ever offers you a free flight anywhere and you decline then you’re a douchebag in my books. Central line home, shower, shave, swap the leather trousers for something more Eurotrash, find passport, don’t pack bag (we’re only there for 18 hours). Central line, Liverpool Street, Stansted, make the plane, find seat, try to make polite small talk with neighbour.
Neighbour is some grumpy dude. It seems he was partying on a ferry the night before and is all out of the milk of human kindness.
We landed in Mallorca around 11pm. Now I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Spain in the last few years and I can’t help thinking this is why they’ve gone bust:
Everything’s so damn well made, so expensive, but there’s just no-one there.
You know one of those ones when you’re so tired that everything just seems funny.
You should be crying but you just start laughing at the ridiculousness of your life.
We all retired to our rooms – not enough time for a sleep but too long to sit in the bar. I read a couple of chapters of Bond and took his advice: a cold shower and then order some alcohol.
When Green emerged I could see that he’d chosen sleep over booze but he too, was in a sleep-deprived state of I couldn’t give a fuck. I remember asking him what was going on with the haircut and his reply “I don’t give a fuck, that’s what’s going on with my haircut.”
What was good about this gig was there was none of the usual waiting around. He got out of bed at quarter to, we walked down to the club, through the back door and straight onto stage. And then shit got buck wild.
I’ve seen it before and you know what, when Stephen doesn’t give a fuck, you get some of his best performances. I won’t go into too much detail because I want to edit the footage into something good but people got sucked into the crowd, members of the public got Jack Daniels in places they didn’t want it, explosions went off that no-one knew about, and for once we all got to see Trevor do something other than stand around looking hard. Magaluf went mortal.
IQ at work. No that’s not a mic in his hand. That’s a whiskey and coke.
Now I wouldn’t want to say that it was one of the best gigs that BCM have had this year but that’s what one of their senior employees said.
Gig done. 4am. To bed or not to bed, that is the question. I flopped and went for the former option – the pull of the pool and a day of sun after a month of English rain won out over free booze and flying back to England feeling like an emotional leper. And boy was that the right choice because 5 hours of sleep later some of us were sat here.
This is pretty much all I did all day:
Well a bit of lunch also. Not bad for a Monday. It beats doing spreadsheets. But that’s my point – Monday is often our Sunday. If we’ve been working all weekend on 4 hours sleep a night then I’m not going to feel Catholic guilt for taking time off on Monday for R&R&Rosé.
Magaluf… aah, what a strange place. Peep this picture. Now don’t look at Felix or his Puma garms… check the lady over his left shoulder. Yup, it’s 2pm on Monday in a fairly swanky restaurant, women are doing lunch, children are behaving themselves at the table when out of nowhere two strippers turn up and stand on podiums by the pool and go all MC Hammers Pumps In a Bump all up in this place.
Strange place. 7pm, time to fly home. And for once I wasn’t getting on the plane feeling like I’d been brain raped by a small Spanish island. The same couldn’t be said for everyone but hey, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.
Settled into a bit more of this….
Only to be disturbed by this little monkey…
Wait, wrong picture… this little monkey…
Aaaah, yes I know, weak joke, and that’s all it is. I’ve got to say, for once, the flights were some of the best parts of the weekend. Luke, Pat, Felix and I put the world to rights. And we laughed a lot.
This means trouble.
So high five to a weekend that got progressively better. It started off muddy, cold and uncomfortable and ended with some peace and quiet, sunshine, swimming and a reminder that, when this job is good, it’s the fucking best job in the world, or should I say the best job I’ve ever done – and I’ve managed wrestlers and filled graves and they were both pretty awesome. Peace.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Australia is a big place. 5 hours later and we’ve arrived in Perth. Thank God for plush hotels because the jet lag isn’t abating. I’ve never before appreciated how bad it can get; I feel lost, muffled, disorientated by waves of tiredness that just won’t go away. I’ve tried everything, drowning it under the waves, running it out, sleeping it off, killing it with booze, but still we’re a week in and it’s here to stay.
Future Music Perth was a little different to Brisbane. Less rain, more shirts and an altogether bigger and wilder crowd. Felix and IQ got things started with a short and sharp warm up set and by D.P.M.O. the crowd were showing their appreciation by showering Green with beer. When you consider the heat and the queue for the bar I guess this is a real sign of affection.
Post-gig mingle with the fandem.
I’m loving the VB. I’m sure it’s what Mick drank in Crocodile Dundee or maybe it was Alf in Home and Away. Either way it’s better than it looks. Not a bad Italian meal ruined by a Spanish guitarist who insisted on raping such classics as Stand By Me.
I can’t say I’m feeling Perth. It’s got even less charm than Brisbane. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clean and safe and the people have been as friendly as anywhere in the world, but everything’s so new, the architecture so haphazard and thrown together, that it all feels rushed and put together without any heart. And before the local tourist board complains (as they did when I suggested Brisbane had too many muscles) can I just say this is the experience of one jet-lagged man who has only seen a shade of what Australia has to offer. This country undoubtedly has some of the world’s most impressive nature, the people seem kind and welcoming, I think maybe I just don’t like their buildings and how they build their cities.
Later that night, a few of us went to the Festival after party at some bar called Space. We headed down with Skrillex and the guys from Flux Pavillion who played upstairs. It seemed to be on some impromtu tip because the crowd went proper spare. Personally I think people waste way too much time discussing dubstep and the pros & cons of Skrillex. A super-friendly guy who played some nasty songs that made everyone pull stupid faces and bang their heads… what more do you need?
Twenty minutes later I found Felix cornered by 6 or 7 young locals. I don’t know how to put this, but they definitely thought Felix was someone else, I don’t know who, but I do know that Felix was too much of a gentleman to shatter their illusions. Our Felix is a gentleman like that: not one to burst the dreams of young, impressionable fans.
You know that moment when you think ‘I’m balling, I’m balling… oh shit I’m really not balling…’ That’s how I felt when I realized I was drinking a bottle of Smirnoff Ice that someone had kindly put their cigarette out in.
That was pretty much time to call it a night. There was a jazz club somewhere down the road that was doing a live tribute to Whitney Houston, I was down but no-one else was…. So we wandered home and that was that, another great day, too much sun and too much booze, but hey, when in Rome….
Rufus2012, australia, behind the scenes, Photos, professor green
Yesterday was day one of the Future Music Festival. To be fair, things were stacked against us, the line-up had been changed at the last minute so there was some timing confusion and then the skies opened and we saw our first barrage of Aussie rain. Apparently it rains every year without fail on FMF day and the locals didn’t seem fazed. They turned up, loved-up and shirtless, with spiky hair and way too much muscle; think Jersey Shore take on Bestival….
The crowd response was manic; the Aussies seem to love the aggression of songs like D.P.M.O, the INXS riff on I Need You Tonight is obviously a national favorite and with Read All About It climbing the charts over here, the set closes with fans singing along which is standard in the UK but a little surreal over here. Nothing like a good gig to raise spirits and numb the jetlag.
Pro caught up with Travie from Gym Class Heroes, these guys toured together 3 or 4 years ago….
Watching their set from side of stage.
Shouts out to Burger Gang.
Then off for a bit of promo. High spirits makes life hard for interviewers. At one point it looked like Stephen and Jessie J were going to do their promo together but then common sense prevailed. I think I heard Stephen say ‘I’m joking…’ five times to a visibly shocked interviewer while her researcher took about 5 minutes to recover from the joke that got played on her when she walked on set.
The last interview of the day ended with a race round the corridors on Beer cooler bikes. Only in Australia would someone think of taking a beer cooler and turning it into a very dangerous and awkward moped. I guess drink driving isn’t a big deal over here.
Meanwhile IQ was doing his thing.
This is ‘old-school’ Pat, our sound engineer. He’s the guy that sits at the big desk opposite the stage and cranks up the volume. I have no idea what he does exactly but I’d hazard a guess that he mixes all the different sound channels together and then pumps out the purest sound he can. Either way, he’s pretty damn important.
Q wanted me to use these pictures because they show he’s ‘international n shit….’
Here he is taking a wet wipe shower next to tour manager Trigger.
After an afternoon of drinking it was time to head to Perth. Another long flight, another time change, further body clock confusion just as you’re reaching some kind of equilibrium. The strain is showing, it’s like any trip, the first several days are new and exciting but come day four it’s taken its toll. We haven’t even been partying that hard, I guess it’s just the power of jetlag.
Felix is pioneering a new look: the Brian Harvey snapback x JLS neckline combo. The ladies love it.
Next stop Perth.
2012, australia, jessie j, Photos
Professor Green will be playing at this year’s V Festival, taking place over the weekend of 18th-19th August in Chelmsford and Staffordshire. Tickets go on sale this Friday 2nd March at 10am via Vfestival.com.festival, v festival
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