Italia Wave – Wednesday afternoon
The Italians are complaining about the weather. It’s too hot, they say again and again. Having just left a land where Noah was unwilling to anchor his ark for the last six weeks for fear of getting stranded, On the …
The Italians are complaining about the weather. It’s too hot, they say again and again. Having just left a land where Noah was unwilling to anchor his ark for the last six weeks for fear of getting stranded, On the Record begs to differ. Blue skies. Round yellow thing. Heat. Umbrellas solely in use stuck in cold drinks. This is summer. I know, I know, the weather has probably been decent in Ireland for the last 10 minutes but this is REALLY summer.
This year’s Italia Wave is a little different from previous incarnations for a lot of reasons. For a start, the festival has abandoned its usual home in Arezzo for Florence. Politics, it seems, had a lot to do with the move. In order to make sure the festival is free, it was necessary to move down the road.
Free, you said? Yes, free. All Italiawave events are free of charge. As long as you’re in before 9pm, you don’t pay a cent. After 9pm and it’s 10 euro.
So all of this year’s events take place in a big dusty field a mile or two beyond Florence airport. See it’s not just bands. There’s a comics showcase, a big theatre strand, readings, arguments (that would be the speaker’s corner), cinema, more theatre, kids stuff and food, lots and lots of food. There’s also Electrowave which has the likes of Matthew Dear, Modeselektor, Jimi Tenor, Datarock, King Britt, Cassius, Ame and a couple of million Italian DJs relocated from Napoli and Rimini. The crack, eh?
So far, though, there are no teenage gobshites in GAA tops going around pushing people into the mud. I’ll let you know if I see anyway.
In the Psycho tent this afternoon, it’s the funk-punk thing. Italian bands have obviously got the memo about the whole post-cowbell thing and Disco Drive have obviously also got the last couple of records by The Rapture, Crystal Castles, Out Hud and Foals as well. They have an intriguing spin on that sound as much by virtue of their lyrics (check “When Things Are Hip, I Abandon Ship” or “What Are You Talking About And Why Are You Talking About It?) as anything else. Liquid Liquid would be proud.
Shit Disco are, well… that’s a bit obvious, isn’t it? Lets take it though that, even though we were not looking for it, we have found the new Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. No, hold on the new Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts. That reads better. Shit Disco are truly awful with absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I would imagine that someone once told them they could be the Klaxons fronted by Pete Doherty. That somone must have had one hell of a poker face. The singer dedicates a song to the “lovey tanned Italian ladies in the corner”. That song is the worst version of the Prodigy’s “No Good” that you’ll hear in many a long day or night. The tanned Italian ladies – and their mothers – leave in a huff. Yes, that kind of show, people.
It’s left to Chk Chk Chk to bring it all home, join up the dots and send them home sweating. They are both immense and the geekiest band imaginable. A young Mick Jagger in extremely short shorts fronting a groove machine who turn it on again and again. Another singer making full use of the radio mike by jumping into the crowd and going for a run round. The female singer rocking the Grace Jones attitude who comes on for “Must Be The Moon”. A drummer sporting a Sean Haughey moustache and getting away with it. The tent fills quickly as the word of mouth spreads about the site. Man, Chk Chk Chk OWN Firenze right now. And they’re playing the Electric Picnic. We’ll be up the front for that one too.