Summer of rage, summer of rave!
By Steve Jenner on 13 June 2009
Just had a very cool backstage encounter with Larry Love, the frontman in Alabama 3, at RockNess festival in Scotland.
At last, some justice in the universe! It may be threatening our houses, jobs and holidays in the sun but this recession is turning out to be our greatest hope for restoring the glory of the UK's music scene which - let's face it - has come something of a cropper in these last few years.
As Larry (or Rob, as his friends call him) put it when I interviewed him: "These downtimes are good for Alabama 3. Coldplay don't sound so good when you've just had your house repossessed!"
It also cast my mind back to seeing The Levellers a few weeks ago, who performed with a fire I hadn't experienced for a very long time and reminded me how much more spiritually revitalising gigs used to be a few years back. Or maybe I'm just getting old!
On the subject of festivals, and how they will be affected by the same forces, Larry had some interesting thoughts. Here's a transcript of what he said to me:
I think it's interesting that the Manchester Chief of Police has said that this will be the 'summer of rage'. What I read from that is that with the air of descent and economic gloom, what's going to be very important is a group of 20 kids in the middle of nowhere in the South of Wales getting a sound system out and having their own festival in a forest and going back to that, 'cos young kids need to be doing something other than watching their parents' houses get repossessed, and if that means that they get a sound system out and have parties then all the better for it, and if the police want to clamp down on these young people having independent festivals then they will have a problem.
From the summer of love to the summer of rage old bill, bring it on. That's what's going to be interesting, cos I know from now there will be a lot of illegal raves going on over the next couple of years, and it's cool, that's where you get good music from, acid-house music started from that. I think you need, in these times of economic depression, a bit of rebellion.
Amen. Interesting times ahead. Over to the kids...