The Coolest Band In The World
They're onstage for what seems like an age before they actually begin to play; fiddling around with equipment, twiddling Jimi Hendrix riffs out the guitar, sipping beer, approaching the sound difficulties and setbacks with an air of complete nonchalance, until finally the intro to 'Let The Cool Goddess Rust Away' rocks in. And from thereon in not a single word, riff, or stretched reaching screech of a vocal is missed by the truly ecstatic and uproarious crowd.
In fact I've never been in a crowd quite like it. In the build-up to the first number everybody is clapping their hands rhythmically, but not in the way hungry hecklers do to persuade a band just to get on with it, the people here are all clapping and shouting 'Yeah' over and over, just as their name suggests. There's one guy at the front so over the moon with the whole shebang he keeps turning to everyone near him and begging they clap their hands against his, Alec Ounsworth onstage actually looks quite taken aback by the crowd's super-enthusiastic reaction and a smile emanates wide over his whole face.
They play a new song which goes down just as well as anything else, the whole collective of fans in front of the stage swaying and colliding with each other, there's even a grey-haired man, must've been in his late fifties, in the mosh pit - it's unprecedented. 'Over and Over (Lost and Found)' gets everyone going mad and the singing-along could probably be heard as far as the mainstage from this tent.
'Details Of The War' is well recited, 'Is This Love?' has the crowd going again in full swing and 'The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth' is so extraordinary you wouldn't have believed it unless you were there; every minute detail of that song, from the keyboards to the guitar riffs, the bass bops to Ounsworth's squeals was sung, hummed and repeated by the zealous crowd. 'In this Home On Ice' had people nearly wetting themselves, and as the specialist of special treats they even through in 'Clap Your Hands!' and it was lapped up and clapped up. The band were intoit and we were into it, like never before.
Before departing from the stage 'Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood' was the choice for ender and the reaction was orgiastic, even if there was a technical hitch here and there with a mic or two, hell, it didn't matter because every single word Clap Your Hands have put to song would have been sung, even if the band were playing in complete silence. Their being there onstage ignited a sense of energy for melody, yearning for colourful sound and craving for pure aural fun in us all. They definitively confirmed that they are the coolest band in the world on this day.
But that wasn't all, oh no, the crowd wouldn't let up and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah were hailed back onstage to do an encore. It's a rare event to witness a band not headlining at a festival come back and play an encore, but the band deserved the accolade and the crowd deserved the pleasure, this was a two-way thing alright. The best atmosphere, in spite of all the glitches that tried to hinder it, you could possibly wish for. Lovely, grand, flipping fecking deadly!
So, I made a pact with my good friend Cíara at the end of the gig that she'll book Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to play live at my funeral, and by God am I looking forward to that day now!! Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! Go on!