Friday – Arise at 6.30 a.m. after waiting for Santa Clause all night. Arrive in Dublin, arrive in Laois. Pop Electric Picnic cherry. Set up tent like boy scouts. Tent the size of a barn freezes at night. Feel too efficient for the singular first person.
Saturday – Arise in the a.m. Feel so nervous / excited could puke. Do a lot of stretching. Lead pre-show prayer. Palatable excitement courses through veins like blood. Lots of bodies in the tent, but aunties and uncles in the front are reluctant to leave the cosy tables and give the floor. Bodies move to front upon request of DM. Things explode. The sight of the tent moving hands from side to side ballad style during Epidemic would bring a smile to a glass eye. During SugarShake the Cool Away, run from the back of the stage, fly into air and onto outstretched hands. Surf. Fight happens. Not properly hurt. Make it back to stage. Bodies are dancing, mouths are open. Tent has turned into a zoo. HuRray!
After the gig, I get worried about my voice. It sounds like it might just quietly slip off. I take up the first person singular again, I make a sign to pin onto my dress and try to speak in a low voice. We loll on the grass. Megan’s boyfriend tells us we might be in the on-site Ticket on Sunday. A man asks if he can film us for television show. Yes, I say, yes yes, we’ll be on the telly! We play Here is Home.
There is a recognisable pattern in the arc of emotions. Before a gig, everything is compressed. My face is empty. After a gig, I feel so happy, like little buzzes binging in my blood. Two times on stage in one day makes for a smorgasbord of emotions.
After nicking some beers, we all go to see Dan Deacon. He opens with a face-melter of a warm-up. Acres of sweaty shiny barebacked young fellas soon go crazy. It is all he can do to control the crowd, but he is such a pro. I crowdsurf all the way to the back of the tent. Then I crowdsurf all the way back to the front. Crowdsurfing to the front is harder, because people are focused on the stage, and do not have eyes in the back of their head. I want to scream to let them know I am coming, but my throat is already killing me. I reach as far back as my arms can and tap shoulders. I make it all the way back. I feel a little guilty for making everyone carry me, but mostly proud that I made it back. Perhaps I could give crowdsurfing workshops as a nixer?
By the time Santogold comes on stage, we have been waiting ages and the tent is packed. I would have given my left arm to have written that song L.E.S. Artistes. When she comes on stage, it is perfect and polished and boring. Our pal Paddy runs off. Fink and DM and I look at each other. DM says something like “If I wanted to watch someone work for their paycheque I would have gone to Centra and hung around the deli counter.” Fink says “Boooooring.” I am so happy, at this moment, that we are all on the same wavelength.
Skipping away, Fink’s facepainting is branded onto faces. Faces that were at the gig earlier. I look and point, they look and point, maybe we hug, maybe we wrestle, all in all it feels like the gig keeps on giving.
Sunday: Lose voice. Where did it go? What happened? Was it the cold in the tent? Where is it? Please come back, all is forgiven. I’m sorry I told you you have no range and need some training. Pleeeeease.
We go wander early in the a.m, looking for the Ticket. We are on the front page, hurrah! It says we are Ireland’s answer to the Go Team! We are not Ireland’s answer to anything because that question disappeared in the ether.
Stretches and movement gets blood flowing before the gig. Megan sings and I lip sync. I am croaking. We crouch behind the stage and watch the crowd gather; there are at least as many people there as the day before. DM tells the crowd we are having a diva moment and will not come out until the aunties and uncles in the front stand up and the people at the back come forth. The crowd are happy to do this – in fact I think they like it. I think they are happy to have permission to occupy the space to move. We walk out – there are lots of handsome young men. During the second song, my voice blows like an amp. A moment of power failure and my throat became no more than a blown light bulb. For the rest of the song I lip synced and Megan sang; she carried the entire show. Megan was truly awesome, in the biblical sense. I enjoyed lip syncing way more than I should have. During SugarShake, I ran from the back of the stage and crowdsurfed. In future, I think I will always run to crowd surf. It is imagine a flying machine to be, but better.
On the bus home I sit with pen and paper and dream of a new song – a song about time.
A song to play statues to, the game where you freeze and time stands still.