Okay, so, there might be a fair few of you who don't know where Middlesbrough is let alone know anything about it's main and only 'attraction' of the year.
"Middlesbrough is a large town in North East England, and is the largest and most populous settlement within the borough of Middlesbrough. It is in the first town in the world to owe its existence to a railway. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, in 1968 the town became the centre of the county bor -- blah, blah, blah..." (There is a lot more boring crap on this from Wikipedia. Although, please take it all with a pinch of salt. It puts a nice gloss on what essentially is one of the most deprived areas to live in, in contemporary Britain.)
Middlesbrough Music Live. This is obviously something now which is just habit. Something that has to be done every year so the residents of Teesside can come out of the wood-work, get absolutely twatted and cause an awful lot of havoc for those lovely police officers of ours.
Every year when the line-up is announced people complain that it isn't good enough. With a limited budget and a free festival premise they are not going to be able to get the likes of U2 to come and headline (thank God!). But in you always manage to get to at least see one good act. And to me, that's all that matters. Most other people are not that arsed about the music anyway, its more the ritual and the alcohol consumption.
Last year, I very, very excitedly got to see Jim Noir. For those of you dwelling in the UK you may associate him with certain football, sports adverts and also the Gingster pasty advert too. I did almost choke up a lung whilst singing along to My Patch. We also saw the likes of Chairmen of the Bored, starring Cameron from Hollyoaks (!), who were obviously terrible and walked away from Ocean Colour Scene's set before we writhed in too much awkward nostalgia.
This year the star act is Tony Christie, and, well, the less said about that the better. There has been rather a lot of upset views expressed at this. Personally, I'm totally ambivilent, I'll just fuck off elsewhere. And The Twang are headlining. If I said I hated them that might sound cruel, but it's true. What an awful sound they produce, although I can see why they are getting overly-loved by everyone.
But for all those that need a little help, a little direction to make the best out of this odd and life-risking day, here are a few pointers to go and check out and look perilously for:
- The Chapman Family, get yourself down ultra early and check these kids out. If you are lucky enough to not be going check them out on MySpace, add them and love them dearly. They are fantastic. And this will be the first time I'll have had the pleasure of seeing them live!
- To My Boy are very good. I saw them ages ago and they had me totally engrossed from the moment they appeared on stage. They are also playing Fibbers next Tuesday so I might go, supporting Kate Nash no less.
- Tiny Dancers, it does say on their profile that they are playing in Liverpool on the 3rd, but I think they must be doing that after their 4pm set in Middlesbrough. These are great fun live. My bestest friend Paul loves these.
- Now I cannot find it in my programme but, wait for it, take a deep breath Ms Mulrine, steady yourself.. Shy Child are going to be making what will no doubt be a memorable performance. Beads of sweat all round.
- Foals will be bringing a nice, bleepy, boppy set. By this stage in the day I will either be very happy or very upset. I reckon this will intensify it all.***
- And to wrap up the day well, really, you've got to keep it local. And if you want to have some awesome all-out, indie fuck-rock, then you've got to go see Dirty Weekend. These boys have potential. And after that if you are still standing (which is usually hard after any set by Dirty Weekend) then stick around for Teesside favourites The Oxfam Glamour Models.
If anyone sees me without a drink in my hand please, do something about it!
***Edit: I've been informed that Foals have pulled out. Boo that.