28.06.2005 19:08 - Trier Altstadt Fest
One of the things the Germans generally seem to be far better at than the English is having a good time at Civic Expense. In the summer, street fests are often to be seen in and around German cities, featuring decent stages, top-notch P.A.Systems and extremely good bands, all, often, at the expense of the city council itself. Compare this with the bloody-minded nimbyist 'you're not here to enjoy yourself' attitude of most English towns, and the dullness of the average UK club day. Nope, sorry, folks, but the krauts have got it right, and brilliantly so. None of the fannying about like in the UK on some playing field, the whole bloody town is taken over, and filled with various food stands, small stages, bars (yes, bars! Selling Beer! In glasses, not horrible plastic things!) and sundry other stalls.
It was a bit of a disappointment, then, this weekend in Trier, to find that not everything was up to scratch. So, in the interests of savagely taking the piss out of it, here's a little list of do's and don'ts.
Soundmen : It is a well-known fact that these days "tha kids" are only interested in a pounding bass drum, and couldn't give a shit about the rest of the music. Therefore, it is important to push the fader for the bass drum mic right up into the red. It must not only distort, but boom, so add loads of bottom-end on the EQ. If possible, route everything else through a compressor that is side-chained to the bass kick so that everything else drops out when the drum is hit.
Bands : Minimising your GEMA payments and maximising your income is simple. Simply stretch out one of your covers by adding a vamp section where you engage the audience in a call-and-response routine you nicked off Freddie Mercury. With a bit of luck, you can extend a three-minute cover of "Walking on Sunshine" to around 20 minutes, if your bass-player's right hand doesn't sieze up. Should you attract too much of a crowd, you can easily disperse them by murdering a well-loved tune : for example, playing "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" at double the speed, turning it into a thrash-epic.
There you go then. Have fun. Or try to, with that lot going on.