A Festival Mixtape: Bestival 2011 (Side B)
Mixtape time is here again! As the hour draws nearer and coveted places on the 'Wight Rider II' (true story) to the Isle of Delight fill up^, allow us to inform you about some changes and new things at Bestival this year. Each campsite will have its own designated hub this year - a kind of central meeting point-slash-advice centre, the Bestival Green Team will make you a cup of tea if you tidy up after yourself, and Marisa Carnesky - she of Carnesky's Ghost Train (first commissioned in 2004 to great success) is bringing a giant tarot installation to the Robin Hill model village.
But old faithful hangouts will be back too like the inflatable church, healing fields and our personal favourite, the WI tea and cake tent (they served us Panda Pops and lemon drizzle cake and saved us from the rain in 2008, don't you know). And don't forget the on-site newspaper, The Bestival Bugle. Usually peddled by eloquent and attractive ladies and gentlemen at about 11am on each morning of the festival, its scatterfire approach to puns in headlines constantly inspires the Motel and we do love a good puzzle - anyone for Robdoku?
[^= Thus allowing the Motel to embed the video below instead of the same old 'Vampire Weekend on a boat' joke:]
And now, onto part two of our mixtape, which has turned into a bit of an I'd Marry That Voice special...
1. Bjork - 'Jóga'
Bjork's turn at the Manchester International Festival - where she presented her latest project Biophilia - was lavished with praise earlier this summer. Always innovative and inspiring, the Motel is holding out hope that she'll have time to squeeze in a few old classics as well. 'Jóga' is never anything less than moving - its heavenly strings squabble with fierce beats to create something so beautiful. The patrons of Bestival's island paradise deserve to lose themselves to this.
Bjork - joga by Bjork-0
2. PJ Harvey - 'The Words That Maketh Murder'
A surefire contender for Motelvision 2011 - and if nobody else nominates it then I bloody well will - 'The Words That Maketh Murder' sees PJ Harvey in the form of her life. It has the following superb elements: vocal gymnastics, social commentary on dodgy international warmongering, something that sounds like a trombone skulking in the background, and namechecking of the United Nations. Chris and Andy saw her at Camp Bestival 2009 and hailed her tones as "the greatest voice alive" - which just makes you feel a bit giddy, like a child that's drunk too much fizzy pop.
PJ Harvey - The Words That Maketh Murder by Vagrant Records
3. Toots and the Maytals - 'Don't Trouble Trouble'
Bestival has a long tradition of featuring top-notch heritage acts, and the Sunday Best team frequently attract live performers with universal appear. This year, it's Toots and the Maytals' turn to follow in the footsteps of George Clinton, The Specials, Grace Jones, The Wailers, Kraftwerk, Bryan Ferry and the late, unequivocally great Gil Scott-Heron. This slightly trebly recording is merely an illustrative example - imagine how wonderful it will be through a first-rate sound system and the sun (hopefully) shining.
Don't Trouble Trouble - Toots And The Maytals by ViTL
4. The Cure - 'Maybe Someday'
Speaking of acts with a long and glorious history, The Cure are making a very rare festival appearance - in fact, their visit to the Isle of Wight is billed as their only European show of the year. Feel privileged - especially as Rob da Bank said when they were announced that he'd spent five years trying to persuade the band to get on the ferry from the mainland. Everybody knows that 'Friday I'm In Love' is one of their best songs, but it's time for something completely different - 'Maybe Someday' is a slice of melodramatic minor key majesty.
Maybe Someday-The Cure by jclittlespy
5. Catherine AD - 'Bury Me'
'Bury Me' has all the things you'd come to expect from Catherine Ann Davies now - minor-key piano, solemn vocals and a strange sense of contentment upon listening. Other reasons why you should explore more of her material - she has an ability to turn four-to-the-floor dance/pop numbers like 'Better Than Love' by Hurts into laid-back, thought-provoking works of beauty, and her original tracks like 'Carry Your Heart' are so deeply personal and beautiful. She's playing a free Bestival warmup show on Thursday, September 8 at the Strongroom in East London, if you happen to be passing by.
Bury Me (demo) by CatherineAD
6. Zola Jesus - 'Lightsick'
An increasing number of Motel writers, readers and friends have been namedropping Zola Jesus at every given opportunity as summer acclerates towards autumn, and with good reason. One Mr C Park has already nabbed 'Vessels' for his End of the Road mixtape. Thus, here follows my personal favourite - it's just Nika Roza Danilova, full of despair, hammering away at the piano, voice soaring up and down scales - you don't need much more than that, really.
Zola Jesus, "Lightsick" by selftitledmag
7. Oh Land - 'White Nights'
Another spectacularly-named female singer-songwriter now - equally captivating, but inhabiting a very different part of the emotional scale. Nanna Řland Fabricius - who performs as Oh Land - has a touch of Lykke Li about her voice on this number. She has been doing very well for herself in the States, making the Billboard 200 album chart, touring the late-night chatshows (she's visited Letterman, Kimmel and Craig Ferguson already), and with songs as catchy as this it surely won't be long before she's doing the same over here.
White Nights by OhLand
8. Patrick Wolf - 'Time Of My Life'
Patrick Wolf's fifth album Lupercalia has provoked fierce debate. Some argue that he's lost the kooky charm of his early work, but I'd argue that his more polished sound suits his ambitions and ideas better. It doesn't sound like he's trying too hard anymore, and you can almost imagine Henry Higgins shouting "By George, he's got it!" with some relief in the background. Anyway, convoluted My Fair Lady-themed comparisons aside, 'Time of My Life', with its euphoric strings and its refrain of "# I'm happy without you #", doubles up as an anthem for falling in or falling out of love. This alternate version of the song was recorded especially for Digital Spy earlier this year.
mixtape by Kate Goodacre
Bestival takes place at Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight between September 8 and 11. As in previous years it is completely sold out, and festival organisers recommend The Ticket Trust as the only place for resale of tickets. Campsites open at 12 midday on Thursday, September 8 and close at 2pm on Monday, September 12. Southern Vectis will run shuttle bus services between all major ferry ports and some towns on the island and the site for a small charge. Oh, and this year's fancy dress theme is 'rockstars, popstars and divas'.