By Carron Stacey, A Humdrum Mum
WHEN?: 12-14 November 2021
It’s taken me a full week to recover from the Shiiine On Weekender, but then I did turn 50 this year. I think that’s the problem; however, I have also discovered the solution – the nana nap.
- Read on for reasons including Peter Hook and The Light and James Taylor Quartet
At the Isle of Wight Festival in September, an early visit to the cocktail tent rendered me incapable of anything but snoozing. Never fear, an hour’s nana nap facilitated the six hours we waited at the front barrier to see Duran Duran. (Keen readers will note that I didn’t review them. It would have just been gushy mush about how much I love them.)
This was our fifth Shiiine and it was hugely anticipated after last year’s postponement. This always feels like a holiday really; a chance to catch up with my old uni friends, while dancing and drinking to the songs of our uni days in the 90s, all set in a cheesy but funky chalet by the sea! Shiiine is traditionally a 90s indie weekend with some diversification, this year with The Coral playing, plus newbies Deja Vega.
Our Friday began in the afternoon with our first act – Goldie Lookin Chain. Oh my, whoever booked them, genius! Who else could get the party started except GLC? You knows it! They really got the audience up for it. There was a lot of love for them in the crowd. My highlight was Your Mother’s Got A Penis, also Ice Ice Dildo was a classic, plus their hit (still number one in Wales joked the group!) Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do.
I’ve reviewed many of the groups from this weekend numerous times, so I’m going to concentrate on the most amazing new-to-me gigs from the weekend.
James Taylor Quartet. We’ve always loved them and obviously the theme from Starsky and Hutch is a favourite of all 50-somethings and always a must on a party playlist. Well I knew they’d be good but I had no idea just how good they would be live. Mr Taylor wired up his own Hammond organ – we assumed he didn’t like anyone else messing around with the set-up. The band are, as you’d imagine, totally slick. Guitarist with shades of Nile, drummer with awesome solos and the funkiest bass player ever. Taylor uses his Hammond not just to make sound, he “plays” it. You’d think it might be a one-sided affair, with the audience just getting down to the funky music. No, he engages us to sing along, using our voices as instruments and even had us counting in French and German! His conducting of the band is amazing to watch; the relationship between the four of them must be so tight – they know what he means just by one finger in the air nearing the end of the song.
With many of the gigs this weekend, I found watching the band members playing and communicating almost as enjoyable as listening to their music. Luckily Mr Humdrum is seeing JTQ again in January in Ronnie Scott‘s club. As Mr H himself said, “From the GLC to JTQ, I’m done!”
Day Two – after watching Oas-is (the clue is the name and they were pretty good actually), shots and a kitchen disco got in the way (and I’m sure I had a dodgy ice cube) meaning another nana nap before one of the highlights of our weekend. Steve Lamacq’s 2-4am disco! But before this, we caught 808 State who played in spite of the untimely death of Andy Barker a week before. They were brilliant. I had never really realised how much of a live act they are – the drums were mesmerising to watch. And the sax part. Perfection. I think they did Andy proud.
On to Lammo. His tunes were banging this year; a slightly different set to his usual list and he was on form. From The Cure and Violent Femmes through to current beaus, Idles (with the customary shout out to all Idles tshirt wearers) and Fontaines DC, Lammo aimed to rack up 50 songs. We’re still trying to remember them all! With our feet sticking to the floor while we decide whether to actually sit down to James’ Sit Down, it was just like your dream indie disco. Fantastic. Another late night (bed at 5.51am after more kitchen disco fun!).
Day three was mainly relaxing with a chilled out walk along the seafront in the unexpected sun. That night, the main stage headliner, Peter Hook with the Light held court. We have seen them many times and I have reviewed them loads too. However, it is more apparent each time I see him how much energy he puts into each gig. The relationship between Hooky and his son Jack, the way Jack plays his father’s hooks (oh what a great name Peter has!) and takes over while he sings.
They’re playful on stage and Jack even smiled at this gig! One of the highlights for me was the inclusion of (never heard by me live before) Monaco’s What Do You Want From Me? That was Jack’s suggestion and what a great decision it was. The audience loved it too and I saw that in the comments on social media afterwards. As always, all the hits from both New Order (another personal highlight every time is Blue Monday) and Joy Division, culminating in Love Will Tear Us Apart always get the crowd going. As a finale, Peter just stood on stage drinking in the atmosphere, while the crowd sang the chorus for about two minutes. I would love to know what was going through his son’s mind at that point, watching us sing that seminal song from before he was born. Always awesome. Always one of the best live gigs you can see.
After hours, we caught Asian Dub Foundation. This was another band I’ve never seen. What a live performance especially the beatboxing on a flute! A huge crowd came out for this (or rather stayed out – it was at 1am) as well as for the next band, Dub Pistols (seen before and reviewed before). The perfect end to the perfect weekend. I always feel uplifted after seeing them, especially hearing Alive, at no time more relevant than now.
“’Cause you are alive, and you will survive, So, get ready to ride, dance! ‘Cause you are alive, and you will survive. So, get ready to ride.”
Shiiine, we are already ready to ride next year – all booked up! See you then.