For those of you that don’t know, I enjoy a double life as a film and video editor, mostly of live music these days (concerts, festivals, DVDs for bands), although over the past ten years I’ve done a lot of documentary and a bit of entertainment tv as well.
This weekend I was working fifteen hours a day at the V Festival at Chelmsford, attended by some 80,000 music-lovers. Most editing jobs that I do go on over weeks or even months. These shows are filmed throughout each day and transmitted not long after the headline acts leave the stage. The result is that, for the acts on early in the day, you get some time to tinker and improve on the live edits done by the excellent men in the truck. As the day goes on you get more and more up against it, until as darkness closes in you are desperately trying to fix things in the final part of the show as the first couple of parts are transmitting. You finish on Saturday at two in the morning, the time having flown past. A quick beer then back on the bus to the hotel, into bed, up at eight to do the whole thing again.
Quite a rush, I can tell you, in spite of the usual festival pitfalls of dodgy catering, occasional pissing rain, working at plastic chairs in what are basically cargo containers with doorways cut out of them, and that hexagonal plastic flooring in front of the toilets that seems to be designed to send fountains of dirty water squirting up your trouser legs whenever you step on it. Knackering and exhilirating in equal measure, but a great sense of camaraderie all round. A bit like being at war, maybe, but without the violence or the poetry. Alright, so it’s not like war at all.
Excellent line-ups this year on the two main stages, and some really good stuff in the shows, even though I say it myself (small cog in a big machine, and all that). Highlights for me? A blinding set in the pouring rain from the Killers, who I think are probably my favourite band of the moment. Foo Fighters and Kasabian, two bands who always cut it live. Editors, who I wasn’t a big fan of previously, but I have to admit put on a hell of a show. Surprising? The Hours – not really familiar with them, but a very tight band.
Knackered now. Going to bed.