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Phoenix RustFest
(Stratford-upon-Avon, July 19, 1996)

Your Host - Mark Snowy Snowden

Pre-Fest Notice

The Fest Call was put out by Mark Snowy Snowden....

Hi All,

I though I'd just pop a note telling those who are interested that, between Darren Salter and myself, we've been able to sort out a RustFest at Phoenix.

There will be 2 meeting times:

  1. Meet 1.30 pm Friday to the left of the mixing desk as you look at the main stage

  2. Then also meet again just after Alanis Morissette, at the same place
Could anyone who is going to turn up just drop me a note so that we have an idea as to how many Rusties we're looking for?

. . . . .Snowy (SNOWDENM@chem.port.ac.uk)

Fest Report

The participants were:

  • Andy Thomas
  • Darren Salter
  • Malc Brookes
  • Tony Hammond
  • Tony's Wife Kim
  • Darren Salter
  • Mor (from Israel)
  • Mark Snowy Snowden
Here's a picture of a few of us! (31 Kbytes)
Well I've just got back from Glasgow and waded through around 15 digests to see what had already been written about Phoenix and Glasgow...Not a lot really so I'll waffle about Phoenix now and write about Glasgow another time.

I had received 6 replies from Rusties saying they'd meet up at the show and we arranged to meet for a RustFest at 1.30 to the left of the mixing desk and then again after Alanis Morrisette's set.

However things don't always goto plan. I was comming up from Portsmouth and arranged to pick up Andy Thomas on the way at 10.30, unfortunately the trains were playing up so he was 1/2 hour late and then we got a bit lost, etc. So we didn't end up getting to Phoenix until around 2.30 to 3pm, when

The Wildhearts were playing. So we missed the first meeting of my own Rustfest...

Martin Connelly has already explained the format of the festival. Since we were late we decided to wonder around the stalls and generally look around. We met some non-Rustie NY fans who had seen Ian McNabb and they told us that he'd only played 3 songs (Who Do You Love, Magic Bus and another one) and we hadn't missed much. We got a cider and looked at the Tshirts and agreed that they were pretty pathetic and not worth shelling out for.

We then went and stood over at the meeting place in the vain hope that maybe a Rustie would still be there, no such luck but we stayed there through Manic Street Preachers (who were good) and then we met up with Malc Brookes and had a bit of a chat until Alanis Morissette came on. She was OK but just really played her album in a different order with a bit of extra harmonica.

After Alanis there was a mass exodus of the teenyboppers in the crowd and we managed to meet up with a few other Rusties in the shape of Tony Hammond, his wife Kim, Darren Salter and Mor from Israel. We decided to move a bit closer to the stage before the rush of people came back and had a good chat whilst watching graphics from computer games like Doom on the video screens. Neil started at around 9.15 (10 mins late)...

...The concert was over at 11.35 and what a way to break a Neil Duck. Apparently Neil's contract stipulated that he had to be finished by 11pm and would have to pay a fine of 1000 UK pds per minute over! The guy who told me had a tour laminate and there usually is an 11pm curfew for all concerts so maybe Neil did blow 35 grand! If so I'm VERY glad he did. :)

Well at the end of the concert Malc had a long drive home so he said goodbye and the rest of us stayed around for a bit of a chat about the concert whilst Tony & Kim got their tshirts. We all agreed that it had been a brilliant concert and that Dangerbird was a lovely suprise. Mor then produced a camera and so we those of us that were left had our piccy taken and hopefully Mor will get it scanned in fairly soon.

We then said our goodbyes to Tony & Kim who also had a longish drive back. The four of us Darren, Mor, Andy & Myself wondered down to the Prodigy concert but that was far too packed to get in so we wondered around the site, got another beer and watched a bit of a film before turning in for the night. This was about 3am and I was not relishing the 6 hr drive to Glasgow a few hours later.

It was a shame that we missed Martin Connelly, Patrick O'Mahony and David Johnston-Smith who had said they'd be attending, but it was great to put faces to names I'd seen writing to the list or traded with and have a chat.

All in all Phoenix was a great day and a great concert, everyone who I spoke to had enjoyed themselves (which is the main thing) and a few were even going up to Scotland as well as us.

One last thing...During Neil's set NO-ONE WAS SITTING DOWN! There were even some people singing and dancing!!! *Shock* *Horror* :) ;)

. . . . . Snowy

Malc Brooks' Fest Report

Well the big day finally arrived. By the time I got to Phoenix it was 13:30 and time for the first Rust rendez-vous. I was only able to find Darren Salter (or rather he found me), so we watched Beck together. The only track of his I knew was Loser, but I really enjoyed him and his brand of lunacy, went down well with the crowd too.

After Beck, Darren, who was there for the full 4 days, rejoined his friends and I wandered around some of the other attractions, checking out Jonathon Richman who's still as entertaining as he was when I last saw him about 18 years ago, though not as embarassing and 'geeky'. It was sheltering in the Jazz tent out of the sun -- 'chilling out' literally.

I returned to our meeting point at 19:30 just before Alanis Morrisette was due on and met Mark Snowy Snowden and Andy Thomas. Alanis went down really well with the crowd, certainly seems to be flavour of the month over here. After she had finished we met a few more rusties. Darren reappeard, with an Israeli rustie Mor Zeros?, and Tony Hammond and Kim joined us.

We wormed our way closer to the front and eventually set up our Rustrow centre stage about 50 feet back. Looking at the stage, there was an old upright piano to the left and the 'pig-organ' centre stage behind the drum kit. Candles of varying sizes festooned the place, but no giant amps etc as for the Rust/Weld tours.

At 21:15 Neil and the Horse finally came on stage and burst straight into My My Hey Hey. This got the crowd going right from the off. This merged straight into DBTR and then into Powderfinger without a break. The band seemed to be having a lot of fun, especially Poncho, pogoing about the place.

Next up: a powerful version of Big Time, followed by Slip Away. The latter seemed to drag slightly, possibly due to playing two slowish numbers successively. On these numbers a member of the road crew joined them, firstly on piano for Big Time, and then on tambourine for Slip Away.

Time now for the acoustic interlude: TNATDD, Sugar Mountain, Heart of Gold. After that, Neil finally spoke for the first time: "Thank you ... it's great to be here..." Then picking up old black once more he introduced the next song by saying:

"Here's a new song I wrote yesterday. It kinda sounds a lot like my older songs but I think it'll go far. It could really take off, this one..."
... and he launched into Cinnamon Girl! This was followed by a long and powerful Fuckin' Up.

Before playing Cortez the Killer, Neil spoke to the crowd again while his guitar was retuned: "You're really great but you're ugly. What can I say?". Then a total change of mood with Neil and solo-acoustic for Music arcade. This was the calm before the storm, literally, and suited the mood perfectly -- a great piece of programming!

The mellatron was wheeled out, so we all knew what was next, LAH. It started with a cacophony of sound, Billy Talbot on his knees smashing the bass with his fists, Poncho attacking the keyboards and Neil strangling his guitar before launching into the familiar opening bars. The song finished up in what I can only describe as an attempt to play Arc live, or at least the LAH samples from it.

After this the band left the stage. The crowd wanted more, naturally enough, and they returned to perform Sedan Delivery, Dangerbird and finished the evening at 23:35 with RITFW. All-in-all a great show, much appreciated by our Rustrow, and the rest of the audience.

Regards. . . . .Malc

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