I went to Bristol yesterday, for Mayfest, and the shitty train services meant I got to hire a car and hit the OPEN ROAD.
I was in Evesham before I managed to get the air con to work, and was somewhat panicked by the £500 insurance excess, but I had some pretty eye-opening (ear-opening?) radio experiences. Did you know, there is a radio version of the Go Compare ad? And Ocean Colour Scene are still a thing? And there is an actual brass band show, JUST FOR BRASS BAND MUSIC? Nothing else, JUST BRASS BANDS. For A WHOLE HOUR. The radio controls confused me a bit so I could only change the station when I was stopped. I can’t believe you can’t get 6 Music in the car. I mean, we saved the fucking station but you still can’t get it in cars?
There’s a pleasant kind of symmetry to rediscovering your driving mojo in beautiful Warwickshire countryside just before you climb to the 11th floor of a car park for an audio thing about the last one left of earth. Motor Vehicle Sundown by Andy Field is for two people (I made a new real-life Twitter friend and everything!) with headphones, and the premise is that cars have died out and the closest we can get to reliving the driving experience is by sitting in this museum piece Corsa (maybe a Micra - it wasn’t a Fiesta because the air con button was quite obvious) and imagining. We went to the drive-in and there was a lovely moment with headlights lighting up all the shagging teenagers, and then there was Gimme Shelter by The Stones, easily one of my all-time favourite songs, and then I went to the bottom of the sea and there was a sound like my heart…beat… slow…ing… down… Totally cool sound. It’s nice that the piece idealised driving, as we are wont to do with old dead stuff, although the hot weather and vintagey feel (can’t believe I just wrote “vintagey feel” - I hate myself) meant the maybe-Corsa would have been better as a Cadillac or summut. Probs couldn’t get it up the NCP ramps.
After MVS I went to the Arnolfini for a ‘pizzette’ and to do the Jo Bannon one-on-one thing, Exposure, which is EXCELLENT. I have never been in a room that dark before in my life, apart from maybe that time I went caving and we all turned our headlamps off for kicks. There’s so much I want to tell you about Exposure but it really needs an element of surprise. All I’m going to say is there is fucking PITCH BLACK ROOM and some incredibly effective shit-your-pants lighting and it’s all over far too quickly. The design and the concept could be really stretched into something much longer, and I hope that happens in the future. I could’ve spent all day in there with her.