Sep 2, 2007

mpSunday: Gescom's Keynell Mix 1

Spir (Fuse Factory)

Glitchbelt hit the buffers before it started. Am I complaining?

Let me tell you my Greenbelt story.

Greenbelt Festival is an annual Christian arts event in Cheltenham. This year it featured Billy Bragg and Coldcut, and in the dark, distant past has accommodated Lamb, U2, Bill Drummond and, er, Midnight Oil.

My task was to present programmes on Greenbelt FM, the on-site radio station, and help run the main Sunday morning communion service.

Me and the radio got on like a house on fire, without the screaming victims. I did five hours of showing off, otherwise known as presenting, plus various reporting bits and several hours of editing. I also teamed up with Lee to host games in a live radio show with a real audience, the highlight of which was Lee mopping up like a loon after a spectacularly messy game while grasping the mic because we were still live on air.

My Glitchbelt gig was cancelled as a favour to that venue's programmer Ben. I was busy enough anyway, although I felt sorry for friends who said they were looking forward to it.

But the good Lard taketh away and the good Lard giveth back in spades...

Greenbelt's main communion service has a congregation of somewhere up to 15,000. As the festival grew, they set up an 'overflow' Arena stage with big screens so you could partake in the main event albeit from a distance.

My job was to 'remix' the service for the Arena with the hugely talented Spir (pictured) from Fuse Factory. We messed around the dry feed with extra audio and visual elements. For example, during the collection, the main stage sang something hippy, while our stage rocked out (correction: nodded out) as I played a Gescom track while VJ Spir produced some trippy visuals.

The ambient backing we gave to the rather traditional communion service seemed to be appreciated by most people on the Arena stage.

The best bit came when the guys running the stage asked us to do an impromptu half-hour gig at the end. So Glitchbelt hit the buffers before it started, but instead I DJed with Fuse Factory to a crowd of somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000.

Am I complaining? You can't complain when you're on cloud nine.

Thanks must go to Sanctus 1 for letting me do the service in the first place, and to the Arena personnel for putting the cherry on top with the gig. Respect to Spir too; it was a pleasure working with you. Oh and big up to the Greenbelt FM massive for making the weekend so much fun.

Here's my first mpSunday freebie for ages. It's Gescom's Keynell Mix 1 remixed by Autechre. I used it during the service, and it was the first moment I thought "damn, this is going down really well, it's sunny and hot and I deserve a 99 after this".

>Right click and save target as for the mpSunday download: GUTTED! This mp3 has gone according to my rules of mpSunday. Click here for the latest mpSunday instead.


Sarah said...

I really enjoyed your stuff on the arena stage - really pleased it went well. Much better than being with the hippies on main stage!

Anonymous said...

Been listening to Grey Clouds more or less non stop since the service. That has to be the best post communion picnic live ambient VJ gig ever. Or something. Anyway, thanks (and thanks for taking time out to tell me what the track was called). Graham

Fat Roland said...

It wasn't bad for an unplanned gig, was it? Hopefully I can twist Greenbelt's arm to do it again...