No Balls, No Glory; A Polaroid Story

SS/10 #itsawrap

Posted in Polaroids by Ouni on September 21, 2010

Ostend, 21/09/10

Since summer is officially over, Indian summer is trying her best to give us that feeling that she is not completely gone yet and the days are slowly but surely getting a bit shorter and darker, so I think we are all ready for a small spring/summer  recap.

I’m looking forward to intense INDOOR venue performances that will give me goosebumps and provide me warm musical memories during cold nights, and new amazing stories provided to you with (true) blood, sweat and tears, but before we officially close the door on summer and spring…

“What we’re gonna do right here, is go back. Way back. Back into time”

(like the Jimmy Castor Bunch. and with lots of unseen visuals exhibits)

SPRING

MARCH 21TH

METH MAKES THE BLOOD CLOT

or the story where I could no longer speak english due to Method Mans TALL & 6-pack presence.

MARCH 26th

KELIS – CAUGHT OUT THERE

or the story where I shook hands with Kelis like she was Michelle Obama and hung out in hotels too expensive for you, me and yo’ momma.

Ow yeah, RYE RYE was there too. (She said ‘Wassup Wassuuup)

MARCH 30th

ALOE BLACC – IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME COMING

or the story where I hung out with Aloe Blacc at a Do-Over party and took Polaroid pictures  in dark Miami alleys

APRIL 6th MOS DEF :

CAPTURING A BOOGIEMAN

Or the story about how a good connection with useful information likeFind the man with Indian features and glasses” can open doors.

It’s also the story where I was joined for the first time with this blog part-time personal driver and instant-assistant ROSE aka DR. CRAB. (as in CSI Doctor. and no, I’m not joking)

She did a golden job.

APRIL 9TH

HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE – HYPNOTIC HORN HEAT

or the story where I had to stand my ground against a clan of excellent hornblowers from Chicago.

MAY 12TH

GIL SCOTT-HERON – POETRY & KETCHUP

or the story where I met many mens hero randomly on the streets of Brussels, took him for a modest Belgian fries dinner and we talked about my hometown ‘Oeshtend’.

We hugged it out.

On the very same day there was also:

THEOPHILUS LONDON – LONDON STORY 2.0

or a story where I met up with this rising Brooklynite for the second time, had a little chat and gave him chocolate. #belgianclichés

in return he blew me kisses. #thischarmingman

MAY 31TH

A POLAROID STORY X ANATTITUDE MAGAZINE EXPO

or a story how me and my partner in crime Jules travelled all the way to FRANKFURT to see some of my POLAROID babies all grown up and realised that they can grow BIGGER…

Me and Jules acted like parents. Proud of our babies.

Those babies can grow 4 times bigger if you ask me. #hint

JUNE 20TH

N.E.R.D – (ALL FOR) NOTHING

or the story where a mighty World-Wide-Web-god invited me to a secret N.E.R.D. listening party and it was proven to the world that you réally can achieve anything you set your mind too. You might have to try a bazillion times to get it though…

Jules & Pharrell had it going on

and I exchanged kisses with an internet guru called Nalden who made my life better with providing me Pharrell and your life easier with providing you WETRANSFER

AND THEN SUMMER CAME ALONG

= HITTING THE FESTIVALS

JUNE 20TH

COULEUR CAFE

SNOOP DOGG –  SNdoubleO3P

or the story about spending the day waiting in front of VIP tents you can’t get in, pitching stories to strangers in dusty desert heat, eating world food to keep your strengths, getting bracelets from an FEMI KUTI drummer called DEBO & the battle against 6 bodyguards and how Jules’ HOLLYWOOD VOICE saved the day and ended the story at 3PM.

JULY 10TH

LES ARDENTES @ LOS ANGELIEGE

ERYKAH BADU - BADU POLARISM

or a story about missed Missy opportunities in a rocknroll industrial city with nicknames like TOXCITY and LOSANGELIÈGE, chasing a Queen through thunder & electricity lightning strikes and waiting, waiting, waiting, till infinity in temperatures that made you see multiple Fata Morganas a day and chit-chatted with Grammy award-winning producers. Ow and blue-eyed drummer boys who are so cute, they can make it rain and let you cry a river.

also while waiting hanging with tractor girls,

this resulting in us, trying to be tractorgirls.

we met up with FFF’s. (Familiar Festival Faces)

We socialized with the VILLA boys in their…well…villa I guess.

Jules made some new friends

and we posed & smoked  to kill time. #thingsyoudowhilewaiting

JULY 17TH

DOUR

BILAL – (SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO)

or a story about the battle against multiple bracelets and a festival organisation that can be compared to Alcatraz & Kafka. But also a story about trying ‘to tent’ in style, sneaking in exclusive-bedroom-size-listening-session-tents, public toilets, hanging around telephone charge poles to spy  on your social network for usefull information, and having  renowned DJ’s mistaken your ‘festi-outfit’ for pyamas. And a lot of good music.

AUGUST 6TH

LOKERSE FEESTEN

M.I.A. – Mission /\/\/\Y/\

Or a story about testing how patient a human being  can be. also a story about breaking the record ‘waiting for something’. and last but not least, a story about how a golden GCTC connection can open the M.I.A. gate.

also a story about the Maya crew Francisko & my new favorite photographer Jaime Martinez entertaining us with their kindness in the midnight hours.

It’s good to look back sometimes.

Look back at the good times, the hard times.

Looking back at the mistakes you made while doing what you do and looking forward to the exciting times to come.

This blog is ready for a new round of fresh stories, all guided by a great soundtrack.

You better be ready, because we’ll go harder like never before, and please do not be mistaken, it does NOT get easier, every story is beginning from zero…

Thanks for all your support, your lovely messages, your cool blog posts about this little blog, the retweets, the comments and the LOVE.

I really do appreciate it.

Ouni

Special round of applause for my Jules. She’s a trooper.

Nr 11 (something to hold on to)

Posted in BILAL by Ouni on July 26, 2010

DOUR, 17/06/10

The man you can see Polarized above,  is none other than Bilal Sayeed Oliver or simply BILAL.

Bilal is labeled as a neo-soul singer when he released his first album 1st Born Second in 2001 but with a  classical jazz training in his pocket and a big love for all things jazz he preferres to describe his music as  ‘jazz-fusion rock/type funk’.

I think, the first time I ever heard Bilal was on Trevor Nelson’s MTV THE LICK show. (Man…those were the days)

This is my  first musical encounter with Bilal:

I think I was 16 years old, but the Dr Dre beats and Bilal’s intense vocals sticked to my head untill today.

Although his first album was warm received, it never turned out to be a ‘commercial’ success and Bilal remained a house hold name to a wide group of music lovers and the so called tastemakers.

His second album LOVE FOR SALE got mysteriously shelved by his former record label, apparently because the album got leaked on the world-wide-web, but rumours are the label was not feeling Bilal’s ‘unconventional music’ and therefore were no longer interested in pushing him.

This is one of my favorite songs of that album

After that,  I have to be perfectly honest and tell you that my music encounters with Bilal only came in collaborations with others.

He might have disappeared from the mainstream radar for many, but this man just kept doing what he knows best and from time to time he reemerged, popping up on other artists albums like Common, Guru, Mos Def, The Roots, Clipse, , Talib Kweli, Solange & Beyonce Knowles and very recently on Erykah Badu.

He is also known for his collaboration with the late J Dilla.

Bilal’s third and much anticipated new album Airtight’s Revenge is due September 14th and therefore Bilal is touring extensively around the world.

So when i found out that Bilal was booked at DOUR FESTIVAL I knew that : One,  I had to be present to watch him perform live for the very first time in my life, and second, I definitely wanted to try and snap him on my precious Polaroid.

This is the story. (yes again a looooong one,  but with xtra! xtra! pictures, to make it more easy on the eye)

DOUR fest…

Gosh.

Third festival on my musical journey for summer 2010 and I was not looking forward.

To put it simple:

DOUR is not for pussies.

It has thé most underground line-up in rock, hiphop and electronical music and is known for it’s raw character, no bullshit-crowd (you don’t won’t be late as an artist at dour, just saying) and a prominent love for a diverse range of illegal substances. :-)

Blogwise, Dour was very interesting for me, with artists like DE LA SOUL, BILAL, FASHAWN , PETE ROCK & CL SMOOTH performing on LEFTO’s curated stage.

So, there was no escaping Dour, we knew what we had to do. We were very reluctant to the idea of going to Dour.

Last year, Dour turned out in a major fail Polaroid wise with EPMD and a horrendously short rainy night in a tent. We were there for approximately 24 hours, wrapped the bloody tent and ràn to the local train station to get the heck out of there.

We hate tents. We don’t do…tents.

Of course, there’s no gain without pain, and therefore we had to put all our fears aside and went looking for a bigger, better and safer tent, extra warm sleeping bags, and a strong, positive mentality that we would ‘nail this one down.’

This time, Dour was not going to break us. We were going to break Dour.

So when we arrived at Dour we were well equiped to say the least.

Exhibit:

First thing we had to do, was finding a spot where we could ‘construct ‘our tent.

Pretty fast, we found a spot and squeezed us between the other tents and I must say, we actually had a very nice view.

Considering.

Exhibit:

We were feeling very out-of-place. If you are not into tents, other campers can spot you like flies on shit so we acted like we were pros and began putting the tent up. No Quechea for us, we had the old-school version so,… It didn’t take too long for us to ask two brave men to help us with this impossible and very annoying task, to finally end up with our little home away from home.

Exhibit:

Then it was time to go through all the different options, angles and connections we had and set up the DOUR bare necessities.

Towel, poncho, sunglasses, MAC concealer,  rope, tape, scissors, cetirizine, flashlight, swiss knife, mascara, lighter, lip balm, essential herbs and optional extra fake bracelets.

Just to name a few.

We came prepared. There was no way we were going to sleep in a tent for nothing.

First we had to go over some facts. Meaning. Festival bracelets.

Jules managed to get hold of a pair of VIP tickets and I managed to get a press bracelet via my lovely troopers from LAID BACK RADIO.

Fact:

A VIP bracelet, also known as a NR 4 bracelet allows you an entrance to the festival and gives you the privilege to enter some ugly white tent with plastic white chairs, a bar and 2 seperate semi-smelly Toi Toi toilets. That’s VIP for ya…

Fact:

A press bracelet, also known as a NR 5 allows you to be in the press area where you can do -if  you are lucky-  the weeks in advance requested interviews and all tools are available to do your job in the best way possible and to report asap to the blog, paper, channel you work for.

Fact:

Neither vip nor press is very interesting for this blog… I don’t request meetings via email, and there are no artists in the VIP, only guests and business partners from the festivals.

Fact:

DOUR can be compared with a festival-Alcatraz, with very high security and volunteers checking the number on  your bracelets like dogs looking for drugs at the Mexican border.

Fact:

Different bracelets allow you entrance to different parts of the festivals, with numbers going all the way up to… NR 11.

Quite the challenge ‘innit’?

We arrived at Dour one day earlier, on friday, to set up the tent, get as much info as possible, to find out where all the different areas of the festival were to be found and to check up on some acts we loved like A-Trak, Chromeo, AKS ft Selah Sue, and just to have fun and dance, because we knew, the next day, it was all about being focused and we’d probably will run out of time for partying.

The next morning, after a semi-comfortable but dry night on our yoga-mats (auwtch) we were ready to rumble.

Exhibit:

(mind the very appropriate Tee ànd pre-bday gift from my precious Jules)

After a quick impromptu wash (we pretended that we were on Expedition Robinson, to make things more…fun)

Exhibit:

Next thing on the to-do list besides coffee and pancakes for breakfast was Iphone-charging.

Iphones are all good and well if you just call with them, but when you really use your iphone like I do for my blog (Twitter, Facebook, mails, occasional YouTube) the battery goes down véry fast.

I use Twitter to check up on the whereabouts  from different artists and I had some troopers in the field who informed me on the lowdown what was happening in different areas of the festival via twitter.

Therefore, there was no way to escape a long hour of pole hanging to charge my baby up.

Exhibit:

After that we went straight to the press area ready for what we call  OPERATION BRACELET.

Jules wasn’t allowed to go in since she didn’t have a bracelet NR 5 but I could, so from time to time I went in, to see some familiar faces, and check up on some information that might or might not be useful to me. Also good to know, in press area there are sheets with numbers from managements of most artists that  you could contact if you wanted an interview.

Here was my sheet: – empty -

Exhibit:

While waiting, Jules found out via Twitter that Fashawn was no longer attending the festival due to flight related problems.

Bummer, so that left DE LA SOUL and BILAL topping high on my wishlist for the day. Which in a way, is better for me, to put my focus on less artists, in order to have a bigger chance for a good result.

In the meantime I received a little DM via Twitter from Baloji who was so kind to give me a useful email address from someone from the Dour organisation that might help me with either getting Jules a nr 5 bracelet aswell, so she could enter the press area òr to boldly ask for a bracelet with a higher number, that could give me entrance behind the stage, or even better the artist village.

:-)

I was very hesitant to send an email, but in the spirit of erasing possible what-ifs I did it anyway.

I very quickly received a friendly email that there was no way to give me any bracelets what so ever, since I already had bracelet nr 5 and that one should be enough in order for me to do my work in the press area, and wishing me good luck with my blog.

Now, if I stayed all day in the press area waiting for my artist to pass by I -might- have a chance, but that meant I had to leave Jules all day by herself and that was simply no option. Also, I wanted to actually séé artists performing.

And second….take a look at the sheet…there were no ways of contacting any managements, if you ask me.

Next option was the following. A couple of months ago I ended up in Amsterdam on a Bacardi boat with to many rum while RADIOCLIT was playing a set, (something I will blog about asap)

One member of the band, loves the blog and promised us that if he could, he would help us out with a bracelet. So after a couple of hours I received the releasing message that I was officially on their list and I could pick up my bracelet!!

HURRAA!

I went back to the press area and asked where I could pick up my bracelet if you are listed by an artist.

4 Dour-organisation members looked at me, slightly concerned.  They were kind of confused about the fact that I was wearing both a bracelet number 4 and bracelet number 5 and was now asking for ànother one. :-)

One of the group, understood that I was aiming for a higher bracelet and said that he would have to accompany me through the production area because I could not pick up the bracelet myself since…I did not have the right bracelet number to go pick it up in the first place.

Yeah…very Franz  Kafka. :-)

So when he accompanied me to production, security was checking his bracelet (Nr 10) and mine, and said I could not go in, since I didn’t have the right bracelet. (no, really?)

The boy sighed and said: I knòw she does not have the right bracelet, we are going to pick up her nèw and higher bracelet and besides that, I’m a number 10, so I kind of overrule here in this matter.

The security did not agree, but let us in and said very concerned: “You better hope I’m not getting in trouble for this one”

My god…, looks like DOUR security had to go through a severe hardcore bracelet-bootcamp training in order to do their jobs.

So when I finally entered production to pick up my bracelet, the organisation was nòt feeling the request.

They were speaking in french and thought I could not understand what they were saying (wrong) which basically was the following:

“Why does she need a higher bracelet? she already is a guest with nr 4 and press with nr 5 which doesn’t make any sense in the first place, so why does she need another bracelet?”

The boy who accompanied pleaded in my defense:

“She was listed by THE VERY BEST, so if she is listed by them, she has the right to pick up her bracelet, …right?”

Then, the organisation asked my name, to verify if I was indeed listed by the band and the minute I said my name one girl of the organisation looked at me and said:

“So, you are the one who just emailed me an hour ago, with the request for another bracelet. First Baloji, now The Very Best? And you expect me to believe that?”

That was…akward. I suddenly felt like I was put on trial and I had to speak the truth and nothing but the truth so I smiled and said:

“Yup, that’s me-he. What can I say…, it is what it is. I just got the confirmation by email, this is what I do, I do it on the spot, so here I am picking up my better and improved bracelet.”

They all looked at me, semi-mad and said: “You can try and take your picture at the press area. Good luck.”

By that time, I was experiencing severe heat-flashes accompanied by red cheeks and feeling some what embarrassed,  and while I walked out the production area -again- stopped by security for not having the right bracelet, I really started to feel like an inmate on the wrong side in jail.

The boy who accompanied me to production was slightly embarrassed by the whole situation, because he knew I had the right to pick up that bracelet and said:

“Look, don’t worry, organisation even makes me feel like a criminal, so the only thing I can do for you in order for you to say hello to the people who listed you is to give you a photo-pass. This pass allows you to enter the area right in front of the stage. Dò mind that ìf you try to go behind the stage, security WILL take your pass away and you will be asked to leave the stage area.”

What did I say again about Dour? Alcatraz? I’m guessing PENTAGON would be more appropriate.

So, we were running out of options.

We decided to check out the stage where Bilal was due to perform and check out his performance. Because after all, that was the next important thing we came for.

By the time I entered the stage, Bilal was already sound-checking with his band. He looked very relaxed and approachable, if you take away the fact of 5 meter fences  standing in between the stage and the audience.

I really enjoyed Bilal’s performance. He has an amazing voice and I was thinking that it would be very nice to see Bilal in a cosy little venue, and you know what they say…be carefull what you wish for, for you just might get it…

So while we were enjoying his music I felt a little tap on my shoulder and when I turned around I noticed the friendly folks from the On-Point blog standing behind me.

He said: “At your left corner behind the fence, you can see a very friendly woman, she is the one you need to approach in order to get your Polaroid.”

That’s the thing about On-point. The’re always on-point when you need them to be.

I went straight to the lovely woman named MARIA, introduced myself and the blog, and asked her what the possibilities were for a Polaroid.

Exhibit:

She said that it should not be a problem, I gave her my card and asked her to contact me when I could take the picture, since we didn’t have the right bracelets to go..well, basically everywhere, and she agreed.

Now, giving a card is no insurance of getting a Polaroid. She might be very busy, lose the card, or simply forget about me, so we still needed to be very focused on other possible options.

After the concert we decided to go back to the press area so If Maria was walking around there I might have a bigger chance in finalizing my goal.

Again we had to divide forces, since Jules couldn’t go in, she camped outside while I went in the press area waiting for Maria. In the meantime Maria gave me the releasing phone call that she was going to pick me up at the press area.

Hallelujah. Finally some progress.

So while I was waiting in the press room I was accompanied by On-Point who also requested an interview with Bilal.

Now, this is where things get interesting, while we were waiting, there was no sign of Maria nor Bilal what so ever.

We heard through the grapevine that Bilal was giving a private listening session backstage…so I knew that the option of him taking pictures after his listening session might be 50/50 since clock was ticking 9h30PM already, and you know, sometimes an artist is done with the whole press thing and  you have to accept that…

On-Point, who was the proud owner of bracelet NR 8 was allowed to go backstage, but since he needed his camera man to come with him, but who was wearing a bracelet NR 5, like me, he was also stuck in the press area.

He decided to try to break security anyway and invited me to come with him. When we arrived at the security spot, who were already a bit tired of their long day of constantly checking bracelets, (can you blame them?) he succeeded in talking us in.

PRAISE THE LORD! (or On-Point, depends on how you look on things)

So there I was, without my Jules, but at the right place and apparently the right time…

Right in front of me I could see a little tent where I could here Bilal singing.

Exhibit:

I noticed Maria coming out of the tent, waving at us and she was so kind to invite us in.

I could not believe it. Bilal, live, in the tiniest cutest little tent you have ever seen. I don’t have to convince you that the performance he gave was truly beautiful, intimate and inspiring.

One minute I was thinking about how awesome it would be to see Bilal perform in a more intimate atmosphere, the next minute I’m standing in a bedroom-size tent, watching him perform.

wishful thinking?

Exhibit:

and definitely check out this little video.

So once he finished his set, Maria kept her promise and she introduced me to a very friendly Bilal. I quickly explained my blog and showed him the other artists and he agreed on taking the Polaroid.

By that time, Jules was still outside, so I asked Maria if she could take some Exhibits for me, which she did.

I love Maria.

I placed Bilal to some nice brown wood fence, asked him for 2 different expressions aimed my camera,

3.2.1. Flashing.Lights. Bingo.

Exhibit:

and another one:

Exhibit:

And that was it. I thanked him for his kindness and cooperation and complimented him on both on his stage performance as the bedroom-size tent set one.  It truly was amazing.

Around 01h30 PM a beautiful girl named Fatoo saw me in her way out and gave me her NR 11 bracelet, she was going home and she was so considered of giving it to me.

It was too late to try to find DE LA SOUL but at the end of the day we received all the necessary bracelets, now..isn’t that…ironic?

Sometimes life requires a bracelet and a number in order for you to go places and see faces,

and there is nothing in the world that should stop you from getting the right one.

Love,

Ouni

PS:

Follow Bilal on Twitter, or check out his Myspace for more info on his music and definitely start anticipating for his new album: Airtight’s Revenge.

Also, and this might concern the ladies amongst you, Bilal is acolumnist for MADAME NOIR where he gives his funny take on love and relationships. Check it out here.

Special shout-out to the homies from postrmagazine,  Baloji & Wafflez for the support, big kiss to Eckelwood & The Force from On-Point for dragging me with them and last but definitely not least, LAID BACK RADIO for hooking me up with bracelet nr 5.

Tagged with: , , ,

Summer Of Bonkers

Posted in Dizzee Rascal, N.E.R.D, Polaroids by Ouni on September 17, 2009

dizzee

How was your Summer?  Did it have all the perfect ingredients for it to be an ever lasting memory?

Sun and sand, cocktails and a crush to top it all off? Good for you!

If you are enjoying the last strokes of an indian summer, I’d have to admit that I am jealous.

I don’t know where you guys live, but in Belgium it seems like God turned off the summer light and switched it on to winter.

Anyhow, here is my Summer recap, or how this other Knotoryus blogger spelled out so well: My festival-a-thon.

For the ones that like short stories with a lot of pictures and a happy ending?

Please click forward.

This summer was all about the festivals and my first to combine that with a Polaroid hunt. Let me tell  you something. I am not very in to festivals. I prefer sand and sea before grass and mud. A deserted beach before a moch pit. A cabane before a tent.

But, anything for the blog, so I went hunting with Jules in my tail.

First stop:

EPMD at Dour Festival.

Dour is one of Belgiums most notorious festivals. Not. For. Pussies. The last time I went to Dour I couldn’t  remember my own name, multiply that with a 140.000 visitors and you might get the not so pretty picture.

I almost decided not to go, since I knew the festival and estimated my chances of getting backstage very low. I was extremely tired and sick ànd I didn’t have any tickets. Since Dour is a 3 hours train travel we had to sleep there, since there were no trains back and I STILL don’t have my drivers licence.

I always feel guilty If I decide not to go to aim for a possible positive Polaroid, so the moment I finally had peace with my decision, a last minute mail confirmed 2 free tickets. Jules convinced me to go and off we went. With a tent. O God.

I mean, free tickets.

Would be stupid not to go right…?

After 3 hours of travel we arrived at the Dour Festival. We quickly realised that finding a place for our little tent was going to be a challenge to say the least. We managed to negotiate a spot right next to the security camping. Read. The local Hell’s Angels crew. If we weren’t safe there, we weren’t nowhere. The boys even agreed to help us put up the tent.

What?

Dour was Jules’ first festival, and me? I don’t do tents.

We went straight to business. I had no connections what so ever. None. Come to think of it, it was doomed from the very beginning. When we entered the venue where EPMD was supposed to play the tent was empty beside  multiple dirty dozens of men, trying to make ‘music’ with various objects by hitting, smashing and knocking it the to big iron construction that keeps the venue nice and steady.

You know, like STOMP! but in a drunk and drugged up kind of way? They were very enthusiastic, they kept it going for a whole hour even. I tried to understand them, they were obviously in a very creative state of mind and after 3 days nonstop decibel injections, the ears needed a fix.

Think of a 25 toddlers hitting silver spoons on the back of your grandmothers giant tin pots.

It drove me MAD. Arriving at a festival at 20h00 is just never a good idea if you were not planning on drinking.

EPMD was late. EPMD left quick. That’s all I can say about that. Impossible to get backstage without a connection.

This was the first time I actually considered to date a DJ.

I felt stupid. 3 hours travel for nothing. When we left the venue. It started raining. Perfect.

We immediately left the festival and went straight to our tent. There was nothing left to be said, just sleeping was on our mind.

I can describe the night in our tent as following:

- Jules being scared to death when it started poring cats and dogs, since, so she said, she was afraid that the tent would float away and we would suffocate in a  mud stream.

Uhu.

- Nonstop pounding beats on the left side combined with screaming guitars on the right side and finishing it off with non stop  chearing people yelling their throats out.

- A leak on Jules tent-side, making her couchin soaking wet instead of her dreams.

Needless to say that we were gone before the break of dawn to catch the first train home right.

When we arrived at the station we stumbled up on a scary drunk who screamed, yelled and threatened us to death because we safely ignored the dude.

Dour.

Nothing but great memories.

Second Stop:

NERD at PukkelPop festival.

Did I mention that I tried NERD before. I sure have. Did you read about our little meeting in Rotterdam? You should.

For the Pukkelpop festival the best I could get, in preparation for my Polaroid was a VIP ticket. Don’t get too jealous.

VIP in a festival means: a chair to sit on in a relaxed atmosphere.  A bar where you are served very fast. A clean toilet wìth a toilet lady. (my favorite)

When we arrived at the festival we quickly found out that the artists were transported in vans and immediately dropped off in the artist village.

Jules and I went through all our options and we decided that there was nothing else to do, than proceeding with plan Z.

Getting Frontrow.

At Pukkelpop this means that you have to start waiting 3 headliners before the actual act. Translated in to time this means approximately 4 hours of waiting in the blistering sun.

Not my favorite thing to do on a saturday. But. All for the Polaroid, right…?

To be honest, I was kinda pissed off that day. Since the blog, I have numerous people contacting me, suggesting me their help. This was the final stop for NERD in Europe for some time now. They have been touring with the Seeing Sounds album for a year, so this was my final chance to might achieve a better result.

My final chance and my fourth attempt.

Yes. Fourth.

(Some people confuse me with a hardcore fan and offer to send me their old BBC caps)

So If people keep telling you that they réally – like – REALLY can help you, or they will attempt to do so on the day self, it is very hard to accept for me that they don’t do that when push comes to shove. At the end, Jules and I realised that we can’t count on nobody, only on ourselves. But it still is a hard one to take to see people walking by with that special all access bracelet you need and they have no more business to hang around there than you do.

That was the time I considered dating a rock star.

I swallowed my pride and went to my final act of despair.

Signs.

The times that fans wrote ‘ I love You ‘ on a carton board are definitely over. This is the Pussycat Doll generation.

They make very clear what is on their minds:

One Night With You Pharrell followed by “Please”

“Lick My LollyPop”

Take me to your candyshop

“Take me backstage” (you see, I am not alone in this one…)

Lapdance 4 Free”

I felt almost threatened by not having a sign. So after quickly weighing pro’s and contra’s I decided to make one myself.

I asked the security to rip off a piece of a carton box that was standing there.

When I hunt, I always come fully equipped so ofcourse I had a black marker with me.

I wasn’t sure if my sign would stand out next to the others, but since I hate what-if’s I went for:

“PUSSY FOR POLAROID”

(Exhibit)

IMG00028-20090822-2045

IMG00029-20090822-2045

Yah. I know. I mean. I had to compete with “Lick My HoneyPot. What else could I write…?

There I was, standing front row with Jules with my “Pussy For Polaroid” sign, an XL Billionaire Boys Club hoodie, hoping, praying, that we would stand out, and picked out to backstage with NERD and take a my Perfect Polaroid Picture.

(Exhibit)

_DSC5791

Which, of course, did NOT happen. They picked out some bikini girls to go on stage.

(With all do respect, but I’m not even considering wearing a bikini to get my Polaroid picture. This is Belgium, it is cold at night)

So the minute the concert was over, ( a pretty good one btw) we ran to the VIP entrance where the artists pass by in their vans when they leave the festival.

I looked with my biggest bambi eyes in to the  black tinted windows of the vans when they drove us by,  but they did not stop.

So, again, No Polaroid.

After hours of waiting front row, wearing BBC sweaters that don’t look good on me because they are way to big, making profanity signs to stand out, and being filmed numerous times in close-up for all the above reasons displayed on big screen for 50.000 people to see.  No Polaroid.

Needless to say, that we felt both sad as stupid.

Needless to say, that when pictures popped out the next day of a relaxed Pharrell posing on backstage pictures I had a little tantrum and felt even more stupid.

What a bracelet can do for you.

I still get asked if it  “is possible that we saw you on big screen, with a…. hoodie on…?  with a sign with ‘pussy’ on it…?”

I think I smoked 3 joints to calm me down.

Last but not least, the TOP-NOTCH of hardcore failure  was:

Dizzee Rascal @ Polsslag Hasselt.

Now, Dizzee scored big time with Bonkers.

Bonkers did for summer, what Crookers did for winter.  An overdose.

The song was everywhere. In the supermarket, the elevator, in commercials, in your local night shop, hell even your grandmother knows the goddamn song.

I decided I wanted Dizzee Rascal in my series, since I always thought he stands out from the rest  with his heavy, almost aggressive rhymes and cockney accent  and I’ve always like his out of the ordinary music.

Now, the hardest part of this one, was the traveling.

We did all the things we normally did. Standing Front row. Eye contact. Talking to Entourage. Explaining Project.

At the end of the concert we waited. and waited. and waited. But nobody came back to take us backstage.

And there we were. To late to take the train home. At a mostly electronic festival with to many ravers.

For me and Jules this equals: HELL.

After hanging, sitting, hanging and sitting some more we decided to take the first bus to the station.

The station was already packed with sleeping kiddy’s all over on the floor:

(Exhibit)

03-05-09_0544

So we entered the only bar still left open.

With our final euros we ordered some tea and waited the night out in a bar with a pole and a busty blond behind the bar singing

to Kim Wilde’s ‘If I can’t have you, I don’t want nobody baby’.

How appropriate.

When we finally went back to the station to get our train, the station was flooded with a tsunami of people.

When I entered the wagon, all departments were already packed with people and I found a little spot in between 2 wagons, on the steps of the entrance doors of the train.

This train ride did not feel like Hasselt – Oostende, it felt more like Kuala Lumpur – India.

Because I was sitting on iron steps, my ass cooled down my whole body and when I finally arrived in Ostend after a 4 hours

train ride in between departments with 100 people squeezed next to another  at 10h00 in the morning, I asked myself:

Is all this really worth it?

Is all this really worth to spend my only free time on?

I hate failure. I hate it. It’s hard for me to take. If I fail, I want to crawl in my bed and cry crocodile tears of frustration.

Jules is pretty good with failure. She always calms me down and motivates me to keep going and tells me there is always a next time.

I come home, my brain starts going over things, wondering if there was something I did not do or see, maybe my preparation

wasn’t perfect, I go over every little detail untill I find the peace that there was just nothing to do about it.

Unfortunately, sometimes I depend on other people who can help me, but most of them don’t when the time arrives.

True, it frustrates me, but that’s part of the game I suppose, at the end, you can only count on yourself to make thing happen.

(And Jules of course)

I try to learn from the mistakes and take my experiences to the next hunt.

But sometimes, sometimes, it is just not meant to be.

It took me some time to write this story. It means thinking of all the failure, and putting it down in letters, words and sentences.

Because at the end of it all, failure is part of this little blog.

But, since you guys have been reading this story to the final letter, I might have a little surprise to put of some weight off this heavy story.

My Polaroid Summer might have been Bonkers, but there would not have been any Bonkers without….

The one and only:

Armand

;-)

Love

Ouni.

Please check my favorite Dizzee Rascal song:


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