Summer music festivals: On the road with Attic Lights, part three

Kev attempts to recreate the cover of Nirvana's Nevermind
Kev attempts to recreate the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind

First published on

A good few years ago, at the very beginning of our career, before we ever released an album, I did an interview with a magazine and they asked me to name my favourite city. Being a wee guy from Glasgow who had hardly ever been anywhere, I said the first thing that came to mind.

Call it pretentious if you will but it just came out. Like Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters, dreaming up the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. “I couldn’t help it. It just popped in there.”

In a moment of pretentiousness I declared that my favourite city was Barcelona. This has come back to haunt me. This has become my own personal Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I’d never even been to Barcelona before. If you follow these blogs then you are no doubt aware that my having said this to a reporter means that my bandmates have taken great joy in casting this up to me as one of the many ridiculous public statements I am prone to make.

As our plane begins it’s descent to Barcelona airport, this is brought up a number of times, amidst much laughter at my expense.

We arrive at our hotel near Benicassim after a long, hot sticky drive from Barcelona. In the foyer are the band Hurts. I’m a big Depeche Mode fan so it’s kinda cool to meet the modern day heirs to that throne.

They are lovely people. Unfortunately, we’re all so tired after travelling that we don’t make their show. They’re so polite and friendly that I feel really bad about it. But, in the interests of self-preservation I plan to save myself for our own show then enjoy Primal Scream and the Arctic Monkeys.

We sound check at 1pm then I’ve got five hours to kill. I want to go surfing but I’ll need to find a place to hire a board. Then I remember the last time I was surfing in Spain. At this point I should state that I am a total novice when it comes to riding waves.

Last time, I just about managed to cling on to my board and ride a particularly calm wave in to shore. As I climbed up out of the sea, before me stood this beautiful Spanish surfer girl (straight out of a Beach Boys song.)

In an attempt at macho poise I sucked in my stomach and tried my best to look cool. I stood there looking at her. She stood there looking at me. She raised her arm towards me and shouted. “Mira! Mira!”

For a minute the ego went in to overdrive and I thought I “Oh. Maybe she’s an Attic Lights fan. She recognises me!” Then repressed memories of third year Spanish lessons kicked in and I remembered. “Mira.” Verb… Look? Look! Look out!

She was pointing behind me. I turned around at the precise moment a wave smashed in to me at face height and I ended up tumbling through seaweed and saltwater. I struggled to my feet and tried to recover my dignity but Hot Spanish Surfer Girl was long gone.

It would be amazing to find at least half an hour today to get out on the waves and really do my best to embarrass myself again. It’s what I’m good at.

The realisation that we are opening the main stage is both pleasing and scary. I think we all assumed we would be on one of the smaller indie stages somewhere middle of the bill.

We are the opening act on the main stage at 7pm, which is ever so slightly nerve-wracking. It’s a real honour to be the opening act. It’s our job to go out there, connect with the audience and set the festival on fire. Big stage. Lots of space. Our faces magnified to epic proportions on the big screens. People being able to see right up my nose. (Note to self – blow nose before going on stage.)

Holy cow! I’m going to be inflated to a massive size. Don’t you see? This is the moment foretold in my interview. This is the moment I actually become THE STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN! A giant version of me!

Unlicensed Nuclear Accelerators become guitars and Attic Lights save the world from the threat of inter-dimensional invasion by a Sumerian God! Okay, I’m getting carried away. I’ll settle for a good gig and a happy crowd.

Original stv article


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