They disappear as the leaves begin falling and if you asked me to write a top 10 bands I probably wouldn’t think of them. Then six months later, as the days get longer and sweatier, back they come from the sunnier recesses of my mind.
A great example is G. Love & Special Sauce. There’s something wonderfully summery about their sound, which is only exacerbated by his drawly vocals. It’s good vibes, chilled, sunny day music perfect for that festival feeling. The sound of people jamming late at night, but the sun still hasn’t quite gone down.
The music is funky and tuneful, a Philadephia sound laced with double bass and harmonica, but there’s more than a hint of funky hip hop in the mix too; it’s dancey, but not jump about like loons dancey – more wobbling about with a grin and a tap of your feet.
Another great example is De La Soul – a classic summertime band. They’ve got all the funk you need from a hip hop great, but without the ridiculous attitude problem. And its not the daisy age trappings that make them summery; its more of that classic laid back attitude mixed with a mellow party vibe.
The first time I heard ‘Three Feet High and Rising’ was amazing; I was working in a record shop in London and it was the year after Public Enemy’s ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions’ had landed. It simply shook up rap, but in the totally opposite direction. Suddenly there was cool rap that a) wasn’t ‘gansta’; and b) wasn’t shit.
But it’s not all about throwing your hands in the ay-a; all kinds of music makes me know it’s the summer again. Another classic for me is a taste of traditional, mainly because I spent the last twenty or so years involved with a folk festival. When I see the sun high in the sky of an evening, it’s easy for my mind to wander to drunken tented fields.
Of the many great folk closing bands, few beat Oysterband in my booze addled memories – and few songs have better closed a festival than ‘When I’m Up I Can’t Get Down’. Memories of jigging round fields to this always bring a smile to my face; even if the hangovers don’t. There’s an abandon in traditional artists you simply don’t get in other forms of music.
So yeah, for me it’s the music. Enjoy the weather – and the tunes :o)
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