I expressed extreme delight in the style of a die-hard fan when I received tickets to see Sebastien Tellier at Traction Festival. However, if I’m excruciatingly truthful, even though I’d heard my friends talk about him a lot and I’m sure I’d Youtubed him before, I couldn’t have hummed the tune to a single one of his songs. I got all over-excited about his imminent arrival in my consciousness regardless.
It was a blue sky when I arrived at King’s Cross at 8 o’clock. An affable policeman pointed me in the right direction and then I took a seat on a bench next to where he was stationed, my friend being predictably late.
It was rather bizarre being at such a civilized festival with no mud, no aggressive get-closer-to-the-fronters and miraculously, no queues for the loos. There were, however, infinite queues for the booze, so we purchased some cokes from a raunchy meatball stall and topped them up with some smuggled vodka, which led me to feel very juvenile amongst the thirty-something arty guardian-reading types that made up most of the crowd.
As soon as Giles Peterson congratulated the weather for being all blue, it suddenly threw a tantrum for contrary’s sake and it began to bucket it down. Anyway, white poncho clad kkk-esque people popped up and I spied a person with a likely-looking box of spherical objects. I grabbed us two only to turn back to see my friend demanding ‘give me one, I want one. What are they?’ idiotically at the weather-beaten steward.
We stood at the front barrier, umbrella in one hand, cigarette in the other. We got drenched. The hood from my poncho flew back, filled up with rain and then poured down my back refreshingly. Press photographers kept on taking our picture…so I sincerely hope those don’t resurface.
It was worth the wait for Tellier’s biblical arrival onstage. The lighting was superb and with excellent sound and lighter rain, I don’t think the atmosphere could’ve been more euphoric. ‘zees ees about leetle pig and naked sheep’ he announced solemnly at one point, sunglasses on, in between songs. ‘You want to see my ass? Eet will cost you a lot. Four Euro’…followed by the ridiculous hit, Kilometer. Musical highlights had to be La Ritournelle and Divine. However, my personal highlight was when, ‘just by chance’, my friend found a spare pair of knickers in her handbag. After much deliberation she threw them at Tellier and missed by inches. They fell next to the stage and the security bloke refused to give them back for a second attempt before talking about us with his friend in the leeriest manner possible. We, of course, were on the floor laughing alongside our fellow front-rowers.
Afterwards, as we walked past platform nine and three quarters, I spotted Tellier’s beautiful synth player, who waved at me, and I wondered with all my heart why I didn’t just sexually assault him there and then.