It was the day where basically everything was about to happen. Interviews, gigs and photo sessions. How much you ever prepare for it you just need to understand it’s impossible; just deal with it as it happens. After a quick shower at 6 am it was time for breakfast; at 8 am it was time to start working. We had two interviews on the schedule and in between Ms. K had to run to the photo pit at gigs. As if it wasn’t busy enough, the weather forecast promised us a massive thunderstorm and hailstorms.
Before we left for the Frank Carter interview we had time to catch a glimpse of Donots on Fire Stage, a band with a reputation of being a wild live act – and it was! Although there was just time enough for three songs we put Donots on our future interview list and in our Spotify list. Wherever they come, just go there!
After a bit waiting we met up with Frank and Dean of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and talked a bit about their latest album “End of Suffering”, being role models for young people and injuries during shows (and those yoga exercises they need to do ahed of gigs today). Sweet lads but we didn’t expect anything else. We didn’t expect anything else than a furious performance either, and it was – after the sky opened the gates to the rain of hell and a massive hailstorm. Frank Carter just took of his shirt, told people that he’s from a country that basically invented rain, jumped into the crowd and let the mosh pit circulate around him (yeah, Ms K had some trouble catching him). What else can you do? Massive performance and some high quality entertainment. The young girl next to me obviously hadn’t been to any the Rattlesnakes gig before and went berzerk when he called for a “mosh pit only for girls” during “Wild Flowers”. Insane show as usual and you didn’t really care about the rain or the hailstorm, just having fun.
A short break for a late lunch and it was time for White Lies, a band celebrating ten years since their amazing debut album “To Loose My Life…” (read our Hamburg interview), and they don’t really care that it’s the old songs that people want to hear. What’s a bit boring is that their setlist is exactly like the gig at Markthalle in Hamburg, I always appreciate when bands separate their tour setlist from festival setlists (everyone should learn from The Cure) because festivals are mostly about getting new fans hooked. On the other band, they may see it as part of their tour.
As usual a great set of songs but I’m not a huge fan of White Lies on festivals because they always get day slots; they should play dark venues because it fits them better music-wise. It’s basically two different kind of shows. But of course, it’s impossible to not sing along in song as “Farewell to the Fairground” and “Unfinished Business” but also songs from the latest album as “Tokyo”.
Again a quick break but this time to have a nap (10 minutes tops) before a short interview with Two Door Cinema Club and back to the Wate Stage for our second The Kooks gig of the year. I’m not a huge The Kooks fan but I’m a big fan of their live shows and have no problem to admit that I also sing along in songs as “Naïve” and “She Moves In Her Own Way”, together with their very young crowd. The Kooks have always attracted young people; they did it ten years ago, they do it today. Again it was some sort of inflatable balloon party that kept the crowd busy half of the show. But I had to leave a bit early to get a good spot at Two Door Cinema Club that were on just an hour after The Kooks started.
Two Door Cinema Club are a band in transistion. Their first two albums “Tourist History” and “Beacon” are epitomes of a British indie pop and entail a sound that many bands have tried to copy (just listen to Finnish Satellite Stories, equally good but very much “the old” Two Door Cinema Club). But when they were at their peak they instead decided to take it all in a new direction and put out two albums that are more electronic and “funky”, something made for the club floor.
I didn’t like “Gameshow”, their third album, at all but their 2019 album “False Alarm” grows until you have an earworm. But it’s not only their music that have changed; performance-wise it’s a completely new band, more arty. They stand onstage beside one another in high-fashion, with vocalist Alex Trimble all-dressed up in a blue suit, blasting the room with anthemic indie electro pop while a gorgeously staged set of lights and digital screens colors the stage in fashionable red, blue and green. Great live show! All hits were there; “I Can Talk” turns up already as third on the setlist and then they blast all of them out; “Undercover Martyn”, “Sleep Alone”, “What You Know” before the mandatory encore with “Something Good Can Work”. If Frank Carter was the best punk/rock/hardcore gig so far, Two Door Cinema Club was for sure the best indie pop performance.
Ms K ran to Biffy Clyro, not my thing, but the report says that “it was the best of show of the festival” and she sent me some videos to have a good argument for her claim. My mind was already set for the first The Chemical Brothers gig in twelve years. The Chemical Brothers have been in my collection even before they became The Chemical Brothers; when they released “My Mercury Mouth” as The Dust Brothers in 1994 I bought that EP at a London gig and after that it has been a long lasting love affair.
Being a band born before the dawning of the EDM scene where DJ’s finally being superstars, they put on a show that most EDM stars could just dream about. We’ve seen the development of digital animation and graphics on stage the last two decades. Most DJ’s have it as a “distraction” from the fact that nothing is happening on stage (no, nothing is happening with dudes/dudettes behind decks) but The Chemical Brothers take it all to a completely new level. It’s digital animation art and it’s integrated in the overall light show and the music. I was stunned for the first three songs and then I could start to move – because it turned into a very long club night (I probably pulled a muscle in my back). You were excited about what animations were about to come in the next song as soon as the last one finished. Massive performance! “Hey Girls, Hey Boys”, “Out of Control”, “The Private Psychedelic Reel”, “Chemical Beats”, “Galvanize” – it was all in there!. I thought I would have energy left for 5-6 songs but stayed the full show. Massive impression (although I pulled a muscle)!