Friday, July 1, 2011

The Hove Festival, day 3: Swedish sway and rainy rave

The bloggers are everywhere at Hove. In one of the portaloos I found this little scribbling:

Roughly translated: "Dear toilet blog! Linkin Park is going on stage now, so gotta run!!! Pee you later!!". Oh, blogger, you so fuuunny. Kinda cute, though.

The third day of the festival turned out the wettest one. It rained pretty much nonstop which does put a dampener on things. Spoilt, posh Norwegian kids aren't used to coping with damp and muddy circumstances in a little tent. You might think I'm slagging them off, but I'm not, because I'm one of them. And that's why I'm not living in a tent this year; I'm too spoilt and wimpy. But the festival mood prevails and conquers all misery and pessimism; and, lo and behold, there was partying even on the third day! Much thanks to our geographical neighbours, the Swedes.

The first artist to get the crowd dancing in the rain was Swedish rapper Timbuktu who is massively popular in Norway. I arrived at the main stage area halfway through his gig as the rain was pouring down, just to find a massive field of bobbing and swaying ponchos and raincoats. On the stage there was a massive party with Timbuktu admirably doing his best to keep the mood of the audience up. And it worked surprisingly well, but for the most part it looked like people had reclined into their ponchos and held individual parties in there, like mobile tents.

Next up was DJ Quik, which was kind of a weird booking. When he was due to come on there were about 2-300 people scattered across that main stage area which can hold 15 000. It looked empty. I'm guessing big shot hip hoppers from the States are used to bigger crowds than that. They looked reluctant when they finally decided to show up on stage almost half an hour late. DJ Quik is (after what I was told) somewhat of a legend within the hip hop world, having worked with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and the lot. A photographer from the Norwegian hip hop website said it was quite a random booking to put him on the main stage in between Timbuktu (who is massive in Norway and was bound to get a big crowd) and Big Boi (who is a much more main stream and well known). Anyway, DJ Quik did an excellent job working the small but very dedicated crowd that was there.

Big Boi was up next. As one half of the super duo Outkast, Big Boi was a far bigger name than DJ Quik, which was easy to tell by the growing crowd size. Him and his co-rapper (or whatever you call it?) was doing an awesome job getting the crowd jumping. He also had a massive fellow from his crew walking around in the front pit picking out girls from the crowd to join Big Boi on stage. The awkward bit was that it was quite apparent that neither of them were older than 18. Most of them didn't even have wristbands that allow you to get served alcohol. Still they were given exclusive access wristbands by the bodyguards when they came off stage, a wristband that gives them access to certain parts of the backstage area and the oppotunity to buy spirits, which isn't sold elsewhere in the general festival area. This did NOT go down well with the resident festival security. It doesn't require much imagenation to realise that Big Boi was probably looking for some company for an afterparty. Bunch of charmers.

Didn't I tell you yesterday no more crappy concert pictures from miles away? Here's one anyway. It's Robyn.

A girl watching Robyn from someone's shoulders. Why is everything so much more fun when you're sat on someone's shoulders?

Bring on another Swede to save the day. And by saving the day I mean take it to the moon and blow it up with electronic fireworks and music-induced virtual ecstasy pills. Robyn knows how to make a party. She looks like a little blond school girl (with an amazing sense of fashion) who all of a sudden goes absolutely mental with hardcore aerobic-exercise-boot-camp-aggressive-kickboxing-acid-rave-techno-moves when the music starts. Sexy as HELL. Somehow she manages to be charmingly cute and innocent but with an attitude that would make even one of the festival security-gorillas cower. She literally had 15 000 people jumping up and down, doing overly ambitious aerobic moves in ponchos, and she stole the heart of thousands of boys, including mine. Her band as well, four super skilled electronica musicians, two on keyboard and miscellaneous computer equipment and two on electronic drum kits. Together with a hypnotic display of lights and visual effects the Norwegian crowd was completely and wholeheartedly in her hands. It came as no surprise that every reviewer gave top marks. Which brings me to an important point...

I pity music reviewers. Miserable, arrogant, and intentionally pessimistic human beings. I picture them walking round the festival area from gig to gig with a frown so negative it has become a frozen permanent grimace. There is a paradox with giving gigs a bad review, especially at festivals. My point is, who cares? If someone went to a gig they didn't think was any good they will probably just go watch another gig or go sample the delicious festival cuisine. People are positive and happy during a festival and they sure as hell won't let a disappointing gig bring their mood down (unless it was a bad performance by their favourite band). But it seems this is the insidious task of the gig reviewer, to spread scepticism and negative criticism: "Hey, don't forget to be critical and negative about the performances you watch. Don't have fun ALL the time". Personally I don't think people mind that much if they see a gig that wasn't to their liking As I said, they'll probably just go do something else. Instead, it is annoying and disappointing to be reminded or told that a gig was bad. So why are they spreading this negativity? People were having fun, drinking and dancing along regardless of poor sound quality or unimposing presence by the band. Unlike YOU, Mr. Gig Reviewer who probably were stood on you're own, being cynical and angry at the world, exchanging snidey remarks with your colleagues on twitter. It must be really depressing being sent to gigs for free (gigs that someone else probably would have sold their kidney to be at) being forced to endure music that isn't exactly to your personal liking. You know what? Next time you're doing a gig review and you realise that you don't like the music or the band much, go back to your little shed and send out another one of your journalist automatons who might actually like the music and do a positive gig review. People like hearing enthusiastic positive account of gigs!

Just a little rant there.

Today is the last day of this year's Hove Festival. I'm looking forward to seeing Mars Volta, Kaizers Orchestra, and Deadmau5. I'll be going to Spain for a week tomorrow, but hopefully I'll manage to do a little blog about the last Hove day soon. Thanks for reading my blog, and please leave a comment below!

No comments:

Post a Comment