sex as a foreign language

awkward aural adventures

Hove Festivalen – Day 1

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Hove's second stage

Hove's second stage

Blogging for Spoonfed

The 3rd annual Hove Festivalen opened to glorious sunshine on the south Norwegian coast yesterday as 12,000 revelers made the journey to attend the festival that the likes of Jay Z, Franz Ferdinand and the Ting Tings have declared “the best festival on earth”.

Franz Ferdinand headlined the main stage yesterday and treated the crowd to a raucous set that ran the full gamut of their hit laden back catalogue as well choice cuts from their third album ‘Tonight’. In supremely relaxed mood the Scotsmen got particularly rapturous reactions for ‘Take Me Out‘ and ‘Ulysses’ . The band had spent the afternoon cruising the coastline and then grilling their fresh catch on the backstage BBQ, so it was no wonder that the band were in benevolent form when they hit the stage in the quasi twilight of Norwegian high summer.

Elsewhere on the site Jesse from Eagles Of Death Metal was heard berating over eager press hounds with the killer phrase, “this ain’t Vietnam son, there are rules!” Though he could have been referring to his strict regime of chatting to every lady that he came across. What the man sings onstage in songs like ‘Just 19’, he lives everyday. The Eagles headlined the second stage set in a stunning natural amphitheater. The band are a strange proposition, there can be no doubt that the majority of interest in the band came from the fact that it was one Josh Homme sitting in on the drum stool. Yet Mr Homme is not a touring member of the Eagles Of Death Metal and so no matter that Jesse is full of infectious charisma, coming across like a southern fried Andrew WK, after 30 minutes you just can’t help but notice that the songs start to drag out a little. They need a couple more albums in them before they can really command a festival headlining set, but in a short sharp shock you won’t find a band trading better good time rock’n’roll at the moment.

Lykke Li

Lykke Li

Before the Jesse good time show Swedish songsmith Lykke Li took to stage. Lykke often gets lumped in with a raft of female singer songwriters and artists breaking through at the moment. Little Boots, who plays here Wednesday, Ladyhawke, Lady GaGa (Is there an L rule at the moment?) but increasingly she is demonstrating that she is in a league of her own. With a set that included all the best moments from her 2008 debut ‘Youth Novels’ she provided the perfect soundtrack to the onset of the slow sunset. More like fellow Swede fever Ray than Ladyhawke, and with more of the experimental grace of Bjork than Lady GaGa, Lykke Li is an elfin-noir pop princess, creating glacial soundscapes over which to implore, chide and seduce lovers past and future.

Earlier in the afternoon British contingent the Ting Tings and White Lies both took to the mainstage. The Ting Tings are imbued with a kooky pop sensibility that lends itself perfectly to the Scandinavian outlook, though the White Lies, looked a little less comfortable clad in pure black, bringing their Joy Division inspired nu-gloom to a field that was at the time approaching bone meltingly hot temperatures. I want to like White Lies, I really do, they are perfectly nice folks, but everytime I see them live the generic nature of their music keeps creeping back in. I used to fill the void for Interpol albums with Editors records, now White Lies seem to be aiming firmly at the gap for Editors fans but with the Birmingham boys making a come back this year and Interpol in the studio rehearsing new songs White Lies should be wondering who will be listening to them come christmas.

Alongside a line up that over the next 4 days includes the likes of Faith No More, The Killers, Slipknot and Fleet Foxes Hove is a festival that likes to combine green issues and forward thinking technologies. This year sees the introduction of a completely cashless site where an Oyster card like system is used to pay for all food drink and merchandise also allowing you to cash in unused points at the end of the festival meaning no more attempts to try and get through 50 beer tokens on the last night for fear of being left with useless tokens!

Not only this but the catering has been so good that even the vegetarians in the party have been fully satisfied. How will we ever go to another festival again?!

View from the bar

View from the bar

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