Festival Rock en Seine 2011, Parc de Saint Cloud, My Day Two, 27th August

A few hours of sleep, the traditional Saturday morning running track of 11 kilometers, summary of Day One on the blog and here we are back at 2.45 pm sharp for Day Two!

And one of our favorite French bands of the last ten years to begin with. I would even say that describing Hushpuppies as a French band is a bit reductive as their mix of psychedelic, pop and kraut-influenced rock should make them much bigger than they are today. This is a band that took their times to improve with every LP and watching them live brings every time pleasure and excitement as their music is really made to be played on stage. Excellent show to begin the day. As a reminder, the drummer Franck is the owner of the nice Ground Zero records shop in Paris; go there and have a chat with him!

The path from the Main Stage to the new Pression Live stage is quite long (around 10 minutes) but is often a rewarding one. Gruff Rhys has always been one of our favorite artists either as leader of the mighty and creative Welsh band The Super Furry Animals or as a solo artist (cf. our best of lists of 2007 or 2009). He has a more pastoral vibe when he plays solo with a kind of folky-Brazilian sound but always with the lunacy for which he has been famous for. Nice end of the summer set with not one single second of aggressiveness but lots of end of the summer melodies to hum. And thanks for the Welsh song too!

I must admit I have not been listening for Blonde Redhead for many years and just discovered them around 2007 whereas they have been indie rock favorites for many years. They are a New York trio based on Italian twins on drums and bass and a singer with Japanese origins. Their music used to be quite noisy in the past but they have evolved towards a dreamy ethereal pop with which you are more comfortable to listening with headphones on your sofa rather than in the middle of an afternoon during a big festival. Not bad but I was expecting more.

Then came the last huge rain of the festival! Soaked to the skin, we tought it would be a good idea to see Mike Skinner and his band The Streets. Wrong! Let’s make thing clear now: The Streets made a decent album to start (“Original Pirate Material”) describing the life of British lads stuck between video games, fish and chips, fights at the pub and bad sex in night clubs. Interesting for one LP in a Ken Loach way but after that Mike Skinner went on doing four other albums in the same style. Live, their music is really a mix of the worst of both worlds: down to earth and not really talented musicians playing ugly soulless dance music. Mike Skinner wants to stop The Streets after his latest fifth LP and that is probably one of the best moves of his career.

Back to real stuff now with The Jim Jones Revue! An English band made out of former members of different a-bit-famous bands, they decided to revive rock from the late 50’s/early 60’s but with a modern and direct attitude. This gives a weird feeling when seeing them as if we had been fallen in a time machine. Although I would not spend hours at home listening to them, being in the audience when they are on stage was a funny experience. They really put their set on fire and got a well deserved round of applause. And what a nice rock’n’roll look too!

Always a pleasure to meet again Interpol, one of the most consistent band of the last ten years. As a reminder for those thinking about a spying story, Interpol are a NY band deeply influenced by 80’s post punk bands such as Joy Division or The Chameleons but with an undeniable American feeling. Their records are always more or less the same and they do not really have catchy melodies to sing in the shower but they play with such intensity that I always found their music fascinating. Even after the departure of original bass player Carlos Dengler they are still as intense as they were live playing song after song with a purpose…and always with class (always a good point in rock music!).

And now the thrill of the day! Death From Above 1979 were a very singular duo from Toronto with Jesse F. Keeler on bass and Sebastien Grainger on drums and vocals. They made only one LP in 2004 and split in 2006 basically as they were not getting on with each other anymore. They reformed this year for a few shows and I have read that apart from the pleasure of playing together their relationship is still tense to say the least… One can feel this tension in every track they play, in particular in the energy shown by Keeler who plays power chords on his bass like a lunatic (he literally was on fire after one very speed and heavy track) whereas Grainger hits his toms and cymbals like hell while singing. One amazing moment and a certain idea of my definition of music.

There are for sure worst ways to finish the day at a rock festival than seeing the Arctic Monkeys. The Sheffield band, led by Alex Turner (with a new Jim Jones Revue haircut!), internet sensation of a few years ago has aged (not sure this is the right word as the guys are 25!) very nicely, having done this year their 4th LP and not giving any sign of decrease in quality of their material. That was my 4th concert regarding them as well and they still have that punchy guitar sound which makes their audience and especially all those travelling British fans, jumping like crazy. The recent new songs were as good as the old ones live and I had forgotten how Matt Helders was a fantastic drummer. End of Day Two before ending day tomorrow Sunday!

2 thoughts on “Festival Rock en Seine 2011, Parc de Saint Cloud, My Day Two, 27th August

  1. To be exhaustive about this day, I add another 2 concerts this saturday : Étienne de Crecy for whom I will make not comment to be polite, and the Wombats. Second time I attend a Wombats’ concert, and to say the less, these young guys trigger dynamic atmosphear, if they have not made any musical revolution.
    And who could blame a group who sings “let’s dance to Joy Division” ?!

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