Last day of one of our favourite festivals. After two days from one stage to another, thighs and calves are a bit tired but nothing like a nice running to be back on track and fit for the first show of the day!
Sub-Brit pop (part one) I had read lots of interesting articles about The Vaccines and after a first listen the album had sounded quite interesting. Well, I am not saying I will not give it another try but what a boring live band they are. This déjà vu feeling of seeing a competent band playing nicely their verse-chorus-verse song one after another as already heard in may days of festivals in the past was irritating to say the least. What makes young men play such insipid music in the year 2011? Why do these guys not want to play like Joy Division, The Stooges, The Clash, Prefab Sprout, The White Stripes, etc… I don’t know exactly but a kind a music that makes you want to feel alive and not being a pale copy of sub-Oasis. Sorry guys but Radiohead you ain’t.
François and the Atlas Mountains are a French Band from young guys which I had not planned to see but I think I had understood The Vaccines after 25 minutes… I did not stay long but I found their sunny African-rhythm influenced pop quite refreshing and will probably have a few listens to the LP when it goes out soon.
Faris Badwan Part One. Here we are for the first part of the young man on-stage presence, one of my major enthusiasm when I discovered the 2011 program. Cat’s Eyes has been created last year by Faris (The Horrors singer) with a young Canadian opera soprano singer named Rachel Zeffira . They met each other by related friends and soon discovered a shared passion for 60’s girl groups with a Phil Spector influence. Their music is very fresh but bears at the same time a great sense of music history (eg their great cover of Lucifer Sam from Pink Floyd’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn). And one can feel the pleasure they have in being on stage. An excellent part one for Faris!
The La’s on stage at Rock en Seine were probably the least expected concert ever. A brief history here: Lee Mavers did a few promising singles before making one of the albums of the 90’s with their first LP in 1990. What happened next has been quite known from rock fans: Lee Mavers went crazily perfectionist and eager to redo this album with a better sound, bassist left to form boring britpop band Cast, Lee got crazier, 2nd LP never went out and the La’s reformed every five years for embarrassing moment on stage. I was therefore quite surprised to see him sun-tanned, apparently in healthy shape and having the good idea in playing these great songs rough with only another young musician on bass. Critics have been quite harsh about the show but what were people expecting? I considered myself quite happy to see what I saw and I would even say that it went much better vs. what I was expecting. Anyway, the La’s will never do a second proper LP so buy the only one album existing if you do not have it already.
Sub-Brit pop (part two) . Miles Kane was the former leader of the now deceased Rascals and did the excellent Last Shadow Puppets record with Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys in 2008. He went solo this year, has a good band on stage, looks very elegant and has all the usual excellent references from The Kinks to Jacques Dutronc. Just one little detail Miles, your music is quite BO-RING and although legions of British fans were greatly enthusiastic and gave this show a nice atmosphere, I really waited for the slightest bit of emotion to come and must say I am still waiting…
Faris Badwan Part Two. And when talking about passion and emotion, here are The Horrors! After a weird pyscho-billy Cramps influenced first record, The Horrors went on making two amazing records in 2009 and this year, influenced by Portishead, Can, psychedelic 60’s music but without being passeist, which makes them so great. I already saw them in Rock en Seine 2009 but they really do get better with every new record or show they play and are an amazing band to see on stage. Faris had time to change his shirt and concentrated in singing (funny how he has the same attitude as Joy Ramone when doing so…). And they played of course their two amazing longs songs that I recommend to anyone with fresh ears ( “Sea Within A Sea” and “Moving Further Away”). One of the peaks of the week-end!
I have always quite liked the Deftones on record and found their music quite complex for a Metal Band and far from the clichés that exist in this genre (well, let’s remember that their leader Chini Moreno is a fan of The Smiths and many other 80’s British post-punk bands…). I was therefore afraid that their subtlety would disappear when on stage but that was not the case at all. Moreno has really a original and fantastic-sounding voice and the band were really in line with was they do on record…with an extra side of head-banging. It made me want to listen again with more attention to their records, which is always a good sign when you see a band live.
Having no interest whatsoever in most boring band ever Archive, my final concert of the festival was Trentemøller. A quite famous Dane DJ, his music is a smart mix of dance-electro stuff with a huge 80’s post-punk influence as well (Cocteau Twins for instance). His show was great to end the festival and I could not stop smiling the whole concert. I highly recommend the last compilation he did for the LateNightTales series.
Great festival as always then and the fourth stage really brings something and gives extra-choice, which makes the body more exhausted but the mind happier!
My top 5 of the festival: 1. Foo Fighters 2. The Horrors 3. Big Audio Dynamite 4. Death From Above 1979 5. Trentemøller
Next festival: Austin, Tx, USA for Austin City Limits ; see you soon!