Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Super Saturday Night Part. II

The Kills, Alison "VV" Mosshart and Kate Moss' new man, Jamie Hince, are causing much speculation what with Pete being here too but one, we are not in an episode of High School Musical and two, this is FIB, feel the love! All is quickly forgotten once they strike up the first chord, and Miss Moss is far from everybody's minds as their energetic set gets the crowd hyped up to the sounds of No Wow, Love Is A Deserter and more from th. After Mika's all-out colour fest and musical finale-style set, and the five in the front row setup for The Brian Jonestown Massacre, it was bizarre to see just the two of The Kills playing on the main stage side by side, only coming closer together on rare occasions, and sans backdrops, clever lights and colourful tricks up their sleeves. Benicassim is a mere stop-off on their tour of the world's Summer festivals and VV was the antithesis to this years' 'Fibers' with all their neon, insy-bitsy-bikini tops and cropped hair - very rock-chic in skinny jeans, scarf and patterned shirt and her long black hair. Amazing.
If only to get me to stop singing Steady As She Goes, which proves to be The sing-along-song in their set later, PJ is dying to keep me distracted before The Raconteurs, and we 'kill' time, excuse the pun, eat some dinner from the food areas - kebab for him, jacket potato for me - and have a proper dance at the superb electro-house duo Booka Shade. The bass is pumping so hard I have to desert PJ in the photo pit, and I feel my chest may burst open. Some of the most outrageous and spectacular clubber outfits are here, making some serious shapes in the FiberFIB tent in silver body suits, neon eyelashes and slouchy boots.
I am first in the front row for The Raconteurs, their set a moody backdrop of wintry tree silhouettes and elaborately dramatic theatre curtains crowned by their signature 'R', and Jack White, breaking with his usual black white and red when playing with his sister Meg, looks exceedingly dapper in a brown suit embellished with sparkly rib cage on the front and spine on the back. He moved from guitar to piano and back and hit the crowd hard with songs from both Broken Boy Soldiers and the new, Consolers of the Lonely, yet Level and Steady definitely stole the show.
With a little time slot between Mr White and co. we rushed to catch a bit of our good pal Johann Wald who we'd had a bit of a boogie with on Friday at Hot Chip (Over and Over and Over and Over and Over, like a monkey with a miniature cymbal!), DJing with Calcetines at la Pista Pop for some indie and good-old guitar-based rock. Wicked. PJ was in his element.
Gnarls Barkley ran on stage dressed as public schoolboys. Navy shorts, white shirts and sleeveless jumpers, with Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse in matching mustard jackets and checked trousers, were the uniform of the evening as they injected the audience with their infectious mix of rap, soul, dance and hip-hop. Cee-Lo may be short but his presence is more than powerful, and the band hopped and jumped with their guitars and on the organs and all over the stage as they played hit after hit from their album St. Elswhere. Crazy was as expected, a rip-roaring success with the huge crowd, and the only disappointment was the lack of face make-up, replaced by dark sunglasses that would have been fun indeed. My new Amy Winehouse wannabee friends more than made up for it though with get-up that would have made Lolita Devine, my usual FIB side-kick and party loving pal, proud. I especially admired the roller in the fringe with the headscarf, I never thought I would be a fan of the Pat Butcher look.
Quite exhausted after all the rock, pop and dance, we flitted around from tent to tent flinging ourselves around to some hard techno, electro beats and drum'n'bass rhythms, finishing the night with my girlfriends from The Bank at John Acquaviva, before deciding that if we had to put our sunglasses on, it was probably time to call it a night. And much energy is needed for tonight - Vive La Fete, Morrissey, Justice and Death Cab will be closing the festival with a bang.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We Want to See Some Action Over Here!

Yesterday we left you with the explosive Mika and his carnival-esque show filled to bursting with bunny rabbits, carousels, gigantic blow-up "Big Girls" and costumes worthy of Rio. He closed the second night of Spain's most International festival with a burst of confetti, and we stood in the crowd and watched the sparkles through hands raised high to the new King of modern Pop. Perhaps one of the most commercial acts this year, but after the intensity of My Bloody Valentine and old-school punking out to the New York Dolls it was just what FIB needed to pep themselves up and store up on Love and Lollipops for the next two nights.
Saturday morning saw us up bright and early for the Press v. Artists footie match and I managed to get on Canal 9 in my blissful ignorance as I casually sauntered between cameraman and presenter as they were live on air. My 15 seconds of fame perhaps? I got a good slap on the arm, literally, from the producer! The Paella looked tempting as always but PJ and I were hot, hungry and a tad hungover, plus, we didn't have an umbrella to shelter under in the long queue for grub. We lumbered up the hill to our favourite Chinese foodie in Benicassim, recalling last year when one of the regular customers kicked up a fuss because he couldn't have his normal order as he did every day all year. "What is this? Can a man eat or not? Four idiots come and sing for a day and a man can't get on with business as usual?"
After our Chinese we went for a quick siesta and hopped in the car to see the Ting Tings before I had a hissy fit. Which I did. One traffic jam later and I was nearly in tears as Great DJ could be heard across the car park. If only they had been scheduled early! PJ had to pull some pretty silly faces to stop me reaching tantrum level. 
To chill me out, we saw the sun go down to the lovely Jose Gonzalez, whose dulcet folky tones relaxed us into a FIB lully, and as we looked around it was clear to remember why everyone comes back year after year. We have been on FIBLove watch, since PJ captured and then became obsessed with the perfect moment at La Casa Azul -  an intimate moment for two FIBers as they kissed to the sweet happy sounds of Milky Way - and are on a mission to get the perfect FIBKiss on camera. The Love Tunnel, a human car wash between La Pista Pop (get your dancing shoes on here) and FIBClub is also on the love-hunt- couples are encouraged to go through the wash and get a key ring on the oother side. I've been told you don't get too wet but I'm not convinced. Yet. Maybe I'm just waiting for my own bit of FIBLove.
The Brian Johnson Massacre, five men from California, were the first to grace the Green Stage on this balmy Saturday night, but the air was as cool as they were as they rocked it out with songs from their new album My Bloody Underground.  Decked out in a denim waistcoat, jeans and checked shirt, he couldn't have been more into the music, eyes closed, head back, arms in the air and warming up the crowd for later - more rock with My Morning Jacket, th Kills and the Raconteurs. 
PJ already jumping about excitedly after seeing the members of Lori Meyers crammed into a tiny paddling pool and folding chairs around a beach umbrella being interviewed in the press tent. (On tarmac, not real sand, unfortunately.) was desperate to get in the front row for their set so we got there early for some geek-pop with Eef Barzelay who told us 1+1=3, so we decided that despite the glasses  he maybe wasn't so clever after all. Looks can be deceiving.
For perhaps one of the only moments in the whole weekend, the tent is full of a mainly Spanish crowd for pop par excellence for the guys from Granada, Lori Meyers. The camera attached to the Vodafone hot air balloon flying above heads captures them all singing along to every single line and we become sure there is a small child inside there manning the controls. Sooo fast!
I leave PJ and our friends to dash to the Escenario Verde for the Kills.
More tomorrow.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fib Friday Night 18 july

Last night Friday 18 June - First real night of the festival the Line up was as follows - expect reports and pics later
17:30Vincent Vincent & The Villains Escenario
17:30 Gentle Music Men Vodafone FIB Club
18:40 The Rumble Strips Escenario
19:00 El Columpio Asesino Vodafone FIB Club
20:00 South San Gabriel Escenario
20:30 Metronomy Vodafone FIB Club
21:00 Babyshambles Escenario Verde
21:30 El Guincho Escenario
22:00 Fujiya & Miyagi Vodafone FIB Club
22:20 New York Dolls Escenario Verde
23:00 Hot Chip Escenario
23:00 Tomás Fdo. Flores Samsung Pista Pop
23:30 Spiritualized Vodafone FIB Club
23:50 My Bloody Valentine Escenario Verde
00:30 Danton Eeprom Escenario
00:30 Sir Lawrence Samsung Pista Pop
01:00 La Casa Azul Vodafone FIB Club
01:30 Róisín Murphy Escenario Verde
02:00 Erol Alkan Escenario
02:15 I Was There Samsung Pista Pop
02:30 Chromatics (live) Vodafone FIB Club
03:00 Mika Escenario Verde
03:45 Robert Babicz Vodafone FIB Club
04:00 The Glimmers Escenario
04:00 DerWinzige Samsung Pista Pop
05:30 Tobi Neumann Vodafone FIB Club
05:45 Toxicosmos Dj Samsung Pista Pop
06:00 Josh Wink Escenario

We have arrived!

Dear readers, here we are at the Festival Internacional de Benicassim one year on, and boy are we having an amazing time so far. The sun is shining, the people are smiling, and we are just getting ourselves glammed up for another night on the tarmac/grass/gravel.
Unfortunately I was forced into slave labour at The Bank Friday morning, so we missed Thursday's antics- Nada Surf, Lightspeed Champion and Sigur Ros were just a few who kicked off the festival with what we hear was a huge bang - but PJ and I rocked up into town yesterday afternoon as soon as I could get myself out of that dingy office. With our suitcases in the boot, we went straight into the festival to see what was cooking, pushed past Alaska and her flame-coloured hair and grabbed our press passes, and headed to the house to leave our luggage. We made it back to the festival as fast as we could so as to not miss a single minute more and it was straight over to the FIBClub tent for some seriously trendy electronic punk-rock with the crazy Devon-born Metronomy, the latest group with an enormous myspace fanbase. With touch-sensitive bedside lights taped to their chests, they put on an impressive show and the Spanish "popero" crowd bopped themselves silly to tracks like Holiday and Radio Ladio. But alas, it was time to catch Babyshambles in action. Friday's first band to storm the Heineken green stage, the sad truth is that a sober Pete Doherty does not put on an especially exciting performance, and the crowd looked slightly bored if we are perfectly honest. Personally, I thought it was a lovely and relaxed way to begin the evening, even though we were expecting to be shaken and stirred by the infamous frontman's raucous behaviour.
We met some friends to rock out to the New York Dolls, veteran guitar slinging 1970s glam punk band who reformed in 2004. We grabbed some beers and marvelled at how rock and roll the whole affair was, and wished we could have seen them in New York back in the day when they were just starting out and probably jumped about a bit more. They played Janis Joplin's Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart in tribute to another star of their time, and the whole crowd was singing along, which I love at concerts. I find it quite moving when everyone is swaying together in perfect harmony, screaming the words at the top of their lungs.
Something seemed to be seriously wrong with the sound on My Bloody Valentine, PJ was convinced they weren't singing at all as all you could hear was the music and no vocals whatsoever, which made it hard to enjoy so we bounced over to the FiberFIB stage for some of the incredible Hot Chip. We danced with Johann Wald to Over and Over, and PJ fell in love with a fellow photographer in the pit who was dancing all over the place with absolutely not a care in the world. She was fabulous, all skinny legs and converse and red lipstick, and almost distracted us from the excellent Alexis Taylor and co., who ensured there was not a single person standing still on the whole tent. And who couldn't have fun watching the entire band enjoy themselves so much they looked like they were about to explode? Joe Goddard (see photo) kept PJ highly entertained - almost as much as skinny photographer girl!
She was wearing red geek-glasses but as was predicted by Lolita and myself, this year the Kanye West-style sunnies, coloured plastic grills, are absolutely everywhere, and if you don't own a pair of wayfarers you are nobody.
La Casa Azul in Moby-style played an array of instruments all on his own, and even though we didn't know the words, we felt truly happy as we jumped about to the best feel-good music on the planet. PJ was getting more and more into his photographer role and using it as a bit of a ploy to talk to girls, if you ask me - one even offered him money to put her photo on the web! (He didn't accept, of course).
I left the others getting drinks by the FIBClub tent and couldn't have run faster over to see my most favourite lady, the wonderful Roisin Murphy. I got there just in time for the Moloko track, Forever More. Murphy and her two backing singers danced and jived all over the stage together, and the audience was ecstatic as they felt the emotion in Ruby Blue and gazed at Murphy as she changed outfits once per song.
Mika was up next, and the stage was alive with a fairground backdrop, Maypoles, and fairy lights for a magical set. Opening with Relax, Take it Easy, Mika strode all over the opening his enormous mouth to roar into the mike in sparkly white trousers and plain tee. Two of the girls from the video for his Croydon-filmed Big Girls came out for the track, and that they were- jumping on the stage just as Mika asked the crowd if there were any Big Girls in the house. Confetti, bunny suits and feathers filled the escenario verde for an amazing show in true Mika style- fun fun fun!
Tonight we have my new loves The Ting Tings, Gnarls Barkley, The Raconteurs, The Kills, Lori Meyers and more to show us how the festival will fold out in what tends to be its busiest night.
Check out for the full gallery of photos and come back tomorrow for a full review of tonight's malarkey!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fib starts today - we'll be there from tomorrow

Fib, Benicassim's wonderful festival, gets under way today with FIBSTART and features:
20:00 Aldo Linares
20:30 Krakovia
21:40 Nada Surf
22:00 Single
Vodafone FIB Club
22:00 Dj Mamarracha
Samsung Pista Pop
22:50 Sigur Rós
23:00 Frankie & Annette
Samsung Pista Pop
23:40 Lightspeed Champion
Vodafone FIB Club
00:45 Two PIAS DJs
Samsung Pista Pop
Mates Of State
01:20 Facto Delafé y Las Flores Azules
Vodafone FIB Club
02:10 Black Lips
02:30 Dj Skywalker
Samsung Pista Pop
03:00 Battles
Vodafone FIB Club
03:30 These New Puritans
04:15 Pin & Pon Dj’s
Samsung Pista Pop
04:30 Dj Supermarkt

We'll be there from tomorrow and you can expect great stories and photes from our very own Anita Darling, who this year is accompanied by PJ.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sunday. Last day of FIB.

Last day of FIB! Oh no! Its always a sad day for us, we always arrive slightly tired and slightly down...And this year, slightly angry. Having overslept, and then realising we had no food, and Mr.M and Ralph had dissapeared down to the beach without waking us up, slightly hungover from the crazy night before, and then realising we had missed The Pipettes, one of the bands, i Lolita, had been deseperate to see, we got on our bikes, looking quite amazing for the last day, I have to say and got there just in time to catch the end of Calexico, in the tent and join the crowds for Amy Winehouse. There was a rumour she wasn't going to turn up, which would have been a bummer seeing as Muse had arrived early to catch her set and most of the English fibers we had spoken to, were more than excited about seeing her.On she walked, with her beehive hair, mini-mini shorts, and about a million band members, and broke into song. Singing most of our favorites, the crowd warmed up when she started to sing Sun goes down, and everyone went mad when she sang Rehab. It goes without saying that she has an amazing voice, but it wasn't the most exciting concert, if she hadn't of had her two amazing black backing singers that danced in sequence during the whole hour, and her 6+ band members that lit up the stage, being so minute, and so shy, Im not sure what the concert would have been like. She closed with Valerie by The Zutons, doing a fantastic cover, whispered BYE! into the microphone and then fled off stage. Not to be seen again. Bizarre. We then ran to catch a bit of Patrick Wolf, who Ralph had overly eager to see. A crazy ginger man, wearing scottish shorts and a strange red strap with tassles round himself. Energetic crazy punk rock was what he and his violinist and cellist (who didn't stop laughing at Patrick during the whole time} offered us, and the crowd loved him.
Suddenly realising we were quite hungry, the boys went off to get some kebabs and beers, and we perched in the Red bull chill out area, to watch Matthew Dear - Big hands LIVE on the screens outside the tent whilst we munched on our first and last FIB kebabs! Mr.M being the man he is, decided that after dinner we should have a quick boogie in the Silent disco, so that we did. Putting on our headphones and tuning in to one of the two dj's on at that time, we danced like crazy people, untill a group of girls and boys walked in with t-shirts and carboards cut outs of a monkey.A monkey? Why? ''Simian!!!'' They all screamed, insisting they had their photos taking with each one of us, and then a group pic. And then making us promise that we wouldn't miss Simians set, and kissing and monkey hugging us all. We ran to the tent to catch the beguinning of Simian, stars of last summers big hit 'We are your friends' with Justice, great electro-house with a fantastic crowd and vibe. We danced a bit, tried dragging Mr. M away from there to try and get a good place for Muse who Anita and I were super excited to see! But being the electro king he is, he decided to stay with the lovely boys that had given us our neon bracelets last year, boogying. Fair enough. Back at the green stage, we pushed and shoved our ways through to the front, Ralph being careful, after having got into quite a nasty fight at the Artic monkeys, with a nasty nasty little girl who had decided she needed 6metres of space, just for her. The Muse crowd were slightly nicer, letting us through once seeing our Press Passes, its amazing what a little photo id card can do, and found ourselves a nice place at the front. And what an AMAZING concert. Well worth the pushing and shoving. They sang songs from the previous and newer albums, but the highlight was Starlight, not once person in the crowd, wasn't jumping up and down and singing. And when they did their encore, they released huge white balloons full of red confetti that flew through the air to then be popped by lighters, and fill the air with red and white confetti snow! What an end to an amazing concert.
We then ran to catch Armand Van Helden, who was quite a hotty. And spent an hour or more, we lost track of time, dancing with some VIPS that had huge cardboard ears that they would hold up everytime they were impressed by Armand. We didn't catch his famous My My My, much to our disgust, but we didnt catch jump around jump around jump up jump up and get doooown! Probably the best DJ in the whole universe, we would have stayed all week. And such a sweetie, smiling and dancing to his own music. Being 4am by this point, we decided it was time to make tracks homewards. Holding back the tears we did one more round of the FIB, catching a bit of Scream, in the Vueling tent, who had us screaming as he played every good old skool pop song that youv'e ever loved, and then took ourselves down to catch a bit of UNKLE LIVE on the green stage. Pretty amazing, multiple men, Djs, guitars, drums, vocals. A strange but fabby mix of electro, rock, indie...All in one. We stayed a bit, decided we would have loved to have catched it all, but we cant do everything. And walked through the press tent once more. Through the press doors. Onto our bikes. And down the dirt tracks, past the slightly smelly fibers for the last time until next year.
FIB is over. And it's been the best ever.

L and A.