I believe this is the 16th time I have gone to the Roskilde Festival. I stopped going two years ago as it has become to difficult to camp due to the huge parties and large music stereos that people bring to the area. It has destroyed the ability to be there for four days for the music. The program has been very weak the past few years and this year was perhaps the weakest I had ever seen so until my band, Øresund Space Collective was invited I had not planned on attending. There are always a lot of suprises though and even though you don't see names you know there is usually a lot to discover.
We went out on the first day of the festival, the Weds and got our wristbands which gave us access to the normal backstage food and bar places and a short cut through the festival site and shorter cues for the bathroom.. The first band we saw was an US punk rock group called OFF! Lots of fast, short tracks with political lyrics and some funny talk in between but they more or less all sounded the same. Still fun.
Next we went to check out the Gloria Scene, where we would play on Sunday morning at 01:00.. A Danish group called Santiago was playing and they had acoustic guitar, electric guitar, pedal steel on a few songs and had a real US Americana feel to the music. All of the Danish groups doing this kind of stuff always go for a more mainstream pop sound rather than the organic backwoods Americana..
We saw 3-4 songs…
We caught King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, an Australian psych band on the Pavillion stage. I had never heard this young 7 piece band but they were pretty cool.. Very high energy with two drummers, three guitars, bass and a guy on effects and harmonica who also did some of the singing. Not sure why they had the two drummers as they played as an exact mirror of each other and could have done a lot of cool stuff…. I enjoyed the show..
Electric Eye from Norway had amazing visuals in the Gloria Scene and I could imagine how cool it would look when we played. Wow.. anyway,this was an excellent four piece band with an intense drummer and great dynamics between the two guitar players as they played cool psychedelic rock with some krautrock inspiration in the hypnotic bass lines and stuff.. I was pretty blown away…
On the way out we saw some of this Pharell Williams guy and the crowd was huge but the music was so bad.. it was like hip hop sings long songs for 12 year olds….. the people loved it.. Bizarre.. Glad I don’t get it….
We did not come out on thursday but besides Mastadon, Pallbearer and Muse, I did not know any of the bands. Friday, we also stayed home to rest. It costs 30€ each way for the train for us to go back and forth.. Anyway, Friday, I heard GOAT played a very cool concert. Lamb of God and Enslaved also played but again, nothing else I knew at all.. Kronos Quartet would have been cool though.
Saturday we arrived about 16 in the afternoon in time to see Sonhoy Blues from Mali at 17… Before that we heard a lot of Barrington Levy from the main stage. The only reggae band and he does a lot of all styles of Jamaican music so not straight reggae, like I like.. Anyway, Sonhoy Blues was really excellent. What a cool band playing a mix of Mali desert blues and rock… some quite hard.. IT was great but very hot in the Gloria scene so we had to go out and find a cool place as it was still 8 hrs before we play. We heard some of Chelsea Wolfe and Selvhenter at the Gloria stage and went and saw about 30mins of Paul McCartney, which was more interesting than it was good. Massive crowd but the volume was so low you could hardly enjoy it over the people talking all around. He had really cool visuals. Selvhenter was so intense.. 6 ladies make a hell of a crazy mix of free jazz and noise rock, with two intense drummers. Wow..
ØSC hit the stage at 01:00 with a cool introduction and off we went… We had a major failure to generate enough energy in our set and although the room was half full by the time we started by the time we had played an hour there was about 100 or less people left, which was a bummer. We had a stiff competition with the Africa Express in the Arena tent from midnight until 04…. I think if we had played intense high energy music, we would have held the audience… One of our guitar players was so tired and just played way too laid back, and we just did not have high enough energy playing so the band, we just cruised instead of fly…. lost the audience.. Pity.. The visuals were totally amazing and the rest of the band played very well. Our one chance at Roskilde to make a historic gig and we blew it…. The music is still very cool we played but just not what was needed for this late at night.. Check it out below..
Super professional staff at all backstage areas and on stage.. Still an amazing festival. I will think about going back again but would have to sort out a place in the quiet camp……