Benicassim 2012 @ Benicassim, Spain 12-15/07/2012

August 1, 2012 by  

More used to attending festivals in rain soaked fields than ones next to sun drenched beaches, we couldn’t wait to set off for Spain for this year’s Benicassim, and despite the heat we did actually make it all the way to the end…

Thursday

Come Thursday many festival-goers had been onsite for three days and the heat and revelry was clearly taking its toll. Yet, despite their injuries and pink, throbbing backs the British contingent was strong  – in fact, throughout the whole festival the locals were seriously outnumbered.

As the sun set the first acts took to the various stages. The first notable, and perhaps most disappointing performance of the weekend came from The Horrors. They’re renowned for their standoffish approach to gigs, but when the sound is poor it just doesn’t work. However, their final song ‘Still Life’ managed to fill the air in a way that none that had gone before could, but it was too little too late.

After The Horrors’ below par performance, the prospect of At The Drive In did little to inspire. But the band were a stark contrast; Bixler-Zavala was still as chaotic as he was during the band’s heyday – throwing himself around wildly throughout – and ‘One Armed Scissor’ has clearly not lost its venom, sending the crowd into raptures every time Bixler-Zavala yelped the pounding chorus.

Florence & The Machine failed to show and De La Soul ably stepped-up to the headline slot. Their set was certainly not for the older fans – only three songs from 3 Feet High and Rising made an appearance. Instead, the aging hip hop stars chopped and spliced their back-catalogue to produce an elaborate DJ set with a hefty dose of crowd participation.

Friday

Opening the festival on Friday was the impish Zola Jesus. Unfortunately her Kate Bush-esque performance did more to intrigue the majority of the crowd than enthrall them, but for us it was probably one of the best performances of the weekend. After Miles Kane finished his distinctly beige set it was time for Bob Dylan to take to the stage. Without prejudice we tried to watch, but after half an hour and only one recognisable song – ‘Tangled up in Blue’ – it was time to leave. Playing on the other stage were Little Dragon – whose sleek electro couldn’t be further from the dire warbling of Dylan.

As we headed back, Dylan was still playing and was just about to end on ‘Like A Rolling Stone’. The collective response to his show seemed to be, ‘it may have been terrible, but at least I was there – especially for ‘Like a Rolling Stone’’. However, for us, Little Dragon provided the perfect antidote to Dylan’s Kermit the Frog vocals and you can’t help but feel his place at a festival like Bennicasim is somewhat misjudged.

Playing late into the night were The Maccabees, Katy B and Sebastian – but for many it was already getting too late and the prospect of tomorrow night’s headliners warranted an early night.


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