Squirk's Overseas Experience

The tales of one Kiwi returning to Mother Britain and exploring the Big Wide World... without being eaten by a shark.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Roskilde, day 6 - summer again

Today, I made my way out of the house for the first time since coming back from hospital. I tried registering with a local GP, and it seemed to go OK; I may be back at work this week after all! Meanwhile, back in Roskilde, I was only starting to think something was wrong...

This is part 6 of a series. If you haven't been following along, you could start from the beginning of the the whole trip or just the actual gigs.

Golly, the Danish weather seems to be going out of its way to be extreme. My Danish flatmates told me that it's customary for each Roskilde Festival to be a wash-out, and it was easy to believe after Monday night's veritable monsoon. But the sun has been pushing on through since then, and today it's more than hot enough to convince everyone (except the Danes) to go swimming.

This is the first year they've had a swimming lake on offer; apparently the locals took a lot of persuading that a lake could even be used for swimming, and that eels would not eat the punters.

I didn't see any wildlife (unless you count the floating lettuce-like weed that occasionally wandered into anyone foolish enough to swim forwards) but the Swedish girls accompanying us insisted there was a frog in the reeds. There was definitely a frog on Jack's belly (and one on his bum as well, I think) but that was some kind of kinky rite of passage which involved a novelty fly-swat and a grinning blonde man with no top on.

Actually, given the heat, I was suprised at the number of Scandinavians who were wearing clothes. I think I only saw a couple of naked Vikings in the hour or so I had by the lake, and not one was a lady.

Bob missed out on pretty much all of this, however, as he'd managed to cut himself on awesomeness (or something) and was in search of the first aid tent for most of our lake time.

Lunchtime concerts

I'd heard of Matisyahu before, but never heard his work. He's an Orthodox Jew (beard, hat and all the rest) who raps in Hebrew and English with reggae and roots music. His act attracted a huge crowd — big enough that I couldn't get close, so just bought a plate of greenish pasta instead. (No rating given, out of fairness)

The main stage then filled with fans of the quirky locals, the Kaizers Orchestra. Their mixed-up sound involves them hitting oil cans with crowbars, playing pipe organs, one wears a gas mask and they have names like Mr Kill-Master Kaizer. Very interesting indeed. If you like The Avalanches or the soundtrack to Ravenous, give these guys a shot. If you can see them live, all the better; they earned their place on the headline stage with their frantic stage presence. Four industrial steam-pipes out of five.

In the afternoon

Fat Freddy's Drop were fantastic. There was a small but strong NZ contingent with flags and everything, but the whole crowd was truly getting into the swing of things. Even the back row seats were waving their hands about to the music like windscreen wipers on power mode.

The band recovered beautifully from a couple of technical hiccups earlier in the set, and didn't even make a fuss when some nong from the crowd started draping his Australian flag over the brass section. Top class performers, each one of them. The vocalists even threw in a few altered lyrics to make mention of Roskilde and other acts like Bob Dylan. Five crayfish out of five.

Nightfall

I didn't see Bob Dylan. I'm sorry, but he just doesn't interest me. I did plan on listening to the start of his set anyway, but I was conked out in my tent feeling sorry for myself. I blamed the cough I caught from Jack and my singlet-shaped sunburn.

By the time I pulled myself together enough to go back to the festival area, I'd long missed Dylan — luckily, I did catch the end of German indie pop-rock act Wir Sind Helden. They had a brilliant crowd response and a very accessible sound even if you don't speak German. The front-woman speaks English with what sounds like an Irish accent. I'm ordering an album from these guys. Five tiny German eagles out of five (they're so very small because I only heard a tiny fraction of the show).

I'm sure I've heard of US emo whiners Death Cab for Cutie somewhere before, but I honestly don't know where. They seemed to be well-known here, with many people in the huge crowd singing along to the incomprehensible lyrics, but by the time I'd bought a milkshake it was all over. Two trendy blue sleeping pills out of five.

I looked in briefly at the Scissor Sisters who were famous for misbehaving at concerts. They were certainly playing up the crude American image with talk of tea-bagging and what-have-you, but I was suprised to see how much they also played up their country music image. I hadn't even realised that there were country influences in the singles until I caught it live.

I tried to stick around but I was still feeling generally yucky and I didn't really want to cough all over the crowd like I kept doing at Fat Freddy's Drop (I swear, I couldn't help it!).

These reports sure are getting large! The next installment will be a lot smaller, I promise. It's only going to talk about spider-people that aren't there and leatherbound Mad Max types who probably shouldn't be.

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2 Comments:

  • At 9:44 PM AEST, Blogger God Awful Poet said…

    You're just too good to be true...


    The haiku was fabulous by the way.

     
  • At 4:45 PM AEST, Blogger Jungle Rhino said…

    haha Death Cab for Cuties are incredibly funny. I just checked out their website and well, if penis's could dress up in clothes with Emo haircuts and play musical instruments that is what it would look like...

    But still it is good to see you getting some Culcha Mr Hunter. I wish there was Culcha over here but I am yet to actually see a live aboriginal person in the flesh.

     

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