Roskilde Festival

Roskilde, Denmark 2005

by Joanna Orland & Isla MC

JOANNA – Rockslide, I mean Roskilde, is yet another summer music festival on the ever-growing list across Europe. So what makes this one special? Is it the heavy metal freaks and constant boozing? Is it the random randoms that pop up every once in awhile? Is it the line-up of superstars and 80’s/90’s hairbands? Is it the guy in the tent who wouldn’t stop farting all night long? It’s all of the above. And more. Much more.

It’s really hard to put into words the chaos that is the Roskilde Festival. To start with, it was more about the music than other festivals. I know music festivals are supposed to be about the music, but other festivals (such as ones starting with the letter G) can fall into the trap of being more about the ‘festival’ itself and the drugs that come with the package. Don’t get me wrong – Roskilde wasn’t good clean fun, but it was more for dedicated music fans and those who wanted to explore their rock roots. In other festivals you can get away with not seeing any bands. At Roskilde, why would you want to? What a wicked line-up!!! An endless list of supergroups and ageing rockers, with a hint of random metal bands, topped off with a collection of indie Gods. In fact, the powerhouse of the music industry all in one festival. Let’s take an analytical look at why this line-up was, what’s the technical term…. BITCHIN!

Velvet Revolver VS. Audioslave
Guns N’ Roses / Stone Temple Pilots  –  Rage Against the Machine / Soundgarden
Heavy Rock meets 90’s Grunge  –  Proper Heavy Rock meets 90’s Grunge
Frontman born to entertain  –  Frontman born to belt out the tunes
Leather, perms, guitar solos  –  T-shirts, baldness, guitar solos
Scott Weiland – former junkie, wifebeater  –  Chris Cornell – wearing wife beater vest
Stopped sucking when they played GnR  –  Never sucked
Funny as fuck but really rocked in that cliché sort of way  –  Bitchin’ and can seriously rock in any sort of way

Foo Fighters VS Green Day
Heavyweight players such as Dave Grohl  –  Heavyweight eyeliner
ENERGY and CLASSIC tunes!!!!  –  Energy and cover songs
Dave Grohl runs through crowd of fans to climb onto structure  –  Fans get to play guitar for one song and then keep guitar at the end
Just fucking rocked  –  Ditto

The Hidden Cameras VS The Dears
Canadian (Toronto)  –  Canadian (Montreal)
Happy happy joy joy  –  Doom n Gloom
Dance routine: everyone did it  –  Beautiful, theatrical melodies and lyrics
Rough Trade indie cult band  –  Indie Gods in the making: we’re beginning to unintentionally stalk them
Played same time slot as Green Day: ANNOYING  –  Overshadowed by previous day’s performance by Le Tigre!!!

The Faint VS Bright Eyes
One good song played over and over again  –  All media hype
Boring without visuals: like dancing Muppets on stage  –  So many people on stage at one time, not sure which one was Conor!
Boring  –  Boring

Brian Wilson VS Black Sabbath
Ageing Rocker  –  Ageing RockerS
Great for Sunday afternoon dancing  –  Great excuse for wearing black eyeliner
Brian showed his age by sitting down for the entire set  –  Ozzy showed age (or effects of longterm drug use by not having any sense of time, rhythm, but was DAMN happy to be on stage… awww…)
Even the young uns were digging it  –  The young uns sort of left midway through and seemed to only recognize Ozzy from his hit TV series The Osbournes. Sad sad times.

Other bands worth a mention are:

Le Tigre – Highlight of the festival in a musical sense. (check out interviews section)
Junior Senior – Everybody moved their feet. Yes indeed. (check out interviews section)
Kent – Swedish megaband. Don’t get it. Just like Keane to me. But with incomprehensible lyrics. Something about a Din Javel?
Flogging Molly – What the fuck was that? I wandered into the arena and millions of Danes were doing Celtic dances!! ???
The Tears – Rhymes with The Dears. Not as good though. Too bad they played the same time slot and stole a lot of potential Dears fans. Damn you Brett Anderson!
Royksopp – Overcrowded. Whose bright idea to put them on tiny Metropol stage?
Juan Luis Guerra – 3000 man Conga line! Would have Gloria Estefan turning in her grave if she were dead. Speaking of…whatever happened to her?
Bloc Party, The Futureheads – All sounded similar. UK indie is losing it’s edge since the overexposure of Franz Ferdinand.

That’s all I have to say. Pictures speak louder than words so enjoy our photo gallery. My fave pic is the Celebrities on Parade with giant Ricky Martin heads. So random – love it!

ISLA – First things first. One word – amazing. Even better than Glasto. Maybe it was the beautiful sunshine, maybe it was the luscious bronzed Scandinavian bodies, but it really was an enchanted five days.

Now, if left to my own devices we’ll be here all day with minutely detailed descriptions of every hilarious/weird/exciting thing that happened at Denmarks’s Roskilde festival 2005. So, instead I’ve limited myself to ten particular highlights, or maybe just odd little things that have lodged themselves in my brain. But ten is merely a ballpark figure, so we may go over or under depending on what is deemed worthy of the list. So here goes (and in no particular order of greatness):

1.When I met the Bonecrusher, the Norwegian whose handshake is enough to crush the hand, yet enchant the heart, of any red-blooded female. Sigh…
2.When they wouldn’t let me take a plastic bottle out of the backstage area and on to the festival site for safety reasons, unless I cut the top off it first. And I was like ‘With what? My KNIFE?????’
3.Seeing how happy Ozzy Osbourne was to be on stage, even though he was completely out of time (and tune) and clearly needed a zimmer to get around.
4.When the Hidden Cameras got us doing this really fun dance routine during their set, and the WHOLE crowd was doing it and loving it and being driven into a mad happy frenzy. Not just one or two people like at a gig in England, but the WHOLE CROWD. The funnest and funniest moment of the whole festival. Period.
5.The Rock kids. Lots of people had brought their children along, but these aren’t airy fairy hippy kids a la Glasto, but hard core metal-loving Viking kids of Rock. One four year old was not only moshing to …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead but also destroyed a plastic cup with his bare foot. How rock ‘n’ roll is that?
6.The parade of gorgeous bodies. I swear I spent the whole time sounding like a broken record…’He’s fit. He’s fit. He’s fitter…’ and so on. None of these pasty English bodies with spotty backs, but lithe, bronzed Adonis-like creatures with perfect cheekbones and golden locks. Woof.
7.The sheer up-for-it-ness of the crowd. They love love LOVED it. And they didn’t give a shit. At times I admit I feared for my life, but it was damn good for the soul being surrounded by people who didn’t care if they looked silly or were bad dancers. In fact, people who didn’t care about very much except having a good time. Listen up you English, you could learn a lot from these Scandi’s.
8.When we were wandering around doing a bit of shopping, and out of nowhere a troupe of people in manky underpants with gigantic oversized Ricky Martin heads on appeared out of nowhere and started trying on clothes.
9.On the last night when a huge Conga line was formed during the Juan Luis Guerra set. This Conga was at least 200-strong and had SUBDIVISIONS it was so huge. See what I was saying about the crowd being up for it?
10.The tent that was made purely out of binbags and had ‘King of Rock’ written on the side of it in duct tape.
11.The guy in the next tent who woke us up every morning with an orchestral cacophony of farts, to which we would respond with our own farts (mouth-made not bum-made since our farting prowess was definitely inferior to his). Then he would recite some square-dancing stuff…’Grab your partner, dosy do, and PROMENADE. Promenaaaaade’. We would all end up in uncontrollable hysterics – much better than a cup of tea as a way to begin the day. Still don’t know who he was or what he looked like, but I shall remember him forever.
12.The gigantic television on wheels that carried two people, one dressed as a Viking and another dressed as Heidi, faux-performing to a ghetto blaster that blared out opera, being pulled along by a guy reading a Danish gossip magazine.

So there you have it folks, my highlights of the marvel that is Roskilde. I will certainly be attending again. I shall now begin the list of lowlights (which will be very short since it was all pretty damn great):

1.The sheer repulsiveness of Simon Le Bon. I don’t know what it is about that man, but he is gross and makes me nauseous.
2.When our recording device broke five minutes before our first interview so we had to use a MOBILE PHONE to record with. Seriously, could we have looked any more retarded???
3.Junior’s moustache. Need not say more.

And finally, why oh why does Slash have the word ‘Basil’ tattooed across his belly in massive letters? Answers on a postcard please…

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