Roskilde Festival 2006

by Joanna Orland & Isla MC

JOANNA: I wish I was sitting in a dusty field as I write this review. This was our second year at Roskilde Festival in Denmark. The line up was bigger and badder. The weather was hotter and colder. The men were prettier and uglier. What an AWESOME festival.

The men (it’s all about the pretty Danish men) were either blonde, tall and fit or looked like Jack Black. ALL of them had moustaches.

The day weather was 30 degrees hot and sunny – even I, the freckle queen, have got a suntan. The night weather, well, BRRRrrrr….

Free water and no moshing. As the usual crowd safety status quo goes, Roskilde is TOPS! Still no bottles allowed though. Only knives.

The dust. Oh my GOD the DUST!!! My feet are STILL dirty three days and four washes later.

Now, the music. Oh man, the music. Despite it being the best line up of ANY music festival this summer, I still have a bone to pick with these bookers. Who taught you to schedule, eh? It made my weekend seriously stressful running from stage to stage to catch a glimpse of all the best bands playing within 30 minutes of each other. Jeez. Anyways, it seems that the festival organizers were theming the days this year. Sunday was clearly the British/Indie day. Saturday was uh… what was Saturday? Prog rock day? Friday was Singer/Songwriter day, Thursday was GUNS n ROSES day. Shall we discuss?

Day 1: Thursday
Axl cornRows

After waking up at the crack o’ dawn to get a cheapy Ryan Air flight to Malmo, we trekked across nations to arrive at Roskilde Train station. We couldn’t be arsed to walk to the festival site (trains were only for people with physical tickets), so we randomly ended up sharing a cab with two girls who ended up being Katie from Forward Russia! along with her very friendly cousin, who were both there with Editors.

So we arrived, we pitched up the tents, then it was off to see the bands! First up:

Editors – A few really great tunes in there, but all the rest of it sounds the same. It’s one of those bands that I like, but just can’t get past the boredom to listen to them on a regular basis. Sorry guys. Maybe they’re a grower?

RadioSoulwax presents Nite Versions (2ManyDJs, Justice…) – These guys take this show EVERYWHERE! God they must need to catch up on a lot of sleep. This would explain why Dave was so grumpy when we interviewed him last year! Anyways, was good to see Justice on the bill. Mostly because I can’t get that DAMN CATCHY Justice vs. Simian tune out of my head!!! BEGONE you evil pop heathen! Loved it. Had to scram halfway through for the ultimate Guns n’ Roses set.

Guns n’ Roses – Dude, what is UP with Axl Rose’s hair? Somebody should give him the number of a good stylist. Even Rufus Wainwright commented about Axl’s ‘do – “It’s like a concentration camp for hair”. THAT is saying something. Anyways, they made us wait for a FRICKIN hour while newly-released-from-Swedish-prison Axl was braiding his hair. AN HOUR LATE!! Unruly behaviour Mr Rockstar! It was a good wait though. Some ladies got their tits out, that’s always fun.

I predicted he would finish with Paradise City and open with Welcome to the Jungle. SPOT on! The highlight of Thursday was most definitely Welcome to the Jungle. After hyping his appearance up with his hour wait, kicking right into Welcome to the Jungle was a brilliant way to open a set of old classics. Axl fucking WAILS! His voice is top notch even 20 years on! All the old classics were revisited to my delight. My attention span waned when he decided to do 10 minute instrumentals in between most songs. That really brought the mood down a lot – but was necessary in order for Axl to do his over-abundant costume changes. What did he think he was doing, hosting the Oscars???

I tried to leave to see Sigur Ros but heard November Rain on my way so had to make a dash back. Loved reliving my youth. Loved Axl’s voice. It’s not really the same without the rest of the band, but saw Slash play Roskilde last year so am not too bothered. Axl’s ace.

Sigur Ros – I am so sad. WHY did they schedule Sigur Ros at the same time as Guns n’ Roses? WHY? I caught the last song and it sounded beautiful. They really should’ve been scheduled to play the main stage headlining on the Friday or Saturday me thinks.

Day 2: Friday
Heeb Hob Hooray for Rufuskilde

Friday was indeed singer songwriter day, topped off by the boring and near-death Bob Dylan. Thank God Jewish Orthodox reggae sensation Matisyahu was there to break it all up Hebrew style!

Gogol Bordello – Yes, they’re gypsy punks. Like an Eastern European Pogues I’d say. I quite liked them live, but I hate the Arena stage for their poor quality sound system and lack of ability to fit the crowd into its space. Would never buy their album, but were a fun live act. Very strange. Very strange indeed.

Martha Wainwright – YAWN! Bores me to tears. NEXT!

Matisyahu – The best thing since boxed Matzo. This dude ROCKS out! I had no idea what to expect when I heard that the pioneer of the Jewish Orthodox mainstream music scene was coming to play for us. His music was reggae with dub and shoegazer undertones. His energy was that of a shaken fizzy drink being let out of its can. His outfit was traditionally Judaic. He looked like a young Jason Lee in rabbi gear! He is just SO cool. I love him. My parents would be so proud if I brought home a nice young Jewish boy – you up for it Matis? MatisYAHOO!

Shout Out Louds – We wandered over to have a listen and a lie in the sun. Perfect music for lying in the sun. That’s all I can remember – I went for a yummy strawberry dacquiri at this point.

Morrissey – A shame they don’t let us bring bottles into the festival grounds. Would’ve been the perfect throwing opportunity. Whinge whinge whinge.

Rufus Wainwright – The light of my life Mr. Rufus Wainwright performed a brilliant solo show! We’ve discovered that people either like Rufus (me) or Martha (Isla). This set pleased everyone though as Martha came out to accompany Roofie on a few tracks. Their cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah was particularly moving for most people. I just kept thinking about how it’s on the Shrek soundtrack. I love Rufus. He could put out an album of burps and I’d still buy it (Want Two). Hope he has a new one coming out soon. I need more Rufus goodness! Sigh…

Bob Dylan – It was like watching a man’s farewell concert before he keeled over and died. Axl sang it best: knock knock knockin on heaven’s door…

Death Cab for Cutie – Lovely music to drink tea to. Beautiful live, just like the albums. An all-encompassing wall of sound. SWEET ASS!

Scissor Sisters – Get on your disco boots, the Scissor Sisters are back in town! Same old same old. Still don’t like Ana Matronic, but she seemed less annoying this time round.

Day 3: Saturday
Go Kanye uh uh – WHATEVAH!

Deftones – Chino got fat.

Josh Rouse – Jack Johnson meets Wayne Newton. Pfuff.

Primal Scream – This is where my carton of wine kicked in. * snore *

Tool – Well, they would’ve been cool, but Isla just found out that her flat had been burgled before their set. So we didn’t really feel much like watching them. THIEVING BASTARDS!

Tiga – With a lil bit a uh uh and a lil bit a uh uh. He had us doing the robot, the shopping cart, the washing machine, the hora, the microwave, all the best moves came out for Tiga! Great DJ set, but would’ve liked to have seen him singing live. Danced my ass off.

Ms. John Soda – We went for the free water, we stayed for the cute pop songs! Lush!

Kanye West – Bling bling my names’s Kanye. I’m so poor. I had to work 10 years making beats for Jay-Z to get where I am today. I’m so poor. I’m the only one who has their own private toilet backstage. PUKE! I guess the music was fun, but he was just too arsey to keep on watching. Cool ladies with strings! Mostly the harpist. But I think Kanye then claimed to have written Eleanor Rigby as well – that’s when I just had to stop watching. Get OVER yourself.

Day 4: Sunday
Wolf Pisses All Over Monkey

The day of all the bands I want to see. Blimey, let me get my trainers on.

Arctic Monkeys – Screw you Arctic Monkeys!!! You get scheduled in the massively overflowing Arena when Damian Marley is supposed to be on the main stage but cancels, yet no one decides to move your MASSIVELY OVERCROWDED show to a bigger stage with better sound? Ugh. So off to Wolfmother we go…. (FYI Marley cancelled because his girlfriend couldn’t get into the country. He joined her in Switzerland. Loser.)

Wolfmother – Ah the mother of the wolf. The best new band this year, any year. Where have they been hiding (besides Aussieland). They are just SO GOOD! I already was infatuated with the Woman single, but it’s all good. They fucking LOOK cool, they fucking SOUND cool, they fucking MOVE cool, they play fucking cool instruments like that tiny toy keyboard put through the FX rack. They are just so fucking COOL! SO buying their album.

The Strokes – You know what? They were really good! I did not expect it, but they rock the block. Sounded just like they do on the album, only it’s LIVE – TA DA! Brilliant. Fabrizio is FIT! Julian is an alkie. He actually took a tumble on stage and did some sort of bizarre somersault at one point. Brilliant. AND for some reason Roskilde is always quiet on a Sunday, so I got right up to the front! How cool is that!

Franz Ferdinand – Having just spotted a very conspicuous Alex Kapranos storming out of the mosh pit for The Strokes with a look of discontent on his face, I totally had to check out Franzy. They are so much fun! They’re not the tightest band in the world, but they have great tunes and great energy! One of my faves!

The Raconteurs – I kept calling Jack White “Jack Black” all weekend long due to the sheer number of Roskilde men who looked like Jack Black. Once the confusion subsided, I quite enjoyed my little Raconteurs set. I say little because I only stayed for three Raconteurs songs in order to see Franz, Raconteurs AND Kaisers. The Raconteurs were tight, had some catchy tunes, crazy unwashed hair and Jack WHITE. The thing is, it’s more of a Brendan Benson band with Jack on lead vox. Jack’s voice is far too powerful to be in a band like that. It just contradicted the music far too much. He’ll only ever be The White Stripes frontman, a solo artist, or the one and ONLY leader of a new band. He’s a frontman, not a sidekick.

Kaiser Chiefs – Na na na na naa. I KNEW they’d start with that song. But I desperately needed a wee. I ran from Raconteurs and went backstage of the Kaiser Chiefs’ stage just so I could hear it from the toilet! What a great set. All the old faves, all the usual Ricky kicks (including a tumble – second one of the day), even a new song which sounded pretty good. What a laugh these guys have on stage. They truly enjoy playing their music and I truly enjoy hearing it!

Roger Waters – There are no words. (except DARK SIDE OF THE MOON)
Infadels – The last musical hurrah for Roskilde Festival 2006. The band has great tunes, great sound, great energy, great outfits, and two guys that look like Jack Black. Also, our friend is their sound dude – props to JON BOND! Anyways, yeah, love Infadels, but hate to say it – not too fond of the singer. And no one else we spoke to was either. He just doesn’t fit in with the rest of them. He’s too ‘smooth’ when he needs to be gritty. Ditch him and you boys will go very very far!

Well, that’s it for this year. I’m sad to finish writing this review because it means it’s really over. Until next year my friends.

“I have never seen so many good looking people in such a good looking place that smells so bad.” – Jack WHITE

ISLA: “This show is dedicated to all those who have the potential to become as fucked up as me” – Axl Rose

Seeing as Joanna has written a THESIS about this year’s Roskilde I’ve decided to be really controversial and NOT overdo it! So, here are my (slightly more concise!) observations.

Thursday 29 July 2006. The return of ‘The Greatest Festival of All Time’ (not to mention the best-looking). Yes, that’s right folks, it’s ROSKILDE! And of course it was as wonderful as it was the first time round. The weather was beautiful, the people were beautiful, the music was beautiful (sometimes – mostly it was ROCKIN!) – if you’re finding this a bit nauseating it’s only cos you’re JEALOUS that you weren’t there!

The main things I love about Roskilde are (in no particular order):
1. The way the corporate sponsorship is discreet and there is no hard-sell.
2. The wonderful people who attend. They are so UP FOR IT! They are genuinely the funnest people ever – dead silly and mental. Where else do you get troupes of superheroes, and guys challenging each other to really crap wrestling duels, and people running over and bear-hugging you, and cars filled with water with a driver in a wet-suit? And they give the best encores the world has ever seen.
3. The sheer weirdness. Spooky ladies covered in white paint, and with no clothes on, walking around in the middle of the night as part of a ‘performance piece’! Not to mention the dozens of leeks hanging from a line for no discernible reason.
4. The most attractive men and women you’ve ever seen. This may account for the blissed-out vibe – everyone is just getting off on each other all the time!
5. Pantbod!
6. The opening of a very lovely swimming lake this year. Which other festival offers you that?

My musical highlights of Roskilde are (in no particular order):
1. Matisyahu – bouncy and uplifting and wicked at beatboxing.
2. Tiga – scene of my first hora. How could it not have been special?
3. Guns n Roses – FUCK YEAH!! Ignoring those boring intermissions while Axl went off and got cracked up or whatever, this was AWESOME!! I wish he’d done Rocket Queen though.
4. Roger Waters – truly amazing. There were people SOBBING in the audience. Very special indeed.
5. Death Cab for Cutie – sweet and melodic. Prompted a discussion between myself and Joanna about why I tend to perceive quite depressing bands to be very jolly and uplifting??
6. Spank Rock – dirty motherfuckers. Just the way I like it.

I think you should all go to Roskilde. Not only does it have a kick-arse line-up every time, but I guarantee spasms of ecstasy all week long. Not just because of the music but because of proximity to all those hotties! You don’t know what you’re missing. There are even communal showers so you can have a good perv too! DO IT!

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