Our man Jack Wade headed over to some fun in the sun, also known as one of the hottest (literally) European events...
Benicassim, where unlike the UK, the rain and downpour are outweighed by the sweat ridden fluid of this British dominated festival and with the likes of Bob Dylan, New Order and Stone Roses, the average age was probably slightly higher than usual. Despite obvious accommodation issues, with the guarantee that your day began as soon as the sun rose conducting copious amounts of heat upon ones tent and transforming it into a certified sweatbox, the festive activities (as it were) seemed to “eclipse” and prevail.
With an overstayed welcome at the beach on day one resulting in the typical British crab-like skin tone for the foreseeable festivities, the evening was then further hindered as it was officially announced that Florence wouldn’t be attending. But, this wasn’t to overshadow the evening’s endeavours entirely, with The Horrors brining forth their psychedelic filled groove of infectious synth melodies and euphoric tone which had the crowds’ enjoyment in abundance.
De La Soul were bumped up to the main-stage. As the Hip-hop outfit began, the set continued to build an atmosphere that induced every audience member to smile insistently throughout with problematically most only knowing no more than “Me, Myself and I,” and “3 Is the Magic number” (myself included). Coming to a triumphant crescendo on the Gorrilaz featured “Feel Good inc,” it was reinvigorating to see the simplicity and authenticity that the trio brought in comparison to these futuristic productions of those in the Kanye and Jay-Z mould.
Day two and the heat still relentless, the main priority was solely based around finding a shaded area that catered simultaneously for a semi-comfortable sleeping arrangement. As it slowly and progressively began to cool down, Miles Kane opened the preceding’s of the suns departure with his laddish persona and infectious choruses of “ohhhs” and “ahhhhs” that continued to carry out and echo through the gentleman’s toilets long after the Scouse born singer had departed.
Unlike the other three allocated headlining spots, it was decided Bob Dylan was more suited to the earlier time of 9.45pm. He seemed to have adopted the approach of Shooting Stars presenter Vic Reeves in obscuring the familiarity of his whole back catalogue. Although Dylan and his band were tight and precise throughout, it still seemed the audience wasn’t overly engaged by his performance and he himself looking very detached from those he was performing to, with many conversing then just applauding charitably after each song closed, then him amicably accepting it.
Django Django began the onslaught to the indie masses on the FIB Club stage with their experimental synth-fused precision and distorted driven brilliance. From here on the tone was set, and with the Scottish based foursome slightly overlapping with the Brighton quintet the Maccabees, many had decided to slip off early to see their four album career spanning set, angelic tone and handsome chiselled features of Orlando and co. Bombay Bicycle Club then concluded the string of guitar indie driven preceding’s with their interchanging sounds and virtuosity.
Day three, and Noel Gallagher played the role of pied piper in getting half of Manchester to occupy the main stage with a sizeable crowd that wouldn’t look any smaller or out of place at an Oasis gig. Noel had the crowd in a slurring state of hypnosis echoing back the timeless lyrics of 'Don’t Look Back In Anger' to conclude a set where the views from the stage for the soloist still were no different to yester year.
The Stone Roses then entered to the reception of a disco classic and a sea of remi-esque fishing hats bouncing around in an Ian Brown bitter lemon faced frenzy, with the boys breaking into cult classic 'I Wanna Be Adored' that resounded throughout band and crowd in an intoxicated unison of joy.
Crystal Castles concluded the evening with their brash electronic minimal tones and Alice Glass throwing herself amongst the mainly male dominated crowd who pounce on the opportunity to live a grope scene from their teen alternative fantasies.
Some attendees had decided to call it a day by number four, thus Howler were greeted by a recyclers dream prompting Jordan Gatesmith to ignore the few spectators with the line: 'Hello Bottles and Cups'. Regardless of the low attendance Howlers unintended intimate set proved to be a personal highlight of true musicianship ending under the alias of ‘Bob Dylan’.
New Order's Stephen Morris made it known to all of the importance that the fifteenth of July held, dedicating the set to the late Ian Curtis on his birthday. The ageing Salford veterans still managed to prove more than their worth with a set of new-wave synth pop genius.
On reflection; the long endured walks from campsite to beach, the heats unforgiving manner in the mornings and having an I-Phone (mine) being picked out of your bum-bag was more than worth the hassle.