Yum Yum is an essential part of our Roskilde crew. A literal Yum-ipedia of guitar music (and potentially beyond), we set him the humble task of reviewing a couple of shows at this year’s Roskilde Festival 2012. Here’s the first few featuring The Vaccines, Jack White, The Refused and Hank 3.
Photo: Peter Stanners
There is something eternally satisfying about a band that only plays songs that do not exceed 3 minutes in length, make no effort to launch into elongated guitar solos, and sing choruses which after entering the brain, refuse to leave.
From the opening chord to the final feedback, the kids went crazy to the Vaccines. Not just ordinary crazy, but seriously fucking nuts. I stood next to a 19 year old girl called Hannah whose high pitch scream is still giving me vague concerns that my hearing may be ruined for good; she didn’t stop screaming while the Vaccines were playing and she screamed for a good ten minutes after they had finished.
Some bands leave you short-changed, and others give you more than you paid for. I left the Vaccines damned satisfied, if a little deaf in the left ear.
I could write a small book about Jack White and his all female back up.
For some reason I find Jack White somewhat sexually ambiguous; somehow androgynous, with his marble pallor and fine features. Yet there is absolutely no denying the sexually charged dynamics that pervade his live show.
This enigmatic sexuality is utterly riveting.
Surrounded by a angelic cohort of women in white, White resembled a leader of an unearthly rock and roll cult; a Mormon high priest with his adoring wives, hammering out a primal roar. Each member seemed to compete for Jack’s attentions, snaring him with unwavering eye contact and devotion, only to see him slip away.
You could absolutely feel the frustrated ecstasy of these encounters. Perhaps the greatest relationship of all was that shared with the drummer. It was with her that White spent most of his time, standing before her, coaxing, and getting more for his troubles.
May we all be blessed with shows like this.
‘I don’t know man, I think it was just odd!’ That was the critical verdict of a buddy of mine of Hank 3.
A feature of Hank Williams number 3 is the multiple musical incarnations that comprise his repertoire. The show can be dissected into three parts, mainly country, country with a punk edge, and then all out metal.
The country was fantastic, the punk a little less so, and the metal utterly appalling. The moral of the story is this: stick to what you do best. If you play killer country but terrible metal, then chances are you should only play the country.
At a point in the show I felt trapped in a no-mans land of schizophrenic confusion. Had I really listened to country music half an hour ago, or did I simply imagine it? Did I like it, or only half remember that I did? What is this drink in my hand? Why am I drinking a mojito? I thought I ordered a beer? Why is Hank now wearing leather shoulder pads? Why am I now listening to grind core? Am I loosing my mind.
I do love Hank. Hell, I even own his records. Yet I feel it is for the good of all if someone could politely tap him on the shoulder, commend his gun collection to set the right tone, and then subtly get it in there that he needs to drop the metal from the show. My brain simply can’t handle it.
God damn; get ready and prepare to get crazy. Like a fist to the face, here come The Refused. After a 14-year hiatus, the Swedish legends from the hillbilly badlands of the far North are back.
From the absolute second the black curtain, which shrouded the stage from view, came down, The Refused launched a hardcore punk assault that seemed to make the very earth beneath our feet shudder.
In the days of old, The Refused were known for playing intimate clubs and packed basements; there was talk in the media area if they were really cut out for a festival show, if they could fill such a stage. Could the Swedes, now in their 40’s, pull it off?
Let the skeptics take note: they didn’t just fill the state; they tore that bastard apart beam by beam. Lyxzen put on a roaring performance, delivering his vocal a barrage like a cannonade while busting out dance moves like an undead James Brown.
In my humble opinion, The Refused put on the best show of Roskilde 2012.
Yeah, I said it. Better than Jack White. Tell your friends.