Although they’re a bit belated due to an extremely busy week, here are my impressions from Beatday ’08.
Beatday took place at Docken which is very close to where I live (it was nice to ride a bike to a festival, for a change). It’s not a very big area but it set a nice scene and theme for the festival which appeared to be centered towards well-known subculture bands (ie. bands that are popular within their respective subcultures but who’ve seen none to moderate mainstream success).
Beatday sported three scenes where two of them could feature bands simultaneously.
It was pretty clear from the crowd that waited outside on the first day of the festival, that this was clearly the main day. Many of them seemed quite unimpressed with the program for sunday and did not appear to have intentions of returning. There’s no doubt that the most popular bands played saturday but you’d still think that artists such as Tina Dickow, Amy MacDonald, The Savage Rose and Yoav should be able to attract a crowd… but I digress.
Saturday started off with Blue Foundation and Veto playing at the same time — a nasty clash. I decided to go with Blue Foundation in the end and I definitely don’t regret that as they were as good as ever. Their setlist contained a fair mix of tracks from Life of a Ghost and Sweep of Days. As usual Blue Foundation are highly reccomendable :-)
Next up was Kissaway Trail which was… ok I guess. Nothing to write home about and I probably wouldn’t have seen their gig if there were anything else to do but oh well. We went to see The William Blakes after them and that was a very positive surprise. Apparently it was their first time playing live, but aside from a bit more chatter than usual you couldn’t really sense it. They delivered some very beautiful music with some highly interesting lyrics — interesting enough that I ended up buying the album last week. If you get the chance go see them! Or listen to their album ‘Wayne Coyne’ (yes, named after the guy from The Flaming Lips, who they had actually met up with the day before when The Flaming Lips played in Tivoli) it’s quite addictive.
Mercury Rev played at eight o’clock and though it was quite clear that a lot of people had come mainly to see them I didn’t find their gig or their music very pleasant. But again there weren’t a whole lot of alternatives so we sat through it. Next up was a choice between Figurines and Guillemots. I went with Guillemots after warm recommendations from a friend and it definitely wasn’t a letdown. It was wonderful music and yet again, my list of bands to check out a bit closer grew. I mostly suck at categorising music which is why I hardly ever do it but I think pretty much all people would have a hard time defining the music of Guillemots (which is probably why they’ve been shoved under the ‘indie’ label). You have to listen to it for yourself.
We rounded of the day with Sigur Ros. There’s not much to say about them — they just rock!
Sunday, as guessed, turned out to be a bit less anticipated and there weren’t nearly as many people when I showed up. There might’ve been more people to see Annika Aakhjær or Aura but I doubt it.
The first act I saw was Yoav. The guy and his one-man show gained fame here in Denmark after being played on national radio (a fact he mentioned as well and seemed quite thrilled about). If you’ve listened to P3 you’ve probably heard his ‘Club Thing’ or ‘Beautiful Girl’. Yoav belongs to that group of artists that only need a guitar and a mixer to create entire symphonies — and he’ll do it for you live, right there on the stage. Impressive, truly impressive. As a sidenote, I’m actually listening to his album ‘Charmed & Strange’ right now. Go find it!
After Yoav it was time for Th�str�m. Their music was strangely hypnotizing, their songs appearing to glide together. They sang about everything and nothing in particular… or maybe I was just getting tired… that’s highly possible :-)
Next up was Tina Dickow – highly recommendable and fantastic as usual. This time she was accompanied for a while by Søren Huss from Saybia, singing a song from Dickow’s Count to Ten album as well as a song from Saybia’s Eyes on the Highway album.
To round it all off was The Savage Rose. It was impressive to see a band full of vigor, even though, as Anisette said herself they started touring in ’67… and they’ve toured ever since. The mood of this concert was something I think I’ve never seen before. Maybe it was because of the high concentration of fogheads and maybe it was simply because of the magic that Savage Rose has delivered for more than 40 years — but it was definitely special and a perfect way to end two days of music.
To sum things up Beatday was a nice mix of well-known bands I like and new ones I’ve never heard or never seen live before. They seem to have found that combination of names that will attract people and names people will be delighted to discover, that any successful festival will have to figure out, so I definitely hope I’ll have to opportunity to return again next year.