Coming up for air

Have landed in Denmark, and after a hectic week of partying, hanging out and going to the Roskilde Festival, I’ve finally settled in my good old room in Copenhagen.

The Roskilde Festival is such an intense experience – there’s so much going on, that you really don’t to be tired at any time, because you feel that you’re missing things – as you inevitably are. With 160 bands playing, street theatre, spoken word happenings, lots of friendly people and a generally carnevalesque atmosphere, there is just so much to do and see.

Everything becomes blur, compressed experience, so much data to process. But it was brilliant. I love the festival feel of going about the festival, walking from scene to scene, shopping music and being surprised by the variety, the intensity, the sheer joy emanating from all these people. The sun was shining, as well.

Among my favourite concerts were:

Chic – the disco-funk band of the early 80’s revived, and led by the incredible guitarist Nile Rodgers, the only member of the original Chic in the new line-up. Wonderfully happy, electrically funky music that just makes you want to dance.

Devendra Banhart – he is such a strange young man, but his voice and attitude is so pure and direct. His quiet, folky guitar and contemplative lyrics are very soothing, and I think everybody at that concert felt a bit lighter afterwards.

Femi Kuti & the Positive Force – The new king of afrobeat played Friday night when I was hilariously drunk, the funky, warm music making me feel positively radiant.

Ska CubanoSka, but with a Cuban twist, opening the festival on Thursday night, it was such a party and lots of shouting, jumping and laughing.

Mew – also played Friday night, after Femi Kuti, a slow, symphonic and sweet way of coming down from the radiant dancing. Powerful and melancholic, tender and intense. “Comforting Sounds” is one of my favourite songs.

Also among the good bands were Jamie Cullum, New Cool Collective Big Band, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, DAAU og Timbuktu & Damn! – but since I gotta go out tell George Bush how I feel about him, I’ll have to talk about that stuff later..

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