Citadel Festival is manages to pull off a distinctive feel from the previous two days of Lovebox. Considering the site is identical and they are limited by needing to share infrastructure, its all the more impressive. Apart from a couple of stages not being open, all the bars, food stalls and services are identical. Swapping the VIP area for a feast sounds nice enough, but sitting down for a big lunch at a festival isn’t really what keeps me going. The main difference between the two festivals are the people and the music and that’s all that matters really. Everyone was a bit older, some children around and generally far more relaxed.
The lazy Sunday afternoon atmosphere suited the likes of Calexico, and Nathaniel Rateliff perfectly. Sun-drenched folk-rock from the states. Without the Texas sun shining there wouldn’t have been the same resonance to the tunes. Matthew and the Atlas, and Billie Marten brought a more European sound to the Communion stage.
Battles, and Caribou were the acts to get you out of the slumber. Battles’ heavy sweating drumming was inspired in the Soundcrash tent. The pounding relentlessness was all the more intense for it. Culminating with firm-favourite atlas was the only way to finish. Caribou carried on from them perfectly in the evening sun. Its almost like Dan Snaith wrote one of his songs for days like this.
Having seen Caribou a number of times, I took the time to see something new. Dagny caught my attention from the Kopparberg forest and kept me there. She falls on the in-your-face side of Scandinavian pop with the likes of Elliphant. No moaning about lost love here.
The now stripped back, three piece, Sigur Ros have always been an intriguing band. Whether singing in Icelandic or the made-up ‘Hopelandic’ there is always scope to inject your own meaning onto the sounds. Opening up the set, they began with the latest single ‘Óveður’. Hidden at the back of the stage behind stacks of equipment and lights, they didn’t emerge to the front of the stage till ‘Sæglópur’ the third song. The images of clouds / smoke added to the ethereal feel of the music. With a set dominated by songs written over a decade ago, the omission of the universally known ‘Hoppípolla’ kept the immersion and intensity throughout – without a BBC advert break!
There was a definite warmth as people left the festival. An idyllic escape from city only a stones throw away.
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