day one

XII Festival Internacional de Benicassim review

published: Thu 27th Jul 2006

Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd July 2006
near Valencia, Spain, Spain
£105 (plus fees) for a 4 day pass or £97 (plus fees) for a 3 day pass
last updated: Wed 19th Apr 2006

By Thursday the heat was taking its toll and we were all so tired and drained that we only made it to the festival arena for the Scissor Sisters FIBstart set. Arriving on site, it struck me how different this festival arena was to the big green field sites that we're used to in the UK as it seemed to be pitched on a concrete car park with only very small sections of grass to sit on. The site itself seemed very hectic on an almost Glastonbury scale, with people in your face whenever you tried to move around the site. Although the bars were plentiful, the toilets were not and every visit to the ladies' seemed to involve a bunfight of some description, with people pushing in or shouting at those who did. Although the toilets were - again - considerably nicer than those I have seen in the UK, particularly their portaloos, this didn't make up for the stress you had to endure with every visit to the loo. Food at the site is not particularly diverse and all seems to be handled in-house by the festival itself rather than contracted out as we're used to at UK festivals. While the food was very good and reasonably priced, the selection was rather limited to say the least, although at least it was easier for the vegetarians I was with who were finding it difficult to find much to eat in town.

Kicking off with 'Take Your Mama Out', New York electro popsters Scissor Sisters started out with bags of energy, ripping through hits like 'Laura', 'Mary', 'Music Is The Victim' and 'Comfortably Numb' with a few new tracks from forthcoming album Ta-Dah (released in mid-September) for good measure. These new tracks all seemed to have a rather kitsch almost 1920s feel to them (one of which included a tap dance routine from two of the band), but lacked the instant hit gene that seemed to make the tracks for their first album such a huge success. Ana Matronic was sexy as ever, resplendent in a gold wrap dress, teasing the crowd with the thought that "Benicassim gets me wet" although she was of course talking about the backstage pool. While the set started very well, the energy lagged somewhere in the middle, probably due to the band's 3am time slot. and the crowd began to lose interest, although by the time the band came back for a rousing encore of Filthy/Gorgeous, we were all right back their with them. A very good set in itself, but mediocre for a band with the kind of live reputation that the Scissor Sisters have built for themselves.

Erol Alkan closed the Escenario Verde at Thursday's FIBstart with a DJ set packed with sleazy electro, fat bass, techno stompers and the occassional dirty breaks tune. This was beats just the way I like them and the sound was utterly amazing: loud, clean and very bassy. Even though this set began at 5am, we were impressed by the number of straight-looking people still clearly well up for it as Alkan banged out tunes by The Stanton Warriors, Rage Against The Machine and a tasty remix of the Ferris Bueller's Day Off theme. The visuals on the big screens during this set were also worth mentioning, as monochrome butterflies bled into manga inspired bodies with the occasional Sin City-esque flash of red.
review by: Lynsey Haire

Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd July 2006
near Valencia, Spain, Spain
£105 (plus fees) for a 4 day pass or £97 (plus fees) for a 3 day pass
last updated: Wed 19th Apr 2006


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