Sun Sound and Students at one size fits all Benicassim

Festival Internacional de Benicassim 2012 review

By Laura Bradley | Published: Fri 20th Jul 2012

around the festival site (crowd)

Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th July 2012
Benicassim, near Valencia, Spain, Spain
£155 for 4-days with camping
Daily capacity: 50,000
Last updated: Wed 11th Jul 2012

With 70% of fibers being British, you could feel the relief of the entire invading fleet stepping of the train at Benicassim to be greeted by blue skies and sunshine.

around the festival site (crowd)
And if you like to 'Sleep all day, and party all night' then this is the festival for you, Benicassim is clever in almost making the festival a 'one size fits all' with having a extensive line-up, from heavy rock, indie, pop, through to drum and bass, and hip hop. Attracting a huge variety in the type of festival goer it attracts. Which is fantastic for the music fan who likes a bit of everything, as this is certainly what Benicassim seems to deliver particularly well on. The only problem being it attracts a huge range of people, who can't stand drum and bass at the best of times let alone, going to sleep to drum and bass, and waking up to drum and bass! Conversely with the majority of the audience being students it only seemed to grate on the minority.

On arrival, language barriers were an instant problem, with the majority of FIB 'helpers' not speaking a word of anything but Spanish, which was a little beyond belief at a festival now advertised as 'international', making getting around the entire festival from camp to camp and stage to stage, rather frustrating in 40 degree heat.

De La Soul
On Thursday rumours began to circulate that Florence + The Machine, and Bat For Lashes had pulled out, and to the sheer disappointment of the crowd, the rumours were true. De La Soul, and The Horrors had sets extended and promoted to the main stage and boy did they deliver.

De La Soul, commanded the stage, they instantly had a profound presence and captured the the audience, everyone was laughing and singing, it was utterly entertaining, and by the end of the set people had forgotten earlier disappointments and went on to party through the night with a spring in their step and smiles on their faces.

Having had mixed reviews at previous reunion dates in the States, with most fans feeling disappointed at the sheer lack of energy and care to deliver outrage and mayhem on stage. Whether you were a die hard fan, or a first timer, you were certainly in for a treat, that is if you weren't too near the front!

Cedric Bixler-Zavala was absolutely strung out, he caused absolute outrage on stage, he was throwing the microphone stands, jumping off speakers, and animating anyone in close range of him, and all this to the delight of the crowd was utterly enthralling, "I've never seen anything quite like that" one crowd member told eFestivals!

Bob Dylan
Whether you were still drunk from Thursday Night or not, it was standard hard to enjoy Bob Dylan's moaning and totally disconnected performance. It was easy to distinguish the die-hard Dylan fanatics from the easily pleased general crowd, like those who thought Bob Dylan was doing an Adele cover of 'Make You Feel My Love', and those who were walking out five minutes into the set, knowing all too well the agonising hour and a half that awaited them if they were too stay and try to get through at least one of Dylan's 21st Century performances.

It seems never has Neil Young's "Its better to burn out than to fade away" been more fitting. You can't blame the man for carrying on, but you can't blame fans, for giving up.

Coupled with a fantastic new album, there's nothing better than a knockout tour to go with it, The Maccabees, clearly just love what they do, the bass player is dancing, the drummer is dancing, every member of the band is having as good time as the crowd before them. Their lyrics are emotive and thought provoking 'Child' was sung with such soul and feeling, it's clear these guys, write songs that mean something to them something which all music lovers instantly connect with on another level, which is rare in today's mainstream industry. Lets hope The Maccabees are here to stay.

Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds
On Saturday Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds was almost drowned out by the crowd he had singing Oasis songs back to him, previous to the performance the majority thought they would be silenced by Gallagher's solo work. But you could not have asked for more from this guy, he gave the crowd what they wanted, but in such a way it was on his terms, it's Gallagher's way or the highway! Delighting the crowd with 'Half Way Round The World' and 'Don't Look Back In Anger' it's hard not to be a fan of Gallagher whether he's performing his own material or Oasis, with or without Oasis, he is the voice.

The Stone Roses
Although on form vocally, Ian Brown seemed to have glued himself to his microphone before he began on stage, having been met with headlines suggesting The Stone Roses are only touring for a quick quid, they totally obliterated any allegation that this was the case, with an absolutely blinding performance of 'I Am The Resurrection' it seems the Stone Roses, are either drumming up unnecessary interest for future tours or going out on an extremely memorable note.

On Sunday, the festival draws to a quiet close, as bodies litter the site as people no longer able to suppress lack of sleep, hangovers and sunburn, succumb, New Order take to the stage, dedicating the performance to Ian Curtis, "who would have turned fifty six today". The true highlight of the performance was the outstanding, sublime version of Joy Division's 'Isolation', they raised the bar again and performed a grand version of 'Blue Monday' and draw the festival to a close for the majority of FIBers with 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'.

Benicassim sure know how to put on a party, so if you can't bare the English summers, the music restrictions on standard English festivals, and have the mentality that you can sleep when you're dead, then get booking up for Benicassim 2013.

around the festival site (crowd)
review by: Laura Bradley

photos by: Laura Bradley

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