Whilst FIB Benicassim faced a huge backlash from disgruntled fans regarding a line-up that did unfortunately lack headliners, once the music started, the fans put to bed their line-up woes and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the entire festival... With FIB making some back office changes, the organisers may well have been up against it. But FIB quickly managed to win back round the crowd, who undoubtedly will be returning home to book up for 2015.
James opened the festival like a band possessed. Lead Singer Tim Booth is simply inspiring to watch, this man really does dance like no one is watching, a total hippy, at one with his music. James treated the audience to all his hits from 'Laid' to 'Sitdown' along with his brilliant new single 'Leave a little light on'.
Ellie Goulding took to the stage having caught James' contagious energy on stage. Dancing her away through the hits, whether your a fan or not she takes the whole crowd to dance and sing along.. A true performer.
And then there was Tom Odell's band, even if no one was around to listen, the band would enjoy and loose themselves in the music regardless. Thus producing a moving and raw performance, expectedly after well known songs were played, shunted back to a 1970s psychedelic set which quickly parted the music lovers from the popular chart lovers. With a lot of the audience sadly making there way out of the audience. This was only to the delight of an audience who maybe decided not to watch tom, and decided to move in to appreciate a fantastic musical masterclass. Close your eyes. And just listen.
The Mod Father- Paul Weller, to the astonishment of the crowd looked like he seemed to be enjoying himself at Benicassim! Sharing a few jokes with guitarist Steve Cradock. This was a performance for the true fans, with Weller treating the crowd to a twelve minute performance of 'Porcelain Gods', a track that doesn’t feature in full on any of his studio albums. Weller is certainly not one to conform, and in true Weller fashion he left out The Jam’s classic ‘Town Called Malice’. Regardless, Weller most certainly captured a new audience in Benicassim.
Lily Allen showcased a fun performance, with an artistic set that represented the things close to her, she spoke of her children, and dedicated ‘Normal’ to her husband Sam. She played all the hits from 'Smile', to 'F*** You'. Whether you were a Lily Allen fan or not, you couldn’t help but sing along to her songs.
Possibly the most anticipated by all the crowd was to see The Libertines. It can’t be denied that they hold the presence of legends. But these guys can no longer hide behind the music, the drugs and scandal sadly is at the forefront of their performances. The hits formed the majority of their encore such as ‘What Became of the Likely Lads’ whilst The Libertines are undeniably brilliant and hugely appreciated by the crowd. It’s hard not to feel a sadness whilst watching a band, so talented, yet so troubled.
From the crowd to the stage! There is no current chart band that has made such an incredible impression on music lovers than that of irish band Kodaline. Having had enormous success with their debut album their sound, and passion has remained intact, something a lot of bands struggle to hold onto. Kodaline were at Benicassim three years ago, as part of the crowd. Their humbleness and appreciation for their achievements immediately puts them at one with the crowd. With back to back hits such as ‘One Day, High Hopes and a 10 minute version of ‘All I want’ the audience fell completely in love with the band. A large number of the crowd seemed to have come to Benicassim for Kodaline. Ultimately they could have headlined. Phenomenal.
Paolo Nutini has consistently wowed critics with the versatility of his work, from funk to soul, pop to reggae this guy can do it all. He performs though he is telling a story, cleverly rolling the ending a song into the start of another. If you were expecting a set of slow songs such as 'Last Request' you could not be more wrong. Paolo was the highlight of the festival as his set drew to a close having treated the audience to new single 'Funk My Life Up', to 'Pencil Full Of Lead', and 'New Shoes'. There was no speculation as to why FIB has decided to get Paolo to headline the closing night. Every member of the FIB audience will have added Paolo's new album to their iPods!
Though the festival undoubtedly seemed to lack a spark, a fire was surely burning as Sunday drew to a close. A great selection of beer tents, and enough food choice to satisfy the worst of hangovers. As Benicassim rounds of another successful year, and FIBERs make their way home, despite the earlier line-up disappointments. Everyone will unquestionably be counting down for Benicassim 2015. Once a FIBER, always a FIBER.
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