The story of Roskilde shares more than a few similarities to the same concepts of the previous weekend’s Glastonbury. Both are huge not-for-profit festivals founded on hippie principles about half a century ago. A number of art installations are set up around the arena and campsite including Darren Cullens’ surrealist and subversive Pocket Money Loans ‘pop up shop’ taking up a slot alongside FC St. Pauli’s club shop.
On Wednesday, heavier bands dominate the festival. Bring Me the Horizon are a formidable act now, bringing their smoke jets and cut up electronic interludes to an opening Arena set. Slayer’s set, with recent cuts from ‘World Painted Blood’ and ‘Repentless’ prove the metal stalwarts still stand up.
Accompanied by a full conventional band, two backing dancers either side of her, with her ‘Art Angels’ tour, Claire Boucher is at her absolute best. Tracks from 2012’s ‘Visions’ are reworked to complement the new arrangement and with a lack of Aristophanes to join her, she performs a Russian version of ‘Scream’ instead. Later on, Blood Orange brings his ‘Freetown Sound’ to the red velvet quilts that drape over the Avalon for a rare live show this side of the Atlantic. His hour-long set is much more of a taste for the upcoming album, as Dev spins and slinks at the front of the stage.
One of the strongest stages comes in the far corner near the Apollo - a small outdoor amphitheatre showcasing the majority of electronic and hip hop acts over the festival. It’s clear from the off that Stormzy hadn’t expected such a turnout, many only viewing his set by climbing the sides of the platforms on this rainy Friday evening. “I’ve only been to Denmark once, there was only like 200 people there. This is mad”. Young Thug may have faced frustration earlier in the day picking the afternoon crowd up, but Stormzy had no issue here.
DJ Paypal released Sold Out last year – a playful eight track release that manoeuvred between Chicago footwork and bass. His set is at lightning speed, a kitsch energy that borrows selections from adrenaline chasing remixes of T.a.T.u’s ‘Not Gonna Get Us’ and Dido’s ‘Thank You’. The crowd may be a lot smaller than the hip hop that preceded his set, but there wasn’t a set more fun that day.
The late slot is filled by Peaches, and whether it’s being joined by two large vaginas (in full anatomical detail) for ‘Vaginoplasty’ or attempting to walk across the Danish crowd in heels during ‘Fuck the Pain Away’, it’s a real highlight.
After years of expanding and exploring how best to translate their back catalogue to the live setting, Anthony Gonzalez has a team of collaborators harnessing their strengths. Playing mainly off ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’ works in their favour; nearly all the Junk material is met with disinterest.
LCD Soundsystem are seamless on this tour. No new material gets an airing here, but the band look anything but tired on this 1am closing set which is both celebratory and a perfect finish to the weekend.
Photos: Andrew Benge
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