Open’er festival in Gydnia, Poland has just come to an end. This year’s event featured performances from Arctic Monkeys, Queens Of The Stone Age and Kings Of Leon. NME was there, and here are five things we learned.
The thing billed as ‘Courtney Love’ isn’t Courtney Love. Instead, it’s a Polski Theatre production of a play loosely based on Courtney Love. The show intertwined the story of Love and Kurt Cobain with showbusiness in Poland in the 1990s, set to the music of Nirvana and Hole. The utterly bizarre, mind-blur of a play also featured actors portraying various musicians including Axl Rose, Amy Winehouse – who appeared on stage to spoon Kurt Cobain after he shot himself – and Henry Rollins. Oh, and Frances Bean was played by a chain-smoking man. Obviously.
After destroying the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury last weekend, Arctic Monkeys’ turned in another truly awe-inspiring performance. If new tracks ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ and ‘Mad Sounds’ are anything to go by, fifth album ‘AM’ could well be their best record since 2007’s ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’.
You probably think Jonny Greenwood on a festival stage is gonna be a thing of sheer brilliance, huh? Well, possibly not. After Kings Of Leon got thousands singing along and dancing to ‘Sex On Fire’, the noodling, ambient grooves of the Radiohead guitarist playing composer Steve Reich’s ‘Electric Counterpoint’ was basically the equivalent of your Nan crashing your house party and confiscating all your illicit booze.
The Nashville siblings have been doing this for years now; they’ve got their live outings sorted down to the last “woaaah”. It was enjoyable to watch ‘Four Kicks’, ‘The Bucket’ and ‘Sex On Fire’ – and the crowd, which was the largest all weekend, were going tits to them – but their bum fluff tracks (‘Back Down South’, ‘Be Somebody’) failed to hit the mark. Their headline set on the final night was… alright. What they really needed was an injection of hot new jams to add a little flavour to their set. Yeah, it was nice to hear ‘It Don’t Matter’, but it’s time they give us a couple more songs from forthcoming sixth album ‘Mechanical Bull’, which is due out later this year.
There was a good-humoured battle of the nations over at the Palma Violets show on the Afterklub Stage on Friday (July 5). Before the London lads took to the stage, there was renditions of ‘God Save The Queen’, ‘Rule Britannia’, and ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ from the UK contingent. But it was the Eastern European nations who provided the most noise during their set, which saw bassist Chili Jesson and keyboardist Will Doyle crowdsurfing and pogoing about the stage to their tracks ‘Best Of Friends’, ’14’ and a cover of The Hot Nasties’ ‘The Invasion Of The Tribbles’. Who won the fan war? Our points went to the gang of Belarusians down the front who nearly destroyed the barrier.