Live Reviews: Bestival
Klaxons impress, MGMT disappoint as the curtain comes down on the festical season
This is a lesson that [a]MGMT[/a] (Main Stage, Friday) could do with learning. Skulking on to the stage on Friday evening, the duo quickly get immersed in the task of distancing themselves from [b]‘Oracular Spectacular’[/b]. Dressed in Lycra, they spend 45 minutes essentially playing the coda to [b]‘Freebird’[/b] before finally succumbing to the crowd’s desire: [b]‘Time To Pretend’[/b] is immense, but the duo just couldn’t care less. Playing in the style of a married couple having cursory Saturday-night sex, they launch into new track [b]‘Dan Treacy’[/b] as quickly as they can. [b]‘Electric Feel’[/b] briefly imbues us with a sense of wonder, but the cord is severed unceremoniously and the boys stride off, only for [b]Ben Goldwasser[/b] to return to noodle with the synth in a lounge-music style. A fuck-you or just massive self-indulgence? Either way, the audience holler the riff to [b]‘Kids’[/b] until he leaves; 2008’s most-hyped band can’t leave the ghosts of their past behind them just yet.
[a]Klaxons[/a] (Main Stage, Saturday) know the above all too well. Ignoring the [a]Bestival[/a] fancy dress code (this year the theme is ‘Space Oddity’) they come dressed in James May-style shirts, and open their set with a blistering [b]‘Atlantis To Interzone’[/b]. Blasting through [b]‘Totem On The Timeline’[/b], [b]‘Golden Skans’[/b] and [b]‘As Above, So Below’[/b] in quick succession, they simultaneously embrace and shed their new rave shroud. The tracks still sound fresh three years on, but the synths and sirens have been replaced by guitars and a sampler. Without the nu-rave manacles, they’re just good songs, played by a good live band. [b]Jamie Reynolds[/b] dedicates [b]‘It’s Not Over Yet’[/b] to his mum, and announces that this is their last show touring [b]‘Myths Of The Near Future’[/b]. This is how to move on with class.
Elsewhere, [a]Golden Silvers[/a] (Main Stage, Saturday) prove their mettle by exhibiting the doo-wop-meets-[a]Mystery Jets[/a] foppishness of their debut [b]‘True Romance’[/b]. [b]‘Please Venus’[/b] is touching and [b]‘Arrows Of Eros’[/b] should be an indie-disco mainstay for a while to come.
One to watch? That’s [a]Marina & The Diamonds[/a] (Jim Beam & Cola Bar, Friday). Her terrifying yet sultry cover of [a]Late Of The Pier[/a]’s [b]‘Space And The Woods’[/b] is like [b]Skins[/b] directed by Tim Burton and, if [b]‘The Crown Jewels’[/b] EP is anything to go by, the LP should be spectacular. Also worthy of note are karate-pop quartet [a]Fight Like Apes[/a], who play a supercharged if short set (Red Bull Music Academy, Saturday). Leaping and screaming, they showcase most of [b]‘…The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion’[/b], along with an appetite for crowdsurfing. Singer MayKay mixes [a]Courtney Love[/a]’s manic streak with banshee-wailed lines such as “You’re like Kentucky Fried Chicken but without the taste”. Pulse-racing stuff. It goes without saying, but you don’t need a lightshow or LED suits. All you need is to play it fucking loud.
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