And the Danes ran around naked
The 130,000 Roskilde revellers woke up to find the sun had thankfully dissipated by day two of the festival. The bravest campers put on their trainers and took off everything else for the annual ‘naked run’, where festival-goers race for free tickets to next year’s event, bits flying far and wide.
When in Scandinavia and all that, but we decided to be uptight British observers on this occasion.
As the second evening of music drew closer, a lengthy queue formed outside the tiny Gloria area for crazed live pomp of Superorganism. The sprawling seven-piece entered waving bells and wearing colourful hooded raincoats, like an order of millennial druids.
Teenage frontwoman Orono Noguchi looked blankly ahead behind 3D glasses (not the black hipster kind you get at the cinema, the red and blue ones you used to get free with kids’ mags), promising to throw them to her favourite audience member at the end of the show. “So you better rock the FUCK out,” she added. “Or else.”
The A-Level drama-style weirdness continued, as water sound effects played in song intervals and the backup singers started ‘swimming’ around the stage. “Oh no! What’s happening! We’re going into another world!” declared Noguchi. Unfortunately the stars seemed lined up against them in this new place, as the amps seized up just before the finale of ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D’. Forced to improvise, Noguchi did a cartwheel and riffed a Q&A with the crowd, culminating in the plea: “Please buy our merch! We’re a pretty poor band who had a pretty good advance from Domino, but it’s expensive touring with seven people.” I’ll pass it on.
Over in the Arena area, Khalid turned up superb vocals in a one-hour set was remarkably earnest, punctuated with regular remarks that “this song means so much to me,” and expressions of gratitude. As the sun broke through Thursday’s clouds and backup dancers slid effortlessly side-to-side, it felt as though nothing could touch the dusty beauty of Roskilde.
Taking the headline slot on day two was superstar pocket rocket, Bruno Mars. Seducing the crowd with his chart-topping, infectious pop, it was physically impossible to not feel at least a little bit funky as he whipped through banger after banger, from ‘Finesse’ to ‘24k Magic’, right back to ‘Just The Way You Are’. Read the full report here.
It was up to Stormzy to kick off the nighttime programme, playing the Arena stage. Despite coming from South London, Merky made his second Roskilde show feel like a homecoming. “I played here a couple of years ago, and it was the best fucking show of my career… I’ve been waiting for this for a LONG time,” he told the crowd. “We played ‘Shut Up’ and the footage went viral. It’s a sick crowd.” He called on the “Energy Crew” for a repeat of that 2016 devotion, who did so back in spades. By the finale, the audience had become clumps of swirling moshpit whirlpools. They were just as nuts for the new repertoire, with Stormzy adding his Ed Sheeran ‘Shape of You’ remix and R&B tear-jerker ‘Cigarettes and Cush’ into the setlist.
Checking onto the same stage an hour later were shoegaze veterans My Bloody Valentine, hot on the heels of their Meltdown Festival performance in London. For the die-hard dream rock fans pressing against the front of the stage, this was the ideal finish to another busy day of drinking, listening and camping in squalor.
Roskilde continues tonight with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Fleet Foxes and Sampha.