Saturday, 9 August 2008

Øyafestivalen 2008

All in all, this year's Øyafestival line-up disappointed a bit. Too much depressive indie (and that's coming from a die hard Smiths fan!) and too little danceable fun. However, it all made sense Friday night when Fleet foxes went on stage - the sun even came out. I've raved about this Seattle band before, and had great expectations before their set y'day. Somehow they managed to fulfill those, and more! The band's still not bigger than that they do their own soundcheck. Looking part grunge, part 70's hippie in their lumberjack beard and checked shirts, their sound is more of the latter than the first. From the opening verse of the first a-cappella song we, the 3000 people who missed N.E.R.D to see the new CSNY, were swept away by the amazing presence and warmth of singer Robin Pecknold and co. Beautiful vocal harmonies backed by eminent guitar playing and songs that carry you into a dreamlike state. The band were very chatty in between songs and clearly touched by the audience's response. Best gig I've seen in a long time! I spotted the guitarist Skye Skjelseth later and expressed my gratitude towards the band - according to him, they might be back in Norway in November. I suggest all who missed out this time keep their ears and eyes open, 'cause the tickets will most likely be sold out as soon as they go on sale!

So Fleet foxes was definitely this year's Øyablikk (=highlight). What else? Well, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Ros and Dirty Pretty Things all delivered respectable sets, and Okkervil River, Diskjokke, Telepathe and Lightspeed Champion were the most talked about "newcomers". Unfortunately the club nights were completely sold out, so I missed my favorites Whitest boy alive.

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