Benicassim 2009 - Day Two(ish)

Blog by Gordon Bruce | 22 Jul 2009

Let´s recall day one shall we? Just a day before, Benicassim played host to some titanic offerings. Some were expected to fill stadiums, some weren´t. But almost all commanded a monolithic stage built to survive a storm. Or so we thought.

The Friday begins fairly successfully. Spanish indie sensation Cooper open the main stage, rattling through a fairly standard selection of pieces. Radical lead-man Alejandro Diez manages to rile an audience into lifting the odd leg off the ground, maybe even attempting a clap. Adding to the ambience is the now moderate breeze, a very welcome change from the usual arid heat.

Paul Weller, as ever, mixes up the old with the new. This highlights, as ever, that the old is still better than the new. However, the mod king displays steely endurance, fighting wind power which threatens his rigidly cemented hairdo. The swaying light fittings above are making everyone a little woozy, and a tad worried. Especially when all the builders begin wearing hard hats.

After this, things go from bad to weird. Just to prove that the wind wasn´t enough to deal with, a fire breaks out nearby. Clouds mushroom against the crystal blue sky. Already, the jokes are flying- which scoundrel had pre-Kings Of Leon fiery sex?

This is eventually controlled, and immediately the wind decides to disintegrate into the ether. At the camp-site, the shade canopy is ripped to thin shreds, and various Tesco value goods end up in places not usually seen as home.

Back at the stage, everything is swaying so violently its impossible to see Kings Of Leon perform unless in steel weighted boots. A timid Spaniard pipes up on the microphone that we must wait fifteen minutes. Cue a wave of boos.

Everything´s getting ominous. After the allotted time, the nervous voice creeps up again; now a thin, exasperated whisper. "Kings Of Leon will not play tonigh....." was all he managed before "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO".

Then, predictably, Maximo Park will not play also. A crowd of thousands are not remotely happy. Yet the daredevils in final band Tom Tom Club decide to give the main stage a bash. You have to admire the sheer determination of the band, but one phrase comes to mind- cannon fodder.

They arrive in full spangly attire, cautioned in by the hard hats who set up with extreme caution, and give a stunning performance. Tracks like the oft´ sampled, bass heavy funk of 'Genius Of Love' are delivered exceptionally in such circumstances, and deserve rapturous applause. But the former Talking Heads members are met with a cacophony of jeers. It´s a real shame that such a talented band should be subjected to this.

Back at the camp-site, the wall is being dismantled to hold canvas to ground. Luckily, our Tesco value number stays strong and we don´t wake up under a jet of water. It marks the end of an unfortunate day with no one to blame.