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Roskilde Festival 2013

Roskilde Festival is brilliant. Metalheads amongst the YOLO generation, hip hop heads mingling alongside the die hard punks, you would be hard pushed to find anywhere in the UK that holds such an eclectic lineup, let alone being the home of over 100,000 smelly characters from all different backgrounds for over a week, we couldn’t even get the Mods and Rockers to enjoy a day out to the beach together. 30,000+ volunteers made sure everybody’s festival experience was a great one, being there for every query and making sure things ran as smoothly as possible in the scorching heat.
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Growing up I was a big fan of punk bands such as Suicidal Tendencies, so when I found out that ST would be the first act to grab my attention on the Thursday of the festival I was apprehensive of seeing these 5 ageing men take a half arsed approach to the songs I hold so dearly to my teenage heart, if you have seen the likes of The Rolling Stones warble out the classics with pound signs in their eyes recently you will know where I’m coming from. I needn’t have worried however as lead singer Mike Muir still has the energy and anger of a 18 year old, leaping around the stage and wiping the sweat  from his bandana so regularly I suggest he gets a windscreen wiper attached to his head. Usually a band member wearing their own merchandise would be a huge no no but there’s something endearing about 5 old punks furiously thrashing out classics such as ‘Institutionalized’ ,’I Saw Your Mommy’ and ‘War Inside My Head’ whilst sporting Suicidal Tendencies basketball shirts.
kendrick
One of the acts I was most looking forward to seeing was Kendrick Lamar on the Arena stage, and judging by the turnout I wasn’t the only one, 30,000+ people trying to cram into a tent that holds 17,000, climbing up trees and just generally trying all they can to catch a glimpse of the man makes for uncomfortable viewing in the sweltering sun. With new ground found about 500m from the stage, Kendrick comes out sounding ropey, going through the motions and stopping most of the tracks from ‘Good Kid M.A.A.d City‘ around the 2 minute mark, only when noticing how receptive and fired up the Scandinavian audience are does he up his game, declaring ‘I have been performing since I was 16, I am now 26 and this is definitely the wildest show I have ever experienced.’

Ending the night by watching Slipknot is a bad idea if you’re suffering from low self-esteem, with the crowd being subjected to a constant barrage of ‘Maggots’ ,’Motherfuckers’ and any other insult you can think of beginning with M, Slipknot however are much less intimidating when you find out their real names are Corey, Joey, Shawn, Craig, Mick, Sid, Chris and Jim. Slipknot are a great live band, whether you love them or loathe them, there’s enough there to keep you entertained, floating drums, pyrotechnics and what looked like a bubble machine (surely not?) go alongside scream-a-long classics such as ‘Wait and Bleed’, ‘The Heretic Anthem’ and ‘Before I Forget.’ The highlight of the night coming with lead singer Corey Taylor managing to get 60,000 ‘maggots’ to sit down and lose their shit when the riff came back in.

Friday starts with the combo of Killer Mike on the Cosmopol stage followed by partner in rhyme EL-P, which means along with tracks from each rappers solo material we also get 6(!) never-before-played-live songs from the 2 rappers’  collaborative mixtape ‘Run the Jewels’ that go down a storm with fans of the old school rap with a new school production feel.

Rihanna headlining the Friday of Roskilde came as a shock to many fans, it probably could have become another festival moment in the same vain as Jay-Z VS Glastonbury if the Scandinavians weren’t so bloody laid back. Rihanna got her revenge regardless, making the surprisingly packed crowd wait half an hour before sauntering out in what looked like a baseball babygrow to a sea of boos and getting straight into it. We at GIITTV tried to stick it out but to have RiRi make us wait for 45 minutes as she updates her Instagram and then have a setlist mainly consisting of album tracks is a no go in this part time fans eyes, so we wandered over to the tiny Pavillion stage just in time to catch King Tuff dedicate ‘I’ll Still Be A Freak When I’m Dead’ to Rihanna, apt.

The 4 hour long shared lineup of Action Bronson/Flatbush Zombies/Joey Bada$$/ Danny Brown to kick off the Saturday was a delight for hip hop fans and despite the trio of Flatbush Zombies being the act many Scandinavians may not have heard before on the lineup they will have been on the name on everybody’s lips as they ventured out the tent. Moshpits, rules of no crowdsurfing literally going over peoples heads and all round chaos lead to the group having their mics and music cut off as the Roskilde volunteers got the crowd to take a step back as the barrier was about to break. Rapper Meech then declares the Zombies are going to have a ‘smoke break’ and wants to play one of his favourite songs as they bask in the glory of conquering Denmark, Nirvana‘s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘ kicks in as does the sound of 3,500 people losing their minds.
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Thurston Moore’s new band, Chelsea Light Moving are thankfully really great live, a punk rock band with none of Thurston’s charm removed. Thurston tells the crowd that song ‘Lip’ is dedicated to Russian punk/activist band Pussy Riot, with lyrics such as ‘get fucking mad/too fucking bad’the man hasn’t lost any of his edge on writing a powerful yet catchy song. As someone who was too young to see Sonic Youth in their prime it’s great to see Thurston still going through guitar strings at a faster rate than underwear with the sheer ferocity of his playing. The night ends with a band I have been desperate to see for a long time now, Goat, and the band do not disappoint, playing the majority of debut album ‘World Music.’ The night ends with a 15 minute psyche out which could have gone on for an hour, leaving the crowd in a trance, in a trance, in a trance, many people, myself included went away knowing it was to be the set of the week, if the psychedelic afrobeat stylings of Goat is your kind of thing you need to see this band live. (As of writing this the entire set is up on the Roskilde website but I’m not certain for how long, so go go go.)

The crowds are somewhat smaller on the last day of the festival, due to gates opening 4 days before the actual festival even begun, making for a more laid back experience, that was until we wandered into the Pavillion tent to see FIDLAR rattle through songs from debut album ‘FIDLAR’ a Descendents cover and even a punk rock version of their song ‘AWWWKWAARRRDDD’ featuring Kate Nash, the crowd are up for it, and the band have to stop their set when the young teen drummer with the huge afro from The Bots gets kicked out for crowdsurfing, arguing ‘Leave Macy Gray alone! She’s playing later on tonight!’

Sweaty and in the mood to continue the party we move on to the Cosmopol stage to see Azealia Banks, except she’s not there, 45 minutes is how long we have to wait for Azealia to turn up so we can continue the party, yet a further setback, she fucking sucks. If you’re going to turn up nearly an hour late to your set at least put some effort in. Rapping over Bauuers‘ ‘Harlem Shake’ The Prodigys’ ‘Charly’ and Underworlds’ ‘Born Slippy ‘the whole thing reeks of desperation on Banks’ part, a woman trying to cling onto the wave of hype 212 produced by spewing any old shite over the top of songs that make you dance, still, atleast her backing dancers were good.

The ever so cheeky Macy Gray mk. 2 said it best later on in the day when The Bots played the Pavillion ‘I heard Azealia Banks is a diva. I heard Azealia Banks isn’t a proper Musician’ the band are definitely ones to watch for the future. What better way to end a beautiful festival in beautiful Denmark than being stood in a field with 3D glasses on watching Kraftwerk, playing everything from the full version of ‘Autobahn’ to ‘The Model’ to ‘Tour De France’ to ‘Computer World’ to ‘The Man Machine’ I could go on, every single song they played was accompanied by beautiful visuals, presumably there to distract you from the fact Ralf Hütter is looking more and more like Bill Murray as the days pass.
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You really need to witness Roskilde Festival for yourself, it has everything from one of the best musical lineups in the world to a food court that would meet your demands no matter how fussy you are, to an architects (wet) dream in ‘Dream City’ playing out as real life Lego, this year saw everything from a Post Office to a western Saloon being built by festival goers in the designated spot. I will meet you at the Dream City Bike Shop this time next year.
Aaron Lewins

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.