Europavox 2012 – day 3

On Saturday afternoon there are fora and discussion panels, and it’s a great way to get to know other fellow journalists present , talk music, and share experiences and tips.

But Sunday is relatively quiet and provides a much needed rest, and all the energy is saved for bands.

The night kicked off with The Minutes, an Irish band who have their roots in classic rock. If you’re one for big riffs with chunks of feedback chucked in for good measure, they’re for you. It’s not really my thing but I will say that the performance was solid.

Unfortunately The Kills had to pull out, and in their place ex-Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes took over. As he was road testing his new solo material, he was very reserved, and each track was played in a very no nonsense functional manner. There was one bit where he did let his muse loose, and that was on the krautrock-influenced Break the Silence. It was the only time when the crowd actually moved along. Hopefully in coming gigs he’ll be much more loose and engaging.

Every festival has a band which steals the entire show, and this time round it was The Hives. Needless to say that this is the ideal festival band, and over the years frontman Pelle Almqvist has been perfecting his act. Their poppy brand of garage rock music is awesome and mosh-inducing, but its Almqvist’s onstage banter that is the clincher. Both hilarious and oddly motivating , he had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and I bet he’s the only person that can get a brimming concert hall to sit down and stay quiet for a couple of minutes, during one of their most rousing songs – Tick Tick Boom. A festival band through and through plus a great way to end a night.

Due to timetable clashes I was only able to catch a couple of songs from the following bands:

We Trust – the jangliest band I’ve ever heard.

Amadou and Mariam – Sheer class and amazingly charismatic.

Keep Shelly in Athens – sublime post rock.

Imany – a captivating singer/songwriter with hypnotic prescence.

Thus ends another three days of music, mayhem and more music. One thing is for certain – Europavox is full of surprises, so one never knows what one is in for, but that’s the joy of this festival. While other media-orientated organisations are dry and functional, Evox is a riot of togetherness and fun. A rarity!