All photo credits go to Sophie Jarry, our dedicated photographer on duty during the event. Sophie is a renowned french portraits/live photographer in the music scene around Europe.
After a good night sleep at the casa, We were back on track for the second day of this mammoth indoor festival that is Pitchfork Music Festival. A sister edition of the American one. Spearheaded by Julian Catala, and his team at Super! the event is a mecca for indie music, the who’s who of electronic music and a few celebrity artists. From virtually unknown acts such as Perfect Pussy, to globally acclaimed Belle & Sebastian via St. Vincent, Chvrches and Future Islands. The bill for the Friday 31st of October was impressive. It was Halloween too. So the crowd went crazy. Remember it is holiday season here in Paris / France, so they came out in great numbers. The tickets sold out for Friday and Saturday very early. With three-day passes being the almighty golden ticket were nowhere to be found 2 month prior to the event even kicked off.
We’ll focus on the crowd today. With some fully decked out in make-shift Halloween costumes or those who went the full nine yards with their kit. We had the pleasure of meeting a few of them. Masks, morbidly ugly surgeons (or students from the medical school, couldn’t really make out what they were doing…) and other scary creatures roamed the venue and festival grounds. Often in huge flocks, sometimes alone, looking for their friends.[imagebox maintitle=”The Crowd” subtitle=”” image=”https://sodwee.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/JonHopkins2014-10-30-22.20.43-crowd-before-his-show-Mogwai-in-the-distance-bw©-sophie-jarry.jpg” color=”white” space=”160″ link=”no link”]
The thing is though. We were all pretty much friends at Pitchfork Festival this year. Here for the same eclectic music fix and to experience moments of bliss. And we sure did get plenty of those over the 3 day shenanigans. The whole atmosphere was electric, with thick artificial fog being made and the lighting scenography always as brilliantly taken care of by Triomf :
Triomf is a Dutch production design company that started fifteen years ago touring the country with their party-concepts. They never stopped organising new club events and festival acts – like popup bowling venue Club Lebowski – but in the meantime they developed as art directors and designers for festivals like Into The Great Wide Open, Le Guess Who?, Best Kept Secret and Eurosonic. And don’t forget their own independent electronic festival “Stekker in het Park” and the already infamous Studio Stekker Project.
It was something for all the human senses. From the food being cooked just outside the concert hall, the dimmed lights, the dark venue itself, bowling alleys, the Converse bar, the playground with giant swings, retro-gaming arcade and more… All that set up in the most amazing large venue Paris has to offer. it was bound to be a success.[separator type=”thick”] [title maintitle=”Perfect Pussy” subtitle=”set rating : 5/10″]
Ok, now onto reviewing the performances. And we start off a little bewildered by this Perfect Pussy set. Like Mogwai yesterday, too loud, trying too hard, especially for that time of day and as an opening band for the second day not the wisest choice. We felt terrible for both the band and the audience, their eardrums. It’s punk music, but it sounded like death, noisey and not much interaction with the festival goers, here in small numbers I must say. Formed in 2012 in Syracuse, New York. The band consists of vocalist Meredith Graves, guitarist Ray McAndrew, drummer Garrett Koloski, bass guitarist Greg Ambler and keyboardist Shaun Sutkus. The band is known for its “frenetic brand of punk and raucous live shows” and has been described as “the most important punk band to come out of Syracuse since Earth Crisis. We did not feel them at all. Or maybe slotted later in the night would of been better.
Finally Perfect Pussy make way for D.D Dumbo. A welcome break after that clusterfuck of sounds we just witnessed. As the web investigates this talented young songwriter, rumours abound: D.D. Dumbo is said to be a modern nomad, travelling the world’s highways with his guitar and hand-made effects. But the mystery has lifted (a little), thanks to his new record label, legendary 4AD (Bon Iver, Deerhunter, Grimes, etc), and information has begun to leak. Dumbo, also known as Oliver Hugh Perry from Australia’s Melbourne suburbs, creates unclassifiable music from a 12-string guitar and effect pedals endlessly looping sounds and voices. One part blues, one part world music, one part experimental pop, the fascinating result of this blend had us wanting to see his live set here at Pitchfork for quite some time now. As his english counterpart Cosmo Sheldrake would deliver, it’s a one man band. Looping his voice, the guitar to create something very pleasing to the ear. And the crowd at Pitchfork actually love it. The quintessential afternoon act to take us into the night, with sunset blaring through the few holes of the thick black curtains surrounding the stage and the entire venue. We can only listen and agree. Dusk is upon us. D.D. Dumbo leaves.
Next up was Son Lux, and we had to get away for half the set as we had set up a meeting with Mattia & Luca, to film an interview (more soon I promise) just outside in the fresh air. But from what we gather their set wasn’t the best, but after wrapping the interview I came back to witness and the badn I saw was pretty good. Not to everyone’s liking of course.
Ryan Lott, better known by his stage name Son Lux, is a post-rock and alternative hip hop musician based in New York City, New York, currently signed with Joyful Noise Recordings. He has collaborated in many projects over the years. But it’s in support of his latest ‘Lanterns’ album (2013) that Son Lux took the #P4Kparis stage. Offering experimental post-rock, his studio efforts were blown in the best possible way and beautifully rendered live. The guitar riffs, Loft’s energy on stage and the audience starts to understand why they’re here : to dance.
I’m a HUGE fan of Future Islands, so my expectations for this slot were pretty darn high. Sam Herrings spearheading the witchy, halloween dressed band with his un-natural voice, the generosity of his live performance and all the hit tracks he played tonight made for an unforgettable moment, a few of them actually. We’re pretty much unanimous on tonight’s highlight : It’s gotta be FUTURE ISLANDS. From “Balance”, “Before The Bridge”, “Tin Man” and “Find Love” they played every single one of my favorite tracks. And I really can’t believe why these party animals were slotted so early. But hey, got what we wanted. A brilliant performance, great audience reactions and killer costumes !
Read More about Future Islands on Sodwee.com…MO” subtitle=”set rating : 8/10″]
Karen Marie Ørsted better known as MØ ruled last night at Pitchfork Music Festival, bringing the perfect pop edge to the event with her Danish flair and swag. She’s been compared to the likes of Grimes and Twin Shadow before, but last night she proved once again she is MØ, and MØ only. Delivering a high-octane set to the full venue of La Grande Halle de la Villette. Great moves, her face painted for Halloween and playing hits after hits she sure conquered the hearts of the international audience in attendance.
We had Chvrches in our sight since they sprung up from beneath the earth with “The Mother We Share” song. Subsequently being signed to Glassnote Records, and went on a gruelling tour with their first LP named “The Bones of What You Believe” (2013). These guys never stop. They are a Scottish electronic band, formed in 2011. The group consists of Lauren Mayberry (lead vocals, additional synthesisers, and samplers), Iain Cook(synthesisers, guitar, bass, vocals), and Martin Doherty (synthesisers, samplers, vocals). Chvrches came fifth on the BBC’s Sound of 2013 list of the most promising new music talent.In March 2013, they released Recover EP. Their debut studio album The Bones of What You Believe was released on 20 September 2013.
At Pitchfork, the three piece ensemble managed to deliver a stunning set, complete with lazers and stage props. Lauren Mayberry with her face painted for Halloween. The trio gave another great reminder of why their synth-pop sounds so good : it’s accessible. Put a teenage groupie, a “have-seen-it-all” hipster and an ageing mother in front of them and they’ll all be singing along happily. Making this band so universal. Stage design was impressive too. They culminated with “The Mother We Share” of course. ANd won a few new hearts here at Pitchfork Music Festival with their pop sensibilities. Chvrches is known to be influenced by acts such as Prince, Robyn, Depeche Mode, Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston and Elliott Smith. The band writes, records, mixes, and masters their songs in a basement studio in Glasgow, Scotland.
Read More about Chvrches on Sodwee.com…
Anne Erin “Annie” Clark was born September 28, 1982, better known by her stage name St. Vincent. She is an American musician,singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. She began her music career as a member of The Polyphonic Spree and was also part of Sufjan Stevens‘ touring band before forming her own band in 2006.
Headlining the bill tonight with MO and Belle & Sebastian. St. Vincent gave us a wicked set. We totally fell in love with her moves. The way she talks complete nonsense in between two songs only adding to the psychedelic feel and sight of her presence. Not to mention the crazy patterns her short dress and high-heels. Which obviously turned a few heads while she was performing on Friday. Everything about the scenic package is on the edge of crazy, with a hint of happiness thrown in there. She says about the album and how people react live :
I like when things come out of nowhere and blindside you a little bit. I think any person who gets panic attacks or has an anxiety disorder can understand how things can all of a sudden turn very quickly. I think I’m sublimating that into the music.
Finally the Friday comes to a close, with an afterparty at the Trabendo already in full swing. We manage to catch a few minutes of the Belle & Sebastian tender live set before heading home and resting enough for tomorrow’s “ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT CHINESE BUFFET OF INDIE MUSIC”.
Emotions are still pretty high when Belle & Sebastian finally take the pink stage here at La Grande Halle de la Villette for a rare live appearance. Stuart Murdoch brilliantly takes the rest of his six-piece band and a few strings here and there (why not I say) into what could be described as an epic moment of groovy tenderness with a sprinkle of electro elements. It’s near perfection tonight with the scottish outfit. So much so, we totally forgot to take pictures :/
Belle & Sebastian at #P4Kparis photo by Sarah Bastin for Green Room Music.