G! Festival '11

It's difficult to say this in short since this event is close to my heart.

Tomorrow morning we're heading to the 2nd music festival this summer. Roskilde in Denmark was first and now comes G! Festival in the Faroe Islands where I am from.

The G! Festival is located in the village of Gøta on Eysturoy. Gøta is the neighboring village of Leirvík where I've lived 16 of my formative years.
Main stage on the beach. Photo by metro.co.uk
To put it short G! Festival is an amazing festival. I have been a part of it since the beginning and I have so many awesome experiences tied to it. I was also involved in the music collective GRÓT from which G! Festival grew out of. GRÓT was founded in 1998 and began to arrange concerts and make stuff happen. For me GRÓT made a lot of things seem a lot less impossible.

The G! Festival was held for the first time in 2002 when it was only a one day festival. I have performed at the festival with various line-ups (as keyboardist for the bands Gestir, Marius, Petur Pólson and Högni and thrice as a solo act) in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 and will also be performing this year on the electronic DJ stage Grundin/Ground Zero.
Grundin/Ground Zero. Photo by metro.co.uk
Familjen (SE) performing at Grundin 2009. Photo by MOMO
Thursday night at 03:00 I will be playing the closing set under my üBERNöRD moniker and saturday night at 23:00 me and my girlfriend will open the stage. We call ourselves Sugardaddy & Honeypie. Since 2010 I have also been working at the Grundin stage as stage manager. I did not perform at G! in 2002 and 2010 but did work at the festival. So yeah. I am quite involved with this festival.

Good times at G! Festival
The festival line-up is cool and eclectic. Since the festival has somewhere between 5000 and 10000 attendees we're not talking colossal budgets and therefore not colossal budget style bands. Which is totally ok. There's a lot of good stuff to see + hear anyways.

This year's headliners are Scottish pop rockers Travis, Swedish prog/groove extreme metallers Meshuggah and legendary American gospel act The Blind Boys of Alabama. Other notable international acts are Mugison (IS), Fallulah (DK), The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band (US) and Movits! (SE). Among the Faroese headliners we have ORKA, Petur Pólson, SIC, Týr, Budam and Högni. I'm also looking forward to see upcoming bands like Guðrun & Bartal, The Mirror Men, Hamferð and Gipsy Train.
Camping below the misty mountains. Photo by Jens Kr. Vang
Unfortunately the Grundin DJ stage has had two cancellations: Cypress Hill founder DJ Muggs and Danish electro duo Fagget Fairys were to be perform but had to cancel. But we will be putting everything into making it a special experience nevertheless and if you ask me the line-up still looks to be promising a great party: Sexy Lazer (IS), HumanWoman (IS), DJ MrGillis (SE), Lorney Ashley (UK), Brynjolfur, Herr Gott, Swangah Dangah, Sugardaddy & Honeypie and üBERNöRD :)

Good times in Gøta! Photo by Serge the Concierge


Roskilde Top Five + honorable mentions

Portishead. Photo by Solveig H. Olsen
Roskilde '11 was one more brilliant experience. We missed some shows but catched other unexpected ones. An in all we saw some really good bands. I've written a few lines about my favourite shows this year and found a couple of relevant videos from Roskilde '11. My personal top five was:

1. Portishead
Such an intense and beautiful performance. During the final song Beth Gibbons left the stage to say hello to fans in the front row and she talked briefly to my girlfriend's sister, thanked her and her friends for coming and even gave her a hug. My girlfriend's sister is 18 years old and was completely blown away by the experience. Kudos Beth!

2. Iron Maiden (UK)
Man they rocked. They've been at it for over 30 years and have such an amazing interplay. To me this band represents integrity. They keep going and stay true to themselves. And they have a shitload of melodic and catchy metal tracks to choose from. I called an old friend of mine during "Blood Brothers". We saw them play the very same song at Roskilde '00. Good times.

3. James Blake (UK)
This guy is doing something unique. His sound is rooted in older genres like soul and Jamaican dub as well as newer dubstep etc., but simultaneously it sounds like the future. The show had a kind of mellow start but the music soon built up a stretched out dub feel and at times there was even a techno pulse underneath. Towards the end we could hear rolling thunder and see a lit up sky outside the tent and the rain began to pour down outside. Blake and co. re-captured our attention with a brilliant "The Wilhelm Scream". Sublime and goose-bump inducing.

4. Janélle Monae (US)
A brilliant pop concert. What a star! She has an amazing voice, charisma and stage presence, and a kick ass backing band. She played a cool selection of her own tracks along with covers of Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. The band set-up with Monae in front had a James Brown vibe to it. She's referencing the past with a firm focus on the future. A bit like James Blake, actually. Very cool.

5. M.I.A. (UK)
Some Danish reviewers didn't fancy this show but I didn't get that. We had a great experience. Minimalistic, energetic, beat driven, edgy and full of attitude. M.I.A. was cool.

Honorable mentions:

Tame Impala (AU)
Their first show in Scandinavia. Been listening quite a lot to their 2010 debut Innerspeaker. It's a batch of good psychedelic groove rock tracks with melodic pop twists. The reviewers thought the Roskilde concert was too laid back or something. I found it to be good. Not the best of the festival, but a good show nonetheless.

Electric Wizard (UK)
played a great doom/stoner set friday at noon. It was kinda early for doom/stoner but we sat outside the tent in the sun and I couldn't help myself from air drumming along to the heavy grooves. Great stuff.

Mastodon (US)
did well early on friday evening but I was feeling kind of queasy. We sat in the back, had a bite to eat and walked around stalls while listening to them in the background. If I had been feeling better I would have been more into it. They were probably really awesome. I just needed to reload.

Swans (US)
played their dark noisy post-punk blues late friday night but since there was significant overlap between them and Portishead we only saw the last third of the Swans gig. It was a really good third though.

Hymns From Nineveh (DK)
played a beautiful set early saturday. Couldn't find a clip so here's a clip from Danish TV. The band had more members at Roskilde. Drums and bass and guitar and backing vocals and stuff as well as the people in the video below.

Kloster (DK)
My biggest regret this year is missing Kloster later the same day. It must have been good but for whatever logistical and recreational reasons we didn't make it. Bummer.

OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All)
The new crew in hip hop. Energetic, chaotic and a lot of fun. Ones to watch.

Chris Cunningham (UK)
freaked us out big time on saturday night.

I Was A King (NO)
played their blend of 60's pop and 90's rock early sunday. Really cool. Will have to get into their recorded stuff.

The Walkmen (US)
were also really cool on sunday afternoon. I'll have to check out their recorded stuff as well.

Gold Panda (UK)
Played his swooning electronica stuff for us before we headed of to see Janélle Monae. Couldn't find a video from his performance.

That's another Roskilde for ya. T'was good, t'was good indeed.
Iron Maiden. Photo by Solveig H. Olsen