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I talked about concert clashes on Thursday, but trying to be at three at once (at least) yesterday was bonkers! It was an utter scorcher on Friday night at Festival Internacional de Benicassim XVI and the punters were out in their droves, scantily clad and ready to party. It seems Kate Moss set the rules for Festival Dressing years back at Glastonbury, and no-one really ventures outside the lines of little shorts/vest top and waistcoat any more, much to my disappointment, though there were a lot more Brits in Fancy Dress last night than the Thursday- my good friend Miss R. came up from Valencia with a gaggle of girlfriends and we were in hysterics as a guy in complete dinosaur costume – hood and all – jumped about with his friends wondering just how much sweat would be trickling down every crevice under the bright green felt.
We were actually hoping to see him take it off, there’s always someone who gets naked at some point, but lost track of him somewhere between Los Ilegales and Hot Chip.
Singer/songwriter Fionn Regan opened the Green Stage last night, followed by Spanish band Triángulo de Amor Bizarro, and as the sun set over Benicassim we weren’t sure if the crowds gathering were for ex-Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas or not, but PJ was obsessed by one particular guy in the front row for every single main stage concert – where did he pee? Felt a bit sorry for Casablancas as the crowd went more wild for old Strokes’ song Room on Fire than they did for any of his solitary material, but he put on a great show in bright red skinny jeans and Michael Jackson-esque bomber jacket, and his amazing guitar solos were impossible not to dance to throughout his whole set.
Newcomers to FIB and my mum’s favourite band, Mumford and Sons (this is a compliment, my mum is very cool. She wants me to marry these boys, apparently any one of them will do!) were on over at stage. Their laid-back, folky ballads were perfect festival tunes, and the mostly British audience were singing along at the top of their voices to their debut album, Mumford and Sons. They are lovely boys, its true, and thanked the crowd over and over, apologising to the Spanish for their lacking in the lingo and confirming what they’d been told – that FIB is the best festival ever! I love when the groups give a little chat, and this year everyone seems a lot more talkative than other years. Makes you feel like they’re playing just for you!
My favourite MTV VJ Johann Wald is at the festival once again, and we saw him interview the teensy Alondra Bentley backstage, who was giggling away saying she wished she had kept her heels on, between her three band members and Johann she was about 2 feet shorter than the rest! Think I may have distracted Mr. Wald watching him do the interview and hope he doesn’t think I’m a weirdo stalker, I just get a bit starstruck when I see him and never pluck up the courage to say hello. Silly girl.
I am never one to miss a Hot Chip set at FIB, whatever time they’re on, and this year was no different. Opening with a beautiful, slower version of Boy From School, in lovely white linen suits, we danced like lunatics to every song, and just when I thought it was never going to happen, they closed with absolute favourite Ready for the Floor. Then it was time for some food!
The gastronomic offer this year at Benicassim seems more enormous than ever, though perhaps there are a few too many hot dog stands, and not enough chips! Where can you get a plate of chips when you need one? Answers to @thisisfib please! From the usual burgers (and numerous hot dogs) to sushi, arabic fare and moroccan cous cous and meats, you can even get slabs of Argentinian steaks and rib.
For those bits in between groups, aside from the two fairground rides that lift you high up in the air, spin you around and show you the whole festival site from the air, there are also stands with games like Band and DJ Hero, and H&M have an area showcasing their Festival Fashion Against AIDS collection, where you can have your makeup freshened up and even straighten your hair! (Not to be too graphic, but I really would rather have a massive ball of frizz on my head than share hair straighteners with thousands of campers who haven’t had a proper shower in 5 days. But that’s the princess in me talking!)
Got to the fabulous gold sparkle-clad Alison Goldfrapp for Rocket, White Horse and Ooh La La, and the fans around us were equally sparkly and gorgeous. PJ is falling in love every five minutes, or maybe even more, and I have to admit there are some pretty hunky boys around too. Have a particular thing for Aussies, and there are tons here this year! Bumped into old school friend from UK which was amazingly serendipitious and felt 15 again as we asked some boys from Benga, Australia if they lived on Ramsay Street, because I am that mature!
45 minutes of Goldfrapp later and we were legging it like mad things (zigzagging all over the place, there are so many people here this year!) back over to the Heineken Green Stage for Vampire Weekend. Those of you following me on Twitter will already know I was desperately hoping for if not a full orchestra, at least a string quartet accompanying the band, but even though the violins and instrumentals were either pre-recorded or keyboard-produced, they did not let us down! Playing songs from both Contra and Vampire Weekend, the turnout was amazing, and for their encore, told us that Mansard Roof is their shortest song at two minutes so we had exactly that to dance our socks off. So we did! By the time 3 am came around and Calvin Harris was about to hit the stage I was nearly all danced out, though not as shattered as the poor mites laying side by side in the medical tents then getting taken away on stretchers to the ambulances awaiting them. We didn’t get to see the other stages but from the looks of things every Fiber was at Calvin Harris giving their all to his dance and house music. Live, this man has a full band and made us giggle as he said “Cheers” after every song, belting out classics like Ready For The Weekend (aren’t we just!) and The Girls (PJ’s anthem!).
Tonight The Prodigy, The Cribs, Klaxons, Ian Brown and Ray Davies and more will be entertaining us and I’ll be looking out for Mr. Dinosaur – maybe he has a different outfit for every night!
lots of FIB love

It keeps on growing and changing, but so far

The Prodigy + Kasabian + Vampire Weekend Lily Allen + Ray Davies + Peter Hook performing Unknown Pleasures + Haçienda Night featuring Graeme Park, DJ Pierre and Justin Robertson + Leftfield + Dizzee Rascal
The Cribs + Echo and the Bunnymen + Foals + Four Tet (live) + Hot Chip
Ian Brown + Ilegales + Klaxons Mumford and sons
PiL + The Specials + Sr Chinarro
Benga + Calvin Harris + The Courteeners + Cut Copy Dirty Projectors + Ellie Goulding
Jonston Magnetic Man
Scratch Perverts + Skream
Southern Arts Society + The Temper Trap + Triángulo de Amor Bizarro
Two door Cinema Club
Yacht & the Straight Gaze + Yuksek
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Broken Bells + Timo Maas + Motor
The Japanese Popstars + Prins Thomas
Joris Voorn + Jack L + The Paris Riots
Love of Lesbian + Standstill + Bigott + El Hijo Cuchillo + Parade
Cola Jet Set
Gentle Music Men + Cohete
Chin Yi (Proyecto Demo 10 Winner)
Marcus Doo & The Secret Family (Proyecto Demo 10 Winner)

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