SATURDAY 23rd AUGUST
This lovely Saturday morning in Benicàssim got us up nice and early to watch the highly anticipated Artists vs. Press Footie match at the Polideportivo de Benicassim which, once we had our Orange Bikes ladies' push bikes - so cool, with baskets and everything - Anita thought would be a breeze not only to find but to ride to. Hah! Think on, my friend. It was so close to our apartment that when we got back Lolita nearly beat me to a pulp - we could see it from our balcony and let's just say I took her on a more than scenic route. Ah, well, she can't complain - we got a beer and a healthy portion of Paella from it and rode home full and content for a siesta.
Tonight had to be the night we were most excited about, not only have Orange bikes (who sponsored us -and our thighs- this year) dropped off our ladies' bikes, with cute baskets as well, this morning, but it was, drum roll, the night of The Kooks! - we love, worship and just adore The Kooks - but then you've also got Franz Ferdinand - Anita is a huuuuuuge F.F. fan - The mysterious Morrissey - the mystery being whether he would turn up or not! - Soulwax, 2 Many DJs (only the soundtrack to every successful party we have ever held - in other words every party we have ever held! Bigheaded? Nous?), Nada Surf (remember when Anna left Trey at the airport on The O.C. and that fab cover of If You Leave came on? Well that was Nada Surf!), Rufus Wainwright, oh its just too much for two faint girlies like us.
Not so happy right now, after riding up-hill for an hour, in 30º, yes 30º, getting a little (OK, a lot) lost, sweating, sweating for Spain, sweating for Europe, for the World! we got here, just to catch Morrissey shout Thankyou and good night - well, all we really wanted to know was if he would turn up or not! And then we collapsed for a bit in the press tent, where, in the Air Con, we went from hot hot to coooold really cold, hot, chilly, ooooh goosebumps, to Okay! That's it! It's time to FIB It, Girl!
We managed to see quite a lot of Soulwax - the usual mix of New Order, AC/DC, etc - so of course, we danced like mad things for a brief spell before we remembered we were actually really tired! We saw enough of Rufus Wainwright, joined on stage by his sister Lucy as a way of making up for no backing band maybe?, to be seriously moved by his cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, and were nearly lost in the moment, especially when a sexy public school boy in a Panama hat told us it was rather, actually Mr. Wainwright's birthday, when we realised we had to run as fast as our poor poor bicycle-beaten legs (see Anita's pins - she has enough cuts and bruises to go as a schoolboy to a fancy dress party, poor love) could take us, back to the Green Stage for The Kooks! Oh and on they walked, opening with Seaside, with their straw hats, skinny jeans and leather loafers, looking just oh so ... Brighton, and singing their little hearts away. Though poor Luke did look quite nervous - didn't really know what to do with himself. But Brighton boy! did we dance and sing, being the soundtrack to our June and July so far, we know every single little word and ooo and laaa and aaaaa and we were in heaven. Naive, stole the show, girls shedding tears, lighters being raised and just the nicest vibe so far so FIB, but Ooh La, She Moves In Her Own Way, and Time Awaits were also crackers. The Kooks made our night, and made our festival, probably.
Franz Ferdinand were on next and, yes, Anita could control herself. Jumping up and down and shaking those blonde locks, Well Do Ya Do Ya Really Wanna, yes, she wanted to. Playing a great set - always great live and surprisingly, the absence of their drummer Paul Thomas (at home with newborn!) was not so noticeable - of hits from their debut and new album You Could Have It So Much Better, including Take Me Out - cue crazy crowd moment - and This Fire. Alex Kapranos was on top form, and his commentaries in between songs were amusing and delightful. Haring to the Escenario Electronico to catch at least 5 minutes of 2 Many DJ's, we got there just in time for Justice vs. Simian's We Are Your Friends. How many times have we heard that this weekend! - has to be one of our Summer Anthems anyway! You! will never be alone again, well come on! - The whole crowd cheering and singing and water and beer being thrown everywhere. Fantastic. Back we went to catch Morning Runner who were extremely sweet, main singer Matthew Greener claiming he used to be a nurse and it was the best job ever! And also saying that tonight was the best night of his life, several times, which we hope was true because it was, at least, the best way to finish the night off whilst munching on a sugar and cinnamon crepe.
And now I think we should leave, Anita has her eye on one of the organisation volunteers, despite his fluorescent orange jacket, so it's definitely got too late for us! We are weary, hot and bothered, so it's time we hopped on our bikes and left.