Look Who’s Coming to Sziget

Well, erm, it’s Robbie Williams. And Robbie out of all people even has one of the special pre-festival days dedicated to his artistic endeavours- kind of  a far cry from the times when he was my favourite ’take that’ based on the simple fact that he looked most clueless. (Insert here perusal of old Take That videos and oh my god, Robbie in a denim overall/onesie in Pray. What has been seen can, of course, never be unseen.) Now truth be said, and this is a snippet of epic importance here, Take That were never my favourite boy group, and I kind of took to Robbie more when he went solo, plus his concert reviews are consistently of the better variety, yet I still find the fuss a bit strange. But then again people have been going nuts over things that are even more of an enigma to me, like let’s say Kanye, so guess I will settle for Robbie, thank you very much.

The second special day will have Florence and the Machine headlining, and that’s also a bit odd to me, she’s still kind of stuck in the redhead with great voice and quirky outfits category. Of course I know that she has in the meantime taken to more dramatic attire and upped her „belting her heart out to giant ass tunes” game quite a few notches, so there, I want feathers, sparkles, sequins, showers of light and the likes to warm my dark little heart.

Speaking of my dark little heart, I might as well get the end show out of my system before I get too worked up about it. I kind of get the point of the whole endeavour, it’s nice to have some fireworks and easily digestible acts at the end of the festival, especially since so many revelers are by that time, as the lead singer of Hangmás nicely put it last year „washed shit”(the Hungarian version actually makes sense, yes.) Nor do I have anything in particular against electronic music, there’s quite a lot of it that warms said dark heart. But Martin Garrix is just beyond my powers of understanding. He is the most average EDM act I’ve ever heard, and as I was perusing Wikipedia and saw he’s Dutch I suddenly had the epiphany of oh yes of course he sounds like a poorly recycled Tiёsto. That’s what he is, to the core. I can only pray the similarly timed act in A38 is as good as La Roux was last year, to make whatever Calvin Harris had been doing on the main stage utterly irrelevant.

As I keep writing this thing on and off, kind of trying to let any rabid feelings settle by the time I shoot it out into the great wide open, some new acts keep popping up and then falling into a category I already ranted or raved about- so here’s Avicii, being the Swedish version of „average (insert nationality here)DJ” who plays exactly the same stuff as the other guys. I do remember liking one song from his varied repertoire, though, so I’ll settle for aimlessly walking around the main stage during that one, then. And as a fresh development, the Eurovision winning song sounds exactly like that Avicii song I like- so as an improvement to the set, Måns Zelmerlöw could be occasionally thrown in with his little dancing stick man.

Interpol 2011

Since I’ve been pretty much on a moan ride above I guess it’s time I moved on to the good stuff. Because there is good stuff, actually, brilliant stuff and loads of it. So I will jump into the thick of it. Kasabian and Interpol. That sounds like a prayer answered.

I’d actually been eyeing Interpol’s calendar early in the year and noticed a Sziget shaped hole forming in it right about the second week of August. And I was so right (I kind of love being right, so I was double tickled pink by the loveliness of it falling into place.) Now I’ve always loved Interpol a bit too religiously for my own good, but I will admit to their arts falling a bit into the monotone around their self titled album, when they seemed at a loss as to what to do with themselves without Carlos Dengler. So last year’s El Pintor was the sweet sound of victory- yes, the magic is still there, Interpol can still sound like the coldest music to melt your heart, something they do better than any other noughties bred indie band.


Kasabian 2010

Kasabian on the other hand never really put a foot wrong- or always put all their feet wrong, depends on whom you ask. You might go on a rampage and label them lad rock, then go on another one saying how pointlessly sophisticated of them to have an album with song lengths as titles. But for me any criticism can be countered with the sheer feeling of joy I have at any Kasabian concert- and due to them being busy bees and not avoiding Eastern Europe as much as other big acts, I’ve now seen my fair share of those. From playing for a handful of people in Pecsa to the Main Stage of Sziget I’ve never felt anything but giddy whenever LSF came on. I’m actually feeling pretty giddy right now, there’s one hell of a night waiting for us in August.

 

Foals 2014 VOLT

Last summer I boarded a hot capsule of tardiness (that’s a MÁV train for you, yes) to the far off provinces to watch Foals at VOLT, now they’ll be boarding something I assume fancier to come straight to my back yard, but I regret nothing, double Foals makes me double happy. ALT-J are one of those bands that could go either way for me- I fancy a couple of songs, but don’t go over the top for them, so if the live show is any good, the might just etch themselves into my heart. If not, they’ll go onto the ’other generic indie acts’ heap. Future Islands managed to get NME’s nod for the 2014 track of the year for Seasons, which baffles me to this day, I hope to be at least a bit less baffled after their concert- a bit of an ALT-J case this one as well, it might turn out great or utterly meh (like the 1975 did last year, another case of weird NME hype).

Speaking of what I did last year (not necessarily summer, but mostly the spring and autumn), well I missed some concerts, as I always do, and mostly because stupid. MØ I missed because I still cannot properly consult a calendar and not plan trips to clash with concerts. So I thank the heavens above she’s coming to Sziget, yet, judging by my matchless talents, I can imagine wandering off to some alternative tent during her time slot, because see above. Kadebostany were cancelled, so that’s not my fault, I would say, but since I was rather curious to see their act I’m glad they got regrouped to Sziget (Though really, The Horrors cancelled a Budapest concert as well, I’d say that demands a grand regrouping manoeuvre too.) The reason why I missed Dropkick Murphys will forever be shrouded in mystery, so I will try to compensate for said horror this time around and catch one of my absolute favourite songs live-the only way I could stop playing Rose Tattoo in a constant loop is my iPod growing tiny iHands and slapping me each time I do.

 

Enter Shikari 2013

There’s of course, as always, complaining about how Sziget brings the same acts, year after year. Well I guess when you’ve grown into a bloody big festival, you arrive at a point where everyone who matters has  already been around. So either you go Glastonbury style and bring, erm, Stephen Hawking, or you stick to the stuff that works. Like Enter Shikari, the absolute Hungarian festival sweethearts- with a bit of luck Rou Reynolds will climb onto a tractor this time, or any eerie moving object in the main stage area. Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordellowouldn’t say no to a tractor either and is generally very adept at promoting wine as a staple festival drink in it’s rather underdog battle with beer. I don’t have fingers and toes to count just how many times Goran Bregović has been to Budapest, but he’s always a sure hit on the World Music stage- and since Saturday doesn’t yet look all that promising on the main one, I might just end up among Italians screaming their hearts out to Ciao Bella and then suddenly becoming fluent in Serbian as well.  

 

Gogol Bordello 2011
Beatsteaks were an excuse to get really wild to No One Knows long before Queens of the Stone Age themselves graced Sziget and it’s good to have one biggish German act each year to please the large Bier und Spritzer drinking contingent. Speaking of acts that are brought mostly for the enjoyment of their fellow nationals, I have the distinct feeling Fauveare here mostly for the giant French village, but God bless their hearts they gave Sziget organizers a really grand idea. For Fauve are great, though probably something IS being missed from their charm if you do not speak le French, so everyone start assaulting those fast tracked summer courses at le French institute.
José Gonzalez 2008

The Ting Tings haven’t had an album in a while, so it will be interesting to see what changes they can bring to their set compared to the previous one, but José Gonzalez does have a new album, and it is quite splendid (his previous Sziget gig was splendid as well, mind you), so I am totally looking forward to some more splendour. Marina and the Diamonds comes in the wake of an album as well, and while I might not be quite as taken with it as with José’s effort, her shows are always absolutely worth their money.

 

                                                        Marina and the Diamonds 2012

Then there’s a list of acts I might as well see if the time slot allows it, grouping the likes of Paloma Faith, Ellie Goulding, Tyler the Creator or SBTRKT (hell yeah, I typed the name correctly from the first go).And yes, I will try to stick to my promise of discovering something new and exciting as well.

 

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