Festival Internacional de Benicāssim - Sunday
Andrew Future on 04 August 2002
Weak days. Week days. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, it did. Oh yes. A brunch time stroll down to the pool reveals a shadowy black clothed, pale mop haired figure puffing away. He could only be British, he could only be Nat from Haven. So began the festival day to end all.
Twisted Nerve's Andy Votel, Tommo and their motley Manchester massive joined Virtual Festivals for a dip and a few pints of J&B, a few bowls of Heineken and a few cases of Red Bull (don't ask), whilst we sunned it up listening to SUEDE soundcheck. Now please tell me why I came home!!!
The day disappears, until HAVEN headline the Fiberfib.com Stage. It's magical. They have transcended from wide-eyed indie minnows into a band capable to taking everything laid before them and blowing it sky high. Gary Briggs inimitable singing style makes angels cry and Haven's music swells every heart in the bakingly packed tent. Blinding.
Into the blue and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club hump up the darkness. It's hard going, pounding, maybe we're not far gone enough yet to fully appreciate it. DOVES spell bind though, the full light show making way for SUEDE which we watch from the stage. It's a strange set made up of songs chosen by fans. IT must only be recent fans, because we get a few of the Suede underclass, 'Electricity' for example has no place here. They play a little from the new album, including 'Lost In TV' and new single 'Positivity' but 'Beautiful Ones' is what will always do it.
I know I said Radiohead was the greatest show on earth, it was. THE CHEMICAL BROTHES was beyond that. Words cannot convey it. The Chems can often be tedious and dull, you just have to be there. The vibe. The 3.30am vibe, the people. Pill munching girls handing them out to those around them. Love incarnate. This would never happen in England. There's no price on an experience like this, none whatsoever.
Air then, and we're filled with sadness that it has to end. They are great, but it's the end, and it's not fair. Benacassim did more than let you watch the best bands in the world in the best setting possible, it has set new standards to judge other events against. The organisation, the vibe, the weather, the setting. The beer is cheap, the people are beautiful and it's pure unbridled magic. I will return there until I die.