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Benicassim Fiberfib 2008

Spain Spain | 23 July 2008

This perpetual heat means that stage times are flipped on their back. Even if the artists wanted to brave the ridiculous heat and go on in the midday sun there really would be very little people to see them. Order of the day is to wake and shake off the previous night´s hangover with a trip to the beach. So with the main stage not kicking-off until 9pm, headliners playing well past midnight (Gnarls Barkley play a glorious 3am set on Sunday morning) and the DJs that follow the bands playing until 8am, weary Fibers wander back to their tents in the raging Spanish sunshine for a well-earned kip, only to find their tents a torturous suntrap.
 
Everywhere you go in Benicassim during the festival you will find these desperate souls seeking a few precious minutes of sleep. From the campsites that litter the town to the beach and outside shops and pharmacies in the town centre, wherever a square foot of shade presents itself insomnia-induced music fans dive-in fighting over respite from the shade.
 
The Glastonbury analogy is very appropriate for Fiberfib. While we are all aware of legendary Glastonbury moments and that good old Glastonbury Spirit, so there are beautiful Benicassim moments. My favourite memory of Fib 2008 - Leonard Cohen serenading the tearful crowd with Hallelujah while the sun gave out its last few gasps of light before ducking between the hills - will stay with me forever. And it can only be a Benicassim spirit that each day lifts the marauding sleepless zombies from their filth-induced insomnia and into another 12 hours of beautiful Fiberfib memories.
 
Top 5 Benicassim Fiberfib 2008 Moments
 
1. Leonard Cohen. As at Glastonbury he proved himself full of humility, grace and one of the greatest singer-songwriters we have ever seen. He still doesn´t do Famous Blue Raincoat or Chelsea Hotel, but the sun setting during Hallelujah was astonishing.
 
2. SuperMayer. Michael Mayer and Superpitcher´s 12 minute minimal techno epic The Two Of Us was amazing enough, but it was the moment they merged into their gorgeous mix of Rufus Wainwright´s Tiergarten that they demanded to be taken as seriously as Chemical Brothers, Justice et al.
 
3. My Bloody Valentine. Kevin Shields´opening riff sounded like Lemmy in a bad mood. The final ten minute swirl of deafening noise wasn´t just a wall of noise, it was a victorious hurricane.
 
4. Justice. As ever they teased the crowd with We Are Your Friends, but this time the crowd won - 6,000 screaming half-naked people going absolutely mental. How much longer can they be kept in tents?
 
5. El Guincho. Fiberfib thankfully booked a lot more Spanish acts this year, denying some niave British indie fans some of their favourite meat and two veg bloke-rock, but a welcome treat for anyone wanting to be exposed to the culture and great music of the country they are visiting. El Guincho were by far the best - a hyperactive and hypnotic mix of the melodies of Go! Team with a Rio Carnival-fuelled Tropicana. Awesome.

by Kai Jones

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El Guincho. Loco and local.
El Guincho. Loco and local.

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