Report: The First Day On Budapest Sziget Festival Main Stage

  • 13 Aug 2010 1:00 AM
Report: The First Day On Budapest Sziget Festival Main Stage
"Well, now it really is the first day of Sziget, and finallly we found out that it's not just sunshine- and ideology filled ska which can be damn popular, but also cartoon-metal on the verge of surrealism, idiotic punk and a music-filled version of the Monty Python-world.

(+18) - GWAR

No special fortune-teller skill is needed to forecast: Gwar's tour-calandar would probably never contain strict venues like that of the catholic university Pázmány. It is highly possible that the famous instititute's image is not quite in accordance with the character of Hitler engaging in an endless theological arguement with Jesus, who afterwards, shares the bloodred fruit of his penis with the stunned audience.

This, of course wasn't the only feature which makes it impossible for the American band playing on the verge of surrealism and dada to perform within the compass of an early morning children's show at the Puppet-theatre. The band, dressed as satanic action-figures, was not in fact ashamed to publicly execute a double-chinned policeman, and then, with a gigantic tree-cutter knife cut a wornout pensioner in two halves.

And then, another spectacular scene would follow which would most probably inspire a religious grandma to start hitting the kidney of the mastermind behind the idea with her old black bag: on the stage appeared the copy of his holiness Pope Benedict, turned into a zombie, nevertheless dressed in all swastika from head to toe – well, this character has won its due punishment, too. If, besides all these, anybody would have thought of analyzing the production merely on the basis of music, then the title the Michael Dudikoffs of heavy metal would just do it.

Grin is not dead! - Toy Dolls

No matter how happily Exploited-boss Wattie Buchan would publicly execute all melodious endorphinpunk bands, even he cannot deny the existence and popularity of the genre. Even more so, because Toy Tolls was founded in 1979, therefore happens to be only five years younger than the band often referred to as the grandfathers of punk, namely Ramones. Well, we cannot help but highlight that we are indeed talking of a record-breaking formation: throughout its long existence, 14 drummers and 12 bassists have played in the band. Neverthless the image of the band has not changed a bit: at least not radically. Toy Dolls, still is a three-membered antithesis against the dark-gothic genre, where creative crisis is an unknown concept.

There are, therefore, plenty of hits with revealing titles: The Death Of Barry The Roofer, Glenda And The Test Tube Baby, I Caught It From Camilla and a song that can never be missed: Nellie The Elephant. Just as usual, it is, again the trio with brick-shaped glasses that happen to be the most bizarre elements of the audience, among which a GG Allin returned from Pet Sematary may not even make anybody wonder.

Long live the unbreakable Hungarian-Basque friendship - Ska-P

There are bands who are able to re-create themselves again and again, even from one concert to the other, leaving the audience stunned with incredible surprises. Then there are bands who simply do not give a damn about this, just like Ska-P on the first day, a band always going on stage with the very same concert-program and show-elements. Is this a problem? Not at all!

Ten thousands of people qued up in front of the Main Stage at six in the afternoon in the blinding sun definitely got what they wanted: an incredibly crazy ska-punk party, sometimes mixed with rock, Celtic melodies and crushing solos. Of course a Ska-P gig is not complete without the usual sight: band members running up and down on the stage, sometimes on stilts, covered in costumes, throwing bottles of mineral water into the audience, nevertheless still playing perfectly, with perfect vocals – yes, indeed they immediately amaze the audience.

Of course, all these things are made complete with international call-words embedded in their Spanish and Basque lyrics, and of course refrains you can scream with the band from the top of your lung. People always expect the same experience when it comes to their favourite drinks, so why should this be any different when we are talking of their favourite party-band?

Hiperactive minutes – The Hives

It wasn't just Hungarian fans who had the feeling that it's been a good while since one of Sweden's favourite rockbands visited Hungary: in fact, the band's solo-guitarist Nicolaus Arson was also truly longing for the atmosphere in which The Hives managed to wake up even the most passive spectators with their hiper-intense rockshow three years ago.

Arson has actually sent us a mail in which he explained how much he is waiting for the return, and asked everybody to turn up with plenty of falafels and beers in the evening, when The Hives is about to start its show. Indeed it turned out to be a great piece of advice: their third Hungarian show saw an incredible burn of calories in front of the stage, just as if we had taken part in a Scandinavian sauna-party where the thermostat is being turned up by the superangel of black and white Ed Wood-movies, the Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson.

In order to use up as much energy as possible, the singer of The Hives has happily helped the audience. Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist first jumped on the audience while playing Bad Call, then Civilizations Dying was the song which illustrated what would have happened if Nils Holgerssson opted for the neck of the microphone instead of the neck of elks. In the meanwhile, Nicholaus Arson, crazily happy to return to Sziget, helped himself with more spits – to the utter pleasure of the audience – than Zlatan Ibrahimovic at last year's demanding Hungarian-Swedish soccer game.

The songs Hate To Say I Told You So, Main Offender, Walk Idiot Walk in fact had an even deeper impact on the audience than Ibra's deciding last minute goal. Of course the most popular songs proved to be Won’t Be Long, and then a nearly ten-minute long version of Tick Tick Tick Boom, which even had space for a one-minute readymade-freezing introducing Arson's band, and then close to the finale, Sziget-inhabitants got the chance to jump around to brand new The Hives-songs... if they still had some energy left at all.

Always look on the bright side of life - Madness

The stunning ska and reggae atmosphere of day zero was there on the first official festival day, too: the headliner of the evening, the British band Madness happen to be one of the most outstanding acts of the ska scene – well, of course, if this odd, 30 year-old mixture of pop, musical, 2Tone ska and Monthy Python can be referred to as ska at all.

There was a short press conference before the gig where singer Graham McPherson a.k.a Suggs and drummer Daniel Woodgate replied to the questions of journalists, informing us about incredibly serious business matters: we could even find out that the frontman is really fond of singing Aretha Franklin's hit A Natural Woman in the shower, or that they find the band Specialist a definitely good new (!) band. When being asked what sort of music they prefer, they simply said: everybody who plays live.

And when talking of live performances: the enthusiasm of aging members of Madness was incredible, they pleyed for an hour and a half, starting with One Step Beyond as usual, moving on to all their great hits. Of course this enthusiasm and the great atmosphere on the stage reached the audience as well, you could see young people and veteran partygoers jumping around like crazy everywhere in front of the Main Stage.

And yes, after the gig it was easy to come to the conclusion that without Madness, none of the British guitar-scene would be the same, their influence and role cannot be questioned. Bandmembers whose figures resemble that of clowns even pointed out that their name is true to them in a sense that they really do what they want, and this was truly demonstrated by saxophone-player Lee Thompson: he climbed up to the top of the stage in a crazy alpinist style, only to return to play an incredible solo.

Indeed, we always get a chance to find out, from year to year, that even veteran old musicians can play with the same enthusiasm as they did decades ago, even if they – at first sight – appear to be pensioners rather than rockstars. No wonder that Night Boat to Cairo was accompanied by a great skanking, with Madness and their audience joined by the crew of Ska-P on the stage, so that after the gig, ten thousands of singing fans could walk away to the tunes of Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life."

Source: Sziget Festival

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