Wednesday 4 September 2013

Preview: Berlin Festival 2013

Oh my, the service we provide you with, you haven't got a clue! I have just spent an hour listening to unlistenably bad music just to get a small list of recommendations for Berlin Festival together. It's been tough to say the least and only a bucket of earl grey tea has got me through it.

Why? you may ask. Why do you bother? The question is justified. It's not like Berlin Festival needs any publicity from The Craze or like I particularly care about how Berlin Festival fairs this year. The reason is a selfish one, of course: I like the setting and atmosphere of Tempelhof Airport when it turns into a music festival so Gary and I typically go every year. When putting together my schedule for the festival, I may as well share it with you and save you going through the listening pain that I just went through. That is, if you are even planning on going this year. Because I cannot suggest that you do, try as I might. 

Berlin Festival started out as an indie music festival. Since moving to Tempelhof Airport in 2009, the festival's programming has just gotten that little less exciting every single year. That may just be my personal opinion - hello, this is a blog - but the amount of trashy Euro disco bands playing this year is shocking. There is so much exciting music around that I find it hard to grasp why the festival direction has not booked a more varied and exciting line-up. It cannot even begin to hold up with well-curated larger festivals like Melt Festival, Primavera, ATP or Coachella - the list goes on. And it could be as good, could be an internationally talked about event - that is the real shame about it.

Here is my half-hearted attempt at finding the picks to watch this Friday and Saturday.

Parquet Courts - Much hyped indie punk'n'rock band. The record has been playing in our household a fair bit - good fun.
Kid Karate - Irish all-male duo that reminds me strongly of The White Stripes, though of course not quite as good and sometimes the sound is a little more padded.
Villagers - Of course. Read my last review of this favourite of mine.
Pet Shop Boys - Might as well, while I'm there, you know.
Tomahawk - Mike Patton is a bit of a god, we all agree I'm sure. So I'm not going to miss out on that.
Blur - The one and only real pull this year. People will travel from afar to witness Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James, and Dave Rowntree in the real flesh. It will be great no doubt.

Is Tropical - Inoffensive indie rock. The album is rather alright so I might watch a few songs.
Savages - Secret headliner for me. Read my enthiusiastic review to know why you cannot miss them ever.
My Bloody Valentine - Ordinarily, this would be the one and only gig you have to see at this year's festival. In practise though, we cannot imagine that MBV will be allowed to go nearly as loud as they usually would, which may just take away from the experience. But I may have a bleak outlook here and maybe it will be mind-blowing. I very much hope so.
Björk - Yes, she is Björk, so what else is there to say?
Klaxons - Many people diss Klaxons but I love their fun sing-along sound. And after three very serious acts in a row, this may be a good break.
Pantha Du Prince - End the festival on an intellectual note with our favourite German nerd electronica dude.

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