Thursday, 24 September 2009

Why oldschool still rocks

Bestival 2 weeks ago signalled the end of the festival season. Out of the hundreds of DJs, new bands and artists two heritage acts came through as highlights of the summer in my mind.

One was Nile Rodgers at Camp Bestival. I always get a tingly feeling of dread when I go to see old school acts because they were part of your youth and they might be mince! They're just doing hits way passed their hey day - some of them should have retired long ago. You don't want your favourite artists to be crap.

Nile Rodgers turned 57 last week, and yes, he did all the greatest hits but he put on some show, taking centre stage leading the band, singing, and is still the gatsman of joy. Playing his Chic back catalogue first, he also played his productions for other artists such as Sister Sledge's "Thinking of You", David Bowie's "Let's Dance", "I'm coming out", Madonna's "Material Girl", Duran Duran's "Notorious" - basically the iconic tunes of the 80s were produced by the man himself (and sampled heavily thereafter).

I'm just in awe of this man's legacy.


The other one was Kraftwerk at Bestival. A lot of people found the show dull and dated - four balding dudes standing behind synths and computers doing not much triggering a load of beeps and loops! And why are you doing tracks about nuclear meltdown and vitamin pills when you're headlining the main stage?! Well I liked it. You can just hear that every note is carefully constructed wavelength by wavelength and these knob twiddling 40 somethings are not just standing there looking German. Some of the kitsch dated sounds including vocoded vocals did bring a smile to my face (I'm sure he puts on that German accent when he sings). Readers might be more familiar with Trans-Europe Express (Planet Rock) but "The Model" was actually their biggest selling single in the UK.


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