This weekend State is heading to the French town of Clermont-Ferrand for Europavox 2012. It’s now seven years since the festival was unveiled for the first time and, while it has made some subtle changes to its format since then, it retains a pan-European theme at its core. The focus is very much centred on emerging Euro talent, but there’s also space for established artists and even the odd act from farther afield. And even though the festival announced the cancellation of The Kills’ set earlier in the week, this year’s edition still boasts one of the strongest line-ups yet, including two Irish acts. Here are some of the performances State is hoping to catch:
Snappy, upbeat songs? Check. Frontman with witty on-stage banter? Check. With five albums-worth of tracks like ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’, ‘Main Offender’ and ‘Walk Idiot Walk’, The Hives are a band built to thrive in festival environments – just ask anyone who attended, or watched the live stream of, their show-stealing performance at Coachella last month.
With his stripped-back techno tracks, DJ/producer Sébastien Devaud, aka Agoria, has happened upon a distinct sound which melds the classic Detroit sound he adores with the European electro he finds himself immersed in. His ‘Forms’ live show is a complete audio-visual experience – perfect for a good old-fashioned rave, especially with his suitably late 2am slot on Saturday night.
With critics gushing over their debut album, Django Django have lived up to the hype that has surrounded them since the second half of last year. Their art rock tunes are infused with hints of electronic, psychedelia and folk and should trigger lots of spontaneous dancing during their Saturday evening performance.
Dublin rock ‘n’ rollers The Minutes roll into Clermont-Ferrand on Sunday evening when they’ll play before The Hives on the main stage. It’s the latest in a long line of high profile gigs for the band, who will also performing alongside The Black Keys, Foo Fighters and The Stone Roses over the summer months.
Amadou & Mariam
The Malian husband-and-wife duo are one of the headline acts on Sunday night. Performing together for almost 40 years, their music has evolved from simple guitar-and-voice arrangements to a rich, vibrant mix of world music genres, but always with Afro-blues at its core. Their Sunday night set should help provide the perfect finish to Europavox 2012.
Lecs Luther/Rejjie Snow
Having caused a stir in the blogosphere with his YouTube video for ‘Dia Dhuit’, Dublin rapper Lecs Luther threw a curveball recently when he decided to change his stage name to Rejjie Snow. Amazingly, his Europavox appearance will be his first ever live performance. He’ll be joined on stage on Saturday evening by Kid Krul.
Keep Shelly In Athens
Keep Shelly In Athens like to play their cards close to their chest, releasing very little information about themselves. What is known, is that they’re a duo comprising of musician/producer RPR and singer Sarah P, and that their brand of shimmering, dreamy chillwave draws comparisons to Air, Club 8 and St Etienne.
The fractured electro-pop on Daniel Esser’s first LP, Braveface, divided critics on its release three years ago and the follow-up, Enmity, will likely do the same when it’s released next month. The Europavox crowd are likely to get a taster when Esser takes to the stage on Friday night.