Day three is an ‘early’ one in festival terms. Friends with one day tickets are arriving on site soon and we want to get a morning in before they arrive and start the day at a prosecco bar, of which there are a number. Roskilde has a LOT of beer everywhere, but the danes are also big cocktail and bubbles fans in general. Thus there are plenty of bars that will satiate that urge, including the H&M one we begin in. But before that it’s out to the outer reaches and the Apollo stage. Frustrating stage naming to the alliteration challenged (half the stage names begin with ‘A’) the Apollo began life as basically an inflatable pumpkin out on a campsite around five years ago with Blondes playing to two State representatives and a naked man. It grew, moved and was host to one of the greatest shows of all festivals last year in Jamie XX’s 2.30am Saturday slot. Now it’s part of the festival site and the wide crescent area in front of it is wedged for Anderson.Paak. The overcast day turns into Malibou for an hour, as Paak bounces off every one of his cheerily dressed band on the way to the front of the stage. Naturally magnetic and already a perfect showman, he might also be human sunshine. Converted.
Whitney are a great band to meet your friends at. Laid back and pleasant but still engaging, we’re kept within earshot as the sun creeps out for a bit outside the tent. Our day tripper buddies have lined up their evening of listening to music so the mornings are for fancy drinks and even shopping. There are quite a few outlets of the higher end of Danish street fashions and brands like Soulland and Wood Wood have fairly solid bargains going on in their little shopping corner of the site.
There’s a little rain to follow and also Foals. They are doing what they always do, ploughing through it like it was the fist time. To be fair, the first time you see it you think you have witnessed something spectacular, then it becomes the norm. Like Kilkenny in the hurling (til this year). As focussed as the band are and as solid as there albums are, we’ve mostly been there already. On brighter days and darker, sweatier nights. If you’re a first timer however, you’d have lapped it up.
Are we ready to take on Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld though? In the small Gloria stage we approach the avant garde trumpeter and Arcade Fire violinist like we approached honours maths. Perhaps we were too dead-on-our-day-three-feet to appreciate this, but that, in fact, was the perfect way to take it on. We sat by the wall as Stetson looped his fascinating saxes in all sorts of trippy directions, and Neufeld jousted carnally with him on violin. For about 30 minutes we drifted off with the two of them and it was only when a friendly security guard tapped us to make sure we weren’t sleeping did we come to. A spectoral moment away from everything.
Masterclass time. Neil Young begins with ‘After the Goldrush’. We’re straight in. It’s a long trip through his many ages. We have to take a break in the middle and find the second half of a heroic Wales v Belgium match being shown from some guy’s laptop in the village area. A sweet Wales win then back out for the end. You do tend to lose focus at a festival with many friends milling about and the toil of a long three days, and when Neil Young went tripping off down a sonic road you might not necessarily follow him for 10 minutes, but he really could bring you back with a classic.
After this we’d watch Tame Impala from well outside the Arena tent. No chance of getting in, the up-the-front got the early confetti showers, Let It Happen and what looked like a bells and whistles TI show. As good as it looked, it was frustrating to be so far outside it so we had to cut and run. We had this with James Blake later in the night, the overlaps of what we wanted to see just excluding getting close to others but c’est la festivals.
Luckily we were bang in the middle with the properly juiced up pals for M83 closing the Orange stage. They once played a daytime wooden stage at Body & Soul, right? Well cast that one aside because this was euphorics the size of a nation. Hands up sounds without the formula of EDM, The slo-mo ‘Cover Your Eyelids…’, sweeping across 60,000 bodies. Stage lights that triggered serotonin. And ‘Midnight City’ making everything glitter. Save that moment into your external drive and carry it with you. That time when we all just levitated. Never. Coming. Down.
Anderson.Paak photographed for State by Jakob Bekker-Hansen