Clash Does Benicàssim - Day Four

Spanish festival draws to a close...
Crowd shot

Clash is at FIB, aka Benicàssim, over in that Spain. Every day: a round-up of the day before’s highlights. Part four rounds up Sunday's best...

Fine day one’s coverage here

Find day two’s coverage here

Find day three’s coverage here

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Now into final straight of FIB, Clash sits down with the unmistakably black-attired Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, who stick to their rock ´n´ roll uniform despite the heat. The band are in good spirits despite a pretty punishing schedule that has led them to festivals in Italy, Switzerland and Portugal in just the past few days before hitting Benicassim. Clash interviewer (and one time professional drummer) Laura Fares talks beats and techniques with the band's newest member, ex-Raveonettes drummer Leah Shapiro, and Robert Levon Been explains how releasing their cover of 'Let The Day Begin' by The Call was their way of honouring the memory of his father Michael Been, formerly that band´s frontman before taking up engineering and unofficial fifth member duties for BRMC until his death in 2010.

Clash also drag the young Jake Bugg away from the ping pong tables long enough to talk about writing songs versus being written for, and spotting school friends who said they´d never buy his music down the front of gigs singing out all the words.

During an early evening break in the music at the FIBclub Stage, the crowds are armed with packets of brightly coloured powder paint. To the sound of MGMT's 'Kids' and 'Mr Brightside' they are whooped up into a frenzy and the air erupts in a rainbow slick of colour. Everyone is rapidly covered head to foot in luminous reds greens and blues, which makes for a very entertaining diversion. Clash isn´t sure what Hindu priests would think of this cultural appropriation, but it's certainly good fun.

The main stage warms up to the Palma Violets, who bang out their clattering garage rock to a crowd who manage to keep their clothes on and are prevented from mounting the stage, in comparison to their usual style of gig chaos in smaller venues at home. Bassist Chilli Jesson's pink and white striped jacket competes with guitarist Sam Fryer's purple paisley trousers for most obscene rock outfit of the festival, though it´s admittedly a refreshing change from head-to-toe black. Jesson´s snarling, spitting act leads one fan to get up on another´s shoulders and offer him out for a fight.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club take on a swelling, sweating crowd in the darkness, with blistering versions of 'Let The Day Begin', 'Six Barrel Shotgun' and 'Love Burns'. But even BRMC's songs of rock redemption are surpassed when Brandon Flowers bounds on stage and The Killers tear straight into 'Mr Brightside'. Ten years since the song first started getting airplay, it's still incendiary. Listening to a set filled with 'Human', 'Bones', ‘Somebody Told Me’ and 'Tranquilize', Clash are reminded once again how many massive hits the foursome from dusty Nevada have delivered over the years.

After the guitars come the beats. Sheffield's foremost purveyor of fine quality dancehall Toddla T lights up the Trident stage and soon has a sea of – mostly female – fans bumping and grinding. Opposite are CHVRCHES, where tiny Lauren Mayberry's voice cuts through the night and the electro-pop trio´s finest tracks – ‘Recover’, ‘The Mother We Share’, and the opener tonight, ‘Lies’ – are cut and dried classic pop songs.

Over at the main stage, Madeon's delivers big beats, the Jack Daniel's tent is packed to hear Dorian's DJ set, and many thousands of feet dance off the dust of one final night at the festival. Same time next year, Benicassim?

Words by Michael Parker

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