Clash Does Benicàssim – Day Two

Skream, Dizzee and Bobby G bring the hits...

Clash is at FIB, aka Benicàssim, over in that Spain. Every day: a round-up of the best we saw the day before. Here’s part two, with Friday’s highlights.

Find day one’s coverage here

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It’s noon. Under roofs or shop awnings, on pavements around shops and arcades, under parasols on the beach: wherever there’s shade, there is people lying barely moving, talking out last night’s events, drawing deep from water bottles. The heat comes off the baked pavements and sand; walking across them is like walking over a toaster.

The beach is a patchwork quilt of tanned Mediterranean and pale British flesh, people propped up over summer reads, canoodling with significant others, bobbing up and down in the bath-warm sea or just face-down, spark-out, being gently grilled by the sun. And in this hostile environment, dear readers, Clash continues to work hard to bring you the latest festival news.

Opening up on the Fibclub stage today is Echo Lake, the dreamy sound and schoolgirl choir voice of singer Linda Jarvis a pleasingly smooth introduction to Friday. Keyboards washed in reverb and delay are scrubbed with fuzzed-up guitars in ‘Another Day’, recalling Chapterhouse, Madder Rose’s less spiky moments or Slowdive partying with a drum machine.

A fine surprise is Swim Deep, the fetchingly velour-clad foursome from the B-Town whose early evening set ahead of their debut album launch next month draws an adoring home crowd, complete with Aston Villa FC flag held aloft.

The group’s latest single ‘King City’ is a record for big summer dreams: “I wanna be everything that I'm not / I wanna be rich, I wanna show off.” Any all-male band tackling a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ deserves props, and to see the crowd of people finding out what’s going on, it’s a great party trick too.

Business is brisk on the main stage. Clash squeezes in a chat with Zane Lowe in his dressing room before he bounds onstage behind the irrepressible, endlessly enthusiastic Dizzee Rascal.

Cuts from Dizzee’s forthcoming fifth album get an airing, including ‘Goin’ Crazy’, ‘I Don’t Need A Reason’ and ‘Arse Like That’, while stalwarts ‘Dance Wiv Me’ and ‘Bassline Junkie’ dole out predictable damage on the leaping crowd – apart from one girl on the front row who looks like she’s rather be watching telly. Clash spots her on the big screen during the finale of ‘Bonkers’ wearing exactly the same expression. Can’t please everyone, all the time.

Liam Gallagher and Beady Eye’s arrival is signposted by a backstage lockdown so no pesky photographer can snap a picture of His Nibs on the day English tabloids break news of his lovechild in the US.

A few songs into the set, it’s hard not to feel that it’s the same haircut, same jacket, same hands-behind-back stance that Gallagher Junior’s been punting unchanged since 1994. One track is greeted by apathetic silence, and it’s only when ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Star’ gets an airing that the crowd kicks off.

Proud owner of one of the more weathered faces in rock and roll, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie joins Clash backstage to discuss new album ‘More Light’, before demonstrating how proper rockers carry off a sparkly outfit on stage, leaping into their latest festival appearance with an opening salvo of ‘Swastika Eyes’ and ‘Movin’ On Up’ that has the crowd singing its hearts out.

But for these dancing feet, the night belongs to Croydon’s finest, Skream. He speaks candidly and none too kindly about his “dubstep is dead” comments being taken out of context. But after two hours tearing through a blistering set of deep techno, chunky house music, classic disco cuts and a rich seam of ‘90s hardcore gems that devastated dancefloors before most of the assembled crowd were born, it’s safe to say that his new direction is a very welcome one.

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Words and photography: Michael Parker

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