OFF Festival – Saturday

Dinosaur Jr overcome adversity at OFF

Each day spent in this country makes Clash love it all the more, as we spend Saturday enjoying the delights of Polish vodka, or more specifically, a lovely drink called a ‘Mad Dog’. Vodka, raspberry and a dash of Tabasco give this cheeky little thing it’s bite, and a few (I stopped counting after 4) set you up for a day of fine festival fun.

Our music treats start with a double dose of Polish punk rock in the form of Muchy on the sunny main stage followed by Apteka on the Forest Stage, who apparently play their legendary (in Poland at least) album ‘Menda’.

After some of the weirdest festival food we’ve ever seen (pork knuckle kebabs anyone?), we catch London’s very own Archie Bronson Outfit. Having released the album ‘Coconut’ after a six year hiatus, the band take to the stage in rather fetching tribal dresses before launching into a thunderous set, producing a huge juggernaut of sound that mashes psychedelic rock with pounding rhythms and a spattering of electronics. Breath-taking, and bloody brilliant.

We tear ourselves away reluctantly to catch a bit of Mouse On Mars on the Offensive Stage, and gladly find a tent packed with heaving bodies, pumping bass and fine German electronics. The duo worked with Mark E Smith under the name of Von Sudenfed, but sadly The Fall frontman didn’t hang around after his set yesterday to make an appearance.

We briefly catch some of Tunng’s set, and as impressive as it is, Polish alternative legends Hey are a bigger revelation, with epic layers of sound reminiscent of The Cocteau Twins or Doves proving a massive draw for the Main Stage.

The biggest legends of the day, Dinosaur Jr, arrive in Poland to find that the airline have lost all of their gear, so J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph take to the stage for their headline set with an arsenal of borrowed gear hastily gifted from other bands on the bill. Any worries that this would affect the sound are banished from the outset, as the pioneers pound through an amazing set that includes classics like Feel The Pain, Get Me, Freakscene, Over It and an excellent cover of The Cure’s Just Like Heaven. So many of the bands on over these three days owe a lot to these guys in terms of influence, and as old as they may be, they still have enough in the tank to prove why a three-piece guitar/bass/drums set up is so damn vital, and enjoyable. Even the band look like they enjoy it despite the set back of borrowed gear, with Lou even managing a spirited cheer with a rallying cry of ‘Fuck Lufthansa!’- much to the delight of the Polish crowd.

From then on, it all gets rather blurry, as our friend the Mad Dog followed us around, but still, we can definitely remember enjoying some of Lali Puna, whose lovely, intelligent rhythms and exquisite vocals seemed like a perfect way to end the night.

Read more of Clash’s OFF Festival coverage below –
Festival Photo Gallery

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