Rockwave Festival started out as a promising event in the Athenian rock agenda in the 90s and in its heyday bands such as R.E.M., Sonic Youth, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Afghan Whigs, Portishead, Pulp, Blur and more recently Pixies, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Franz Ferdinand and Editors have graced its stage. Despite the festival finding a good permanent location (Terra Vibe) in the countryside, just a few kms outside of Athens, the quality of the event has been in a steady decline in recent years, hitting rock bottom last year, with only metal and hard rock bands in its line up (although, I know that thousands of Robert Plant and Metallica fans will disagree with this statement). So, the fact that there actually was an "indie rock" day in the offering this year was a slight improvement. On the other hand, considering that only one of the bands here represents the new breed (The Gossip) and all others rely heavily on their past glories, means that Rockwave is still lacking in relevance and fans of vital new music better have their passports ready.
Unsuprisingly, Beth Ditto, who spent most of her performance among the crowd, and her well oiled soul-punk-funk band, The Gossip, gave the most exciting and frantic performance of the sweltering hot day. "Standing in the way of control" and "Jealousy" were the big hits for me, as well as an a capella rendition of "Smells like teen spirit". Unfortunately, the early afternoon time slot meant that just a few hundred people got to see them. The majority of the crowd came for The Offspring and their past-expiration date bubblegum "punk". Original punk icon Siouxsie preceeded them with a set full of Banshees classics ("Israel", "Arabian Knights", "Happy House", "Christine", "Hong Kong Garden", "Nightshift"). Siouxsie was in top form and managed to give a great performance despite sound problems and clueless Offspring fans gathering in the front rows. "Into a swan" was one of the highlight of the evening and you can watch it below:
Siouxsie - Into a Swan (Rockwave, July 8th 2008)
Visit C.M.C. TV for more clips from the day which also included the return of Rockwave veterans dEUS, with a set mixing efficiently new material with old favourites ("Suds and Soda", "Instant Street", "Theme from Turnpike"), Ramones survivor Marky Ramone and Flogging Molly.