Thursday, May 17, 2012

Plisskën Festival 2012 (Athens, May 12, 2012)

The second edition of Plisskën Festival took place almost a year and a half after the first one, this time with even more acts (23 in total) divided between two stages. These are the most memorable performances we witnessed last Saturday at the all-day alternative music event that took place at the "Hellenic Cosmos" Cultural Centre:


The previous time we saw Peaches in Athens, she was one of the headliners of the last edition of Sync Festival. It was an interesting coincidence to see her returning to the city as one of the top names of Plisskën, in essence the festival that is stepping in to take Sync's place as the alternative music event of the summer.

This time Peaches' live agenda was to present us in full her debut album, the electroclash classic "The Teaches Of Peaches", but also to take this opportunity to comment on the issue of the rise of the extreme right in the recent national elections, incorporating in her lyrics a few fitting Greek slogans that were greeted with cheers from the audience.

The 2012 live version of the album had a rock'n'roll edge despite most of the music and beats coming from Peaches’ synthesizer and the only other musician on stage being a drummer who didn’t have much work to do. Peaches once again offered a very entertaining show, energizing the crowd and making us forget about the venue's poor sound quality that plagued most of the festival’s performances. Among the highlights of her set was the impressive stunt of crowd-walking (taking a walk over her fans who managed to hold her up for several death-defying steps), the previously mentioned amusing political sloganeering and the show-stoping "Fuck The Pain Away" that closed the main set, before an one-song encore that comprised of "Boys Wanna Be Her", the only post-Teaches Of Peaches song of the night.

Dead Skeletons

Iceland’s Dead Skeletons added psychedelic aroma and dark space rock mood to the festival’s eclectic music mix. In one of Plisskën's most rewarding performances, the band presented tracks from their recent album "Dead Magick", the entry point to a colorful, psychedelic universe that matched the projections shown on the background of the darkened stage. Don’t fear the Dead Skeletons - let them be your guide as you break on through to the Other Side with them!

King Kahn & The Shrines

King Khan with his highly energetic band The Shrines offered perhaps the most fun performance of the festival. The Indo-Canadian musician who was introduced onstage by Peaches (later he returned the favor) proved his reputation as a charismatic performer, while The Shrines delivered a fiery mix of garage rock and soul. King Khan also had a few choice words regarding the local extreme right party which he delivered in Greek much to the delight of his audience - good time rock'n'roll with a message!

King Khan & The Shrines
Other notable performances of the festival included a very early afternoon set by London punk rockers Male Bonding which, unfortunately, was witnessed by very few as most festival goers hadn't arrived yet, a krautrock meets minimal electronica meets free jazz improvisation performance by Neu! co-founder Michael Rother who played together with Berlin based experimentalists Camera, the indie rock - electropop stylings of The Notwist who based their set on their last two albums ("The Devil, You + Me" and "Neon Golden") and the atmospheric beats of Forest Swords, aka producer Matthew Barnes, who mixed material from 2010's "Dagger Paths" with brand new tracks.

Male Bonding

The Notwist
Michael Rother with Camera

Forest Swords
Plisskën Festival promises to return next year for a third time. Let's hope that the event's brave organizers will manage to keep their promise despite the country's economic adversities and even more music acts and fans come together in the next edition of the festival.

Check out below Male Bonding, Michael Rother with Camera, King Khan & The Shrines, Dead Skeletons and Peaches performing at the main stage of Plisskën Festival 2012:

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