The Rock en Seine festival takes place in Saint-Clouds park just
outside of Paris and has seen the likes of Kasabian, Babyshambles,
Queens of the Stoneage, Dirty Pretty Things, Bjork, Rage Against the
Machines, Justice, 2 Many DJ's, Kaiser Chiefs, R.E.M, Lost Prophets
(honestly I could go on forever) grace their stages. Now in its 7th
year the line-up didn't fail to impress.
I don't want to give too much away early on in my review
but seriously, this festival was something else. The Parisians know how
to put on a festival, and the clientele were effortlessly cool. The sun
beamed down for the full 3 days and the organisation of the festival
was second to none.
First day begins and naturally I'm excited to find
out what the Rock en Seine entails. I didn't know much about this
festival before-hand as there is little promotion in England so I did a
touch of research and read some previous reviews and it sounded great,
looked amazing, and the line-up consisted of the likes of Oasis, Faith
No More, Prodigy, Macy Gray, Noisettes, Calvin Harris, Keane, The
Offspring and so many more great acts so as you can imagine I was a
After a swift 1 hour flight and a delayed 5 hours journey to my
hotel we prepped up, freshened up and off we went to the festival just
a couple of tram stops away. Our passes were collected and we were
ushered into the press area where excitedly we passed the Oasis tour
bus. Oh my...this is going to be amazing!
We stayed and looked around whilst supping on some very strong
Heineken lager (which by the way you pay for the cup to encourage you
to return it for the money to stop litter! Great idea) and luckily we
were able to attend the press conference for Passion Pit, a relatively
new band from America. We asked some questions and listened to the answers from other
journalist (See the Passion Pit Interview in the music news section) and off we went to check out Asher Roth on the main stage.
The American rapper wowed the crowd with his energetic performance,
even picking some very lucky and rather attractive girls to join him on
stage for his penultimate song and singing to them 'She don't wanna
man, she just wants to dance'. The girls lapped up the attention until
the song finished and he said, 'Now get the fuck off the stage'. Ha.
As we scurried over to the Cascada stage we
managed to watch the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. As usual lead singer Karen O put
on a great show, keeping up the energy from start to end. Passion Pit
next and considering they have only been a group for a little over a
year they played great and the leads singers voice is amazing.
Cascada stage next and Bloc party were on. Kelly's
voice was pitch perfect and was almost like listening to the CD. He
kept chatting to the jam packed crowd throughout. Just before the end
of his set he declared that he had just heard Oasis had cancelled much
to the delight of himself as he said by default that made him a
headliner - a huge cheer erupted in the crowd. Not settled on giving us
the news he then went on to say that Oasis are two inbred brothers much
to the crowds delight. I for one was devastated, after seeing their
tour bus earlier and spending the evening boasting by text to jealous
friends back home. I guess they had the last laugh. Kelly had to remain
on stage for a further 40minutes longer than he had expected so they
jammed together which went down a storm.
The festival finished and still eager to dance the
night away we went to visit the popular venue Paris Social Club just near Montmartre which
has seen some of the biggest DJ's in the world play there. A small and
intimate venue it didn't take long for it to pack out. A cool and
friendly crowd enjoyed the music from Boy 8 Bit and some other great DJ's who played some top tunes. The drinks were over-priced but I guess
we are in the centre of Paris. I would definitely recommend people to
go visit Paris Social Club, with the likes of Digitalism, Mr Scruff and
Major Lazer playing in the next couple of weeks.
First up on day two were indie/rock
band the Noisettes who played on the main stage and were one of my
favourite performances of the entire festival. The lead singer Shingai
Shoniwa must have been feeling quite mischievous, choosing to climb all
over the main stage and surrounding fixtures, including climbing up the
rig and dangling down by her legs to sing a ballad. The crowd absolutley loved her, especially when she screamed 'Paris, I fucking love you'!
seeing Jil is Lucky merchandise everywhere we decided to go and check
them out on the industrial stage and we were pleasantly surprised. They
were mainly Indie with a folk twist and were a welcomed set in the
glorious Paris sunshine. A hop skip and jump away we were watching
Glasgow band Dananananaykroyd (I'm serious) who were so refreshing to
watch. They were bouncing all over the stage and looked amateur but
sounded great. It's good to see a band enjoying themselves so much. The
crowd went wild for them.
managed to have a quick chat with Calvin Harris in the conference room
and he came out with some quite surprising stories, from his days
living in London, to the hand made creation of some sunglasses similar
to the ones on the album made from cereal boxes and some other types of
material, to how he met Dizzie at Radio Ones' Big Weekender in Preston
where they decided to join forces for their chart hit 'Dance With Me'.
He also stated that his perfect weekend was to stay in bed and that his
big hit 'I Get All the Girls' is entirely fictional! It was also nice
to hear how serious he takes his music, opting to not drink and to
instead spend all his time in the studio.
Offspring came next on the main stage and I was blown away. We were
quite far back from the stage but that didn't matter. They were
amazing, and everybody was dancing, singing and crowd surfing. 5 stars!
No More graced us with their presence and they were my ultimate
favourite band that I saw the entire weekend and I recommend anyone to go
watch them if they ever tour again. They looked slick in their peach
and violet suits, with ultra gelled hair, entering the stage singing
Reunited. Sold, I was hooked and couldn't get enough of them. Their set
was so varied and there was stuff in there for everyone. They even
decided to sing the theme tune to Eastenders, a lot of bewildered faces
- I bet it was very easy to see where the English were. Their cover of
the Commodore's Easy was amazing, lighters in the air, the lead singers
voice was amazing and I must admit he has so much on stage charisma,
and he's very good looking. I want to see them again!
the end of day two and I'm having the best time. The line-up on the
Sunday was just as good, if not better. Roll on the next day..
arrives and off we go to check our superstar Macy Gray on the main
stage. What a great performance, her voice is effortlessly amazing, and
her support singers were really good too. She sang her classics and
also did a few covers too including 'Its Like That' by Run DMC, 'No Woman
No Cry', 'Groove Is In The Heart' and 'If You Think I'm Sexy' by Rod Stewart.
stealing Eagles of Death Metal singer Jesse Hughes for a quick picture
earlier in the day we decided to go check them out on the main stage.
Nothing really stood out for me during this set so we headed off to try
some of the delightful food on offer from the plentiful of food outlets.
up was a surprise act which rumour had it was going to be Them Crooked
Vultures. After thinking they were going to be playing, then thinking
they weren't, then thinking they were, we scurried over to the Cascada
stage not knowing who we were going to be seeing. They arrived on stage
and as we were quite far back it was difficult to tell. They started
playing and it was clearly evident that it was the drums from Nirvana,
(screaming at this point now) then the sound of Led Zep and the voice
and guitars of Queens Of The Stoneage. Most of the crowd stood in
silence taking it all in but giving the super band a massive cheer
after each song. You can tell that this band is gonna be huge in the
caught some of MGMT, not having seeing the band live before I didn't
know what to expect. They didn't disappoint, instead sounding better
live than they do on the album.
and forth we go we headed back to the Cascada stage, right to the
front to catch Klaxons. I was expecting to come out of their with a few
broken toes (I was wearing flip flops), maybe beer from head to toe,
and if it was anything like England, possibly with some added urine for
good measure. What a polite mosh pit it was. Not one toe was stood on
and everybody was bounding about enjoying the high energy performance.
From all our stomping we were bringing up all the dust from the floor
and after a while it was getting hard to breathe, and a nice coating of
dust was lining my lungs. We remained in the dusty spot enjoying some
of their big hits including 'Atlantis to Interzone' and 'Golden Skans'
and some new tracks too.
the piste de resistance. Prodigy were closing the festival on the main
stage. I've never seen them before so was excited for the set to start.
After necking a rather strong pint of Heineken it was time to rave to
'Poison', 'Smack my Bitch up' and 'Omen'. Everybody was falling all over each
other, banging into each other, elbow in the head, a very kind guy gave
us a bottle of beer each in the crowd and I loved it. What an end to
the festival. I was exhausted.
think its clear to say the Rock en Seine festival is something else.
The line-ups are amazing, the people are friendly and effortlessly cool
and there's no bad attitudes. There is such a good vibe from this Paris
festival and I had one of the best times ever. A much recommended
festival for 2010. Oh, and everybody is getting £15 off their next
years ticket thanks to the cancellation of Oasis..not many other
festivals would do that now would they!