Roskilde Festival Review: Johnny Marr, Cupcakke, Sydney Gish, Lankum, Robyn, Inna De Yard, July 5


In recent years, Morrissey has continued his steady decline into becoming everyone’s weird, angry old uncle who posts dodgy videos online and has all the worst opinions about everything. In response to the most recent example of such behaviour on Moz’s part, Billy Bragg posted a lengthy Facbook post in response that, among many other points, asked the question of whether we can or should separate the singer from the song. It’s a valid point, and one that Smiths fans (including Bragg) have had to contend with for a good while now, but luckily there’s an easy enough way to sidestep that question somewhat and literally separate the singer from the song – go see Johnny Marr in concert.

Playing a Friday night show on Roskilde’s Arena stage, Marr played a mix of songs from his solo career alongside a few numbers from Electronic, his collaboration with Bernard Sumner, and a decent selection of Smiths songs with a solid cover of Depeche Mode’s “I Feel You” thrown in for good measure. Highlights included “Easy Money”, “Bigmouth Strikes Again” and “How Soon Is Now” but of course the biggest crowd response came for the set closing rendition of “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” which culminated in a mass singalong and which Marr dedicated to “everyone under this tent and no one fucking else.”

While Marr’s set was a definite highlight of the day and one of the highlights of the whole festival, there were many other highlights on the third day of the festival which illustrated the wide musical diversity seen in the lineup. Chicago rapper Cupcakke started the day off strong with a high energy set of her hilarious, clever and very, very filthy songs. To say her tunes are sexually explicit is putting it mildly but unless you’re easily offended, Cupcakke’s show is a must see. The crowd got quite into the spirit as well, with a few inflated condoms spotted being tossed around the crowd like beach balls and a couple of fans up front just waving cucumbers around in the air. “If you was a virgin,” said Cupcakke at the end of her show, “I don’t think you a virgin no more.”


Next up was Sidney Gish, who proved to be just as clever a lyricist as Cupcakke while covering quite different subject matter and taking a much different approach to her music. Performing solo, the Boston based singer put on an entertaining show full of quirky indie rock tunes like “Sin Triangle” and “I’m Full Of Steak, and Cannot Dance” that was highlighted by some impressive guitar work throughout.

Also impressive was Irish folk band Lankum’s performance, with the band running through both original compositions and traditional numbers with a focus on anti-war and anti-fascist tunes at times. The band scored some points with the crowd as well by singing a snippet of the one Danish protest song they knew, which one of them had seen sung at Danish protests and which roughly translated to “Middle finger, where are you? Here I am, here I am. G’day g’day g’day!” That they did this all while the booming bass of Ross From Friends’ performance reverberated from a nearby stage made it all the more impressive.

Of course one of the most anticipated sets of the entire festival was Robyn’s late night headlining set on the Orange stage that really got the crowd going. Once she launched into “Dancing On My Own” it was impossible to deny the power of that song. Robyn herself seemed a bit taken aback by the response she got when the crowd sang the chorus back to her en masse. It was a memorable moment and one that brought to mind a comment made by a member of Jamaican reggae group Inna De Yard earlier in the day: “This is my first time in Denmark and I must say – it’s full of love.”

It is indeed.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts