Roskilde Festival Review: Kelly Lee Owens, Kings of Convenience, July 2


“We’re going to go on a journey. Are you ready for a journey?”

So said Kelly Lee Owens at one point during her Saturday night performance and the Welsh electronic musician’s set was indeed a fantastic musical journey, a journey wherein the crowd willingly followed Owens wherever she wanted to take us, sometimes heading in more experimental directions and sometimes veering into full-on dance floor filler territory.

And while Owens’s set may have been the final full set I saw on the last day of Roskilde as I ended things off a bit early (four days of festival-going can take its toll on a body), it was a satisfying end to a day long musical journey that encompassed everything from the Tuareg desert blues of Imarhan to the absolutely crushing heaviness of Old Man Gloom to the gentle folk-pop sounds of Kings of Convenience.

While music festivals can be great fun and a great way for audiences to see a wide variety of artists over the course of a few days, it’s also fair to say that they’re not always the ideal setting for artists who are often playing to crowds that are not necessarily there to see them. Kings of Convenience faced this very dilemma as the Norwegian duo played to a somewhat chatty crowd for their afternoon set at the Arena stage and in response, the band took it more or less in stride with a fairly mature and realistic response to the situation

“We noticed there’s a lot of talking in this tent,” said Erlend Øye, “and that’s fine. You paid your ticket and you’re having fun. But this next song is a very quiet one.” He then gave the audience a choice of whether to skip it and, to their credit, the crowd cheered in favour of them playing it. A good thing too, as that song, “Love Is The Only Thing”, ended up being a highlight of their set. After all, as fans of the band know, and as Eirik Glambek Bøe noted at one point in their set, quiet is the new loud.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts