Here we are, covering the first Swiss festival to open the Summer season. Caribana Festival takes place on the lakeside in Crans-près-Céligny just off the road from Nyon. It is a rather small festival with two stages and a DJ set tent, a kind of Paléo Festival in a smaller scale, which it reminds you of for the setting of the big stage. However, small festival doesn’t mean less quality, the line-up is enviable, ranging from rock milestones such as Queens of the Stone Age to younger and newer artists like Tom Odell, passing through young pop stars like Jessie J.
Day 1 – Wednesday June 4
Unfortunately the weather was not exactly Summer-like the first day but oh well, the music certainly helped go through the rather wet evening! The first night definitely kicked off with a rock attitude!
18:40, Scène du Lac
Polar Circles are the first band to open the festival! These four young guys from Lausanne offer Caribana festival a great set: catchy rock tunes with addictive guitar riffs topped with the singer young and stretchy voice. They make the audience groove and dance despite the rain. Their song “Landmark” also becomes the landmark of the concert, engaging the public to sing along with its rocking refrain. I had the chance to interview the singer after their concert and he kindly answered all my questions. Keep an eye and an ear on them, this guys have potential!
19h30-20:45, Grande Scène
SKA-P have been around for quite a long time but when they are on stage they never seem to grow old, always jumping and striving with their energy and their music to pass on the message for a better world safe from the corruption of our modern society. Their lyrics are in fact openly against politics and the modern society.
As soon as they come on stage they play an unmistakable ska intro. They are numerous, eight members playing multiple instruments and looking pretty much like eternal adolescents between. SKA-P are very entertaining and full of energy, always jumping around and such and their energy spreads out into the audience. Their effort at speaking French is very much appreciated by the fans, although for the deeper discourses such as the introduction of “Intifada” they speak Spanish. They go through their biggest successes among which “Cannabis” and “El Gato Lopez”, which could not be missing and which get everybody try out their hidden ska moves. It was certainly great fun!
21h-22h, Scène du Lac
Blood Red Shoes
Blood Red Shoes although perhaps being a bit underground are up with the best contemporary indie-rock bands, with 4 albums on their pockets and a number of huge festivals like Reading & Leeds which they are going to play again this Summer. They presented their last album at Caribana and played songs like “Speech Coma”.
However Caribana hosted them on the smaller stage, it was great but they would have deserved the bigger stage. Once they come on stage they play an instrumental intro as to immerse directly the audience into their duo’s power drums and electric guitar riffs. Blood red shoes are a duo which, as Steven described them in the interview I had with him earlier on, distorts a pop song into something noisy, the effect is certainly addictive and powerful! The beautiful intertwining of their voices clashes at times and gives the songs the right rock attitude. It is impressive to think that they are only two and they can make such great music, their style reminds you of other famous duos like The Kills and The Black Keys.
20h-21h15 Pixies, Grande Scène
When it is time for Pixies to come on stage, the rain is pouring down but this doesn’t keep the audience from gathering in front of the big scene. The Americans play classic rock, among which great tunes to which the audience sings along. They play several instrumental bits and have elaborated riffs, although they’ve been around for a long time they haven’t lost their rock sound.
23:30-00:30, Scène du Lac
The Pretty Reckless
Do you remember Taylor Momsen’s angel face in the TV-series Gossip Girl? Forget it, the blonde hair are still there but the singer of The Pretty Reckless wiped her angel face and painted it black. She surely employs her acting techniques on stage as well, playing it sexy with the guys in the band. Their hard rock full of heavy riffs and drums is rendered special by her rather aggressive but beautiful voice.