To be honest I’d never heard of The Festival Internacional de Benicàssim before yesterday, when I picked up a cheap DVD from a market stall, boasting live performances and interviews from 2003’s event. Apparently it’s an annual music fest which takes place in a Spanish seaside resort… which explains all the footage of nudey sun-bathers in the salacious behind-the-scenes “docuclip”! The acts I was most interested in were Beth Gibbons (with Rustin’ Man), and Black Box Recorder… neither of whom really struck me as the sort of acts you’d want to watch on a large festival stage in the baking heat… but there they were, singing and sweating their socks off, to the approval of large, applauding crowds. Bless ‘em.
I’d never seen Gibbons singing live before, and couldn’t help thinking she had the look of a hostage being held at gun-point as she stood anguishing at the microphone… but then the instrumental break would kick in, and she’d rock out, and I could breathe a sigh of relief. In case you’re curious, she sang two tracks… “Mysteries” and “Funny Time of Year” (both from her solo album, Out of Season). BBR only got the one track on the DVD (“British Racing Green”), which is a shame because I’ve never seen them live before, and probably never will now that they’ve split-up (dammit!)… but there was a short interview segment with them on the second disc, which was fun to see. Sarah Nixey seemed to be taking it fairly seriously, but Luke Haines and John Moore were cheerfully evasive and derisive… just as anyone who’s heard their songs would expect.
There were also three damn foxy tracks from Goldfrapp (“Strict Machine”, “Yes, Sir”, and “Black Cherry”), and an amusing chit-chat with Moloko’s lead-singer Róisín Murphy… but both of those bands have released full-length concert flicks in the past, so it wasn’t quite as exciting as a rare BBR sighting!