Photo above – Broukar – copyright Paléo/ Lionel Flusin.
Review of Wednesday’s night Paléo by Jonas Parson.
After a great start on Tuesday, the weather and the bands were there again on Wednesday to make sure everybody enjoyed their evening. The weather was even warmer, the bands even crazier and people everywhere seemed like they were spending a nice evening.
A good place to start the evening at Paléo is the Nyon-St-Cergue train station in Nyon, as not only does it make you leave your car behind and take the train up to the festival, but someone has set up a beer stall there, selling local beer from the Brasserie de la Côte. If you’ve had enough of drinking industrial tasteless lager on the grounds, then go and discover a local beer! Continuing on the same topic, note that you can find Guinness on tap at certain bars in the festival, like the one situated to left of the main stage and held by the fc Gingins.
After jumping off my giraffe unicycle (towering at approx. 2.3 metres high), happy with another day of exploring the festival site with the circus (more on that tomorrow!), I headed off to catch a glimpse of the Cure. After nearly 40 years of music, Robert Smith still seemed to manage to get the crowd going, and the main stage was packed out. I then went on my way – Paleo’s big tragedy, you can only be at one concert at a time,and with so many bands playing each day, it’s impossible to see everything you want, forcing you to run from one stage to another to see different concerts. Going via the Village du Monde, I stopped to watch a very modern looking Whirling Dervish, dancing to the music of Broukar, a Syrian Sufi band.
Moving on to the Détour
After watching him dance until I started feeling dizzy, it was time to head off to the Détour for the Deadline Experience (read more about the band here). Although they were playing at the same time as the Cure, the tent was pretty full, and the band was really up to it. Expressing their regret for playing at the same time as the aforementioned band, they promised the audience a surprise for the end of the set.
With the help of an never-tiring drummer who looked like he was going to break a drumstick judging by how hard he was banging on his drum-kit, the bass and guitar merging to form a psychedelic flow of sound, they created a slightly unearthly ambiance, switching from melancholic songs to to merrier stuff. Near to the end of the concert, the three musicians were joined on stage by a very famous guest, who you might have seen flying around on a magic carpet in the Village du Monde video teaser. Wearing his traditional headdress and sunglasses, he contributed with a bell for a song.
After a very nice concert, it was time to catch a glimpse of Bon Iver, while in the distance the Cure were still playing- before walking back up to the Dôme for a taste of oriental music with Natacha Atlas.
Switching from wall of sound type effects with quite a high-pitched voice and strange violin sounds, to folkier songs on his guitar, Bon Iver was an interesting experience, at some moments quite similar to Beirut‘s festive melodic music. Cutting across the grounds past the main stage, where the crowd was slowly drifting apart after the end of the Cure (quite the night for “spot the Goth!”), past the dozens of dedicated “Aspirator” (Paléo’s voluntary cleaning crew) clearing the mess and making specially sure no glass bottles were left lying about before the next concert, I headed towards the Village du Monde.
Photo above – Natacha Atlas – Copyright Paléo/Boris Soula
The atmosphere there is calmer, people sitting down for a middle-eastern delicacy, chilling under the tea tent and listening to the concert going on under the Dôme. Lying down in the grass near the edge of the tent, giving my legs a well-deserved rest, I listened to the mix of piano and the distinctive sound of the darbouka, the middle-eastern drum. Mixing occidental and oriental influences, Natacha Atlas led the audience with her beautiful voice on a musical trip to Egypt and North Africa.
But Paléo is not the place to have a nap, and it was time to go back to the main stage for Justice. The two French DJs turned the area in front of the main stage into an open air disco, with an impressive lights show. The crowd danced in a frenzy to hits like “D.A.N.C.E” and “We are your friends”, everybody jumping up and down and waving their arms to the music. After more than an hour of disco, it was time to end the night with Christine – no, Christine is not a lonely girl I picked up at Paléo, but an electro-trash duo. Mixing their music with video samples from movies like Clockwork Orange and Mad Max projected onto a screen behind them, they made sure nobody fell asleep under the Club Tent, their wicked explosive beats working up a frenzy, and people kept on dancing, summoning up the last of their energy, the music carrying the crowd and giving a bit of life to otherwise exhausted limbs. The two DJs were really warm and close to the audience, and climbed off the stage for a round of high-fives at the end of the show.