From the hi-tech and melodious to the nostalgic and banging, to the poignant, pioneering and new, Melt is truly a festival of affecting and extraordinary proportions.
Bench’s fourth year at Melt Festival on the outskirts of Berlin, found an uplifting, hedonistic musical vibe. With outstanding acts – from essentials such Plan B as rapstar Casper, Gossip, Nero, Lana Del Ray and The Whitest Boy Alive to critics’ favourites and fast-rising stars such as Araabmuzik, Chairlift, Freedom or Death, Disclosure, Icona Pop, AlunaGeorge and Citizens – Melt doesn’t feel so much like a festival. More like a huge party that kicks some musical ass.
Joining the Bench UK team at Melt, Bench DE and the Threads TV (@watchthreadstv) team, who were poised to capture all the action over the course of three days.
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Considering Melt’s reputation as a techno pilgrimage for European music lovers it’s refreshing to find a solid mix of sounds around the site. Set against the industrial backdrop of an old deserted mine the techno savvy crowd were drawn in huge numbers to the Big Wheel, Melt Selektor @ Desperados Beach and Intro Zelt – stages that had the ground vibrating and the fences bursting at the seams. The Big Wheel in particular keeping a hardcore crowd with Dave Clarke and Adam Beyer.
Meanwhile overlooking the main stage, the Bench Lounge was definitely place to be … a front-row spot overseeing all the headline acts of the day. Sets from The Vaccines, Bloc Party, Plan B (above), The Rapture and Caribou really propelled the festival into 5th gear.
It was a bombastic drumn’bass/dubstep duo Nero, however, who really tore up the main Bench dance floor with immense proportions. Just a sea of hedonistic dance pilgrims letting their feet do the talking. What better for the techno-savvy crowd than the sound of arrogant synthesiser howls and volcanic bass? Fuelled by a mix of trance, rave and 80s pop the Bench Live crowd continued to party among the turbulent.
Back stage Threads TV were grabbing an exclusive with Plan B for the Bench Massive.
At Melt the night never really ends, but at some point most find their beds and leave those with the will and the energy to see the festival through.
Pop-Rock: Blood Red Shoes live on the Bench Stage @ Melt
And Saturday brings with it more sunshine. Surprise of the day the dulset tones of Blood Red Shoes, followed by new shiny star Casper’s initimable German rap. The crowd are absolutely loving it! Gossip as always gets the entertainment award, but Two Door Cinema Club bought some nostalgic vibes later that night, but the Square Pusher set failed to wet festival appetites.
Brighton-based duo Blood Red Shoes offer a kind of subversive discordant pop-rock punk you might expect a musical slant that teeters on the subversive. Playing tracks from second album Fire Like This Guitarist Laura-Mary Carter receives a rapturous welcome while Steve Ansell’s boisterous drums flip the sound into a scuzzy tempest. The strongest Bench Live performance of the day. Masterful is the word.
Down near Melt Selektor @ Desperado Beach there is further musical infectiousness. This time around US hip hop producer, Araabmuzik (@araabmuzik), who making some massive impressions on the Melt Crowd. This 22-year old offers real genre clash with chaotic arrangements with smashing beats. When all hands are in the air eating out of the palm of his electric sounds you know someone is spinning some real musical magic.
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British electro group, Citizens, dropped by the Bench Live spot to catch up after a long drive from Montreal. And took the chance to get some Bench clothes from the lounge.
Followed swiftly by Brooklyn Duo, Chairlift, who have been dabbling in electro pop.
Something for everyone today.
Brooklyn Duo: Chairlift Melt into action
Spine Tingler: Lana Del Ray on the Gemini Stage
While some head back to the site to revel some more, others are just leaving the Sleepless Tent after a night of epic proportions.
Aroma Pitch arrive fresh from a festival in Montreal. A cologne based electro-pop trio who know how to party.
Many make it back just in time to see little-known Canadian band Freedom or Death receiving much support in the IntroMelt Tent. Named after a Greek battlecry they offer melancholic indie rock. Perfect for a Sunday Afternoon.
Icona Pop – duo Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo – come hot on the heels of a rather trippy set from Lana Del Ray (@LanaDelRay) offering Edgy synth melodies in dayglo outfits. Smash hit ‘I love It’ gets the crowd set for a great night.
Fresh from the stage, AlunaGeorge come up to pick some Bench clothing and talk to Bench Threads TV team about their distinctive Rn’B style. Producer George Reid and vocalist Aluna Francis are tipped for greatness. It will be interesting to see where they go from here. Watch this space.
Back to the main Melt stage, now teaming with die-hard festival goers for nolstagic, melancholic disco beats of The Whitest Boy Alive. This German-Norwegian musical group based in Berlin offered the perfect full stop to a brilliant weekend.
THANKS TO THREADS TV AND GLOBAL PR FOR THEIR PROFESSIONAL WORKHARD/PLAYHARD ENTHUSIASM