Tuesday, 20 July 2010

G Festival Review

photos: jens kr. vang

Göta, Faroe Islands - Denmark

Day 1
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The plane groans defiantly as it hurtles between treacherous cliffs to land on a small
RAF base, the only airport on the tiny Faroe islands. The G! festival is one of the few
occasions when outsiders flock to these islands, most widely known for their ancient
tradition of killing and eating whales.

The secluded hills, located between Scotland and Iceland, feel as though they are on the
edge of the world. The festival itself is located in the tiny village of Göta, its population
is normally only 500 but during festival weekend, thousands gather to see an eclectic mix
of rock, pop and electronic music. Most of the revellers are Faroese, but many also come
from Europe.

Danish grime aficionados, Lucy Love, shake the very foundations of the majestic
mountains, with an assault of the grimiest bass lines and street wise rhymes. Two
hooded girls pull off choreographed dance moves while Lucy shouts that this is the
loudest audience reaction she has ever experienced. The crowd laps it up. Many of the
locals have never seen an act like this before. The charms of Lucy Love’s urban beats
are not lost in this unusual setting, but it does seem an odd contrast to have rappers on
a forgotten beach where a whale had nearly been butchered just a few hours before.

Next up was local doom metal band, Hamferd. It’s past midnight but still daylight; such
is the eerie absence of time in the arctic North. Mist hangs on the mountains surrounding
the bay as the band take to the stage beneath a torrent of rain. I can’t imagine a more
atmospheric setting for their epic, sludge ridden riffage. The rain causes the power to fail,
but the band keep rocking through the monitors while the crowd of Norse youth seem
totally un-phased by the weather, despite the fact a storm carried the main stage into the
sea earlier in the day.

Lucy Love

Day 2
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Torrents of rain pour onto hungover festival goers on the second day
of G! festival in the Faroe islands. The grey skies, bitterly cold
wind and seemingly endless rain may dampen the knitted jumpers of
these drunken young Scandinavians but it will not dampen their

Hundreds flock to see local heroes Týr. The rain lets up as the
heathen heavy metal heads bang out epic anthems of Paganism, Vikings
and battle. From their first song, “By The Sword In My Hand”, the
whole audience is singing along with horns raised to the storm clouds
above. This combination of traditional Faroese folk and swaggering
metal machismo is enjoyed by everyone, from small children to pipe
smoking old fishermen.

Eivør is another local act who employs Faroese folk culture into her
music. Although, her soft approach to folk influenced rock sounds less
like metal and more like Björk. She is a typically Nordic, flaxen
haired siren, whose quivering voice has incredible range with an
intimate and genuinely moving quality.

Sweden´s Arch Enemy bring more meaty metal to the table as the rains
return. Blonde vocalist, Angela Gossow, struts about the stage like a
man, emitting guttural growls over catchy, cast iron riffs.

On the electronic stage, DJ Filthy Dukes brings London club culture to
a flooded beach. The enthusiastic audience of resilient ravers throw
shapes until 4am and then continue drinking in a wind swept , sub
arctic, campsite that even Ray Mears would have difficulty pitching a
tent in.

Published: The Fly. 19th July 2010