Festival report: SPOT Festival, Århus, days two and three
It's not often that you see a band get a standing ovation in the middle of a song -- especially a song in the middle of the set -- but it was that sort of night for Efterklang on Saturday. Against a backdrop of flashing lights and inflatable tendrils, the band were standing before the SPOT crowd as conquering heroes. They have certainly done more to carve out a foreign export market for Danish art pop than any band since Mew. And there's only so big you can carve that niche.
At a festival that's one of Scandinavia's most music business-oriented, awash with press and promoters, the rabid enthusiasm of the crowds here came as a pleasant surprise. At SPOT this weekend there was an unbridled this-is-the-best-show-ever vibe at gigs ranging from the metal of Kellermensch to the hip-hop of Specktors and the ethereal indie of singer-songwriter Moto Boy. Ginger Ninja (bad name, good band) were tearing it up, too.
But it's Iceland's FM Belfast who have to take the top prize when it comes to audience participation. They persuaded an entire auditorium to hide, crouched on their haunches, to create the illusion of an empty concert hall before popping up again when the beat dropped. The Sunday night set featured the incourageable Icelanders' partaaaay-style take on everything from "Welcome to the jungle" (by "Guns n' Motherfucking Roses" they reminded us) to "Pump up the jam" by Technotronic and RATM's "Killing in the name of" (released as their single "Lotus").
- Sophy Grimshaw