7 août 2015

Wilderness Festival

Oxford, Royaume-Uni


  • Dernier concert de la tournée Vulnicura en 2015

You’re headlining Wilderness this year. What appeals to you about it as a festival ?
‘I think it has to do with the kind of music I make. I’m not middle of the road. My songs get very well supported either in a delicate, beautiful indoor setting or an extreme, outdoor setting like a forest or by the ocean. A sports arena is not doing me any favours, and I’m not doing it any favours !’ Time Out - Mai 2015


An impressive but off-kilter set of break-up songs, outlandish costumery and not much crowd-pleasing

Visiting Wilderness Festival could have done wonders for Björk’s marriage. Learning to wild swim or how to “breathe yourself better”. Getting down to Funkadelic ; feasting at Raymond Blanc’s long table ; catching some al fresco opera. (I’m not sure where quizzing economist Ha-Joon Chang or philosopher John Gray fit in.) Perfect romantic R and R in acres of sylvan parkland ? Then again, no. The Icelandic singer split from visual artist Matthew Barney in 2013. Split bitterly.

And so she headlined on Friday night with music from Vulnicura , a break-up album that overshares like an avant-garde Kardashian through the media of obtuse electronica, counselling-room recitative and mournful strings. Not obvious festival material. Björk never does obvious. But at an event where many revellers took a nautical approach to their dress, she sailed too close to the rocks of self-parody.

In front of the white-clad Heritage Orchestra (plus laptop man and drummer), the 49-year-old wore a crimson gown with what appeared to be a translucent, exoskeletal disc on the front. Against a video of the life cycle of the moth, the plinky sonic Chinoiserie and militaristic drums of “Notget” made an arresting opener, terminating with fireworks and pink smoke. Next, the classic “Hunter”, creeping ominously to close-up footage of spiders, suggested the programme might be kind to a crowd itching to dance. It was not to be.

“Lionsong” went with a disembodied swoon, yet “Stonemilker” and “Family” felt wallowy rather than stimulatingly weird. The interminable “Black Lake” sounded like air spluttering slowly from an expensively glittery balloon. Older tracks “Unravel”, a twisted lullaby, and “Possibly Maybe”, with superbly woody, angular percussion, started a shift in mood. All blurred, buzzy synths, “Army of Me” steamed towards standout status like a runaway thresher. On screen, wasps attacked a beehive. Then “5 Years” swung along as if an intergalactic quarry work-song. The rest of the set immolated itself with fissive breakbeats, and more pyrotechnics. Impressive, but hardly party time.

For the finale, even the ecstatic shimmer of “Hyperballad” had a darker undertow. Now that Björk has cancelled the remainder of her European tour, there is unlikely to be a similar show anywhere else again this year — for good and ill.

source : Financial Times


sur scène

  • Manu Delago
  • The Haxan Cloak
  • The Heritage Orchestra


habillée par

  • James Merry


  • Andrew Thomas Huang
  • Inez+Vinoodh
  • Stephen Malinowski


  • Carsten Windhorst