Storas Festival 2008: the DiS review
Trolls, moonshine, stuffed owls, ageing hippies, dancing to a mobile sound system in a forest clearing, death metal, indie-rock and no logos.
Imagine a Lars Von Trier movie come to life in the middle of nowhere and you're somewhere near what Norway's Storas Festival, held July 31-August 2, feels like.
This little gathering an hour outside the pretty city of Trondheim could go far if people knew about it. But the organisers are so laissez-faire about the whole beautiful shrunken thing that they don't really care about promoting it or making money.
It's a refreshing way to be.
And how about going to a festival where instead of a tent pitched in the valley of Hell you get to stay in a log cabin built by one man and his hammer, perched on the peak of a mountain? A festival where you can swim in crystal clear lakes, go to a sauna, and check out installations and performances from Scandinavia's best young visual artists.
This is what makes Storas so good.
And the music's not bad either.
Let3 are the best live band we've never heard of - the Croatian Les Savy Fav, they knock out incredibly well polished garage jams. And get naked. Then put wire cages over their cocks. And all of this takes place in a cowshed. Stupendous stuff.
Casio Kids put their Hot Chip-apeing shtick to brilliant use to whip the home crowd into a frenzy. These Bergen boys get the crowd going crazy - and the troupe of shadow dancers they employ to jig behind a giant white screen look like they're having a damn good time too.
There are big names as well - Mudhoney turn in a polished set of their best grunge bangers from back in the day, with ‘Touch Me I'm Sick’ predictably receiving a wild welcome. Blondie prove they've still got it despite their advancing years. And Blonde Redhead (pictured) round off the final night's line up in style, singer Kazu Makino swaying and surrendering herself to the driving beat.
This is Norway - so there's death metal. Meshuggah's coruscating grind-core provokes a rare display of outright (though ultimately playful) aggression from the audience. Lars Winnerback and his band display the odd touch of brilliance and prove why they are, essentially, the Swedish Arcade Fire.
But the most fun DiS had was when - fuelled by the lethal local tipple of homemade 95 per cent proof moonshine mixed with hot coffee - we were led down a pitch-black path into the woods, certain the end was nigh. Instead we found they'd built an outdoor nightclub in a clearing. It was probably the best al fresco club we'd ever been to. We asked the names of the British breaks DJs who had the young crowd sewn up - but they wouldn't tell us. Typical Storas.
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