May 31st, 2012 | By
Pinkpop. Just when you think you’ve had just about every festival experience imaginable, one like this pops up. It’s Europe’s longest running festival and, this year, was headlined by Bruce Springsteen, The Cure, Soundgarden and Linkin Park. To say our day in the beautiful Netherlands heat (yep, it was HOT) was an experience and a half would be an utter understatement.
We rolled in about 9am and were promptly treated like royalty. We shared a dressing room with Chase and Status, made friends with the awesome lads of Bombay Bicycle Club, challenged Sharon Jones’ Dap Kings to a round of shooting hoops, oh, and the lads played the biggest set of their career so far. Seriously, an epic shit-tonne of frothing Dutch punters were literally scrambling to get a glimpse of our Aussie heroes as they played their first mainland European show. From the moment drummer Ryan Strathie swaggered onto stage, gave a big Aussie thumbs up and launched into the urgent drums of ‘Wristwatch’, it was obvious this was going to be one incredible set. The lads nailed it, playing songs from their backcatalogue, some Dutch “hits” and debuting some brand spanking new material from the forthcoming album number two.
From there, we were whisked away so the lads could handle a meet and greet, sign some CDs and, well, chat to some Dutch ladies. The local answer to triple j – 3FM – threw some promo opportunities our way including a live to air rendition of ‘Let You Down’ and probably one of the best performances I’ve witnessed from our lads – an acoustic set to an intimate audience of competition winners. After that, well, the lads polished off the rider, introduced ourselves to Soundgarden, Mastodon and Bombay Bicycle Club, while I hunted down my apparent doppelganger in The Wombats to say hey and see if he truly is as handsome as people say he is. All in all, arguably the best and most incredible, gratifying and all round amazing day any of us have experienced in this game we call music.
Special mention must go out to new touring recruit Alex Bennison – his second show ever with the band was at Pinkpop. The first – Club NME in London – was no low-pressure picnic either but the talented axeman nailed it – musically, vocally and personably. What a legend!! (BP)
Watch “Scattered Diamonds” live at Pinkpop HERE.