Is it easier to take risks, to be daring and experimental with the programming when organising a festival under the warm sun in Hyères, when the festival itself is intimate, welcoming, when everything around is so comfortable that our ears can’t help but be more open than usual? We could have believed it, as every year the Midi festival likes to invite groups who have just striked their first chord, some who make a radical impression or are heavy with the weight of experience. We didn’t see Animal Collective or Girls centuries before everyone else for nothing.
Seeing as we enjoy a summer wind, the scent of the pines, light skirts and discovering new music, and knowing that we had a camera and crew, we went to document everything. We’re treating you well, here – three reports AND Take-Away Shows.
We were welcomed by the chirping of crickets on the first day, under the late July sun. We discovered the space, the layout and the untroubled spirit of Villa Noailles, overlooking Hyères and the Mediterranean, shaking our heads at Fergus and Geronimo.
The second day we didn’t know whether it would be better to cry or to smile facing that wind, the pine forest rustled in the gale. When the night finally fell, it fell with what was beyond doubt the most intense concert of the festival. WU LYF, mysterious Mancunians, young, enthusiastic, bringing along a van full of sisters, girlfriends and mates for the weekend, for their first concert outside of Great Britain. What the film won’t tell you is about a band wary of being filmed, of the exposure, but in the end, full of charming enthusiasm. It also doesn’t mention the frustration involved in filming their Take Away Show…or almost. We were seconds away from dragging them into the shadows to get them away from their audience’s stragglers. The microphones were ready, the singer worried about straining his strong voice. And, no, too late, too tired. We understood. Oh well, we were mostly done, and it remains the strongest memory we have of the festival.
The third day, lazy, bodies streched out in the shade, giving in to the location’s calm. The festival’s end was a blend of our love for beer and the rhythms of Clara Clara.
We filmed some Take-Away Shows on location (and we don’t do retakes). The first day with the Texans of Fergus and Geronimo, who weren’t shy for long and who bought us along on a chaotic course through the hilly streets of old Hyères.
Mina May were the neighbourhood boys, a small local group. However, they had a lot to give, carried in on an incredible voice that sounded, at times, like Alex Ounsworth from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
The Strange Boys, them, they drank with us. And then they decided to play tricks, leaving while we were in the washroom. Well done, guys…
Translated by Tara Dominguez