On the last day of the Open’er, in spite of a massive downpour around about 18:00 by the time we arrived at Babi Dół it had all but stopped making it the first Open’er that I have been to (that I can remember) when every single day there was no rain whilst I was watching. Needless to say that wellington boots were an absolute must although some merry festival-goers were just going bare-foot with a ‘what the hell’ attitude. Whilst we made our way the main stage still in our bicycle capes we caught a band called Instrumeti from Latvia who were blasting away in a high vocal choral style which was a bit like Yes on speed. Well delivered songs unusually taking advantage of three brass instruments played by people dressed in black and wearing huge black hats.
Mumford and Sons came on after the storm and played a folk-rock set with gay melodies and polished harmonies. They were very together and brought out the glad tiding in the crowd, promising to return to Poland soon. The crowd were already delirious with joy that there was no more rain and lapped it up. They played their bluegrass and folk instrumentation, using banjo, upright bass, mandolin and piano with a rhythmic style which crossed bluegrass with rock and traditional British folk in a passionate way, a great example of which is White Blank Page.
Whilst Dominika and her friends watched The Mars Volta I caught a section of the film Ambassador by Mads Brugger but didn’t see the end as the screen went black prematurely. It was an interesting film – in the sense of – why? and seems to cause as much controversy off-screen. At the end of the link above one of the people unwittingly filmed challenges Brugger’s approach and whilst watching it was difficult to know where the boundary of reality and fiction lay.
Fortunately, the black screen coincided neatly with the start of Bat for Lashes in the Tent Stage although there was a 30 minute delay whilst the electrics were checked for safety reasons – an Alter Art spokeswoman said that the safety of the band and fans was paramount and they did not want to electrocute the stage and the audience in one fell swoop.
Natasha Khan appearing as Bat for Lashes
wasted no time in establishing a presence and quickly showed us the incredible range of her voice. I remember seeing her on Jools Holland on her own and having a band behind her gave her the freedom to express herself in movement and gestures. Her dress was beautifully ornate although probably proved a little on the warm side as the heat from the lights and the audience intensified. By the time she played one of her most popular songs (Daniel) it was sweltering. It was a great concert and great atmosphere with fine rhythms and a fantastic voice.