Day number two at Pointu Festival held promise of a slightly heavier-hitting set of performances. I resurrected in a puddle of drool and crumpled notes scattered across the apartment floor, feeling sore but ready to face the last ten hours of a sunny festive Saturday in the south. After a quick hunt for sustenance to regain control of my body, I hopped on the bus heading straight back to the island.
First on the bill was post-punk artist Billy Nomates. With her hair fluttering in the wind like dancing flames, the British performer stepped onstage with the confidence of a queen. “I’ve got no musicians, no shoes. And anything can happen!” she proclaimed at the top of her lungs, before setting the show ablaze. Nomates breathed fire into microphone, claiming every inch of a stage that provided ample room for seven band members the previous night. Caught in a fierce wardance, her ferocious voice roared and soared like that of an eighties glam-rock icon and hit like a muddy fist to the jaw. Having decided to stop live shows following her summer tour, Billy (Tor Maries) gave the performance of a prize fighter with nothing left to lose, with enough attitude and presence to stir up an early crowd.
Next up came the psych-rock antics of California’s Meatbodies, who stirred up a storm with a copious serving of fuzzed-up rock n’ roll. With a knack for noise and a thirst for adrenaline, the Californian quartet showered our senses with a mind-bending cocktail of electric frequencies, sending the crowd into a frenzy. The trampled ground resembled dirt in the heart of the warzone and conjured a dusty Saharan wind across the mainstage. Bodies jerked with violent spasms, primal cries tore through the massive wall of sound, and early crowdsurfers could be seen crashing into one another in the eye of the sandstorm. Pointu had now officially kicked into full gear.
Texas heart-throb Kevin Morby followed up, having chosen to conclude his long stretch of touring with one last performance at Pointu. Like a knight in shining armor, Lubbock’s axe-wielding cowboy arrived with a full ensemble including keys, violin and a multi-instrumentalist on the clarinet, tambourine and saxophone.
Smooth like a talk-show band leader, Morby eased the Pointu’s fervent energy as seamlessly as the evening sky was settling into nighttime. After a few energetic tracks, the pace slowed, lights dimmed and the distinct scent of suspicious herbs washed over me, signaling that it was time to sit back and mellow out. By the show’s final act, mister Morby’s cosmopolitan coolness gave way to a spectacular finale with ‘Dorothy’ before closing off with a hat-tip to the fans of his first record, ‘Harlem River’.
As the crowd grew with impatience awaiting the final act of the evening, word started to spread that the Viagra Boys had gotten a hefty head start partying backstage. Whether rumor or fact, the boys took to the stage at 11:25 pm sharp and gave the roaring crowd what they’d come for. Tatted madman Sebastian Murphy waltzed in with his flamboyant boys, loaded up and ready to let it rip. The earth began to rumble to the band’s sleazy, primal beats and the air began to thicken with dust. The sandstorm had picked up once again and the entire island was boiling with energy. As I made my way from the photo pit in search of a suitable spot in the crowd, my senses were jolted by a violent, whipping slap on the shoulder, delivered by a heavyweight slav dad grinning from ear to ear, dancing with a drunken panache that would earn him a spot onstage. Arms were flailing and dignity had long left the island, much to the delight of the ecstatic crowd.
The middle section of the crowd turned into a conveyor belt of crowdsurfing looneys having the time of their lives. The midnight hour had taken over our free will and turned us back into wild animals, chanting “Leave Society, be a monkey! Leave Society, be a monkey!” at the top of our lungs. Sax licks wailed with distorted feedback, swedes jumped head-first into the tumultuous crowd and the festivities raged on, reducing our collective humanity to sweet smithereens by the time the night drew to a close.
The trip back to the mainland was set to a different mood from the previous night. The sweet, peace of quiet of the midnight hours made way for a surround-sound experience of drunken chants and animal cries, like echoes of a night well spent ricocheting across the pale blue shoreline.