So on a seriously hot Saturday afternoon, first up was Land Observations aka James Brooks. I met him last June in Shanghai at an event with Simon Fisher Turner and we've been in touch ever since. His Grand Tour album is one of my faves of 2014. He nearly didn't perform thanks to being separated from his equipment on the flight over. But the latter arrived with fifteen minutes to spare, he plugged in and played half a dozen pieces from said album. Beautiful, rhythmic, motorik guitar loops, reminiscent of Michael Rother at his best.
Irmin Schmidt then kind-of repeated what he did a couple of nights ago. His choice of opener, Mother Sky, was worth the long journey alone. A piece recorded over 45 years ago but still sounding utterly modern.
A live set from LA band Liars and a DJ set from Berlin-based Apparat were less to my tastes but they got the crowd going.
Backstage I chatted with James, Irmin & Hildergard, Vince Clarke, and Andy McCluskey & Paul Humphreys of OMD. A really convivial, non-starry atmosphere.
Having Vince Clarke close the evening was a smart move. It wasn't so much headlining as finish on a more clubby note, with 'banging' remixes of Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure etc pumping out to a crowd now a few thousand strong... who knew all the words and were bedecked in T-shirts ranging from Violator and English Electric to The Cure and Dead Can Dance.
An amazing day which somehow managed to be both intensely nostalgic and very much of the moment.