With Public Enemy, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party
Public Enemy - Open'er Festival 2012

“Wow, you guys definitely seem up for it tonight!” Kele Okereke looks stunned at the reception Bloc Party are receiving from the crowd at Open’er. Long before the band even appear, the fans are going crazy. Chants and applause draw the band on stage to one of the most energetic welcomes of the festival so far.

There’s a lot of love for these guys, and when they get around to playing ‘Helicopter’ even the laziest, most hungover sunbathers at the back are up and dancing. In a predominantly Polish crowd people from all over are flying the Union Jack – Open’er Festival loves Bloc Party and the sentiment is returned. “Oh, you guys,” gushes Kele before launching into some new material taken from their fourth album, ‘Four’, which is set to be released next month.

The music at Open’er starts relatively late in the day, a lot of great music is squeezed into a small time slot. This creates some tricky decisions, and today’s conundrum is this: Franz Ferdinand or Public Enemy? Fortunately there’s a bit of leeway and we manage to catch the best bits of both sets – life’s kind like that sometimes.

Franz Ferdinand serve as a reminder of just how catchy they really are. It’s been over eight years since their first release and the lyrics are still firmly embedded into the crowd’s memory. Playing hits ‘The Dark of the Matinée’, ‘Do You Want To’, ‘Walk Away’ and ‘Take Me Out’ early on in the set helps ease the pain of tearing ourselves away for Public Enemy, but fortunately we catch the Donna Summer interlude as Franz break into a bit of ‘I Feel Love’. They also take the opportunity to play some new material, ‘Scarlet and Blue’ receives almost as much excitement as their now classic, older songs.

Next, over to the World Stage, where Public Enemy’s set is already in full flow. It seems Public Enemy have a huge amount of love for Poland. With every chance they get Flavor Flav and Chuck D throw compliments and words of support out to the crowd. “They say a lot of bullshit about you, Poland,” Chuck D says, “Don’t believe that. Don’t believe the hype!” See what he did there? I’ll let you guess what track they play next, needless to say it goes down a storm.

The Cardigans finish off the day playing their 1998 album ‘Gran Turismo’ in its entirety on the main stage. After exhilarating performances from Franz Ferdinand and Public Enemy, the set starts off a little anticlimactic. But the highlights come in the form of Nina Persson’s headwear, and singles ‘Erase/Rewind’ and ‘My Favourite Game’. Although it’s not a ‘Gran Turismo’ track, The Cardigans can’t get away without playing ‘Lovefool’, which brings out our nostalgic side, and far from being anticlimactic, the day is finished off with a trip down memory lane.

Words by Emily Anderton
Photo by Elinor Jones

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