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Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Roskilde Set List & Review

Delphic Set List:

Clarion Call
Red Lights
This Momentary

As of this past spring our editor Phil had already seen Delphic twice and I hadn’t seen them even once. They’ve only played three times in America (New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles; their Coachella appearance was cancelled, thanks to the Icelandic volcano) and several of my American friends were green with envy when they heard I’d be seeing Delphic gig in Denmark. Of the many names big and small scheduled to play at Roskilde, I was most excited to see them and watch ‘Acolyte’, their stunning debut album released in January, be realised fully live. (I was doubly lucky; I had a nice chat with their keyboardist Rick Boardman a couple hours prior to their set; it has been transcribed as a two-part interview that you can read on TGTF; part 1 is here, and part 2 is here.)

At Roskilde 2010, there were 5 main stages, and oddly (in my mind) Delphic was scheduled to play the smallest of them all, Pavilion. The tent fits about 2,000 people and at first I was worried about the turnout for an early evening time slot on Friday, especially for a UK band not that massive yet in Scandinavia. But as time went on, I needn’t have. The trio from the North proved their mettle, playing all but one track from ‘Acolyte’ with precision, and punters danced enthusiastically with them. ‘Clarion Call’ is a good intro but things really got started with ‘Doubt’, so catchy from the Rick Boardman’s mechanical vowels bounced out via drum pad and James Cook’s vocals of conviction. Before this, I only had the Jools Holland appearance in my mind, but now that I was witnessing it for myself? Perfection.

My personal favourite from the album, ‘Submission’, nearly brought me to tears because I didn’t think I’d ever get to see this song played live, and it sounded just incredible – Cook’s vocals, Boardman’s synths, and Matt Cocksedge’s guitar put together for an exciting sonic experience. Forget Spector’s wall of sound. Delphic IS the wall of sound. This is a band you have to see to believe. The trio decided to leave the ‘hits’ – ‘This Momentary’ and ‘Counterpoint’ – for later in the set, and this is when recognition finally sunk in for most of the crowd. It was as if lightbulbs went off over their heads, ‘so this is the band I’ve heard before!’ I’m amused but give a knowing smile as the audience goes mental, shouting back ‘let’s do something real!’ at the fired-up Cook. So much fun.

The three turned the heat way up at an already toasty Roskilde for nearly an hour, attracting curious onlookers and for sure converting them into believers. One scene I’ll never forget: multitudes of Danes desperately trying to get a set list, a towel, anything from the stage after they departed, as if they wanted something for their scrapbook or to hang on their bedroom wall as proof of ‘I was at Roskilde 2010 on Friday and saw Delphic – and they were awesome!’ I may have gone away set list-less like most of them but I got something far better: an amazing performance by a favourite band on foreign soil. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Taken from

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