With a mix of international and homegrown artists, there was something to suit everyone at Bangkok’s three-day Very Festival.
In the outskirts of Bangkok, at the Wonder World Extreme Park, I entered through the strobe-lit tunnel that led to the three-day indie musical playground Very Festival.
I was prepared for rain, but we lucked out with clear-skies on Saturday. The picture-perfect sunrise glowed luminous shades of pink, just as PH-1 began his performance on the main stage. With his signature beanie hat, the Korean-American rapper playfully fired up the crowd that hollered back with spirit. The chorus of fans excitedly sang along to hits such as ‘Nerdy Love’, they seamlessly switched between Korean and English.
Immediately after, the eight dynamic members of ASIA7 took to the Rising Stage, their unique fusion of traditional Thai instruments, blended with funky sax, guitar, keyboard, bass and drums. A heady concoction of catchy, folksy numbers with hypnotic female vocals drew us in.
Next up, Scottish Indie rockers Franz Ferdinand blasted through their extensive 20-year backlog of hits. Frenetic frontman, Alex Kapranos leaped over amps and strutted boldly across the stage. The crowd appeared to keep pace, regardless of the heat.
Then the familiar riff of ‘Take Me Out’ started playing, and we began foot-stomping and shrieking to the anthem. They were hyping us up repeatedly, until finally dropping the familiar lines “So if you’re lonely, you know I’m here waiting for you…”.
A short interlude began to take shape. Audrey Tait started off with a drum solo, then eventually all the rest of the members rallied beside her, beating their hearts out with any percussion they had to hand.
Finally, Kapranos asked us softly to take it down low. We all looked at each other, a little confused. With a little more coaxing, everyone in the park had crouched down low and could still bop along, until the explosive chorus for ‘This Fire’ made us rocket back up again for the finale. It seemed like the end to me, but we were far from over.
Thai singer Silvy burst out onto the Rising Stage, looking spectacular in her daring figure-hugging, shimmery catsuit. Her two backing dancers accompanied her, as Silvy prowled across the stage, taking complete control of it.
During her rise to fame Silvy has had to push back against the negative feedback that arose concerning her body image. She has been empowering fans with her single ‘XL’, where she boldly takes back her power “I’ve got the baddest ass you’ve ever seen, Be your own kind of beautiful, F*ck it we’re all beautiful..”
An emotional Silvy thanked her fans and ended the night with ‘PLS’ that stands for Pretty Little Superstar. This heartfelt song is dedicated to her love, and her supportive fans used their phones to light up the sky.
Saturday closed with our final headline act Keshi on the main stage. Best known for his distinctive lo-fi, r&b style music. Keshi performed a slower, stripped-down version of his hit ‘Always’, singing soulfully whilst playing keyboard. Proving his multi-talented prowess, he made the crowd go wild with his electric guitar solo, fire and smoke shot out from the stage at the last strum of the guitar.
The night drew to a close with ‘2 soon’, which had Keshi fans singing along “Turn it up, close my eyes, then I’m with you”. Streamers, and smoke billowed out for the climatic finale.
Photo: Very Festival