Oya is over for this year, which basically makes it feel like the summer is over, too.
Friday 08. 12. 2005:
Went over to see The Thing at the start of Friday, and they played a very good set. They bashed through barely recognizable cover versions of garage rock "hits" by mixing the riffage of that genre with the elasticity of free jazz and keeping the energy of both. Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten on double bass was particularly impressive, stretching and hammering his strings and creating grooves behind Gusatffson's hollering. I don't get the Ayler comparisons at all. Ayler had a knack for simple melodies to set off his wailing; Gusatffson is more of a power player akin to David S. Ware. Riffs more than melodies. But he can wail, too. Nilssen-Love was strangely subdued at the start of the set. Perhaps it was the sun. Thurston Moore was not only in the audience, but decided to join them for a jam. As fun as it was to see him on stage, he drained some of the intensity away from the group. His guitar was a bit too loud, and with him on board, the guys seemed less interested in throwing in a riff or two to shake things up.
Then I had to f**k off to work.
I came back just in time for Sonic Youth who were scheduled on stage at 21.30. Their set comprised largely of song from Sonic Nurse, which were performed exquisitely, and just a hatful of classics; "Bull in the Heather", "Catholic Block" and the closing "Expressway to Yr Skull". Mats Gustaffson added some horn on the closer, but "Catholic Block" made me punch the air. Some may have lamented the lack of "hits", but for me, omitting them made it feel more like a proper concert. Good on them. I still have a few problems with Jim O'Rourke, though.
Apparently, Saul Williams' set was pretty good.
Went home and slept.
Saturday started with more work for me, which made me miss even more music. No big deal, though, as I most likely would have sat around drinking beer and slagging off the artists anyway. Arrived around Animal Alpha's set. They are truly horrible. An energetic female singer does not make an average nu-metal band better, especially since nu-metal is pretty awful to begin with.
Nick Sylvester reckons Datarock had a good gig. I didn't get to see them.
Sons & Daughters were this year's post-punk alibi. Better than your average, if only because they remind me of the Au-Pairs, a band which none of the other post-punkers have copied yet.
Franz Ferdinand's set was slightly enjoyable. They started off with my favorite song of theirs, "Michael", and slowly went downhill from there. Their good-natured aura takes them a long way, but the new songs were very anonymous (were there any?).
Robert Post is this year's Julian Berntzen, complete with terrible English and naive song writing skills. Norwegian critics love that shit.
Roots Manuva's set was far better. I was getting drunk by that time and started to dance almost immediately. I seem to remember wanting the bass to be heavier and the vocals to be louder, but still fun.
The Subs, from China!, ended this years Oya (at least at the festival site). Rock'n'roll like only East-Asians know how to play. Part novelty and part fun.
Beers and the mandatory nachspiel ("after party" for you non-Norwegians/Germans) with my chums from Trondheim meant I only got up just in time to watch Arsenal get a win, and that there were no funds left for me to go and see the mighty Atomic at BlÃ¥ on Monday.