One of this summer's last festivals, Offset (set in Hainault Forest, a beautiful location in North London) came and went with no rain and lots of good music from all over the world - New York, Canada, Israel and, of course, UK.
On both days the gigs started early, at about 12, but on day one it wasn’t until 6-7 pm that people started gathering in front of the Main Stage, after having finished setting up their tents. They were right on time for Good Shoes and their funky groves that got everybody to start dancing in a split second.
But it wasn’t until the next band - Art Brut - got up on the stage that the party really started. The lead singer Eddie Argos drove the audience insane with his indie poetry and his crowd swimming – he got everybody to sit down and jump up at the same time while he was right in the middle of his fans, many of whom displayed their love on sheets of paper and cardboard that they were waving in the air.
After that, most of us were looking forward to Liquid Liquid, who came all the way from New York to stun us with their grooves. And yet, people’s reaction to their show wasn’t exactly what they had probably expected. They’re an interesting project (though maybe a bit out of date), but quite monotonous at the same time. It feels like if you know one of their songs, you know all of them. So, in spite of their creative use of DIY instruments, Salvatore Principato’s attempts to dialogue with the audience and their tribal-sounding beats, by the end of the gig the rows from the front of the Main Stage had thinned visibly.
But no worries, everybody came back for the Mystery Jets, who had what was probably this festival’s best performance. Among other songs, they played both their hits - "Young Love" and "Half in Love with Elisabeth", and we were surprised to discover how different a band can sound live, and how fast you can fall in love with a song after hearing it on a big stage, and then humming it all the way from the festival to the camping ground.