I saw Beck 8 years ago in Belgium, and he was inanimate, disinterested and utterly entrancing. In 2014, I’m certain that he’ll be wholly different proposition. Incessantly developing, this is an artist who is unrecognisable a matter of months after a project is completed. Now, following the release of the earthy and brain-tunnelling record, Morning Phase, Hansen has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance in the mainstream; charting at number one in the US and in the top ten in the UK, so it’s no wonder that he can headline the opening night of one of the UK’s biggest festivals. Equipped with bittersweet jovial songs, Beck is absent-mindedly able to meander between devastating and dandt. ‘Devil’s Haircut’, almost an artefact nowadays, opens the set and sets the Isle alight. During the track, he injures in ankle but despite “medical advice” continues; this is a complete show. With playful melodies incessantly budding from one another and rhythmical motifs competing for the spotlight, he creates a bed of textures that offer a perfect platform for his new writing to excel. ‘Where It’s At’ sends us into rapture. Standing in silhouette, Beck swings his head and intermittently and draws shapes in the air with his finger. We sway with the pendulum.
A real enigma.