Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Best Kept Secret 2015 Day 1

Last year we decided to visit the Best Kept Secret festival for the first time. The festival at the edge of the safari park down South in The Netherlands immediately stole our heart with its razor sharp line-up, wonderful food and excellent vibes. And of course the bungalow made us aware that our camping days are over. Time to return for the third edition.

Best Kept Secret 2015 Day 1, June 19 2015

Of course once again we booked one of the bungalows and we're lucky because we get one that is closer to the festival site. So after a smooth ride and check in, we stock our fridge and sit down to relax and open the complimentary Jupiler beers. When we decide to leave for the festival site we find out we were given the wrong key. Fortunately we can sort that out quickly and hurry back where the first band awaits us.

Canadian noise rockers Metz have already started their set that is loud and tight. Solid rock songs are relentlessly fired upon us with without slowing down. Guitarist and singer Alex Edkins is screaming his lyrics like his life depends on it. Now that is a great start of the festival!

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The Coathangers
The three ladies of The Coathangers are playing catchy alternative and punk rock songs that sound good enough to get a party started. However their stage performance looks quite uninspired where they hardly look into the crowd. That's probably their image for a large part, but it also makes them quite disconnected from the crowd and therefore doesn't grab me. This might work better in a small dark club, but here it fails to be convincing.

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Klangstof are a new band formed by Moss bass player Koen van der Wardt. He asked some of his fellow Moss band members to join him and so we can see Moss drummer Finn Kruyning on keyboard and guitar player Michiel Stam on stage with him. Their electronic music is a bit alienating and sounds interesting although I get the feeling some work needs to be done to be convincing live as well. Their detached performance makes it hard to get really into it.

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We make our way to stage Two where garage punk band FIDLAR are still playing. They have no trouble turning their show into a lively performance. "Fuck It Dog Life's A Risk" is their motto and is what FIDLAR is an acronym of. Singer Zac Carper put on his finest Aloha shirt and surf shorts to play their uplifting songs for an excited crowd that forms a pit in front of the stage. Their easy going punk songs are welcoming at this point of the day and sets the right mood.

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Strand of Oaks
By the looks of Strand of Oaks singer Timothy Showalter you would expect a loud Southern rock or hard rock band, but instead their folkrock music is very easy to digest. Fortunately it is more rock than folk, in a kind of Bruce Springsteen way. It sounds good but the music is a bit middle of the road. However Showalter turns it into a very enjoyable performance with his outgoing presence, never ending excitement and lots of positive energy, which rubs off on the people watching.

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Daniel Norgren
Swedish singer/songwriter impressed me a few years ago at the Into The Great Wide Open festival with his magical performance. Without rainbows this time, once again his wonderful songs, that carry some of the Swedish cold, grab me. Norgren is totally into his music which turns it into an intimate performance. He can make you feel as if you're the only one watching and listening.

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We decide to skip Circa Waves since it's not t-shirt weather at all and instead go into the dark with Eagulls. Singer George Mitchell doesn't look like a front man of a post-punk band at all, but instead looks like he just came from the office. Don't let that look fool you though, since his voice cuts through everything and the band plays a convincing show with plenty of reverb and songs that remind of The Cure.

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Time for some good old fashioned punk with Keith Morris and OFF!. The veteran may look older but still is fired up and critical about the American society and government. His vocals are sharp and once and a while he will address the crowd with his critical opinions. At the same time his fellow band members are rocking away where especially bass player Steven McDonald is a delight to watch.

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The Jesus and Mary Chain
It's been almost thirty years since Psychocandy came out, the influential and ground breaking debut album of The Jesus and Mary Chain. The sound of that album changed the music scene and today they are showing that it hasn't lost any of its impact and the songs sound impressive as ever. The band sound great and in the dark tent the songs and band take off to a high. Psychocandy can still work its magic after all those years.

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The Pop Group
It's a tough choice between The Libertines and The Pop Group, but we decide to go see the latter. This is another legendary band that is one of the front-runners of post-punk with their blend of punk and funk that inspired many artists. Especially their live performances are legendary and I can see why. Singer Mark Stewart is totally into the very groovy music. Funky bass lines and drums mix with heavy rock and are getting everyone excited. It's the perfect spot in the line-up at this time of night where everyone simply wants to go crazy.

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Pissed Jeans
Crazy isn't enough to describe Pissed Jeans, mental is getting closer. Singer Matt Korvette may not look like a front man that will go nuts and tear the roof of a place, but wait until you see him get all fired up. The loud punk music is turning him into a mad man who is all over the stage. He's crooning, crawling, jumping, takes off his shirt, makes love to the microphone and at one point is tying his belt around his sweaty body. Punk veteran Iggy Pop would be proud of this out of control band, that are one of the highlights of today.

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And so an incredible first day ends on another high. Today there were so many bands lined up that it was hard to choose, and many of them also delivered big time. Time to grab a beer outside our chalet and get ready for day two.

More Pictures

Best Kept Secret 2015 Day 2
Best Kept Secret 2015 Day 3

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