Monday 12 September 2011

Into The Great Wide Open 2011 Day 1: Relaxed Start

I heard so many good things about this intimate festival on the small island of Vlieland in the north of The Netherlands. Everyone was raving about the previous two editions, the atmosphere, the location and the magic that's happening to all visitors and artists. Therefore I really had to find out myself.

Into The Great Wide Open 2011 Day 1, September 2 2011

After a trip that started off pretty bad with us losing our car we finally arrive by the morning ferry on Friday. It's only a short walk to the camping site Stortemelk that's the centre of the festival and before we know it we are settled. Time to explore the site and head to the main festival stage on a big soccer field.

BCUC (Ronald Says 6 out of 10)
This band from South-Africa are kicking it off on the main stage halfway the afternoon. Their music is an exciting mix of soul, rap and traditional African music. The lyrics are about South-African politics a lot and the musicians are bringing it full of fire and dedication. But it's not coming over easily. It's maybe too early, but the crowd is not picking it up. Maybe the longs jams or the heavy lyrics that are hard to understand properly are asking too much of the crowd.

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Intergalactic Lovers (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
Next to the camping site's restaurant there's a small concert venue called De Bolder. One of Belgium's fast rising bands is playing there. Like we're used of these kind of Belgian bands, it's music with a nice twist, the Belgian touch. Lara Chedraoui's vocals are warm and her voice is strong. This is a band to keep an eye on.

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Bettie Serveert (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
One of the biggest bands in the Dutch alternative scene are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their album Palomine that hit the Dutch music scene like a bomb at that time. They are playing the complete album and even in the original line-up with Berend Dubbe on drums. It's a nostalgic trip and all songs have stood the test of time. Title track '' still sounds impressive and fresh. They save the title track 'Leg' for last because it's so hard to play according to the band. But it still gives everyone goose bumps.

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Pete and the Pirates (Ronald Says 7 out of 10)
It doesn't get more British than Pete and the Pirates. The band looks British and their music is as British as Big Ben. It reminds me of Pulp now and then. They have some real catchy songs and many of them go down well. Of course like a good Britpop band they keep their cool and expose some theatrical arrogance. But maybe because of that they don't really connect to the crowd and it never gets wild.
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Bonobo (Ronald Says 5 out of 10)
Bonobo is the project of Simon Green, a British DJ/Producer. He brought a band with him on stage to perform his music live. The mellow trip-hop like songs could work out well after this nice day where everyone has enjoyed the weather and the beers. But the songs all sound alike and it's getting quite boring after a while. It's a bit of a disappointment after a good first day.
Official Website | MySpace | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

After that it's time to find the best places for partying. The camping site is also the centre of these parties with camp fires on the beach. More and more we get sucked into the relaxing vibes of the festival.

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