Tuesday 27 August 2013

Lowlands 2013 Day 2: Nevermind That Shaky Start

After a rainy night we wake up to the sun. My body has digested all the beers in a good way. Time for a pancake breakfast in the sun and the first music of the day!

Lowlands 2013 Day 2, August 17 2013

A cover project of the holy Nirvana album Nevermind by some Dutch bands. This may sound like blasphemy to some hardcore fans. I am a bit sceptical, but still want to see it. It starts off really bad. Dutch Hiphop act The Opposites asked some unknown band, that you wouldn't even let play in your garage, to back them up. They totally screw up 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' and 'Bloom'. I'm sure Mister and Missisippi are great at what they do, but they drain all the energy out of 'Come As You Are'. Fortunately DeWolff, Kensington and especially Elle Bandita show how to do justice to this legendary album. Moss close the set and know how to make the last songs of the album sound like their own. Although I love their music, I don't know if it's an improvement. These cover versions are available as a vinyl LP but I'm gonna leave that one alone and rather play the original.

Mozes and the Firstborn
The young dogs of Eindhoven garage rock band Mozes and the Firstborn are living the dream of young musicians: playing in a band, making a record and touring all over the place. They will even leave for the USA soon and are now playing Lowlands. I like their record for its energy, although I have to admit most songs aren't that special. Some of them are good though, have really smart hooks and sound catchy. The best thing about this band is that the boys play with such enthusiasm, it reflects in their music. On stage this is no different. It is a delight watching these guys enjoy every second of their performance. If they stick together and keep on playing this much, within a few years this will be a killer band I'm sure.

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Ben Zabo
A musician from Mali playing a blend of afrobeat, african funk and highlife. I'm game! Ben Zabo and friends are dressed in traditional clothes for the occasion. Except for the white guitar player who probably simply doesn't own one of those beautiful outfits. Zabo is a sound technician who worked with many great artists and learned how to do it himself this way. Music wise it isn't anything special, but Zabo is a charming person with a big smile on his face throughout the full show, the true African way. Their music is a perfect fit for this sunny afternoon. Especially the marimba player is stealing the show with some crazy solos. At one point he's even turning his instrument upside down to play it while lying on the floor. Zabo is a chatty person, introducing his songs with stories about Mali politics and how he's looking for a Dutch girl to marry. I'm not sure if he won any of the ladies over, but it sure was a good party

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Miles Kane
Since I'm going to see Miles Kane at least twice later this year, we try to make it into the X-Ray for Dutch punk rockers John Coffey. But again it's too full and so we decide to join Kane for a good rock show after all. You can leave that up to him. Although the Bravo tent is slowly getting less crowded, Kane is not to blame. He's giving it all like always. The sound is pretty awful, maybe because they use this stage mostly for dance music and dj sets. In the end everyone who is still in the tent is literally brought to his knees and is joining Kane in the final song 'Come Closer'.

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra
The second album II of Ruban Nielson's Unknown Mortal Orchestra or UMO, is still high on my year list. He can be a bit whimsical but is always good for some good music and lengthy jams. I still have a hard time getting used to his falsetto vocals, but it does fit the crazy music. Psychedelic guitar riffs and hypnotic jams suck you into his disturbing and confusing world. Sometimes he's playing like a maniac, other times pulling himself back into the dark at the back of the stage. Bass player Jake Portrait and drummer Riley Geare are following him skilfully with swinging grooves, keeping it tight. Again like Mikal Cronin yesterday it requires a bit of effort but it all pays off in the end.

Official Website | MySpace | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify

Much has been written and said about the shaky process that eventually lead to the new Editors album The Weight Of Your Love. Also about the so-called transfer into a big stadium act. Critics are now criticizing the band for the same reasons they used to praise them for a few years back: the way Tom Smith is feeling the music is now suddenly overdone, the guitar sound is now too bombastic and the band is spicing up their act with unneeded fireworks. I guess it's the price they have to pay for their success. Critics never seem to like bands who make it big and become mainstream. Tonight they are proving to be a great headliner. They stripped all the more quiet songs from their set and are treating us to a one hour big high. Hit after hit are turning on the crowd, until a big climax in last song 'Papillon'. This is what headliners do and Editors knows this. Yes, it's different than the time we saw them play small intimate clubs and yes the new album isn't their best. But songs like 'Munich' and 'Bones' still sound great and will kill any festival crowd.

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That was another great end of a fun day. Nevermind that shaky start, I'm up for some partying! Is that Titty Twister line even longer tonight!?

More Pictures

Lowlands 2013 Day 1
Lowlands 2013 Day 3

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