Tuesday 2 September 2014

Sniffing The Grass: An ITGWO 2014 Warm Up

Only a few days left before we head for our yearly trip to paradise island. It's the sixth edition of the Into The Great Wide Open festival and it will be our fourth visit. Like every year the organization have come up with a versatile and interesting program. And I'm referring to the music only, since there will be plenty of art, cultural events, food and drinks.

Like the last couple of editions there's a small program on Thursday but like before we won't be able to arrive early enough to catch the first bands. So I'm afraid we will miss the energetic rock of Belgian band The Sore Losers. And probably Happy Camper with all its vocalists and Job Roggeveen's beautiful compositions will be hard to make too. Hopefully when all goes well, we will be able to catch dEUS' Tom Barman's electronica project Magnus.

The weather forecast looks promising, so I hope we can start off the day with a dive in the sea. After a healthy breakfast somewhere on the island we should be off to a good start with the feel good music of Erlend Øye, who is visiting the festival for the fourth time too. Dans Dans are making psychedelic film noir jazzy fiddling around music. Sounds great! As long as Daryll-Ann keep performing I don't want to miss them. Then it's time to get more rough with the garage rock of Auda City. There's a new alternative rock band in our country called Beginners, although they are definitely no newbies. Asko|Schonberg & Nora Fischer sounds pretty interesting who will perform a modern composition on the forest stage. We can always go check out Tim Knol's garage rock band The Miseries or do that anyway.

Then it's time for a memory from the past. I haven't seen Buffalo Tom in ages and although I know he's still active have no idea what he's up to these days. Moon Duo is a project of Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson so that's worth checking out. Hopefully the afrobeat and funk of Vaudau Game can send us off on a high. Otherwise I'm sure TenTemPiés will.

Sounds like a full and busy day and boy does it look good! One more choice for today: campfire or dancing?

Three tips for today:
1. Dans Dans
2. Moon Duo
3. Daryll-Ann

Today is another full day with some tough dilemmas to crack. Let's start off with a cool refreshing swim and a relaxing breakfast. Then we will kick it off with the soulful Kris Berry & Perquisite and after that some world music by Frànçois And The Atlas Mountains, before the first tough choice awaits us: raw rock with Robbing Banks, dancing with the always great afrobeat of Jungle By Night or check out multi instrumentalist Liam Finn? If everything works out the sun and the beers will have us in the right mood for the summery music of Hollie Cook. Ghanese soul singer Benjamin Clementine sounds really interesting, but at the same time Neneh Cherry will show her vocal strength backed up by RocketNumberNine. St. Paul & The Broken Bones are white as snow, but make some great raw seventies style soul music.

Veteran Dutch alternative band Hallo Venray released one of their best (the best?) record in their career so far and deserve a visit. Greek DJ Larry Gus apparently can turn every appearance into a party but great singer Sivert Høyem, previously of the disbanded Madrugada, is playing at the same time. And then Charles Bradley will pour out his heart and bring his love and emotional soul to the island. Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.

Three tips for today:
1. Jungle By Night
2. Hallo Venray
3. Charles Bradley

The last day of the festival has a less full program which is great since by now we have completely slowed down. The Stargaze ensemble has great musicians and the versatile mix of compositions they will be playing sounds great to start off this day. After a swim and some food of course. The amazing Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke is the founder of ethio-jazz and one of the most respected and acclaimed Ethiopian musicians. I don't need to know more of course. Depedro will possibly throw a Spanish dancing party before The Mysterons take us on a trip with some psychedelic grooves. Time to saddle our horses and check out Daniel Romano before the illustrious Brushy One String shows us how to make music on just one string. I really love Unknown Mortal Orchestra and their psychedelic jams, but also would love to see Sinkane's Sudanese afro funk. Typhoon will definitely have everyone bouncing and dancing to send us home on a high. Unfortunately we can't stay until the end since we have to catch a boat back to reality.

Three tips for today:
1. Mulatu Astatke
2. Typhoon
3. Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Yes the program is more full than ever and I'm sure I won't be able to see it all. I'm not even going to try since this festival requires a mellow approach, just dive in and let it all happen.

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