Wednesday 21 June 2017

Best Kept Secret Festival 2017 Day 1

Last year's edition of Best Kept Secret left a bitter taste in my mouth after wonderful earlier editions. The festival didn't really adjust well to the larger number of visitors and the rain didn't help either. But with Radiohead and Arcade Fire on the bill, we simply had to return.

Best Kept Secret 2017 Day 1, June 16 2017

The weather forecast for this year couldn't be any better. Lots of sunshine and no rain is expected at all. Checking in to our small four person chalet goes very smoothly so we're off to a good start. Our festival summer has started!

Leif Vollebekk

Canadian multi instrumentalist Leif Vollbekk is kicking off the festival at Stage Five. He looks surprised at the large turn up so early in the festival. The musician definitely puts his heart and soul in his music and performance, but his light folk music is not for me. It's good to start the festival a bit slow though.

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Amber Arcades

We stroll around the festival site for a bit to see what has changed and end up at Amber Arcades show. Singer Annelotte de Graaf and her band keep getting raving reviews but I saw them once before and didn't really feel it. Today she doesn't win me over either. Music wise the singer does have something going for her although it's not really up my alley. But I find the performance quite static and there isn't much energy radiating from the stage. It all sounds good enough, but she and her band aren't exactly doing their best to win people over. Maybe it's just me.

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Sundara Karma

A group of young lads is opening the main stage, dressed in clothes they seem to have found in their parents' wardrobe. The band members aren't impressed with the main stage slot at all and are playing as if they are used to these kind of stages. Their britpop sounds alright but is very much on the safe side. It lacks original hooks and for them to really convince they need to improve on their sound.

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Real Estate

A band that has their sound down completely are Real Estate. The members look like they work at the Apple Genius Bar, but they don't need the looks at all to impress. Their songs are great and their playful indie rock songs have a nice nineties vibe. Ringing guitars and creative grooves patiently craft their music. Combined with warm but powerful vocals the music is urgent and builds on tension.

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The Parrots

This rock n roll band from Madrid in Spain take things a lot less serious. Passing joints around the stage reveals the band is probably high as a kite, but it turns their performance into a cheerful event with a crowd willing to party. The simple rock songs aren't of the highest standards but with a huge smile on their faces the bands blasts energy.

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Belgian's lost sons Millionaire are back and make clear today why that is a good thing. Heavy rock songs with loud guitars and drums, that are big on amazing grooves. Singer Tim van Hamel has all the rock poses and is a born front man. The new record is a good reintroduction to the band and although it has been fifteen years they haven't lost any of their strength. I'm glad this band is back again.

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At the main stage Metronomy have started a party while the sun is setting. With a lovely image of the lake as their view the band is playing a good set giving the people exactly what they need: the right amount of energy to dance into the early night. And so the groovy dance songs with catchy synth sounds and drum beats go down well with a hungry crowd.

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

If Metronomy didn't give you enough energy these Australian psych rock giants have got you covered. They are the front runners of the psychedelic rock scene and simply blow everyone away with a mix of out of this world garage rock, prog rock and anything in between and beyond. Their set is built up slowly, kicking off with 'Rattle Snake' from the first album that came out this year of in total five they are planning to. When they get to the brilliant 'Nonagon Infinity' everyone gives in and everything explodes. A big pit forms and the band simply blows everyone away. Resistance is futile. Game, set, match for this amazing group.

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Show Me The Body

It sounded nice on paper, a mix of punk, hardcore and hiphop that should set the mood for the rest of the night. But instead it's mostly loud music without too much variation. The vocals are screaming lyrics that are impossible to understand and although the band does want to work the crowd we decide to leave and have a beer instead.

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We head to the new rock bar The Kasbah where they stick to playing rock and punk songs and sell canned beer. There's a good vibe in the bar so we hang around for a while, down a few cans. The first day was pretty good and this year's edition is taking off in the right way.

All Pictures Day 1

Best Kept Secret Festival Day 2

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