Friday 23 June 2017

Best Kept Secret Festival 2017 Day 3

After a glorious second day of the festival the last day promises to be a real killer. Temperatures are going to rise into tropical measures and today has a program that may kill me. Can't blame a guy for trying.

We want to see the first band of the day, The Homesick. Although we are running a little late, we should be able to see the second half of their show. Unfortunately we run into the huge line at the entrance and by the time we make it through, the band has already left the stage. We're a little bumped, but a cold beer should be able to change that.

Iguana Death Cult

Fortunately this band from Rotterdam is about to take the stage and I know we will be good. They made one of the most fun records of the year and the band already proved to be a true energy bomb on stage. Today the foursome look thrilled to be playing this festival and deliver an even more energetic performance than ever. Their songs are adrenaline filled garage rock anthems where the young men are putting all their heart in. Singer Jeroen Reek is all over the place with a big grin on his face when he's not sticking out his tongue. Needless to say that this sparks a cheerful party early on the day where the band gets the well deserved circle pit they asked for.

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Canshaker Pi

We have hardly caught our breath when the next young Dutch band climbs the stage. Their songs are a bit more heavy and borrow a lot from bands like Pavement. This bunch looks just as much pleased to be playing here and continue the festive atmosphere started earlier by the previous bands. The band's power play approach works well and their fine songs do the rest. Some of them are true gems filled with little twists and turns to keep you on your toes.

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Zeal & Ardor

This Stage Five bears nothing but quality bands today. Zeal & Ardor promise a mix of Negro Spirituals and black metal. This can either turn into something good like strawberries with chilli peppers, or into something awful like burnt steak with whipped cream that's gone bad. Fortunately it' the first one and we witness a true revelation. The singers sing in harmony like in Gregorian chants and then the music explodes into powerful and dark metal with delta blues intermezzo's. It works really well as the songs are full of dynamics and are performed really well. Only the drummer is sitting at the back while the rest of the band are all lined up at the front. This makes this all even more impressive. These are the kind of acts you want to discover on a festival.

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Strand of Oaks

We head to the main stage where the temperature has risen to “bloody hot”, turning the open space with yellow sand into a desert that most people want to avoid. It won't get a man like Timothy Showalter down and he brings his usual charm and stage presence. The songs on his latest album may be more standard rock tunes, but he is still able to tell a heartfelt story with a lot of heart and soul. No one cares about the smouldering heat and Showalter delivers once again.

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Henry Wu Presents The Kamaal Williams Experience

Keyboard player Kamaal Williams, aka Henry Wu, collaborated with drummer Yussef Dayes which resulted in the wonderful jazz album Black Focus. They were supposed to go touring together but something must have happened and now they are doing separate tours around that same album. Today we see Kamaal Williams together with drummer MckNasty (Joshua McKenzie) and bass player Tom Driessler. If you think it is weird to have a jazz band on a music festival like this, think again, since it is a vibrant performance with plenty of crazy break beats and grooves that make everyone dance. The musicians challenge each other where MckNasty plays with a huge grin and stands up regularly from his drum kit. The exciting music draws plenty of curious people inside Stage Three and turns it into another highlight on this amazing day.

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And we still have a few big ones coming up, because here's Soulwax totally blowing away Stage Two with their Transient Program For Drums And Machinery that already knocked me off my feet two times, the last time only a couple of months back in Paradiso. The stage setup is still the same with three drummers and a lot of equipment that looks like the bridge of a spaceship. Playing a lot of music from their excellent new record From Deewee, the two Belgian brothers treat us to a hot dancing party with percussive and powerful dance music. Too bad we have to leave before the end if we want to have a decent spot for Radiohead.

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This legendary band are like the holy grail of any festival right now. With their new album A Moon Shaped Pool they are currently touring the world, playing a set of festivals this summer. You never know where they are going or what they will play, because every night it's a different set. Tonight we get treated to a more quiet and mysterious side of Radiohead with a setlist that holds a few of my favourites like 'Street Spirit' and 'Pyramid Song'.

The band plays the perfect soundtrack for this hot day in June, while the sun is setting and more than 20,000 people are completely quiet. This band is painting with music notes, carefully placing them while the image slowly reveals itself, but the meaning is left to your own imagination. The band plays a stunning version of 'Exit Music For Film' with Thom Yorke's emotional vocals, whose cry outs in between songs are incomprehensible and awkward.

Tonight this band asks quite a lot of effort from the crowd, since this is a set that will be appreciated a lot by the true Radiohead fan, but may be a bit hard to get into for others. It explains the divided reactions after the show where some are completely over the moon and others expected more hit songs. For me it has been a dream ending to an amazing three days of gorgeous weather and wonderful music.

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Best Kept Secret got criticised by many people last year for a good reason, including me. They failed at many levels and couldn't handle the bad weather and big crowds. However they took all that criticism seriously and totally worked it out, proving they are able to have this number of visitors and deal with them. This fifth edition simply was almost perfect in every sense and this festival has totally set the standard for me, which is a well deserved and huge compliment to the organization. At the same time they have raised the bar very high now and it's going to be interesting to see how they can cope with that next year.

All Pictures

Best Kept Secret Festival 2017 Day 1
Best Kept Secret Festival 2017 Day 2

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