Tuesday, 15 October 2019

On Stage: Sleep @ Melkweg



I love a good stoner rock band, although sometimes when it gets too close to doom metal I find it hard to stay interested. I didn't know the band Sleep from San Jose, even though they have been around since the early nineties. They did breakup for more than a decade, but reformed in 2009. A friend of mine came over to see them play and of course I joined him.

Sleep at Melkweg Amsterdam, October 9 2019



Apparently the band are arriving in a space ship, because we get to hear the moon landing's radio transmission. After the three have touched down, they start playing their heavy grooves. The songs are long, slowly built up stoner rock anthems with only a few lines of vocals. Mostly it is bassist Al Cisneros and drummer Jason Roeder laying down a concrete foundation, where guitar player Matt Pike plays his riffs and solos on top of.



Sometimes when stoner moves into doom metal territory I find the slow metal music too heavy to enjoy for a long time. That slow low tuned music is of course the idea of the genre, but it isn't always for me. That's why I like stoner a lot better, where a psychedelic element is added to the mix. Sleep does have this element as well, where you can even hear traces of early Pink Floyd. The trio also showcases great virtuosity from all three members. It keeps their music interesting enough and I can enjoy it for the whole ride.



Cisnero cooks up some incredible riffs and sounds with his bass guitar. He gets a few moments alone, where he is able to show all that. Pike has some stunning solos where he is showing his skills with some tasteful shredding. Roeder is playing the complex grooves with great ease and makes the odd time signatures sound natural. All three are playing in a very relaxed way, which enables them to let the music breath. Clearly this is a very good band with talented musicians that play stoner and doom metal on a very high level. It's good to see a full Melkweg is able to appreciate it too.

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Setlist:
01. Marijuanaut's Theme
02. Holy Mountain
03. The Clarity
04. Sonic Titan
05. Giza Butler
06. Leagues Beneath
07. The Botanist
08. Dragonaut


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Tuesday, 8 October 2019

On Stage: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard @ TivoliVredenburg



By now you'd think King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard would take it more slow. But these guys seem to be on tour continuously and recording albums at a murderous pace. The Australian band is heading for Europe though after releasing their second LP this year, the trash metal album Infest The Rats Nest. They are opening this tour with a two day residency at TivoliVredenburg and tonight is the first night.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard at TivoliVredenburg Utrecht, October 7 2019



They brought two more bands from Down Under to support them, ORB and Stonefield, who are both on King Gizzard's own label Flightless Records. I walk into the venue during ORB's last song, but fortunately I get to see Stonefield. The four Findlay sisters play heavy stoner and 70s hard rock and I like it a lot. Drummer Amy Findlay is also the singer of the quartet, who play a tight and convincing set. I simply have to get their latest record Bent after the show.



These shows sold out in no time, so it's a full house tonight. It's a nice mix of young and old, although the younger generation are vastly outnumbering the oldies on the floor. They are eager to go wild with King Gizzard who give them what they ask for right away, leading off with 'Rattlesnake'. Immediately there's a pit forming and everyone around me starts dancing.



A big screen behind the band is showing psychedelic visuals, while the band is turning on the heat. They are off to a flying start and the crowd is greeting every song with loud cheers. They cool it down a bit after a while with some of their more mellow and jazzy songs, showing their best dance moves during 'Cyboogie'. It's amazing to see how easily these guys switch from psych rock to prog rock, back to blues rock, basically anything ending with rock.



The only thing missing so far is the trash metal of their latest album. The last part of the set takes care of that, where they play a few songs from that album. I thought maybe their fans would find it a bit hard to get into, but judging from the euphoric crowd I couldn't be more wrong. "Euphoric" is the right word for the whole night ,where everyone is eager to have a good time.



The band closes the night with a lovely long version of 'The Bitter Boogie' where Ambrose Kenny-Smith takes his harmonica into the crowd. After more than two hours, the band leaves a sweaty crowd behind that had an incredible night. This band doesn't do encores, but will play have extra song in their regular set instead of leaving the stage for a couple of minutes. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard still are one of the best live bands around, one that will turn every venue upside down and inside out. They can do whatever they want, record whatever kind of music they like, it never disappoints. I will be there again next time for sure.

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Setlist:
01. Rattlesnake
02. Sleep Drifter
03. Anoxia
04. All Is Known
05. Alter Me I
06. Altered Beast II
07. Mr. Beat
08. Evil Death Roll
09. Acarine
10. Cyboogie
11. Beginner's Luck
12. Let Me Mend the Past
13. Inner Cell
14. Loyalty
15. Horology
16. Mars for the Rich
17. Organ Farmer
18. The Great Chain of Being
19. The Bitter Boogie


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Friday, 4 October 2019

On Stage: Motorpsycho @ Paradiso THT



It's been two years since the last time Norwegian rock heroes visited this same place in Amsterdam. Back then I wrote I couldn't wait for the Motorpsycho space ship to dock again, which is absolutely true. There's a new album The Crucible with only three songs, that kind of continues where the previous LP The Tower left off. Tonight it feels like they are continuing where they left off two years ago as well.

Motorpsycho at Paradiso Tolhuistuin Amsterdam, September 30 2019



The band doesn't even have to release any new music for their hardcore fanbase to show up. I'm glad they do keep recording new music, since once again The Crucible is of epic proportions where the title track takes almost 21 minutes. All three of the songs make it on the setlist tonight with that monumental song in the middle of the set as the proud centre piece.



The band hasn't changed since the last time and only switched some bigger stage lights for ones that don't light them out as nicely. Together with continuous smoke it is impossible to make decent pictures with my small camera, which explains the poor quality of the ones in this post. But it's not about photography of course, but it's all about music. With this band you know you get a lot of that.



For two and a half hours the band keeps playing tirelessly taking us across the whole rock spectrum and beyond. From prog rock, to hard rock, to stoner and back, with dazzling solo's and mind blowing jams. Bent Sæther and Hans Magnus Ryan both take out a double neck guitar at one point and dive into another epic journey. Tomas Järmyr adds plenty of fireworks behind the drum kit, while Reine Fiske has joined them this tour for additional guitar and keyboard parts. These four together create this thick sound, that makes your head spin.



With so many albums full of long songs, the band could probably play for days. They stick to two and a half hours tonight and even throw in an encore. This is a unique band, that I keep coming back to whenever they release new music and visit a nearby venue. Looking forward to next time again.



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Setlist:
01. In Every Dream Home
02. The Alchemyst
03. Mountain
04. Pills, Powders + Passion Plays
05. The Jig Is Up (Kiss the Snake)
06. The Crucible
07. A Pacific Sonata
08. Überwagner or a Billion Bubbles in My Mind
09. The Pilgrim
10. Psychotzar
11. Hogwash
12. No Evil
13. Hey Jane
Encore:
14. Fools Gold


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Wednesday, 11 September 2019

dEUS @ Paradiso



This year Belgian giants dEUS are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their iconic album The Ideal Crash by playing it in its entirety. I already saw this in Utrecht some months ago, but I won't pass on the opportunity to see them play again at my favourite venue.

dEUS at Paradiso Amsterdam, September 9 2019



This means I know what is coming, especially because they are playing that very good LP track by track. I simply can't get enough of songs like 'Instant Street' and 'Sister Dew'. The band is in a great mood again, truly enjoying playing these timeless songs. Singer Tom Barman is especially in a good mood, wearing his skirt again for the occasion.



Like the first time, the band has to warm up, or maybe it's the crowd. Or it's simply the fact that the first couple of songs of the album are tracks that require listening, something that everyone is doing. Since these songs have so much detail, with all the lovely layers, the violin and keyboard parts by Klaas Janzoons. The dance group are also present again, doing their lively moves, supporting the music. These dancers are wonderful to watch, tirelessly moving around, dancing expressively.



The setlist is almost identical to the one in Utrecht, except that 'Hotellounge (Be the Death of Me)' replaces 'Nothing Really Ends' this time in the first encore. I don't mind it at all, since this is dEUS in great shape. When they also play 'Quatre Mains' and 'Fell Off the Floor, Man' in that first encore and close again with 'Roses', you shouldn't complain. Instead, I'm savouring this band and their wonderful music.



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Setlist:
01. Put the Freaks Up Front
02. Sister Dew
03. One Advice, Space
04. The Magic Hour
05. The Ideal Crash
06. Instant Street
07. Magdalena
08. Everybody's Weird
09. Let's See Who Goes Down First
10. Dream Sequence #1
Encore:
11. Quatre Mains
12. Fell Off the Floor, Man
13. Hotellounge (Be the Death of Me)
Encore 2:
14. Roses


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Tuesday, 10 September 2019

On Stage: together PANGEA @ Melkweg



It's been a while since I saw together PANGEA from California play, who are always fun to watch. With a new EP Non Stop Paranoia / Dispassionate out they are swinging by Amsterdam again, which is very good news!

together Pangea at Melkweg Amsterdam, September 8 2019



I'm surprised they are playing the small "Upstairs" hall, all the way, well, upstairs in the Melkweg. It's not even very full which surprises me even more. I was expecting more and more people to pick up on this band and for them to be playing bigger venues. Because, what's not to like? These guys are able to write catchy garage rock songs with very good verses that are dirty, edgy and especially a lot of fun.



The group proves this tonight with more than an hour of their contagious rock songs, that you simply have to dance to. Bassist Danny Bengston calls out an annoying guy who is showing too much interest in a couple of young ladies in front of the stage. It is good that bands notice these things and speak up. It's exactly like Bengston says, that people should feel safe at concerts, especially women. Of course they play many new songs, like the hyperactive 'Hi-Fi Television' that fits right in with their older work. It is a track from the explosive Non Stop Paranoia, which deals with anxiety and stress. The songs on Dispassionate are the opposite and are calm and summery tunes that reflect a day at the Californian beach. It gives them the opportunity to balance out their set, although I do think they are at their best when the tempo goes up and the band shows its wild side.



At the end of the set they prove this when they play 'Too Drunk To Come' and 'Sick Shit' that are greeted with loud cheers and a dancing crowd. The foursome returns for an encore and close the night with the glorious 'River' that has one of the best verses and can get stuck in your head for days. Too bad not more people are here to enjoy this band who deserve bigger crowds.

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Sunday, 8 September 2019

Oh Sees @ Paradiso



In the pace John Dwyer is writing music it is hard to believe he can find time to tour. Fortunately he does and most of the times will visit my home town. So whenever I can, I will try to visit his shows, which are usually Thee Oh Sees shows. Or whatever he will call that band which doesn't matter to me.

Oh Sees at Paradiso Amsterdam, September 7 2019



This time Dwyer is visiting as Oh Sees and has sold out the main hall of Paradiso weeks back. It's great to see all his hard work is paying off and he's getting the recognition he deserves. Since even though he keeps knocking out new songs without great ease, they are always of a high standard. The eager fans tonight prove the popularity of this band, hungry for some quality garage rock. After another short soundcheck the band kicks off, turning the complete floor into a wild pit right away.



Dwyer mentions this is the last show of their European tour adding, "make it count". As if this crowd needes any more motivation. Beers fly up in the air as the band fires off one vicious rock song after another. You can hear why so many people love this band, as there aren't many groups that can generate this amount of energy. With two drummers at the front of the stage this is of course their intention. Sometimes they will double the same drum grooves, other times they will play subtle differences. The objective is to make the groove even bigger and more pulsating. This way the songs keep going and never slow down. Only King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, who are also playing with two drummers, can match up to this at the moment.



With so many albums out, there's plenty of ammunition to fill the setlist. Of course the emphasis is on the last album Face Stabber, but throughout all these years and so many records, the songs have always sounded familiar. The psych rock punk songs will usually have groovy driven verses that are upbeats to explosive choruses, vicious shredding guitar solos and psychedelic krautrock jams. This never gets old and live this is impossible to resist. So people are dancing, jumping, stage diving and crowd surfing and are simply going mental.



At the end Dwyer says they will have three more songs, two pop rock songs and one long jam. 'Jettisoned' and 'C' are indeed followed by a long lovely version of 'Encryped Bounce' that keeps going forever and where the band spins into a long jam. It's a wonderful end to this night, as this band doesn't do encores. Afterwards at the busy merch table I meet fans with soaking wet shirts trying to get their hands on some of the merch. This was another amazing night with this one of a kind band.



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Setlist:
01. Nite Expo
02. Tidal Wave
03. The Dream
04. The Daily Heavy
05. Animated Violence
06. Gholü
07. Withered Hand
08. Toe Cutter / Thumb Buster
09. The Static God
10. Henchlock
11. I Come From the Mountain
12. Snickersnee
13. Plastic Plant
14. Jettisoned
15. C
16. Encryped Bounce


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The Mystery Lights @ Paradiso THT



When The Mystery Lights were announced to be playing at Paradiso THT I vaguely remembered seeing them before and liking it. Indeed it turns out I saw them play Klikofest a year ago where I loved their vintage garage rock.

The Mystery Lights at Paradiso Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam September 6 2019



When the band steps on the stage I'm in doubt again though, since I don't remember the line-up. It turns out they toured without a keyboard player player back then and have added Lily Rogers this time. It's hard to imagine them playing without a keyboardist now, since her parts are essential to the sound of the band. She throws a big chunk of The Doors into the mix, which together with the vintage guitars, combines into classic psychedelic garagerock.



That doesn't mean the band is outdated, on the contrary. The songs sound refreshing enough and front man Mike Brandon's lively stage performance gives the show plenty of edge and energy. The group kicks off their European tour tonight and are still full of energy and stamina. They have warmed up enough though to play a good show even if it's the first one of the tour. There is a nice balance between explosive wild rock songs and more mellow ones, where they are taking the time to tell stories. The band name must be referring to the lighting plan of the night, where the band members are mostly lit from the back, showing only their silhouettes most of the time (and turning my pictures to shit).



The band is promoting their new LP Too Much Tension! which came out recently. On that album they continue the sound of their first one successfully. Tonight we get to hear new songs off that album of course that also sound very good live. That vintage sixties garage rock sound is very effective once you can get past Brandon's high and somewhat pinched voice. However once you do, the band has a lot to offer and prove so tonight.

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Friday, 6 September 2019

ITGWO 2019 Day 3 + 4



Halfway the festival I notice the island is sucking me in again. I've said it many times, but this place is simply amazing. You only see smiling faces around and we are all simply spending four days in our own perfect happy little bubble.



Into The Great Wide Open 2019 Saturday August 31

Bobby Oroza



Finnish soul singer Bobby Oroza kicks off the day at the main stage. There’s a small group of people that are enjoying his classic soul music. He has a nice sound and the songs are quite groovy. His voice is a bit thin though and the songs miss variety. Oroza is a nice guy although he looks bit serious. But he is chatting with the crowd, cracking small jokes. Not a bad way to wake up I guess.

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Jordan Mackampa



We make our way to the woods where Jordan Mackampa has drawn a much bigger crowd at the small stage. His pleasant soul songs are comforting with the warm voice of Mackampa. He introduces his songs with short stories in a soft voice, but from our position in the back we can’t really hear them properly. Fortunately it's the soulful music that counts, which sounds lovely between the trees. I really like his band as well, who are adding a lot of depth and groove to the music. Judging from the fact that hardly anyone leaves, the crowd seems to like it a lot as well and thank Mackampa at the end with a heartfelt applause.

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Pip Blom



Dutch singer Pip Blom had quite a run this year. She released her debut album and played many festivals including Glastonbury. I’ve seen her a couple of times before of course and enjoy her music a lot. You notice that she and her band are spending many miles on the road. The band has grown without losing their young enthusiasm, including the always happy looking Blom herself. Among all these happy musical eruptions you could easily forget how mature her songs actually are. If she's able to keep up writing clever songs like 'Daddy Issues' one can only imagine what the future can bring for her.

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Personal Trainer & The Industry



Like Pip Blom we have to rush ourselves to the indoor stage where Canhaker Pi's Willem Smit is playing with his Personal Trainer playground project. He was asked to record new songs on the island the week before and has gathered even more of his friends to help him out. Most of them are here tonight to play them live on stage with him. You can leave it up to Smit to come up with interesting music in such a short time. The result are interesting indie songs ranging from slow and edgy to wild post punk ones. Pip Blom joins later in the set with her own little children's choir, which is totally adorable. Mixed in are Personal Trainer songs and tracks of the guest musicians. It makes the show lack structure and cohesion and an unbalanced setlist. The eager group of youngsters in front of the stage also have trouble following it, very willing to form a wild pit. But the band compensates largely for this in enthusiasm and some members are running all over the stage, dancing around and simply having an amazing time. You can only admire this young group of people for being so creative and working together on exciting new music. You simply have to look at Smit and his friends to know the future of the Dutch alternative scene is looking very bright.

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Tamino



A few years ago, Belgian musician played the smallest stage in the woods, that was already too small for his fast rising star. Since then the word was out about his remarkable voice and the wonderful music of the kind singer. So this year he got promoted to the main stage at one of the best spots in the schedule, the time the dawn is setting in. It is the perfect setting for the slow, dark but gorgeous songs of Tamino. Don't let the swooning school girls and house moms fool you, since his music is of great quality. His songs are a mix of fellow Belgians Balthazar, Radiohead and a large scoop of Jeff Buckley. His voice is clear even live and the young men has an incredible range. With the spotlights on him for most of the show, you would almost forget the other two musicians who build the structure of the song. Especially drummer Ruben Vanhoutte is playing his drum grooves very convincingly, making sure to never take away the focus from Tamino. The singer is able to impress most of the people here, slowly and patiently performing his songs. Of course he closes with 'Habibi', his first hit song that started it all and that still never fails to impress.

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Flamingods



We are in for a bit of a party and Flamingods from Bahrein are the ones to give us just that. I saw them play at Klikofest a few months ago very late at night and liked their psychedelic music with oriental influences. Singer Kamal Rasool is the core of this band of multi instrumentalists where every member seems to be able to play every instrument. They smoothly switch positions and instruments in between songs, although I never have an idea why. It doesn't matter since tonight the band has found the perfect balance in their show. They keep the party going at all times and the crowd is loving it. This is no straightforward psychedelic rock, but a tasteful oriental twist on it that sounds amazing tonight between the trees in the dark.

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Wand



At the indoor stage Wand have already started their show, who played here before at the same spot. We continue the psychedelic rock party but this time from a different angle. Singer Cory Hanson is the centre point with nice solos and skilful guitar playing. It makes sense Ty Segall is a big fan of them, releasing their debut on his own label. The band have slowly made their sound more heavy, but are able to balance this out nicely. The songs can explode into wild jams, with lots of reverb and fuzz. However it is always in a subtle way, effectively using dynamics in their music. The band may look a bit serious on stage, but are slowly loosening up towards the end of the show, that is the last one of their European tour. I'm sure this is a great place to end a tour and have a big party to celebrate. I know that's what we're going to do.

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Into The Great Wide Open 2019 Sunday September 1

It is the last day of the festival and the one where it I don't want to rush to shows. I just enjoy the island, the festival, the people and a couple of good bands instead.

Beraadgeslagen



At the small stage in the woods we find two musicians entertaining quite a large crowd. Beraadgeslagen are keys wizard Fulco Ottervanger and drummer Lander Gyselinck who play modern, groovy jazz music with a twist that isn't hard to swallow. Normally the duo likes to be playing in the audience, surrounded by people. So towards the end of the show Ottervanger invites anyone who wants to on stage. It is a nice view, all those happy people dancing around the duo. When they ask the audience to rap on a song, only one man is brave enough to hold the mic. Parts of his rap are sampled immediately and the duo improvises a song around it. It doesn't get more interesting, creative and exciting than this, which is what jazz is all about.

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Strand Of Oaks



At the main stage we find Timothy Showalter and his band. I like the kind big guy, who apparently has to go through a rough time in order to find inspiration for his music. This shines through in his songs, that are full of emotion, where Showalter will dig deep into his soul and bare it all. His songs may not be the most innovative ones, but they are honest and full of heart. It makes his shows worthwhile and today is no exception. Showalter himself seems to enjoy the beautiful weather and the festival, which seems to put him in a good place. Many people with me enjoy this moment and his music with him.

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Parcels



It's that time of the festival where it's time to party one more time at the main stage. You actually don't want it to come, since you want the festival to go on for ever. But when the moment is there, everyone is ready to dance and close the main stage in style. Parcels are the perfect band with their Bee Gees inspired disco. The band members seem to have stepped into a time machine in the seventies that brought them here. The Australians know what this crowd wants and play a funky set full of happy disco tunes. You can also hear the Daft Punk influences mixed into their music. I find the variety in their music a but limited and don't really like the falsetto harmonies all the time, but Parcels are clearly playing at the right place and time here.

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Another wonderful edition comes to a close and we couldn't have wished for more. The weather, the food, the people, music and most of all the island were wonderful. Can't wait 'til next time!

All Pictures

Into The Great Wide Open 2019 Day 1 + 2

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Thursday, 5 September 2019

ITGWO 2019 Day 1 + 2



The island of Vlieland is waiting for us again for another edition of that wonderful little festival Into The Great Wide Open that we visit annually. The sun is out and we are already sucking up its ray on the ferry to the island. I can already feel that lovely island mood flowing.

Into The Great Wide Open 2019 Thursday August 29

Squid



The festival kicks off for us with one of the most interesting new bands of the moment. Squid from Brighton play catchy and danceable punk rock songs that sound like a mix of The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem. Drummer Ollie Judge who is also taking care of most of the lead vocals has a bit of hysterical way of singing which fits their hyperactive music. The way he's phrasing his lyrics is clever and the rest of the band support him with energetic and percussive grooves. The hesitant crowd are slowly doing their first dance moves of the festival.

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Onipa



We head to the bigger stage in the woods and we find a big crowd there, that has been warmed up completely by Onipa. The band from the UK with singer K.O.G. from Ghana has many people dancing to their hip hop, dance and percussive music with plenty of West African grooves. That is an excellent mix and K.O.G. is a wonderful frontman who is dancing around stage with a big smile on his face. This is one of those bands that will light up a festival with positive vibes and beautiful music.

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Whispering Sons



After seeing Belgian band Whispering Sons killing it a few times, we don’t want to miss them playing the only indoor stage of the festival. The dark small venue should be fitting for their even darker music. The sound is a bit dry though and it makes their music less powerful, making it harder to get into. Fortunately ‎Fenne Kuppens keeps working the crowd with her expressive performance and low voice. In the end they are able to grab me again with their gloomy and impressive show.

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Into The Great Wide Open 2019 Friday August 30

BCUC



I found out that I saw this band from Soweto some years ago as well on this island. Judging from my post I wasn’t really impressed. But a few months ago I really liked the energetic and lively performance. Today again the band plays a steaming show with a catchy mix of spirituals, soul and hip hop. The big drums keep the dancing going while Jovi Nkosi is singing, rapping and screaming tirelessly. Kgomotso Mokone's beautiful voice adds the soul and percussion and the wonderful bass of Mosebetsi Nzimande adds a lot of sugar to the steady grooves. The crowd keeps growing throughout the show and the band wins everyone over. There’s also time for some stories about the problems in South Africa and a message of unity. At the end Jovi has a heartfelt shout-out to his child and the man taking care of him now.



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Daniel Norgren



I’m really happy to see Daniel Norgren again, since I love his music so much. It’s his second time on the island where I got introduced to him his first time here and completely got swept away. The gentle Swede starts out small behind the piano and then gradually lets it rip. The new songs are once again mostly laid back Americana tunes with Norgren’s skilful guitar that he sometimes will let erupt. His loyal band is a perfect match and plays with a lot of heart. The crowd feels this and is listening in silence, grabbed by Norgren’s music. It’s beautiful that such a happy crowd can stay quiet on a sunny afternoon like today. It is the audience Norgren deserves. He states this is one of the best festivals he ever played, quickly adding that he not just saying that. This festival and this wonderful musician are a perfect match.

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Yola



Some years ago Yolanda Quartey played in a band called Phantom Limb that was winning over hearts very fast. Suddenly they quit after their first album and I never got clear what happened. Now she’s back as a solo artist with similar Americana and country style songs. Mostly these songs are gentle tunes with the amazing voice of Yola. She is able to belt out incredible vocals but chooses to keep it small most of the time. The songs stay a bit on the safe side and it never gets so impressive as the first time I saw her. But the charismatic Yola is lovely to watch, looking very happy on stage performing her own music.

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Equal Idiots



It’s time to fire it up again and this Belgian duo are exactly what I need. Their explosive garage rock songs are all loud little firecrackers that start a small pit in front of the stage. This wonderful festival crowd is always a bit hesitant with wild guitar bands, so it never gets out of control. Singer Thibault Christiaensen notices this and keeps firing up the crowd until the pit starts growing. The duo never lets it slip and comes up winning in the end by playing contagious raw rock music with a lot of effort and energy.

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KOKOROKO



There’s a lot of music from the big African continent this year, or inspired by it. KOKOROKO draw their inspiration from afrobeat and jazz, which means they are channeling some of Fela Kuti's music and some amazing jazz as well. Indeed it’s quite jazzy with the three horn players at the front, but at the same time has exciting afro-beat vibes, making it very suitable for dancing. Trumpet player Sheila Maurice-Grey is also the front woman and the large band draws an equally big crowd to the stage in the woods. It is great to see so many people turning up for a band that doesn’t exactly play avarage festival friendly music. It proves the open mind of this festival crowd although it helps a lot that you can dance to this music. I like their sound a lot and all the happy dancing pepole around us between the trees makes for a lovely sight.

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The Murder Capital



Hailing from Dublin, this group is one of the products of the exploding post punk scene there. The music of this five piece is on the dark side and the indoor stage is a good place for it. It’s an intense performance with the impressive front man James McGovern, who seems untouched by the big turn up. He doesn’t really have a great singing voice, but his vocals go very well with the dark and violent post punk. The other band members are circling around him, waving their guitars dangerously close to each other’s heads. This band is great to watch and I’m going to keep an eye out for them.

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All Pictures

Into The Great Wide Open 2019 Day 3 + 4

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