Wednesday 26 June 2019

Loose Ends Festival 2019

There's a new festival in town called Loose Ends and apparently they got a hold of my garage and punk rock dream line-up, since the festival only booked bands I like. Of course I got tickets right away and want to see them all. Not sure how this will work out, but a guy can dream right? I hop on my bike, get on the ferry and enter Loose Ends.

Loose Ends Festival 2019

Fortunately this is not a huge festival and I see the three stages are very close to each other. It's also not overcrowded and this gives me the opportunity to see bands that are playing at the same time. The sun is up, the beer is cold and I have my ear plugs. Let's go!


I like the music of this band, that is a combination of members of other sick bands, Creepy Karpis, Rats on Rafts and The Homesick. I'm really glad I finally get to see them live now. With catchy clear guitar riffs and poppy garage songs that are full of irresistible hooks, these guys certainly don't disappoint. I can't wait for their first album that is coming out this fall. A very good way to kick off this day.

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Personal Trainer

I couldn't see Canshaker Pi singer Willem Smit's solo project earlier at the Best Kept Secret festival, but I get a second chance. When we arrive at the smallest stage outside there's already a party going on. Smit has gathered a lot of friends on stage that is a bit too small for this wild rock party going on. It's a crazy get together and a wonderful sight to see this colourful bunch of people throw a fun party this early in the afternoon. Smit is turning into a front runner for the Dutch indie scene and that is a good thing.

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We make our way to the main stage where Crows have started their set. I like their dark and vicious post punk music that is loud, heavy and noisy. We may be in the wrong spot though, since from our position the vocals are too loud compared to the guitar. This music relies on a good balance between those two, so everything can melt together into a glorious wall of noise. Now it misses its effect and the music doesn't have the full impact it should. The sunny afternoon doesn't exactly help as this band dwells best in a dark small club.

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Time to check out the tent stage where Dutch punk band Ploegendienst have started tearing down the place, led by Ray Fuego who is dressed only in his underpants for the tropical occasion. This band is relentless, will grab you and won't let go until you beg for mercy. It keeps firing off loud, rough punk songs without slowing down and scores the first real pit of the day, just right on time.

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Mozes and the Firstborn

On the main stage one of the most fun Dutch garage rock bands Mozes and the Firstborn are already playing in the blistering sun. They are the perfect band on this summer's afternoon, playing a tight set with the same loose and relaxed attitude that we are used of them. These guys have so many great songs, that simply keep running around your head for days. Once again I enjoy their lively show and music.

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A few months ago I was pleasantly surprised by this almost all female band from LA. Their music is ranging from indie rock to rough punk rock, led by Leana Geronimo. The band plays a tight set and I like it again. It doesn't get as stunning as the first time I saw them, but that could just be the different surroundings. I don't get sucked into their show like that time, but I sure like the way they are really into their music.

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Sports Team

First times can't be beaten easily when they are good. The same goes for Sports Team. Their great lively show at Best Kept Secret was one that worked in every way. Today it's a different place with a different crowd. The band has to work hard but the response is more reserved. Singer Alex Rice isn't giving up though and keeps moving around stage in his Mick-Jagger-on-speed kind of way. The band has a couple of catchy hit songs up their sleeves, that don't miss their effect. I notice though, that once you've seen them before, it is less overwhelming and they need to make sure they don't cross the thin line of turning into a gimmick.

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Launched by Jack White's Third Man Records, Yak has all the ingredients for me to like them. And that couldn't be more right. Their groovy fuzzed out rock is tight, loud and has this psychedelic edge that I like a lot. I understand why they have a fanbase that includes Alex Turner and members of Spiritualized and Tame Impala. There's more to it than just a bunch of catchy garage rock songs. The band definitely have their sound down and I'll be sure to check out their music.

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Indian Askin

Dutch band Indian Askin have their sound down too, although their new LP sounds more mellow than the previous one. Normally that shouldn't be a problem but this is a punk rock crowd. The heavy songs do have more impact today, whereas the mellow ones have everyone lean back in a relaxed way, downing a cold beer. This is a great band though, that will work hard to please a crowd and that has many killer songs up their sleeves.

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Iguana Death Cult

I can't stay at the main stage though, since Iguana Death Cult is playing at the other side at the small stage. Singer Jeroen Reek may have lost his long hair, but he still is wildly rocking. You could call them the Dutch Oh Sees, because of the similar sound, but that would cut the band short. Since these guys simply keep knocking out one catchy tune after another and are always a delight to watch. All of them play with a lot of heart and turn every stage into an energetic rock party.

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Pip Blom

On her way to Glastonbury our own Pip Blom is visiting this festival as well. I like her cheerful and catchy rock music, that has something light and gritty, but is edgy the same time. Together with her young band her shows are always energetic and full of heart. Their young age give them something uninhibited which is wonderful to see. Her first album Boat that just came out is getting very good reviews and she proves she's one of the hidden gems at Glastonbury this year.

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Sunflower Bean

I got introduced to Sunflower Bean last year at the Into The Great Wide Open festival and liked their rough rock music. In Julia Cumming the band has a front woman with a real rock attitude. It gives their performance the right amount of energy. They borrowed The Lemon Twigs' Danny Ayala on keyboard who is adding an extra layer to their sound but also brings extra show to the stage. It turns their performance into a lively one that is a lot of fun to watch.

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The festival is definitely on speed now and Iceage keep the party going. Fronted by the charismatic singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, the Danish band have a broad, big guitar sound that is a mix of post-punk and psychedelica, with some The Velvet Underground kind of twist. It works very well and the band builds a big wall of noise, drowned in reverb and wild guitar. It's a nice first encounter with this talented band.

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Canadian group METZ are one of my favourite bands here today and I couldn't wait to catch them again. These guys never disappoint and their music is like a bulldozer cruising at race car speed. It's unbelievable that only three guys produce this powerful sound, that keeps pounding away at you. I love this groove that they build up, without holding back. But it's not just the power and noise, since the songs are actually very clever, with more to it than you'd think. It's as effective as always today, judging from the wild pit in front of the stage.

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Fontaines D.C.

We're only halfway the year but I'm sure Irish post punkers Fontaines D.C.'s first album Dogrel is going to end up high in many album lists at the end of this year. It sure will end up high on mine. It is full of well written songs that are both fun and dark. When the band starts you get a Joy Division flash-back looking at singer Grian Chatten nervously walking around his microphone. But damn, these guys blow everyone's mind with a tight and energetic show. They let it rip and it's probably the most ecstatic moment of the festival with crowd surfers and people simply going mental. For a good reason because songs like 'Too Real' and 'Boys In The Betterland' are simply instant classics that have a huge impact. I bought tickets to their show in November right away, when they return to Amsterdam.

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Sleaford Mods

I'm not too much of a fan of Sleaford Mods, but I can see how their electronic punk music earned a spot at this festival. Of course this is a big name and the duo prove it today with a well performed set, that goes down well with the crowd. Jason Williamson's biting raps are backed up by minimalistic electronic beats. It is quite a powerful combination and allows part of the crowd to go loose one more time while the sun is setting and the dark sets in. It's a good ending to this wonderful day.

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Thus festival did a great job putting together an exciting day of punk and garage rock. They lined up so many amazing bands, that I couldn't even see all of them. But it turned into a wonderful and fun day with a lot of good vibes. I really hope the festival returns next year with a string of equally exciting bands. I'm sure I will be there again as well.

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