Wednesday 10 July 2019

Dijkpop 2019

Because friends of ours live in the town Andijk, we visited the Dijkpop festival two years ago, that is being held there annually. We had a lot of fun but couldn't go to last year's edition. This year however we didn't want to miss it again.

Dijkpop, July 6 2019

We want to arrive early at the festival site, so we won't miss JAGD. It is a bit rainy and when we arrive there are not many people around yet. A perfect chance to test the beer (we actually found bad tasting ones at one bar), explore the site and get rocking.


JAGD are the ones to open the rock stage this year, which is not the most desirable job. It's still early and it is raining and many people will come to the festival later in the afternoon. Only a handful of people have made it to this tent, but that doesn't slow down the band for a bit. I've seen them several times before and this is a group that will never let you down. Their uptempo punk songs should convince most people watching them, especially with their lively stage performance. You notice they keep getting better and better because of the many shows they are playing. They try out a few new songs as well, that sound promising for what is coming next. One of them is more heavy in sound which is a direction that works pretty good. It would be nice if more people will pick on them so they can start playing bigger crowds and festivals.

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A bit later we return to the rock stage to watch Tricklebolt, a traditional hard rock band. I listened to a few of their songs and found those a bit overproduced and too smooth. However live on stage their sound is more heavy, rough around the edges and the songs work a lot better. It is a seventies rock sound with a swinging Hammond to top it off. The band plays with a lot of energy and turns the place into a rock party.

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The Mauskovic Dance Band

This band is also drawing inspiration from the seventies but in a completely different way. Their combination of disco, cumbia and afrobreat with a spacy sound is aimed at one thing only: dancing. It is impossible to stand still with these tropical grooves and exotic music. Unfortunately not many people are in the mood for dancing apparently since not many showed up here. That is too bad since this band deserves a bigger crowd that are hungry for dancing, as that would surely turn into a hot party. We have to leave them halfway as well though, since we also want to see Thijs Boontjes.

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Thijs Boontjes

I love this rocker with his catchy and happy songs and his tongue in cheek performances. He sings songs about everyday life, like 'Casablanca' when we walk in, a song about a karaoke bar in Amsterdam. I already saw him a few times, the last time earlier this year when he presented his new album. It may all just sound like it's simple fun, but the songs are actually really clever, well written and skilfully played. Especially because his band consists of some of the best musicians from the Dutch alternative music scene. With his joyful performance you can see everyone is having a good time. Both on and off stage, since it's hard to tell who's having more fun, the crowd or the band.

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Belgian band Novastar, a group around Joost Zweegers, have been around for a long time. Their emotional ballads and rock songs are easy to the ears, but the group never got really big outside Belgium though. The music is not to blame for that, nor the musicians, since you can tell these are professional and skilled musicians. Zweegers plays many songs behind the piano and his warm voice is clear. He's playing with a lot of heart and it's a smooth running show. Still they don't have a lot of hit songs that many people know and only when they play 'Where Did We Go Wrong', you notice that people recognize it. The music could maybe use a bit more variation, since I notice people start losing interest at one point. I like their sound though and it's a convincing performance nevertheless.

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We return to the rock stage where we find STAKE tearing the place down. Black Peaks were supposed to play, but I find out after the festival (thanks Paceshifters!) they had to cancel and were replaced by Belgium's STAKE, formerly known as Steak Number Eight. The Belgian post-metal band is new to me, but I'm pleasantly surprised by the energetic performance. Singer Brent Vanneste is screaming on the top of his lungs, giving the heavy rock songs a lot of fire. But when he's not screaming you notice he actually is a pretty good singer with a pleasant rock voice. It reminds me of Deftones now and then when he sings like that. The songs are pounding away with great force and the band fires them off one after another, causing a wild pit in front of the stage. This band is a pleasant surprise for me today.

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Michelle David & The Gospel Sessions

We've seen Michelle David play a few times before including two years ago on this festival. Her gospel and soul music received widespread praise and with her very good band she's a welcome guest at many festivals. David is a wonderful performer with a strong soul voice, singing with lots of passion. Most of her songs are danceable and she turns every stage into a swinging high mass. I do notice that after seeing her perform a few times, the shows don't really change. Hopefully she can come up with something new after a while.

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I've seen Paceshifters play an acoustic set once and thought is was okay, but nothing really special. Tonight the trio prove to be a passionate rock band with great sounding songs. The two brothers Dokman on guitar and bass, together with drummer Jesper Albers, play tight and with a lot of heart. Their noise rock is loud and heavy, but also has a sense of urgency. Their passionate performance clearly pays off as there is quite a big turn up and no one wants to leave. I am definitely going to check out more of their music now.

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Danko Jones

Yes, we're at the rock stage again, where we spent most of the day. They have a hell of a closing act there this year, in the form of Danko Jones. The Canadian rocker will play for the full 100 percent everywhere he goes. It is clear he doesn't like the fact that he's not playing the bigger main stage. I can understand that, since he's used to play much bigger stages and festivals. But this is a small festival and this smaller tent hasn't even filled up completely for the rock band. This only makes him more determined to knock everyone off their feet though. I always like the way he tries to preach rock and roll where ever he goes and won't slow down until everyone is rocking with him.

He has two great partners in crime. Especially bass player John 'JC' Calabrese is always wonderful to watch, tirelessly firing up the crowd while rocking out with a big smile on his face. Together with Jones he has been in the band from the beginning and the duo have conquered many stages together. Jones says "I want to be on the main stage the next time, because we will be back". I hope he will keep his promise and we can see him tear down the main stage in a few years time.

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I had a lot of fun again at this pleasant small festival. It tries hard to come up with an interesting line-up with something for everyone and sure succeeded in that this year. We definitely will be back next year, to party some more with the kind people of Andijk.

All Pictures

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