Monday 26 August 2019

Sniffing The Grass: An ITGWO 2019 Warmup

I don’t know how many times we travelled to the Vlieland island for Into The Great Wide Open, I simply lost count. Every year we have a wonderful time there and we can’t wait to come back again. It has turned into a short vacation by now, since we add a few days ahead of the festival. The weather forecast looks great and we are having a small heatwave at the beginning of our vacation. The lineup is even hotter so let’s have a look.


The first day starts late compared to the other days and therefore is a short one. It usually has some really nice and interesting bands lined up, while part of the crowd won't even arrive until tomorrow. This year there’s plenty to look forward to:

1. Onipa; Afro, disco, electro, oh yeah! This collective from London should get the dancing started early without a problem.
2. Squid; this band has created quite a buzz around them and I can’t wait to see them play their danceable punk tunes.
3. Whispering Sons; the Belgian new wave post rock formation has conquered the low lands by storm and after seeing them a few times I know I don’t want to miss them play this festival.


I probably keep repeating myself when I say the second day looks very tasty as well with a nice variety of lovely bands:

1. BCUC; I saw this band from Soweto play the Best Kept Secret Festival where they impressed many people including me. Their mix of soul, gospel and old traditional songs is powerful, especially because they play it with a lot of heart. They visited the island some years ago, but this time they mean business.
2. Daniel Norgren; I love Swedish troubadour Daniel Norgen with his gorgeous heartfelt folk and rock songs. I couldn’t make it to his last visit to Amsterdam, so I don’t want to miss him here.
3. Equal Idiots; this young Belgian garage rock band has a dozen or two of rocking, fun and catchy songs and knocks them out with great energy. This should be a wild ride.
4. Kokoroko; afrobeat fanatics that are inspired by Fela Kuti, Ebo Taytlor and Tony Allen!? You had me at Afro, say no more!
5. The Murder Capital; something’s happening in Dublin at the moment since great post rock bands keep coming from it, like Fontaines D.C. and Girl Band. Must be something in that Guinness. The newest one on the rise is The Murder Capital with dark, moody and gritty rock music. Sounds great to me.


By now we have completely subdued ourselves in the island festival vibes, so bring on day three!

1. Celeste; this young singer plays lovely soul, jazz and r&b music that reminds of Aretha and Amy. Sounds perfect enough to enjoy between the trees.
2. Personal Trainer; Canshaker Pi’s Willem Smit is bringing some friends to the islands to record new music which we are going to hear today. Wild party guaranteed I’m sure.
3. Pip Blom; Pip loves this festival and this festival loves Pip. So she’s back with her band and her debut album for some lovely rock music.
4. Pottery; think Talking Heads, think Devo and you get the picture. Think I want to see this.
5. Tamino; Belgian’s amazing singer Tamino keeps growing and growing, playing bigger and bigger stages, bringing his wonderful music and stunning voice to the main stage while the dark slowly sets in. Sounds like a perfect scene to me.


We want to go out with a bang and there are a couple of bands who may just give us that:

1. Strand of Oaks; Timothy Showalter keeps coming back to making music no matter what happens. It results in honest, moving and rocking songs by this wonderful musician.
2. Parcels; I don’t know what to expect from this Aussie band, but they are killing it at every festival they play. Their irresistible disco sounds like a wonderful closing party of the main stage.
3. KOKOKO!; wild afrobeat and jazz that will make you dance, played on home made instruments and coming from Kinshasa. Sounds like a killer combo to end the festival in style.

It’s amazing what the programmers have come up with, such a colourful and exciting line up with plenty to enjoy for everyone. This means a busy schedule for me, but what else is new?

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