Melodica Groningen

I had hardly recovered from the Dauwpop festival when I set of to the next festival, a bit smaller, but the intimate atmosphere and the concept of Melodica aimed at singer/songwriters is inspiring and well worth the visit.

Melodica is a concept that is organized in various cities all over the world. Entrance is free, a pay-what-you-want idea, where all earnings go directly to the musicians. The organization is in the hands of a bunch of music loving volunteers and this all helps create a small, accessible and intimate atmosphere.

The main reason I love this kind of festival is that I love discovering new music and I have a huge amount of respect for the singer/songwriter community. Earnings are small and still these musicians travel wide and far for the love of their music, to meet like-minded artists and to create beautiful music.

As I arrived the festival had already started and I entered as Ivory Eyes were playing a really nice set. Gorgeous way to start the afternoon.

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The last act of the afternoon was Willie Darktrousers, singing Dutch songs with dark humour and a somewhat Dylanesque feel. Loved, really loved the love song but the rest is evenly witty and brilliant.

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After a short break the evening-program started with Mari Mana from Germany and I was fully taken in by her voice. Small, fragile and simply beautiful.

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Next up was The World Of Dust, a solo-project of Stefan Breuer. It was the first (and most likely only) live performance as so far only some people have been allowed to listen to songs in Stefan’s presence. Stefan has created images that were displayed on a screen behind him to accompany the songs, something he admitted he probably liked to do even more than making music. Loved the small fragile setting.

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Dad Rocks! terrific name for a band (and to tell your son what daddy does). Snævar Njall Albertsson is a terrific musician with a good sense of humour. Really, really really great set of songs.

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I saw Hello Piedpiper before at the album-release of Town of Saints and as Harmen of that band is in the organization, getting Hello Piedpiper back is a superb idea. The man has a gift. Using loop-machinges to create a slightly bigger sound it were still his amazing vocals and guitar playing that amazed. His western-movie inspired song summed up images of Sergio Leone’s cinematic scenes.

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Closing the evening with a bit more tempo Our Minor Fall did a great job ending the evening swinging on the dancefloor. With an extra ‘band-member’ on stage (or actually besides it) making live visual backgrounds made the whole thing seem almost psychedelic.

(click image for full set)

Melodica was not done just yet, there was still more to come on Sunday, however I had to give that a pass, as I had other duties and far too little sleep in the past days :) However the festival is very much a terrific asset to the already broad musical offerings of Groningen. Hope to see it return next year!

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