The first edition of Static Roots Festival was held as a wish to organize a festival by organizer Dietmar and turning 50 was a great moment to do just that. It was such a great festival that even before the festival was over the cry to repeat the festival was heard and so this year we got the second edition of Static Roots Festival. This time both days in Zentrum Altenberg.
Last year they had so many artists that they had to add extra evening and location on Friday. This year however everything was planned out well ahead so that both days of the Static Roots Festival were held at the location. With sunny weather, beers, hamburgers and freshly made coffee and terrific music you can’t ask for much more!
After a long drive from Assen to Oberhousen and checking in at the hotel we headed to Zentrum Alten berg to see the start of the festival with David Corley. After an introduction by Jeff Robson (flown in from Canada) David opened the festival with a series of songs about the struggles of life. In the Netherlands Roots-lovers will well remember David from the 2015 edition of Take Root in Groningen where David was struck with a severe heart problems. He came back strong in 2016 on Rhythm&Blues, also in Groningen. This however was his first time in Germany and he was joined by his producer Chris Brown and several members of John Blek & The Rats. For a few songs Gregor Beresford (Barenaked Ladies) took over drum-duties. A strong voice and lyrics drawing from a long, rich life. It was a great start for the festival.
After a small break the stage was handed over to Peter Bruntnell and band. Quite a different take on roots-rock with a lot more rock in the mix. By no means a bad thing, I loved the set. Good songs, terrific guitarist in the band and a great great time.
We had a little longer break as the stage was prepared for the last act of the night. To finish this first night at Static Roots Festival we had a return of last year’s band John Blek & The Rats. They were amazing last year, still love their record a lot, so this year expectations were high and the band did not disappoint. Their own material is terrific and stands wel out on its own, but still the inclusion of Neil Young’s ‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down’ was simply awesome.
In the end John got down from the stage and had the audience singing along with him. A fantastic end to a great first evening of the Static Roots Festival.
On Saturday June 10, after a good night’s rest we were ready for the second day of Static Roots. Doors opening at two in the afternoon the first act started half an hour later. And what an act that was. Nadine Khouri -originally from Beirut but living in London now- was absolutely the perfect way to start the afternoon.
With Jake Long on drums and a fantastic Basia Bartz from Poland on violin the music was dreamily light. Singing into her violins microphone (making it look like she was playing the violin with her teeth) and a sound that at times had a strong balkan/gypsy feel, Basia was a great support to Nadine’s band.
A short while later Jack Marks was up next. A singer-songwriter from Canada with a small, tight band. Alistair Christi on bass and his wife Leslie-Ann on a small stand-up drumkit. Steering back from Nadine’s dreamy rootsmusic back to the basic rootsmusic.
And then we were already on our third act: Erin Rae & The Meanwhiles from Nashville. Erin has a gorgeous voice and a terrific band. This concert had a more coutnry feel, but coming from Nashville/Tennessee that’s not too surprising. With The Meanwhiles as a strong support, this was simply divine.
During the festival there was only one solo performer: David Ford. And he was incredible. A superb songwriter with a fantastic voice and good stage-personality. At several times he used a loop-machine. After a faulty start he built up the layers so flawlessly that you’d wonder where all the music came from.
Especially the build-up of the backing-choire was fantastic. I’ve known of the loop-machine ever since KT Tunstall (who named it her Wee Bastard) but this must be one of the best uses I’ve seen of it yet. All in all an awesome concert!
We had a bit of a larger break now as a huge stage-setup was in the planning. So when everyone had tome to refresh and had enough time for a burger and some beers we headed back to the stage.
Torpus & The Art Directors -the first and only German act on Static Roots Festival- had an action-packed show in the planning. Although some well planned slower songs kept the set well in balance overall the set was very energetic, upbeat and danceable. Lots of energy and fun.
And then the stage was rebuilt one more time. In the meantime we all headed out for a group-photo of band, organizers and visitors. All who wanted in one big happy group-photo.
And then back inside for Danny & The Champions of the World. Voted best live act in the UK no less then three times this was going to be a fantastic final act for the 2017 edition of Static Roots. The band was smoking!
A huge band on stage (hard to imagine they actually previously did a housegig at organizer Dietmar’s house) they were having at least as much fun on stage as the dancing audience was on the (dance)floor. it was simply awesome and it’s no surprise they were hauled back on stage for no less then two encores. A sublime end to a terrific festival.
And so the second edition of Static Roots Festival ended. Bands and audience enjoyed a few more beers in the venue and outside before calling it a night. And that right there is what makes the festival so great. The audience isn’t as big as Rock Am Ring, Pinkpop or Glastonbury, but it’s a friendly bunch of music lovers and they and musicians could enjoy a beer, talking about music and the fantastic hamburgers (I recommend they keep the Static Roots Music special burger on the menu!). Plans for a third edition are already in the make and so I hope to see you all there next year! Thanks Dietmar and Marion for being such terrific hosts!