On Saturday, before Noorderslag started, we first visited the last PlatoSonic day. First into the Coffee Company to see Anne Soldaat finishing his set. A while ago I saw him in Vera with band. Great to see that the songs hold up so well when he plays them solo acoustically
As Anne’s set finished and he started the interview part of the show, I made my way into a very crowded Plato store where one of my all-time favorite Dutch bands was about to play. Bettie Serveert is back and is rocking again. Even in this very short in-store set (due to delay and a tight agenda). It was fantastic to see Bettie Serveert again. If I wouldn’t be able to see them at Noorderslag this night at least I’d seen them in Plato
I did not go back to the Coffee Company to whatever was playing there as Plato remained crowded and I wanted a good place to shoot the next band that would play there. DeWolff made it high into my albumlist of 2009. A bunch of young guys from the Netherlands playing psychedelic rock form the seventies. It was a good set, but to add a drum-solo in the first song of an already short in-store gig was a bit too much
After DeWolff I was able to get back to the Coffee Company where Charlene was about to start. Charlene came in third in the fourst edition of the Dutch Idols series. She’s a nice girl blessed with a good voice. The genre however isn’t really my thing
And now that was all done, the only thing that remained for Eurosonic/Noorderslag 2010 was Noorderslag!
Al the way from Belgium came the psychedelic alt.rockers of Creature With The Atom Brain. They played at Vindicat and the band was heard all over the square outside; they played LOUD
In the most beautiful venue of Groningen – the Stadsschouwburg- fromer Madrugada frontman Sivert Høyem presented his band. The weird thing with this venue is that they built the stage over the seats. So technically the bands are in the seated area (well, above it) and the crowd is on the stage. The upshot is that you get great views to the ceiling. The gig itself was good and Sivert’s name is enough to get a huge crowd in the venue.
And then back to Vindicat for the last EuroSonic gig. Post-Hardcore from England’s Young Guns and the volume is turned up to the loudest setting here. It’s also the first gig since ages that I install the fash on my camera again. How else am I possibly going to get the singer mid-air?
And so EuroSonic came to an end. I saw lots and lots of bands, worked and worked to get my photos edited in time for the FileUnder.nl reviews of EuroSonic and now there was only one more day to go: Noorderslag.
From Los Campesinos! in Simplon it wasn’t far to Ou Est le Swimming Pool as they were playing on the upstairs stage in Simplon. Ou Est le Swimming Pool is from England and is as camp as it gets. Catchy electropop and good fun to watch
From Simplon it’s not a very long walk to Het Paleis, a venue that would otherwise have definitely been out of reach and that would have been a shame as Jenny Wilson -from Sweden- is quite a striking appearance in a red hooded dress. Unfortunately more people seemed to find the venue to be too far to walk as the crowd wasn’t too big. An that’s a shame because you don’t get to see an incredible enthusiastic keyboard/flute/sax player with a broken leg on stage.
Elsewhere in Groningen, back in Shadrak Jaakko & Jay from Finland raged through their set high on adrenaline. Armed with nothing more then an acoustic guitar and minimal drum kit (snare + hi-hat) this is one high speed gig
Our second night of Eurosonic started at Huize Maas. Rather late as diner at a Mexican restaurant took ages, so we had to dig our way to the edge of the stage. Strange enough it’s usually crowded at the back in a venue and quite a bit of room in the front. I was very happy to find out this was also the case with Pony Pony Run Run from France. A fantastic combination of rock and dance that ended in something that resembled house. In incredible way to start the evening.
On the other side of Huize Maas Donkeyboy from Norway started as the sound of Pony Pony Run Run still vibrated in my head. It’s probably because of this that I can’t really remember that much of Donkeyboy.
A stern walk through Groningen brought us to a packed Simplon where the seven members Los Campesinos! from England filled out the entire stage. A great band and lots of energy on stage and in the crowd. This was fun.
The last two bands of the first day of Eurosonic. The first activity of the day was an interview with Marina of Marina & The Diamonds. Marina Diamandis is Welsh with Greek roots and extremely cute. No photos of the interview (ever so stupid of me, the interview room at Huize Maas with the graffiti on the wall would have made a great background to Marina), but we did promise to be front-row at her gig in Huize Maas to cheer her on and so that was right where I was. Unfortunately, the crowd didn’t react much at the gig, which affected the concert to some degree. I do hope Marina will return and find a more responsive audience as I really liked the concert and her on-stage performance
The very last gig of the first day took us -once again- to a not very well lit Shadrak where an Italian band was already rocking the stage. Heike Has The Giggles has if nothing else at least a great name :) Luckily also the indyrock of Emanuela Drei and band sounded great. It was again very crowded in Shadrak. The end of the gig was a bet sudden when after a song it turned out that Emanuela had her guitar back in the sleeve agian and was already off the stage. Still, it was a great show
Our planning had us at Huize Maas for The Chapman Family, but as the band finished way too early, we only heard the dying sound of the last guitar stroke and found ourselves with a gap to fill. A quick look at the EuroSonic app on the iPhone (man those phones are handy at festivals, I really have got to get me one) we looked up the time-table, saw that Manna (from Finland) was playing in Vindicat and reading the bio they sounded interesting (tags: Punky, dreamy, somewhere between Polly Jean Harvey and Patti Smith), so we decided to check them out. And as I’m a huge succer for female bass players, entering the venue I immediately saw that everything was going to be very OK :)
Usually we avoid Dutch bands during EuroSonic, there’s enough chances to see those during the season, but exceptions can always be found. And Cords is one of them. A ‘Noiserock’ band, two John Peel sessions in a former life, great stage reputation and fronted by Simone Holsbeek the Cords sounded great and I can’t wait to see them in a full-on concert (with better lights too)
During the EuroSonic festival I visited the Vera venue only once, for the German band Kilians. It was the first band I saw that really got the crowd going. A band with a great attitude and Vera was dancing and shouting with the band.
In Huize Maas former Placebo drummer Steve Hewitt was performing with his band Love Amongst Ruin. It was LOUD!
Here are the first few sets of Eurosonic. The first is Jon Allen from Belgium, the band we started with at the Huize Maas venue
Sometree from Germany played at Shadrak
Also playing in Shadrak was the Slovenian band We Can’t Sleep At Night
EuroSonic is an ever evolving festival in Groningen. Every year there are more and more ‘side-attractions’ and in-store performances. Record store Plate and neighboring Coffee shop ‘Coffee Company’ organised PlatoSonic; In-store gigs by and interviews with bands that were to perform at Eurosonic and Noorderslag. A very good way to start the day. Here are the first two performances of Thursday; Dutch band Pitch Blond and the Belgian Isbells:
After two days of Eurosonic, with mostly foreign bands all over Groningen there is Noorderslag: a one day festival concentrating on Dutch acts. And all under one roof: De Oosterpoort. Like the previous days we started with a few in-store gigs in Plato and the Coffee Corner. We saw Anne Soldaat, Bettie Serveert, Charlene and DeWolf there. A great way to start the last day.
Then again a quick dinner, but without the enormous waiting time. After that it was time to go to the venue. I’ll leave the list of acts for now, lets just say it’s a lot. I think I saw about 18 acts. Not sure if all the photos worked out, but I’m already hard at work with them. More on this later.
And that was that for day two. We started in the Coffee Corner where Jasper Erkens did an ‘in-store’. After that we went to a Mexican restaurant that actually got their food from Mexico, there’s no other way to explain why we had to wait such a ridiculous time for our orders. Thanks to that, we were pretty late at the first festival-gig at Huize Maas. The gigs we saw Friday were:
Pony Pony Run Run, Donkeyboy, Creature With The Atom Brain, Jaakko & Jay, Los Campesinos, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, Jenny Wilson, Silvert Hoyem and lastly Young Guns. A pretty well packed evening, lots of walking. Photos for FileUnder will follow after some sleep.
The first day of Eurosonic is behind us. It’s been a long day. In the morning and the early hours of the afternoon I was preparing the house and a little after 15:00 Bert of FileUnder was here and we drove to Groningen for an interview with Marina of Marina & The Diamonds. After that the gigs started.
First we saw two instore-gigs in the record company Plato. Gigs by Pitch Blond from the Netherlands and Isbells from Belgium. Then dinner and meeting the other FileUnder members and after that the real Eurosonic event started. Between 20:30 and 2:00 we saw:
Jon Allen, Marina & The Diamonds, Sometree, Kilians, Manna, We Can’t Sleep At Night, Cords, Love Amongst Ruin and Heike Has The Giggles. Lots of bands. I’ll start working on the photos for FileUnder after a bit of sleep and photos on Flickr will have to wait a bit longer :) Great first night of the festival.
To promote their new album Chekhov Guns the Groningen based band Audiotransparent held their releaseparty in the beautiful Stadsschouwburg venue in Groningen on November 26 2009. The Black Atlantic -also from Groningen- opened for them
[flickr]tag:Audiotransparent+Chekhov Guns@Klaas / KJGuch.com[/flickr]
On December 8 2009 Living Coulor played a well filled Oosterpoort and rocked! Lots of old hits and new songs and they kept on playing. It was a fanastic gig and the audience loved it. Opening for them was Belgium band Vernal Veinyard.