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On Thursday I went to sort out something in Bremen and then on to Groningen to visit Richard once more to go and see bands at the eurosonic festival on Thursday and Friday. Luckily Richard was able to get a ticket for me in advance as the festival was sold out. Basically the festival taking place meant that people were running around all over the town seeing bands in the many clubs and pubs that participated. There were mainly small bands and many local bands - and we saw quite a few of them.
Actually the festival started with a little disappointment for me. The Libertines played at Vera in the first slot and since they seem to be quite hyped these days, I couldn't get in since the place was already overcrowded. Richard was more lucky, as he works at Vera and thus could still get in as staff. It wasn't too grave that I couldn't see them as I'd seen them before.
Richard told me afterwards that they weren't quite as energetic and ruthless in playing as you'd expect - and I've seen them - to be. They didn't even break any guitar strings during the concert. Apparently this was due to the concert being recorded for the radio. Perhaps I can listen to it on the John Peel show soon. The impression of the concert not being too exciting also goes along with this review. All I can say is they can do better.
Richard managed to take some rather good photos of the band. He also mentioned that the audience was unusually old and boring for such a young band playing. Our guess was that they were 'hip' old people - those who can actually afford to buy the NME outside the UK and thus know that The Libertines are somewhat hyped - hence having to see them so they can say been there, done that and take up my place in the audience. This impression is also reflected in this review.
Given that I couldn't get in to see the Libertines, I went to another club and saw Pinkostar from Germany who played fairly standard rock-pop-style music. I didn't find them too remarkable but I didn't have to run outside screaming either. After they finished playing, I returned to Vera, got in after a bit of queueing (on the good old one-out-one-in basis) and still saw the last song of the encore The Libertines gave. So technically speaking, I did see them after all.
The next 'big' band playing at Vera was Cadillac from Norway. They were fine but not particularly remarkable either. In particular, they didn't quite live up to their announcement that we could relax and enjoy some ultra.violent Norwegian Rock'n'Roll. They were generously short of being ultra-violent. Perhaps the most remarkable thing was that the band's frontman looked quite a lot like Tyler Durden of Fight Club fame. This was the first of the three Scandinavian bands we were going to see during the festival.
Between The Libertines and Cadillac as well as after Cadillac there were local Dutch bands, Maliën and Revolt, playing in the cellar bar at Vera. We saw both of them. They were definitely on the noisy side. Maliën was rather metal-ish, which I tend to find quite boring and the Revolt was what is probably classified as hardcore. They weren't bad and parts of the audience really enjoyed it, dancing vigorously and eventually lifting one guy up and rubbing him all over the ceiling (remeber it was in the cellar), which must have been quite disgusting and dirty, though he didn't seem to mind. Unfortunately I was quite exhausted at that time and desparately needed fresh air and sleep at that time.
I got the former when we left soon after, but it took us some more checking out clubs, meeting a couple of Richard's friends and watching Die Schönsten Bahnstrecken on telly before I could sleep. (Bugger there is no good link for this brilliant show. Basically they tape a railway journey from the driver's perspective. Mostly it's scenic routes they choose, so it's quite pretty and very relaxing. There's no talking, just the noise of the train. They're always broadcast late at night and a definite must-see.)
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