700 words on Haldern
From my point of view, Saturday was the winning day of this year’s Haldern festival. With Malajube, Architecture in Helsinki and the Shout Out Louds playing among many others, things could just end being well. But before the music started we went to the surprisingly clean lake behind the festival area and had a refreshing swim there. With the excellent weather this was quite a popular option. Unfortunately I managed to get a cut in the bottom of my foot in the course of this which I didn’t even realise before we had returned to the campground. For my easily wrecked nerves it looked like a rather deep cut, but luckily it didn’t really hurt, so before seeing bands, we had a quick stop with the friendly medical people on the site who disinfected the wound properly.
We managed to miss the (to me unknown) Friska Viljor who might have been well worth seeing judging from the CD I heard on my trip back home.
Voxtrot were our opening band for the day. Young, very enthusiastic and with plenty of jumping around. Fun.
While their song Man Must Dance is quite addictive for some reason, I find the rest of Johnossi’s music all right but not particularly exciting. Or rather, as exciting as you’d expect their kind of singing to a guitar with percussion music to be. Good for leaning back while listening from a distance and waiting for the upcoming greatnesses.
Next came Malajube. Canada sent their second best and I was keen to see them. Not that many other people were, so we could comfortably stand right in front of the stage. And the band played a great gig which I enjoyed a lot.
I loved Architecture in Helsinki’s odd music ever since first hearing it and was really happy to learn they’ll play at Haldern. Wonderful weirdos, what else can I say? Their songs were great of course and, if anything, there weren’t enough of them. Seeing them play was fun as well with all the different instruments and their singer/keyboarder having a monster on her shirt.
The Shout Out Louds have nicely fit in my taste for Swedish music for a while and I enjoyed seeing them as support band for The Magic Number a while back. Ironically both bands were at this festival as well and both played great gigs. The was also an eager crowd to watch the Shout Out Louds, who seem to be have become quite popular by now and who are on the Haldern Pop label in Germany. I liked all of that.
After this we had some more fries and Currywurst before heading for the Spiegelzelt. The closing gig was by Jan Delay whom I already happily skipped at last year’s Monsters of Spex. We saw the end of The Drones’ gig there first which didn’t impress me much.
Then we saw Ghosts play rather poppy music. A bit too poppy for my taste and with a singer a bit too eager to mention their myspace page perhaps. But live their music was OK evening listening and not as cheesy as they sound when properly recorded and mixed.
The final gig we saw was that of Duke Special. Who were a perfect way to end the festival in the Spiegelzelt with a somewhat theatrical band playing a piano and a number of wind instruments in addition to circusesque drums and an electric guitar. The singing fit into the theatrical frame. And while I’m not sure I’ll like the music all clean and shiny on CD, it definitely was at the right place and the right time when we heard and saw it.
[No photo here as this one was just so bad that all the other photos of my screen-less broken camera look comparatively good.]