ROADBURN FESTIVAL 2007
013,Tilburg, Holland April 20-21st
From Aural Innovations #36 (May 2007)
AMAZING! No other word is needed to describe this event. The venue, the music, the people and the love of music all come together under one roof for 2 days of nearly 10 hrs straight on 3 stages of killer bands. One after the another, each offering a unique and amazing experience. Wow.. so below, this is what happened with the group of us from Denmark who went to Roadburn…again…
The day started very early with us meeting at the airport at 5:30 in the morning to catch the 7:00 plane to Amsterdam. No one was fresh….but everyone was excited. Those who went and saw Acid King the night before with Blutch and Black Cobra got only a few hours sleep. All goes well and everyone sleeps on the plane. We spend a couple of hours in Amsterdam in the cool area and go to an amazing coffeeshop called Bluebird. Great stuff…(Lavender, Budda’s Sister, Northern Lights) 11:15, we hit the train to Tilburg… arrives 3 min to late and we miss the connection.. Damn.. Luckily, quite a few others do as well and we follow them and are delayed only 30 mins. Most everyone is drinking some beers now. Finally, we arrive at the hotel and check in. We are staying in a small town 10km south of Tilburg and it is full of Roadburn people, from England, Germany, Estonia and now Denmark! The bus schedule is all fucked up and hard to figure out what is going on but after some delays we do get to Tilburg around 15:00. Doors will open at 16:00 and the Sword will open the event at 16:30 in the Green (Medium sized room). We eat quite a big meal (Steak, fries, and salad) and beers and are into see the Sword. My friends Santtu and Cosmik Ken are DJ’s in this room and play awesome music throughout the whole festival!
Santtu and Kozmik Ken The Sword
Anyway, the SWORD opens with a new song and sound really great. These guys are really developing into the band of killer doom and metal related riffing rock. Very powerful stuff and we are flying high and rocking out. Very impressed… We only see 30 mins, as we will see this band again soon with Clutch in Copenhagen. Off to see the Dutch, Blue Cheer inspired, Orange Sunshine on the main stage. Wow.. looks killer again. Orange Sunshine are really fucking good and trip you with their totally heavy tuned down old school rock jamming and showing parts of the film Apocalypse Now in the background on the gigantic screen. Pharaoh Overlord from Finland (featuring members of Circle) are next in the Green room and no one knows that to expect. These guys totally blew us away and were the best band so far. 3 guitars, bass, drums and a small synth. They started out very slowly and quiet and the music just got more and more and more intense until was full blown monster riffs. Totally hypnotic and spaced out. Wow.. Did not catch the last track as we went up to the balcony to see Clutch., but first saw one song by On Trial (in theBat Cave), our friends here in Denmark. Room is packed..
Orange Sunshine Clutch Pharaoh Overlord
The last two Clutch records are some of my favourites in the past 2 years so I am excited to see them. They are totally amazing and really focus on the material from the new record opening up with Progress, Powerplay, Devil and Me, and White’s Ferry. After Cubandara, the singer from Five Horse Johnson comes out and plays some harmonica on Shiny Cadiallacness also from the new record. They are really jamming now Clutch and we are totally hooked into their unique groove that their music has. Killer stuff.. He stays on with them for Electric Worry. JWE, Rapture of Riddley Walker and Child of the City are rocked as well. The set ends with Wino joining the band for Red Horse, a song he played with them in the studio some years back. A surprise that no songs from Robot Hive were played in this set, a real showcase of the new record, which I loved. They were awesome but played too short a set, only 50 minutes. Magnus and I loose the others and head over to catch the only real space rock band at the festival, the Earthling Society. They were really really excellent and play cool spacey set with some excellent grooves and synths and guitars. I would like to see them do a full concert. They played at least one new song and stuff from their last CD. We leave before the end to see what Blue Cheer is about. We hear Parchment Farm and one other song and it sounds awful.. Just no life in it… a really dead stoned sound.. Next is Sundial.
Earthling Society Blue Cheer
Sundial is quite a surprise. They opened up with a couple of quite heavy rockers before playing familiar songs. The line up is just a 3 piece. Gary still lays down some really cool guitar and plays some of the songs they always do like All over Now, Exploding in your Mind, Rollercoaster. Their set went by fast.. Wow.. I liked it a lot.. . We now catch the last half of the Siena Root set and the crowd is totally into it but the room is not overly packed. They sound great and the crowd is really loud for them. They are playing a shorter version of the set we just saw them play but are so professional and great a band, they amaze… Back to the Green Room in time to catch Guru Guru, the old Kraut rock band who started in 1969! The band leader (the drummer, Mani) tells us they have not played in Holland in 29 years! Anyway, they start with a short space jam and then into We Dare and Space Baby. They are quite cool. Great drummer and bass player. The two guitar players are good but not like the rest. They then played some Rastafari track that was quite strange and cool. The drummer is a real character doing strange and funny things. Der LSD March, from the 1st LP is played. Pow Wow and some bizarre stuff and then a 3 part track from the Kanguru record closes their set. We saw the whole thing. Cool stuff and very different from anything else we have seen today..
SundialGuru Guru Siena Root
We completely missed Big Business and the Melvins (except I popped and took a couple of pictures when I went to pee) but people said they were amazing and quite cool. I lost the others and watch what I could of Josiah. The room was not that full and they rocked out but for some reason, this is a band that just does not grab me live. I seem to like their records much better. …
Big Business Melvins Josiah
To end the night you have the choice of Rotor in the Bat
Cave or Causa Sui in the Green room. We went for Causa Sui
and we were pretty much all together again and everyone was super high and having
beers. Causa Sui totally blew the place apart. Amazing.. These guys really are
becoming the Jimi Hendrix experience of the stoner rock scene with amazing guitar
driven jams. People were pretty blown away. I dashed out, having seen them a
few weeks ago to catch a couple of songs by Rotor. Room was packed and they
sounded quite cool. The songs I heard were really hard.
Causa Sui Rotor Passed out!
Anyway, that was the end of Day 1. Volt were playing after Causa Sui but we were all really tired having got to the airport at 5:30 on this morning and it was now around 1:30. After the cab ride back to the hotel, some hang out in the bar for one last beer….
IT was great to meet up with some many people that I know from around the world (Chris from Phased), Rocksanne from 420 Train Wreck, Walter (of course), Jussi from Circle, Santtu, Jon Jarrett, Marco (Custard Pie), Mühler and Gerard, Sara and Beni and many others..
We arrive in town and get some food and hang out in the great weather before going in and catching ACID KING on the big stage. I am hanging out with Nils, Jon A, Lasse… Acid king are all about the monster doom riff and not much else. You are either into or you are not. IF you are into it, they are the kings.. if not, then you get a little bored as their sound is quite limited but they are awesome at what they do and on this huge stage the sound in a monster to behold… I watch 30 of the 45 min set and they have these cool biker movies mixed with satanic 60’s films.. I get into the room for Monkey 3 (Bat Cave) in time to get up near the front by the guitarist and hang out with two Swedish guys who I met in Stockholm when my band, the Øresund Space Collective played there. Anyway, Monkey 3 focus mostly on tracks with from the new CD, maybe only play 1 older song but the new stuff translates really well to the live scene and they have some really cool visuals on the screen behind them. Great great band.. a cool mixture of some spacey synthesizers and heavy guitars and the right groove. All instrumental. They did not even have a microphone to say who they were or thanks to the audience. Not a word.. Check out a video of one song here! Right after they finished it was off to catch Circle. These guys have such a varied music catalog you never know what they are going to play but today, they played spaced out heavy metal rock and roll and hypnosis stuff. A few new songs were also played. IT was very cool and the singer, he does a lot of strange stuff like jogging in place for like 7 mins straight, arm wrestling with the bass player, etc.. Good entertainment and quite heavy at times, some more strange rock and roll and kraut rock like trance music.
Acid King Circle
I caught the first two tracks of Red Sparrows and they play this quite beautiful floating drifting post rock movie music and they have great visuals. Quite cool and totally different. Went outside to get some food and air and hung out with the Causa Sui guys for a bit. Got distracted and had to rush back in as Orthodox were playing. Not that crowded. They are all dressed in monks’ robes with black hoods on and play some sort of cool doom. Simple at times and other times quite jazz like with intense manic drumming, intense bass and guitar. We saw the last two songs. Cool stuff. Check out a video of one song here! Off to see OM… Nils is so excited he can hardly stand it. We are up on the top balcony.. People are getting really high now. They are having a lot of trouble with getting his bass rig right, which includes two big ampeg cabinets and two Marshall Stacks. The bass sound is so incredibly massive and it just reverberates and trances you out. This is very far out music but the stoned ones are really sucked into it. We called it some kind of heroin terror drone. Really too much for Magnus and I but Nils and Jens said this was the best thing yet….
Red Sparrows Orthodox OM
Magnus and I get to Pelican 5 minutes before they start which is good as the place became the most packed of any band that played in the green room. Pelcian are brutally heavy to start the show and the opening number is awesome. The set is mixed up with tracks where they play these dreamy melodic parts that are a lot like the Motorpsycho and then the go into these monster riffs like the SWORD. It works quite well but a lot of the songs are quite similar in that way. A fucking excellent live band though.. We saw the last two songs of Stinking Lizaveta and that was strange, kind of cool stuff.
We meet up with the others who are still in a zone from OM and had their minds blown… Neurosis is up next and I have no idea what they will be like. I saw them a couple of times in 1988 and the last time I saw them was in 1989! Anyway, they create totally different music now which is all about generating a bizarre emotional state. I think the material is very heavy when mixed with the visual films they show, mostly in black and white. They mix these extremely beautiful music passages (most every song started the same way) and then go into the brutally heavy riffs and angry, tormented vocals (at times). It is very intense stuff. I think we saw about 1hr of their show. It was heavy duty.. It makes you not feel that good after a while.. Emotionally charged stuff.. Colour Haze are ready to go and are recording on 24 tracks for a double live record so this should be killer. Philip is just sitting in front of his gear for the last 20 mins chilling out. Walter will do the visual show mixing some of his own stuff with some film stuff that Jacob from Causa Sui made as well. Anyway, the place is pretty packed and the vibe good and Colour kick it in! They sound amazing as the always do and the crowd is really sucked into their Kyuss riff inspired groove. They play a lot of the ones they always play (I can’t wait for them to give up this set completely and play all their other great songs) like Roses, Zen, Outside, Peace Brothers and Sisters, Love, Tempel, Sundazed and the monster encore of Inside>Hey Jude>American Woman>Into the Sun.. Stefan played some really awesome guitar and Mani, is always on.. Killer bass and drum section. Maybe the best band from today… Great way to close down the Roadburn festival..
Colour Haze Preparing Colour Haze!
And what can I say… very draining but amazing..and guess what, we will be back next year and it will not be two days but it will be 4 days!!!!!!! Yes, 4 days…. Only the main stage with the larger named acts on the Thursday and the Sunday and two days like the past two years. The Space Rock stage will be back next year…. When tickets go on sale in December, buy immediately.. Don’t think about it. You have 4 months to find the money to get to Holland and if they have the camping area (which I heard was really cool), it is only 25€ for the two days including bus transport to and from the festival. Amazing experience… Walter is the MAN::::::::::::::::::
Reviewed by Scott Heller