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2014-04-30

ROADBURN FESTIVAL 2014 • DAY THREE / Saturday, April 12th


*yaaaawn* Good morning again!

With two festival days behind me starting to take their toll, everything startet off a little bit slower on Saturday.

I tried to read in a book but failed to maintain concentration for more than a few pages. Went back to bed for a while. Had breakfast and a very brief walk in the surrounding misty woods. Went back to bed again...

Yet still I managed to drive to Tilburg way before the first band on my schedule started and fulfilled some more of my tourist duties. You can't visit a dutch city without snapping some boat shots. It's verboden!

15 cliche points for me

I went merchandise shopping on Veemarktstraat right in front of the 013 and then back to my car to tuck my purchases and - more important -  to change my camera gear from tourist to concert mode.

Now on that walk I got seriously worried, if I`d make it back again in time. The first band I wanted to see was Monster Truck - and here I stood, almost at my car, but I couldn't cross the street because of an endless parade of trucks! As I found out it was neither a demonstration nor a really big wedding company, but some kind of action for the good cause where those truck drivers chauffeured disabled kids through to city and people were waving at them.

convoy crossing
I admit I was bugged by the timing. Thankfully it all worked out in the end. When the trucks kept coming and coming I went around the corner to a Polish shop, where I came to know and taste that there's indeed an energy drink called "Tiger", named after boxer Darius Michaelczewski. Learn something useful every day!

Monster Truck

Monster Truck
Finally back at the festival I arrived in the Green Room of the 013 just in time for the Canadians Monster Truck, who kicked off the afternoon with an explosive performance of the purest straight forward Rock'n'Roll I experienced this Roadburn. Derived from a variety of great rock and metal classics they clearly have their own recognizable vibe. To my ears Monster Truck sound just like the name promises, only that the powerful lead vocals in the more bluesy parts reached an emotional depth slightly above what I would have associated with a giant horse power monster.


The guitar player was a show for himself as he seemingly aimed not only to kick our asses, but also his own - preferably with his spare instrument or some other thing on the small stage. A mad dog trapped in a canary cage. Luckily no leg was broken this afternoon.

A great gig. And just the right dose of adrenaline to power you up for the rest of the day.


Windhand
Windhand were certainly not bad. I would have noticed that when I watched them from the photo pit. On the other hand they didn't leave a lasting impression an me neither. Yes, it was some vintage doomsy rock thing with female vocals, but I just don't have any exploitable recollection of them.
Four days full of music, now already over two weeks ago... you must allow my memory this gap.


Yob

Yob
The US doom trio Yob is a regular at Roadburn and kind of the embodiment of what this festival is about. It's doom. It's metal. It abandones all that kitsch which is too often associated with metal. It comes with a massive shitload of devastating distortion, thus being much closer to Melvins than to Judas Priest.

But it's more than that. Honestly I can even put my finger on what exactly it is that makes Yob stand out so exceptionally. But it's undoubtly there, that emotional depth and multi-layered substance beyond sheer heaviness.

Although I wasn't one-hundred percent in the mood for them at that particular time and I'm still pissed that my copy of "Atma" has some fatal scratches on a track you can only buy with the whole album, I found myself very well entertained and can't deny that Yob  is a truly unique beast and that the praise they receive among Roadburn guests is well-deserved.

Old Man Gloom

Old Man Gloom
Now comes the riff parade!

Be it doomy, mid-tempo grooves, with an industrial edge or in faster thrash / hardcore pace, with Old Man Gloom it was all about throwing brutal and effective guitar hammerings into the audience.
The main  reason I went to see them was that some parts and expecially screaming vocals reminded  me of my all-time favorite noise gods Skin Chamber. And I wasn't disappointed at all.

The only flaw you could attest to Old Man Gloom is that you can hardly identify any songwriting. After the set I seriously had no idea whether they had just played five or twenty-five songs. It's just riff - yeah - next riff - yeah - now that's a riff - yeah - damn, are those guys angry - yeah...


But to be truthful, that's less a flaw and rather a feature. This band just works this way and it does it well!

Loop

Loop
Time for another chapter in the book of obscure cult bands which ceased to exist just when I started to seriously listen to music. Enter Loop.

Loop were originally active from 1986 to 1991 and are currently on a two-year-reunion-run. With the mastermind Robert Hampson briefly being a part of Godflesh in the early 90s, maybe I should have heard of them somehow. I didn't and I clearly missed something.

It's hard to categorize Loop's style, yet its simplicity on the surface calls back to former movements like punk, post-punk, no wave... you get it. The foundation of the band's sound is an almost hypnotic rhythm section enriched with endlessly circling guitar riffs. The name Loop really says it all.

In contrast to the repetive structures and parole singing there was a lot of psychedelic lead guitar action infusing the performance with additional energy. All components came just in the right doses, these guys know exactly what they're doing.

Another highlight among highlights on this incredible festival.

A Storm Of Light

A Storm Of Light
So far I had only seen one band - Conan - in Het Patronaat. Saturday around midnight was my very last chance to join a show there, when A Storm Of Light blew over the beautiful venue`s stage.

Their style is an apocalyptic postrock/metal melange, mostly played faster than the Roadburn average and even featuring some catchy (dare I say almost melodic?) moments. A Storm Of Light are far from being copycats of anything, but to my delight I found myself heavily reminded of good old "The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste"-Ministry at times. Right in your face!



And so ended DAY THREE of Roadburn, surely the day I was least prepared for, as I had not seen any of the bands live before and knew them only via some streams and YouTube videos.

Clearly related to DAY ONE / Thursday and totally different from my DAY TWO / Friday (where else could those things happen at the same festival?) this Saturday was a worthwhile experience on its own.

The last part of this review tetralogy will hopefully follow soon!


Meanwhile my black and white concert photographs on medium format film have been developed, so even after the next review there's still more Roadburn articles to come in this blog. I'm also still working on my digital pictures. You can already see a bunch of them HERE on flickr.


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