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ROADBURN Festival 2015 • DAY FOUR : Saturday, April 11th

Good morning, Oisterwijk!

Hello Tilburg!

I could write about past-breakfast naps getting longer now or the weather being a little bit more cloudy than on the warm and sunny previous days. But since I don't remember anything else of significance prior to the doors open at the 013 I`ll thankfully spare you from that. 

Roadburn Saturday was by far the most clashy of all festival days, many overlappings and hard decisions to be made...

The first two hours in the main venue was cinematic, with Claudio Simonetti's Goblin scoring the zombie classic "Dawn Of The Dead". If I was to watch a movie I would want to see all of it, but that would mean to miss two other shows! Since there would also be the scoring of "Suspiria" tomorrow, I decided agaist the dead.

Botanist, who kicked off the day in Het Patronaat were probably one of the weirdest bands of the whole weekend. But even though I was very interested in watching them live, I didn't do it.
At least for today. That's because for them the Roadburn gig was only the start of their European tour with Kayo Dot, who would later in the evening slightly overlap with Fields Of The Nephilim. And since this tour would lead them to Hamburg an Monday, I could see full sets of both bands on my way home. What's one more club concert after already five days of live of music (and driving)?
(You could answer crazy or self-destructive here and I wouldn't even object.)

But back to Fields Of The Nephilim hindering me from seeing other great bands: Against any other competition the sinister doom of Undersmile would have been a serious temptation.

Yet without the pressuring need to see Botanist today I could at least start the day at Stage01 with Coma Wall, a band that's basically the acoustic alter ego of Undersmile.

Coma Wall

Coma Wall

A suitable description for Coma Wall would be "the unplugged Abba of southern doom".

Backed up by bass, cello and drums, with the drummer also simultanously playing banjo during the first song, the center of the stage belonged to two female acoustic guitar players / singers, whose eery interlacing harmonies hovered beautifully over the slow music.

Obviously Coma Wall's songs do without brute distortion. However they still maintain the intensity of doom by swapping the "plugged" noise for the cello and touches of dark americana, which give them a certain cinematic vibe. Thus the music doesn't physically crush you, but it surely allures and binds you.

A very captivating intimate gig.

King Dude

King Dude

Roadburn basically is a music nerd festival, exposing music nerds to the taste of one single music nerd. And no matter if they play doom, psychedelic rock, black metal, electronica, jazz fusion or whatever, most performers are also all  in it for the music. Many bands are even fully instrumental, so what I'm saying is: There's a stunningly small amount of time-stealing verbal communication and rock star bullshitting going on.

And then there comes this dude in black with his black guitar, who banters with the audience for what feels like half of the show, about the oddity of playing songs like "Jesus In The Courtyard" or "Lucifer's The Light Of The World" in a church, doom metal fans being happy, or taking song suggestions - and it's just brilliant.

Musically King Dude is the darker, satanic Johnny Cash with a pinch of davidlynched Elvis. His deep sonorous voice filling Het Patronaat was probably the closest experience to the vocal might and majesty to Carl McCoy on this weekend.

I had anticipated good enterntainment from King Dude, but that highlight among highlights came as a pleasant surprise. He really exceeded my expectations.

The next marked band on my running order was Sun Worship, but the Green Room was already packed and I also realized that I wasn't so much in the mood for devastating black metal, so I followed other interests such as chicken or merchandise for a while.



Back in the 013 I continued my program with the next group in the Green Room.

Messenger are a young british prog band, not only with psychedelic and folky influences, but also with a strong pop appeal in their songwriting. All in all tending more to the mellow end of the festival's spectrum Messenger still delivered a versatile and entertaining set.

Admittedly this was by far not the first show I immediately come up with when you ask me about what was really great at Roadburn this year. But that says more about the event than about Messenger.

The Heads

The Heads

On the main stage things got really trippy now.

Accompanied by an artful visual show all signs where on psychedelic post punk, as "Artists in Residence" The Heads generated a maximum of acoustic hallucinations out of a minimum of chords.

Sharing most of the band's members The Heads were naturally close to Thursday's Kandodo and I couldn't really make up my mind about which band I liked better. Probably Kandodo just for Robert Hampson and because I've seen more of their performance.

In any case this was good stuff, even though I cut it short to head over to Het Patronaat again.

Kayo Dot

Kayo Dot

Where to start with Kayo Dot?

Toby Driver's advantgarde prog metal band that touches a thousand styles between ambient jazz and black metal outbreaks sounds different on every album (newly throwing even eighties pop and gothic into the mix on "Coffins On Io") and yet still keeps its unmistakable identity; even here in the weed-scented heart of musical audacity they were truly one of a kind.

As mentioned before I watched them only for a couple of songs, knowing that I would see them again in Hamburg on Monday, but that was enough to realize that this was one of the most impressive shows on the whole schedule, not only for the stellar musicianship of the four band members, but also for the level of emotional commitment brought to the performance.

I've read somewhere that maybe the band was so "into it" that they didn't even realize how much they were appreciated by the audience. Great band - more praise in this blog soon!

(Unfortunatly Kayo Dot have run into some problems like  unexpectedly high toll expenses on their current tour, so any donation via purchases on their bandcamp site is very welcome right now!)

Fields Of The Nephilim

Fields Of The Nephilim

Fields Of The Nephilim

And now back to the legendary band that caused a recognizable rise of fake eyebrows in relation to full beards in the audience. I've already praised them in my review of Friday and of course I was psyched that Fields Of The Nephilim were now playing a significantly longer headliner set!

It was all dark bliss again; and now they finally played "Last Exit For The Lost". If I had to choose the one greatest moment of this year's Roadburn then it would have be this immortal classic's crescendo.

A fantastic show. I`m overjoyed that I could finally experience this band live - and even twice!

The only criticism I have is that it could have been even better if both setlists had been more diverse, because about half of Friday's set was repeated on the next day.
To play one show wholly dedicated to one album like let's say "Elizium" and the other set as a best of the rest would have been the even roadburnier, once-in-a-lifetime way to do it.

On the other hand... I saw Fields Of The fucking Nephilim!

Only one and a half hour left to go this night and the clashiest of all clashes was upon me: Five bands on five stages and I would have liked to watch all of them!

And at least I found a satisfying compromise to attend the two duos I was most eager see:
About twenty minutes of Zombi, who began earlier and played longer, on the main stage, then up to Stage01 for the first half of The Picturebooks and back to Zombi again.

Both bands consist of only two people and they showed two completely different approaches of what can be created in this constellation.

The Picturebooks

The Picturebooks
The Picturebooks sound as american as Burt Reynolds leading his convoy over Route 66, but surprisingly these guys are actually from Germany.

This duo rocks - and it rocks big. Already before they began, those huge drums without any cymbals on the set indicated, that the following show would be all about force and energy.
And oh boy, they unleashed a raw, sweaty explosion of the most powerful, stomping, dirty blues rock one could imagine upon the thrilled audience.

Rich and wild guitar work, simple but effective hooks and the drummer fiercly beating up his instruments with huge sticks, mallets or his bare hands - The Picturebooks were (alongside of Spidergawd) the pure rock'n'roll highlight of this 20th Roadburn edition.  



, set up on the back of the main stage, far away from the audience, relied much more on the perfection and cinematic scope of their sound.

That doesn't mean their John Carpenter- and Goblin-influenced mix of film score electronica, space rock and prog was sterile. In fact it was a lot more gripping and driving than I had expected.
Especially when Steve Moore buckled on the bass guitar additionally to the synthesizers, things really went on a groovy hypnotic journey.

And the performance of Anthony Paterra, undoubtly one of the technically most skilled drummers of the festival, couldn't have been more precise.

A great band and a worthy conclusion for this clashfest  of a Saturday.

DAY FIVE (Sunday) here!

DAY ONE (Wednesday) here!

DAY TWO (Thursday) here!

DAY THREE (Friday) here!

more pictures from Saturday:

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