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All reviews of A Colossal Weekend 2024:
DAY 1   |   DAY 2   |   DAY 3

The previous night had ended with me sitting in bed, looking at the pictures on my phone... and from one moment to the next it suddenly already was morning! Light still on, glasses still on my nose, but I had slept like a baby.

The last festival day would begin earlier, but I still had a lot of time on my hands. Instead of doing another big tourist expedition with several cameras, I decided to have at least a little mercy on my feet and only did a little of that. Instead I mainly focussed on a shopping spree through a handful of second hand record stores, which were all relatively close together.

And even though my taste allows so many different possibilities (and I also looked through all kinds of stuff from Ambient to Dansk Black Metal) I ended up with a wholesome bag of Jazz, picking um some cool records - all in satisfying shape for their respective prices - from Miles Davis (60`s and 80`s), Weather Report, The Modern Jazz Quartet and The Oscar Peterson Trio, Billy Cobham and Georg Duke and Nancy Sinatra.

Ha! So much for the "Guess where I'm going tonight based on my shopping bag!" game.

No, it' wasn't only the name which gave away that Alpha Du Centaure, who started today's proceedings, hailed from France. Both the Post Rock (hello Where Mermaids Drown!) as well as the Alcest Blackgaze elements in their music pointed towards their French heritage. A couple of synth here and there added a certain space vibe to their versatile sound, which was impressively carried by one of the happiest looking blast-beat drummers I've ever seen. Ok, maybe the guy in Wormrot still takes the cake...

The most compelling piece of the puzzle however might have been singer Nina who mastered harrowing screeches and a pained clean vocal performance in a way which reminded me of Oathbreaker's Caro Tanghe. Even though I'm not completely sure what story their music was supposed to tell me, I definitely enjoyed this start into the late afternoon a lot.

Speaking of a lot. The intensity of the Norwegians Attan upstairs on the Lounge stage was almost a little too much for me at this point. Almost. If something's pushed towards and beyond its boundaries as much as the brutality of this absolutely mean (Post) Hardcore beating, how can you not love it, no matter how much it pummels you into the ground?

Boy, it really was a lot though. I just wanted to have a good time here and these dudes wer sooo fucking angry. Ok, admittedly that contributed to my good time. Do I sound conflicted or confused? Guess Attan achieved their goal then.

From now on there would be some instances when two, at one point even three shows would clash and demand decisions. The first one was made very easy by my downright physical need for something more calm and introspective. Halvcirkel provided that and more in the Ideal Bar. While more and more listeners just sat down on the floor to take the music of the Danish string trio in, it was obvious that their own material showcased a lot more of their capabilities than their already impressive collaboration with Afsky had done on Thursday.

This was not just some easy listening Modern Classical starred restaurant's lobby music, but very interesting material, which perfectly married beautiful and unsettlig dramatic arrangements, emotional playing and precise skills, at least as far as a string knowledge noob like me can judge.

All I can say is that I was truly immersed into this utterly wonderful performance. Easily one of my favorite shows of the festival! 

As my main reason (besides the external Laibach show the night before) to even come to Copenhagen this year drew nearer, I didn't even have the first band on the Little Vega stage on my list - and my preparation for this weekend's programme had been very fast and fleeting anyway.
So without a doubt the super funky brainmelter Psychedelic Post Rock Jazz Fusion with a Far Eastern touch, which Lite from Japan slapped, grooved and hammered into the room was a delightful party surprise. If this wasn't jaw-dropping crazy yet danceable fun, then what is?

Too bad I missed the limited merch time slot before the band had to leave to the airport. But while they were selling their album, I just had to be up in the Lounge again...

I don't even know what I can say anymore without repeatedly parroting myself. Every single time I see this raw, fragile, crushing, minimalist maximalist Canadian Drone Rock trio live, it just makes me fall all over in love with their music again. And why would it be different here? Just like last year at Roadburn Big|Brave even brought My Disco's bass player as a fourth member on tour with them again. And prolific as they are they obviously already presented material from a new album.

I could have bathed in the waves of their incredibly satisfying, physically tangible guitar sound for hours. Like always really - such a warm embrace of noise! Starting with their flawless compositions and the great chemistry of RobinMathieuTasy+Liam this band just does everything right. After my sixth time seeing them I still have a hard time detecting anything but perfection. Yeah, guess what - I'm a fan. How can anyone not be?

Not a surprise, but a welcome non-surprise: This was my number one favorite show of A Colossal Weekend

Big|Brave's show had such an impact on me that I just couldn't immediately go to the next thing, but needed a real break. So despite there being no timetable conflicts I broke with my plan of watching Afsky., even though I would have been interested in seeing their other "regular" Black Metal side after the collaborative Chamber Music performance with Halvcirkel. But more than casually lending an ear while passing by just wasn't possible right now.

And I was still sceptical that anything could impress me during the rest of the night, when I once again entered the Lounge...

Since the festival had been plagued with more than one short-term cancellation, there couldn't have been many fans who were truly prepared for this new Danish  band, which was announced on short notice.

Fronted by the singer of Shaam Larein, who had played in the Basement last year, Scimitar didn't exactly fit the quick description on the festival homepage, which said "70's, progressive and psychedelic heavy equilibrium". Ok, all that may be kind of accurate, but doesn't give you the whole truth about how fucking intense this group really is.
My impression rather was watching a NWoBHM / Hard Rock band with occasional Thrash Metal style guitar shredding outbursts, but turning the overall energy, tempo and heaviness far beyond eleven, so that they ended raging like a ferocious Black Metal band, without actually setting a foot into that genre.

Maybe Scimitar are a raw high-speed version of Healthyliving or Dool with devils standing directly behind them, whipping them into chaotic frenzy. Wild! Even though the name isn't the most google-friendly / original (not the first band with this problem here, see Katla) - this band will hopefully tract attention and turn and bang many heads soon!

In the Little Vega thing got weird (or stayed weird?) now. Or let's say there were genre-bending Psychedelic Heavy Rockers from Finland on stage. Isn't Finland in itself almost as much of an explanation as Japan?

Krautrock, falsotto-voiced Shoegaze, Psych Dream Pop and hardly (down to the sub-genre) definable Metal came together in a fascinating mix. Still weird somehow, but good weird.

What a way to end an already diverse night with a band that doesn't really sound like - or even close to - any other artist I know! The only things I knew about Extra Life was that none other than Kayo Dot's Toby Driver was the bassist of the current line-up, his partner on various occasions (like his 2018 solo tourTimba Harris was playing violin and trumpet, and that I had once seen frontman / mastermind Charlie Looker gush about Godflesh for an hour on bis YouTube channel. And all that - combined with the fact that they were the only band closing the festival at this late hour anyway - was easily enough to be intrigued. And rightfully so!

So how can I describe their sound without overusing the word experimental? A super dry and powerful (think early Danzig), extremely precise rhythm section playing odd Math Rock signatures, which seldom really took off, but relished tension. Guitar and violin provided riffs, chords, melodic fragments and textures and the vocals... One might me tempted to call Looker's performance excentric or theatrical, but mostly it was completely out of time, as in time-travelled from centuries ago.

So in a nutshell imagine a medieval bard being tossed into the middle of the New York Avante-Garde Rock scene. Does that help? Yeah, some stuff has similarities to some of Driver's oeuvre, but all in all the sound of Extra Life is just... extra. Yes, this was a curious, yet very inspiring way to end this creatively curated, artistically adventurous festival. Kudos, Colossal Weekend!

2 Kommentare:

  1. Hello, the singer of alpha du centaure is Nina (also known from the UFO NURSE
    Great show!