Thursday, August 02, 2012

july festivals

my main camera was out of action for some reason (something to do with a misplaced memory stick), so some iphone photos will soon appear here to remind me (and anyone who happens to be reading this) of the festivals that i frequented in july: way out east (utrecht) (actually, this was on the last day of june to be precise) and another sojourn east albeit not very far east (amsterdam oost), way up north (groningen) and a little down south (nijmegen).

festival de beschaving @ utrecht
on a sunny saturday in a beautiful setting (the botanical gardens), i hung out and watched some great bands for the first time, including kim janssen (NL), einar stray (NO) and alt j (UK) - the latter being my english band discovery of the summer (they formed in leeds whilst i was there, how come i never heard of them? well, the bass player explained to me afterwards why that might be but i'm still a little surprised how the band had been totally off my radar.)







wijsjes uit het oost @ amsterdam
this was my third music tour of amsterdam oost, and it was full of all the usual ingredients of mystery (noone knows anything about the day at the start except where to meet), performance (from cellists to poets to gallic troubadours) and 'aardige mensen' (i practiced a lot of dutch during this edition of wijsjes uit het oost!).

bon iver @ groningen
this wasn't so much a festival than a gig in a big (milka-coloured) festival tent on the outskirts of groningen. the whole shebang had the look and feel of a festival, even though it was taking place mid-week on a random wednesday evening in early july. i'd been looking forward to seeing bon iver ever since i *didn't* get to see him 5 years earlier in galway. but i knew i was destined to see him one day in a city starting with the letter 'g'!

and he didn't disappoint. it didn't seem to matter that i couldn't see much or that i couldn't quite work out who was who on stage (i knew which one justin was of course). and as everything settled down, and some tall people moved out of the way, it all came into view. and the second album all made perfect sense. and the gig was pretty much awesome and my highlight of the year so far.

no photos of the actual gig, so here's a shot of the gig poster in that famous groningen venue 'vera' and some pals who were at the gig (none of whom were called vera). i know, regular people (i.e. 'crowd' shots) don't appear on this blog very often (ever??), so enjoy it whilst it lasts! (top: the belmont crew; bottom: the iceland crew)



de affaire @ nijmegen
last year's de affaire for me was all about olafur arnalds in a 500 year old house (see original post here). and this year it was all about sharon van eten (following my first encounter with her at le guess who may day, see here). and i also got to see lou barlow too, which was pretty cool. i only got to head to this week-long free festival on the sunday, and what a beautiful sunday it was (apart from the downpour between sharon soundchecking and returning to the stage for her set), so i missed many other good bands, but i'd be able to catch up with one of these (fenster) later in the summer at least. again, my big camera was tucked away at home, so only a couple of iphone snaps to remember the day by...




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