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ROCK HERK 2011
Rock Herk is a free festival in Limburg, Belgium. The festival has two stages, The mainstage and the hardcore stage and is located in the Olmenhof park. A perfect opportunity for the music fans to see exclusive shows and for others a perfect chance to discover. I had a great time altough the typical belgian summer spoiled some of the fun. But hey, seeing Swans was an highlight in my festivalsummer, so thank You ROCK HERK and maybe till next year!!!
Blood Red Shoes
Blood Red Shoes are an alt-rock duo from Brighton, UK. Always a pleasant to see the lovely Laura-Mary Carter on stage, leading her guitar into a 90s influenced melody-driven sound. Fifth time already i saw the band and they keep holding my attention. The energetic up-tempo play from Steven Ansell on the drums always gives me a good feel... but this time i left after 30minutes, soaking wet clothes from the rain pushed me into an unpleasant cold feel and it was time for me to drive home. Next year, i'll probably be back.
Swans are a postpunk/noise band from New York, USA. The absolute highlight of Rock Herk 2011! Fronted by Michael Gira, the band hypnotised the audience like no other band did that day. An exclusive 2 hours set, builded layer upon layer with Michaels droning baritone sparkling the magic into the rainy night. He even threw a little raindance upon the weather demons but nobody couldn't care less. The beauty of Swans translated in powerfull volume, memorable. Got shivered, and not from the cold night. SWANS are not dead indeed!
A Place To Bury Strangers (APTBS)
A Place To Bury Strangers are a noise/shoegaze band from New York, USA. A personal favorite band but always dangerous to see them live because their music requires a perfect mixing on the PA without losing the entity of their songs. I prefer to see them in a club rather than a festival where mostly their sound gets drowned in an undefinable noisefuzz that kills the eardrums whitout knowing what song you're listening to. This time it was pretty okay, the voice of Oliver Ackermann didn't get lost in the noise-swamp, maybe a bit to present for an APTBS set but pretty enjoyable.
Two Gallants is a folk/americana rock duo from California, USA. Great rawness in the voice on strong melodies but way to polished, lost my attention after 4 songs... time to enjoy a cold beer in real glass at the press area...
The Sore Losers
The Sore Losers are a Rock/garage band from Belgium. Can't remember how many times i saw them already but it is always fun to see them play. Straight forward no-nonsense rock fronted by Jan Straetemans and driven by the guitar fetishist Cedric Maes (RIP El Guapo Stuntteam). A well played energetic set, altough their feedback p*ssed off the weather demons and it started pouring rain... it should have been gasoline...
Kingdom is a sludge/metal band from Belgium, formed by members from Amenra and The Black Heart Rebellion. The only band i wanted to see on the hardcore stage simply because i'm not into the genre. But Kingdom is not Hardcore, slowburning riffs with a sludgy edge. First time i saw them and only could see the first three songs because i had to get back to the mainstage... What i heard was not bad but it is hard to judge only on 3 songs. There will be a next time for me to watch the whole show.
And So I Watch You From Afar (ASIWYFA)
And So I Watch You From Afar are a post/math - rock band from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Known for their explosive live sets which they proved on the Rock Herk festival. ‘D Is For Django The Bastard’ was the audience's wake-up call on an early afternoon, a promise that Rock Herk would be a great party...
Tony Wright from ASIWYFA