As reported here, next weekend sees the annual arrival of one of Europe’s foremost new music events, as bands and industry professionals gather round the university city of Groningen for Eurosonic’s Noorderslag festival.
With 180 bands set to play from Thursday 12th to Saturday 14th January, it’s gonna be a veritable marathon for the poor bastards from Drowned In Sound who have been given the terrible and tasking, er, task of reporting on activities in Northern Holland.
The acts converge on the beano from all over Europe – including UK representation from a number of upcoming groovers like Brighton’s most likely to, tousled songbombs The Kooks, Brakes, The Research, soon-to-crack-at-America Mohair, Adem and... well. Just go to the official website and find out more. There’s fucking loads. It’s gonna be da bomb, bucko.
This year the focus is set firmly on the new breed of German artists. Obviously we’re not going to make any David Hasslehoff jokes apart from the one about him going to his agent and saying ‘from now on I only want to be referred to as The Hoff’ and his agent replying ‘sure Dave, no Hassle’. That joke’s allowed. But apart from that we won’t be silly. There’s a surprising amount of talent around Deutschland and it should remind us that it’s not all Rammstein and Die Toten Hosen in World Cup country at the moment. I’m going to Germany for the final but I haven’t got a ticket.
In keeping with the industry focus, there’s also a raft of seminars to attend, should you be so inclined. I’ve been to Groningen before. I stayed on a houseboat with a man called Theo who was up to all sorts of no good and who had some frankly insane friends who had big knives and were not 100% in the same world as anyone else apart from possibly Arnold Schwarzenegger or someone like that. Lovely chap though. Theo, not Arnie. Aye. Anyway there used to be a squat there called The Glass Factory and it was run by some beautiful gorgeous anarchist lasses, the boyfriend of one of which wanted to smash my cranium in with a hammer at one point. I think it was all offered in friendly psychosis though.
That said, the quality of this event is so high that we don’t expect such shenanigans this time around, and should we be able to prise Raziq Rauf away from the bar, a full report on, like, what it was like and stuff, will appear magically on the site in due course.
It’s what we do, baby.
Raz has earmarked some of the crazy Deutsch bands he wants to see when he goes Dutch:
This is a bunch of Germans who play medieval metal. They're opening the festival. In a church. With a full choir. Amazing. This is right up my street. But for the rest of you, read on.
Martinikerk, Thu 12th January, 7.45pm.
European hiphop is well-documented and, like the mighty Saian Supa Crew in French, this troupe rap in German. It promises to be spectacular. Good or bad, though?
Simplon, Thu 12th January, 11.00pm.
Mixing electronic and acoustic perfectly, this Berliner crafted a whole host of heartbreaking songs on her debut album that she toured with Sonic Youth and Calexico, among others.
Simplon, Thu 12th January, 11.45pm.
Spitting Off Tall Buildings
With a Gordon Raphael (The Strokes) collaboration behind them, these melodic indie-rockers also have a hint of the punk about them. Hailing from Berlin, SOTB have the image and the intent to go far.
Minerva, Fri 13th January, 8.30pm.
Gods Of Blitz
Apparently taking sartorial inspiration from the Boyband School of Dressing Identically, these punks exude an incredible cool that carries through to their frenetic music.
Minerva, Fri 13th January, 10.00pm.
Alternative rockers that started out as a drum ‘n’ bass group but then added guitars to make it sound just right... Does this remind anyone of a certain Sheffield band about to go on tour? Let’s hope.
Minerva, Fri 13th January, 11.30pm.
Wir Sind Helden
After taking 7 years to make their second album, Helden’s lilting synth-rock melancholy seems full of just as many hits as their debut. An almost guaranteed good choice.
Minerva, Fri 13th January, midnight.