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Festival Coverage : Incubate - September, Day 3

  • Published in Live

The weekend proper sees Incubate's free shows proliferate, so today started off with a visit to Diggers record store (vinyl only for all you junkies out there) to take in the ramshackle garage tunes of trio Seymour Sachs. Nice guys but a little bit too uncentered. The Mighty Breaks, on just up the road at the Spaarbank cafe, just had the edge in terms of tighter songs etc. But then it's all down to individual taste when you're playing as much as watching.

From there it was on to Paradox for Sideshow Bob lookalike Jacco Weener and his set which was more performance art than performance. There's a first time for everything and this was the time to see a member of the audience drag the performer round the stage by a specially made shoe with a strap so that the latter can then stab randomly at the piano keys. Mental.

Hall Of Fame only had shows tonight and Sunday this year and Wren were the first act experienced there. Unfortunately they turned out to be rather unmemorable. Czech hardcore quintet Tosiro, on the other hand, presented a taut and introverted set at V39. Their stage dynamics alone provided a wealth of study.

From there it was back to Hall Of Fame for another UK act - Human Future. A sextet, they play with their hearts obviously on their collective post-rock sleeve. Too internal with their angst for my taste they were nevertheless great lads to hang out with and definitely had the drunkest drummer of the weekend. A swift look at some of the festival's art programme was now attempted but Bert Scholten had no other visitors so, despite his one euro beers and the fact he was obviously a nice bloke, requesting he play a song felt weird so it was off in search of another band.

And one was duly found, in the sassy shape of Dutch duo O, Kutjes. A pair that would in no way be out of place on Edinburgh's Fringe in August (hint, hint) their comedic but empowered take on rap and sex came over as a cross between Stereo Total and Le Tigre, particularly on the song 'Pow Pow'. You didn't need to know Dutch to get the overall humour.

Slow Down Molasses were mining the more emotional seam of their work over at Extase & going down just as well as on the previous two days. Emotions were also readily on display in 013 with Eagulls putting in a charged show  with near perfect sound against a backdrop of the film Metropolis, which was weirdly apt. They've come on a long way since I first encountered them at Long Division 3 years ago but look set to continue further still.

Mazu were the next unknowns to be checked out. Math rock is their bag and musically they deliver that fine. For me though their vocals sounded like a more annoying Hookworms. There was now a period of hanging around and blethering up at Hall Of Fame (& thanks to the chap from Mary Fields for passing on their CD) before Slovakian quartet The Ills knocked us flat with their Mogwai meets Jupiter Lion instrumental post-rock. Always a type of music where liking or disliking it rests on the thinnest edge but these guys were well & truly over that edge on the right side. Having driven all the way to Tilburg they clearly needed to blow off steam and proceeded to do so in a full on set that was lapped up by those wise enough to attend.

One more day to go and plenty of possible highlights within it.

Many thanks to Patrice for the tour round the main hall of 013.


Festival Coverage : Incubate - September, Day 2

  • Published in Live















Another gloriously sunny day in Tilburg so what better way to start the musical experience than in the courtyard of the Duvelhok as the sun filters through the trees and the bells of the nearby church sound out the quarter hours? Otto Lindholm was up first, sampling his own upright bass and messing around with the resultant loops, followed by the "deep, percussive techno" of Acronym. Both had to be appreciated through wireless headphones but, unlike a silent disco, no one was dancing so all rather more staid than the music suggested.

In between the aforementioned acts I took a walk across the city centre to Sounds record store to see the punchy (and currently topical) Paralympics. Definitely a Dutch trio to be checked out if the idea of a hardcore version of Shopping appeals to you. Exciting and vibrant bands with female singers were key parts of today's choices as it turned out for next up was this year's first visit to Little Devil to see Blank, whose darkwave-style set (in particular 'Performance' and 'White Noise') vocally brought to mind Savages and overall was of a quality that belied their tender years.

Only one outing to Paradox today, to take in Zeno Van Den Broek, a man who likes it seems to have his minimal beats play out in minimal lighting. They do at least amount to something of substance. Whispering Sons, however, sound like a guitar being murdered, slowly & so their show was swiftly exited in favour of the excellent hardcore of Paranoid State, over in Extase. A bizarrely under attended gig but they cracked on with it unfazed & provided me with the second of today's fully watched shows.

Slow Down Molasses were in Cul De Sac for the second of their festival residency shows, four years after first playing the event. More restrained than last night they played a fair number of tracks from new album 100% Sunshine. 

Sweden's Grieved drew a good crowd to Little Devil & their metallic hardcore was on the the whole good quality but lacked that final something which would have seen me raving about it. Whereas Germany's Svffer pushed all the right buttons. Do they sing in German or English? No idea & it's the kind of style where it doesn't matter - extreme vocal delivery from a diminutive frontwoman backed up by hefty speed drumming and hammering riffs made for another exceptional show.

A complete change of genre at 013 next for Shackleton's Powerplant show. Tribal drumming performed live along with Giallo-esque input from an electronic xylophone and samples etc. made for an eerie and mesmerising performance that you could well appreciate the physicality of seeing as there was no let up for the four guys involved. A real tour de force.

The night finished off with more hardcore from Dutch veterans Vitamin X (old school and all over in half an hour filled with the weekend's first decent moshpit, spray string, a confetti bomb and an inflatable seal), more great darkwave-ish material in the shape of French youngsters Rendez-vous (the dancier end of the field is what they ply), punk of sorts from Mike Krol (dressed as a burglar supported by onion sellers on the tenth date of his & the band's Netherlands tour) and let down at the end by his fellow countrymen, shoegazers Nothing who failed to excite on any level. Maybe a 1am start was too late for them and they did experience a tech-related delay but whatever the reason theirs was a rather flat set. 

Overall then as varied and enjoyable a collection of acts as expected, for the most part. Roll on Saturday.

Thanks to Peter Spapens for the photo of Shackleton.

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