Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dour Festival Memories: 2004 - chaos and rock'n roll

I'm quite surprised that I still have memories of Dour Festival 2004, it was an excessive year. Popbitch hosted a tent and we had great great fun. None more so than with 2 intoxicated skinny leather-clad Finns from New York who were having the time of their life: Dead Combo (no, not the Portuguese duo, but the Suicide worshippers) This story cannot be told but it involves a naked Nuutti (Who had lost all clothes, ticket planes, passport...) strong vodka, my beautiful friend Camilla and a DJ set by 2many DJs vs James Murphy on the main stage. It was rock'n roll, it was great fun! If any of you know what Harri and Nuutti are up to today, let me know! Dour starts in 2 days, 2 days!

Best Dour memories:1997 Happy birthday Carlo! Arkarna

so 1997 Catherine, Vero and I were celebrating Carlo, Mister Dour festival's birthday with a cake when suddenly this cute little pixie entered the kitchen and joined us for a piece of cake. I won't say any more of Catherine and I's adoration for the little pixie's rather poppish band (or his bassist for that matter)nor will I dilvuge any secrets from our driving them back to their hotel (no, really) This is very much in the guilty pleasure genre. hey it was 1997 ok? it's also the only review I ever did for Serge Coosemans that he appreciated "rubbish band, but i can finally see that you can do more than smile, not bad for a girl" love you too S!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dour Festival best memories: 1996 G Love & The Special Sauce

Lets go backward by 10 years: direction 1996 for very different genres

By then Dour festival was starting to attract some big big names like Iggy Pop or Coolio.
Now, even when you work backstage at a festival, toilets are always a test of nerves. At Dour there were 2 proper toilets and some portaloos.
I prefer proper toilets. So I headed there. No queue, just one person in the loo. hurrah! I wait. Then a young singer arrives. We wait. We wait some more. We look at each other thinking that we knew what that person was doing in there. We wait some more. We start laughing and joking about the state of the loo after the lengthy visit. Then the door opens. who else but Iggy pop steps out, happy as larry. I can therefore confirm that rock stars go for number 2 like everybody else.

Oh yeah the young funny singer who was waiting with me for Iggy to be done? A certain Brian Molko who still had hair...

Now another embarrassing moment in 2006 was meeting the guys from G Love and The Special Sauce. I was a big fan back then and found mister G Love rather tasty (especially shirtless playing football next to the tour bus)

The 2 other musicians probably thought I was nice as they invited me to visit their golden tour bus ( yeah I didn't fall for that one, don't worry) and I got a lovely pink T-shirt that I still own today.

During that time, the production team went to see G Love himself and asked him to sign a demo tape for me. The only "star" signature I ever got. And I was mortified...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dour Festival best memories: 2006 T-Raumschmiere

2006 one of my favourite year ever at Dour. The electronic bill was magnificent  and the cherry on the cake for me came in the shape of German electropunk maestro T.Raumschmiere.

I was my with good friend Mike who had received a backstage pass due to his shoulder being in pieces and after I finished work and a few drinks we wandered in the dark from stage to stage until we arrived in the middle of T.Raumschmiere' set. It was a proper WOOOOOOAAAAAAH moment- we both felt like we were very lucky to witness that and we were galvanised by the power and  strength of the German's music. His show was raw and brutal but very honest and energetic. he contortioned his body into odd shapes, like he was bringing his many tattoos alive. It was punk. It was electro. It was my best moment at Dour Festival.

(funny thing is that in my memory he has his full back tattooed as a spine - looks like I dreamt that one)

In 2006 I was working at the press desk and didn't have much time to see a lot of concerts but I managed to escape my duties to check the Californian folky duo Two Gallants.
I really liked their 2nd album What The Toll Tells ( on Saddle Creek) and their live show was perfect for a mid afternoon festival, full of odd and funny things, like a dummy...

The last big memory from 2006 was another American duo: Giant Drag. It was my favourite live band from that year having seen them at a raucous show at the Barfly. The transition to late morning Belgian festival wasn't a smooth one but once Annie got into the spirits of things, the end of the gig was fabulous and very much IN YOUR FACE. Proper festival appearance!

More info about Dour 2012: full line up, tickets etc... on their site of course

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dour Festival best memories: 1993 - Miranda Sex Garden

In 10 days The 24th Dour Festival will take place in that little coal mining village of Dour. To celebrate this massive event, I wanted to share with you my 10 favourite musical moments at Dour Festival throughout the years. My love story with DMF (shush Alex!) started at the first edition in 1989 but i was consumed in 1993 when I first started working with the team. My job was to welcome the bands and make sure they were ok during their stay. Cool, right?
1993 was also the year when foreign indie bands appeared on the bill a bet that has now become the festival signature.

Musically I was excited to see The God Machine live and to meet face to face with lead singer Robin Propper Shepard for the first time: he was tall, handsome, dressed in black and made furiously good music.

Since then Robin has moved on to creating Sophia and has spent a lot of time in Brussels, we've become mates but on that day the young me was mightily impressed and I enjoyed the show enormously !

The other big memory from 1993 was less musical but more linked to what happens backstage. One big name of the bill was Londoners Miranda Sex Garden. they were signed to Mute and had made a name for themselves marrying beautiful vocals with wall of sound type guitars. Think of The Corrs but indie and with plenty of drugs.

The show was heavy, chaotic and very noisy. Great! In the dressing rooms though it was a funnier affair. The band were out of it and started stripping to jump in the tiny fountain that was added in the backstage area to make it pretty.
This is one of my fondest memory of Dour, silly as it sounds...

More tomorrow