Third edition of Soundrive Fest took place on September 4-6 at club B90 located in the former Gdansk Shipyard. During three days of festival you could listen to dozens of bands that play widely understood alternative music. They came from Europe, but also from Canada and United States. Concerts took places on two stages: big and small. Many performers were in Poland for the first time. Regardless of my musical taste I have to admit that all concerts were at a high level. During the festival there was no weak moments and you could not be bored because of musical diversity.
Bands who were finalists of Stage Europe Network contest which promotes young European music contest opened first day of the festival. Gdynia-based Cisza Nocna played very well received new wave gig. Immediately after on big stage appeared Dutch band The Afterveins. They played energetic and psychedelic rock. This band very easily made contact with the audience. Another foreign visitor was French indie pop Gang of Peafowl. In the meantime the small scene was controlled by Gdynia-based The Estethics. They referred to the psychobilly climate by their elagant suits. Then on big stage appeared Estonian band Ziggi Wild. The singer captured the attention because of her image. She reminded the audience of Tina Turner. Other artists who performed on the first day of festiwal were from Poland. On small stage played Bobby The Unicorn, The Freuders, Szezlong, Young Stadium Club, Wild Books and Gonzo and the Prezidents, on big stage played The Saturday Tea, Daniel Spaleniak, The Sunlit Earth, Trupa Trupa, Straight Jack Cat and Miss God. Important moment of the festival was concert of Tri-City based band Trupa Trupa. They played mainly premier material. Straight Jack Cat played very energetic, noisy and dirty rock in a climate of Mötorhead. Udoubtedly interesting was performance of the Wild Books. This band represents indie folk. During the Young Stadium Club concert audience had great amount of fun.
Second day of the festival was opened by concert of British trio Blaenevon. Young musicians among others presented songs that comes from their last EP "Koso". Melodic guitar playing, not contrived, delicate sound and sensitive vocal introduced a dreamy atmosphere. Then on the big stage played band Yuck who also came from Great Britain. Band gave a good, energetic concert. The played atmospheric song "Rebirth" that came from their second album "Glow & Behold". Next artist who played on small stage was Finnish Jaako Eino Kalevi. His songs bring to mind atmosphere of the 80’s and made people dance. They would be good for the alternative parties. Song "No End" sounded great with live saxophone. Next bands that appeared on stage this evening was Great Britain-based Eagulls and Fiction. Eagulls presented full of anger post punk sounds inspired by Joy Division. Fiction brought totally different, lighter indie rock atmosphere. Baths (USA) played great electronic and spontaneous concert. Amazing, full of emotions vocal of Will Wiesenfeld was accompanied by strong beats. Artist was jumping on the stage and audience took over this energy. After that on small stage appeared British punk duo Slaves. Band presented show which was extremely vigorous and full of testosterone. Ironic, angry songs definitely were falling into ear. "Where’s Your Car Debbie" still can’t get out of my head. Second day of the festival was finished by gig of USA-based Unknown Mortal Orchestra. They played great concert. Sound of this band referred to the atmosphere of 60’s and 70’s and brought to mind Jimmi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin.
Third day of the festival was opened by British band Adult Jazz. They presented interesting art-rock compositions. Guitar playing with the addition of electronics was supplemented by sound of trombone. Norway-based Highasakite appeared on the big stage. Their ambitious pop made lot of people dance. I was impressed with singer’s vocal abilities. They played songs "Iran" and "Darth Vader" that came from their last album "Silent Treatment". Then played British band Fear of Men. They presented melancholic, guitar playing. Expressive vocal of Jessica Weiss attracted attention. Everyone who likes stoner rock should check Greek band Planet of Zeus. They presented dose of heavy and desert playing. Next band that appeared on small stage was Wales-based Islet. Four freaks played interesting concert. They started to play among the audience. Their avant-garde music is a mix of different styles and intrigued many listeners. After that on big stage appeared eight musicians and singer – King Khan & the Shrines. Rock’n’roll orchestra gave amazing show in B90. Musicians appeared among the audience and danced spontaneously. King Khan was wearing plume and dress with sequins. Their performance had typically entertaining character but more serious problem was raised. King Khan dedicated song "I Wanna Be A Girl" to the all transsexuals. One of my biggest discoveries was Iceland-based band Samaris. Combination of cold Scandinavian electronic, sound of clarinet and impressive vocal of Jófríður Ákadóttir turned out to be great idea. Lyrics came from 19th century Icelandic poems. But there was no language barrier, music of this band charmed the audience. After their performance came time for the star of the evening, Canadian band Austra. Many of listeners came especially for them. Electronic sound and powerful vocal of Katie Stelmanis sounded great live. During the concert they played songs "Lose it", "Habitat" or "Forgive Me". There were two encores.
This was first edition of the festival in which I participated. I’m really glad that Gdańsk have such a festival. During the three days you could listen to very interesting and varied gigs of alternative artist from all over the world. The price of ticket was really fair. Great addition to music part was festival town where you could drink beer and eat some food from Tri-City foodtrucks. Club B90 was ideal place for this event because of its industrial spaces and acoustic conditions. Soundrive Fest inscribed permanently on festival calendar in Tri-City and many people will impatiently wait for the next edition.
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