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Castle Party 2009

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Poland has no intention of falling behind. Our most prominent dark independent music festival is getting more and more like other European events of this kind. The 2009 Castle Party was an extraordinary gothic adventure, and Bolków (the festival’s venue) could be referred to as the Polish town of darkness. A few thousand of fans once again showed that black doesn’t actually have to be associated only with a cemetery and melancholy, but in fact means unique fun and positive energy.

It all started one day before the festival. Nobody had expected what was about to come. The preparations were disturbed by a gale and a downpour which covered the whole town. Power cuts plus the damaging of the main stage may have called Castle Party into question. Luckily the organizers managed to control the situation and the next day everything was back to normal. Meanwhile, more and more fans were streaming in, most of whom were headed for The Old Cinema Theatre party, where the highlight of the night was a nice Russian girl – Oriella. Freak Gogo, dressed up dancers, those are things that will attract everyone, still one could detect a touch of an unsatisfied feeling on the fan’s faces. Well, enough is as good as a feast. The old proverb proves true also this time.

Day one – Friday:
More and more dressed up people are streaming into the castle. The musical adventure starts on the small stage. The first concert is called off, but instead of Vein Cat we see:

Nuclear Storm:
It was a concert not to be forgotten but it was not for the music. The Czech project showed they know what eccentricity means. Suffice it to say that the front man’s announcement was unusual as he referred to the group as "the worst Czech EBM band". They only played three pieces but undoubtedly appealed to the audience with trite albeit attractive flame shows - they actually kindled hair spray. With this "equipment" in hand, the overjoyed Czech took a stroll into the audience despite the security’s objections. Other accessories included an axe struck against a metal bucket, a bottle of vodka and a white candle. The show was a nice introduction into other concerts, although music wise it did not contribute much.

The band showed what genuine music is. The castle was filled with ambitious and unique tunes. Extraordinary Vladislava Todorova was wearing an ethnic outfit. It’s clear that the vocalist does not invest in her looks, but is rather focused on what is the most important, i.e., her singing. This also applies to the other vocalist, Kalin Yordanov, whose deep voice gave many goose bumps. The concentration visible on the bands’ members’ faces spread also onto the audience. The folk music created images of ancient Persia, and the wild sound completed the overall stunning effect. One could have a feeling that the music was alive, overwhelming the fans, who standing by the stage with their eyes half-close, may have been part of that unique piece of art presented to us by Irfan, one of the best bands of this year’s Castle Party.

Day 2 – Saturday

Progressive rock still has its fans and is doing quite well on the Polish musical stage. This is well confirmed by Indukti, one of the representatives of this music genre. This Warsaw band knows how to combine a touch of brutality with classic melancholy and gentleness. Piotr Kocimski’s and Maciej Jaskiewicz’s harsh guitar sound combined with the Ewa Jablonska’s lyrical violin result in an unusual music. The elaborate and ambitious pieces surprise with their arrangement, and when listening to "Freder" or "Sansara", one couldn’t help being in a different dimension of the hypnotizing sound, which due to their authentic instrumental form contributed to what can only be referred to as an unforgettable concert.

Spectra Paris:
Four pretty girls appear on the stage. Each wearing latex or leather. They look great. The visual side surely all right, completed with the flowing hair effect obstreperously created by the wind. They start to play. A really nice tune enhanced by Elena Alice Fossi’s voice. The girls proved that they not only look good, but can also play a decent concert despite the slanting rain and the afternoon coolness that gave us goose pimples. Just a shame the performance itself didn’t give us goose pimples. The reception albeit positive, lacked in expressiveness. The concert could be graded as B. A good cover of "Mad World", good looks, good set list. They started off impetuously with "Size Zero" following the intro, but then things got quieter. The third piece was the above mentioned cover, followed by the new single stuff, "License to Kill". In spite of the unfavourable weather it was fun seeing the girls live. Now we can only look forward to the next Castle Party edition and Elena, who’ll this time will be performing with another project she’s been involved in, the long-standing Kirlian Camera.

Being one of the festival’s stars, the band had to face quite a challenge – play well enough to deserve the title of the headliner. But as was expected, it wasn’t the slightest problem and the audience were bubbling with positive emotions. The cool summer night was full of heat waves. The audience had clean forgotten the biting cold and gladly received the energy that would have warmed anybody up. Applause, the fan’s singing along and jumping undoubtedly encouraged the band who looked happy anyway. Eskil’s positive emotions filled the stage and no wonder he managed to establish a great rapport with the audience. The concert as a whole was a true show of "ritual noise"! The band didn’t fail to play "Bullet", "We Stand Alone" and "Ritual Noise", Covenant’s giant, which was the last piece of the concert. The fans, though exhausted, were still euphoric and hungry for more so to their delight, the band played three encores. It can’t be denied that the performance like a whirlpool of insane emotions proved that Covenant is a band who know what they are doing and how it’s done.

Day 3 - Sunday

People could be split into two groups. Those who never listen to Artrosis and those who adore them. One way or another, it’s one of these bands who’ll always have fans. Whatever is said about them, however they might play, they’ll attract quite a number of fans. And actually they always play well. Even though personally I’m not among those who have a passion for them, I must admit that fair-haired Medehah’s voice sounds as professional as on CDs, if not better. So it was this time, too. Vocals-wise she leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. Plus she sounds melodious, gothic and lovely. Among others, we heard "Szmaragdowa Noc" and "Pośród kwiatów i Cieni". Shouts and applause clearly meant that the concert was received very positively.

One of the most eagerly awaited concerts was getting late, but the audience’s tension was eased by the band’s sound system operator who managed to amuse many with his juicy remarks. But the waiting paid off. The prolonged preparations resulted in clear sound, which was a remarkable difference in comparison with the previous concerts. What is more, Lucia Cifarelli knows how to behave on the stage and her appearance enlivened the show. Unfortunately, this cannot be said about her voice, which in my opinion, spoils the climate of KMFDM. However, it didn’t seem to bother anybody. Some hopped, some danced and some successfully displayed the "pigeon effect", i.e., rhythmically nodding their heads. Among the pieces played that night, we heard "Tohuvabohu", "Son of a Gun" and "Looking for Strange". Technically, the concert was impeccable. I won’t compare today’s KMFDM to what it used to be. Every single person present at the concert has their own opinion, own feelings and let it stay a strictly subjective thing.

Diary of Dreams:
It was getting dark. The biting cool of the evening didn’t make things any better, but a crowd was patiently waiting for the concert to begin. After about a twenty- minute delay, the band entered the stage. The impatient sighs gradually turned into applause coming from every direction. The courtyard was filled with melancholy sounds, which combined with the coldness unusual for this time of year, created an unforgettable arrangement, which due to its amazingly emotional form could enchant even the most diehard techno fan. The band started with the hit "The Wedding" from their latest CD "If". The stage lighting was well thought out. Silhouettes were emerging from hazy green light, which was a great plus in the concert’s reception. Unluckily, the band’s line-up was a bit skimpy. Out of the band’s permanent members, we only say Adrian Hates and Alistair Kane. If this was the first time you’d ever seen Diary of Dreams live, you may have been slightly disappointed as the vocalist’s voice, though enchanting with its intensity, was lacking in some indefinable note of passion, which you can detect on CDs. However, most of the crowd tightly filling the courtyard were receiving the concert so positively that walking away from the courtyard, they were still chanting "The Curse", one of the final pieces played in the concert. Not every one was satisfied though. The old stagers may have felt not completely satisfied. Despite the great arrangement, the show lacked in the true Diary atmosphere, which seemingly present, in my opinion, was slightly effusive, and even tough the concert had its indisputable advantages, there was also this one rather serious disadvantage. Except for this drawback, the rest came out positively. We heard both older and the newest pieces, including pearls, such as "Chemicals" or "Butterfly:Dance!".
Diary of Dreams were one this year’s Castle Party’s greatest stars. Their concert proved that they decidedly deserve to be referred to as a great star. So we are looking forward to more doses of dark adrenaline and even more enthusiasm from the band.

The last night in Bolków until next year. Our heads were spinning from emotions and unwanted farewells. The last hours were the ones you wished to soak up, keep and never let out of your heart. Those three days in the whole year are like a fabulous adventure. So surprisingly tremendous, full of people dressed in outfits so beautiful and varied they could be taken for unreal mystical creatures. I do hope this fairytale will keep unfolding and let us add numerous pages full of un forgettable events to the festival’s book entitled "Castle Party".

Translator: Thalia
Add date: 2009-10-20 / Live reports

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