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Castle Party 2014

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The castle in Bolków for dozen or so years has hosted the fans of dark sounds. Invariably the crowds of Goths have been coming here during hot summer  days to celebrate their festival. Castle Party, that’s what we are talking about, this year took place from 17th to 20th July and gathered enormous audience of dark independent scene serving the sounds raging from symphonic, electronic to folk and harsh guitar ones. The speculations about what is more gothic have already taken a lot of place and time so there is no much sense to go any deeper. It’s hard to deny that there are more than one shade of darkness and Castle Party offers something for everyone. The inseparable element of the festival is the gothic fashion show which this year, because of the weather was put to test. The heat was unbelievable, each day even worse and the task of surviving was pretty hard. The life of the artists was even harder since the stage accumulated the heat making the temperature twice as high as it was outside. Despite this fact musicians did their best and the audience didn’t disappoint them. Well, we’ve got Castle Party only once a year so it’s worth it.


The festival was launched on Thursday evening with the concerts in former evangelical church, which constituted the second official stage of the festival this year. This day the stage belonged mostly to Polish bands. The first concert of this year’s edition of Castle Party was the one by Lily of the Valley with good strong vocal. ‘It’s hard to open such a big event – stress and anxiety connected with the reaction of listeners, technical problems etc. It was all without reason though. And the first impression of the audience? I hope it will be the best!’ – Emmanuella ‘arachna’ Robak.  The special guests of Lily of the Valley was the vocalist of Belarusian band Kaltherzig, Alexander Krupp. It was his first visit in Bolków and as he said "it was amazing. This festival is more than only just a music event. The whole Bolkow looked like a town of goths. There were many nice people. And I'm proud that I had a chance to be there. And I'm happy that we perform a song together with Lily Of The Valley live on the festival." Also Splendor threw a concert on that day. This project played here last year and it’s true to say that this year’s show was much better, more mature. Less feathers and more good playing plus interesting visualisations in the background. Really nice effect. A little bit different in style doom metal project Lacrima and earlier Gorthaur. Both concerts were ok, however using dirty words by the barefooted vocalist of Lacrima perhaps wasn’t that much necessary and spoiled the atmosphere a little bit. Apart from Polish artists it was also possible to listen to Phosgene Girls from Czech Republic and German Golden Apes. When it comes to technical issues the sound was a little bit too ear-splitting but the lights were perfect, especially the white one created impressive effect. 

Friday is a day when the concerts on the castle stage start and from 3 pm the audience can indulge in arious sounds. The sun was merciless shining straightly on the stage where as the first ones the musicians from Polish project Alles were playing. The heat was terrible again. However, despite these really hard conditions nobody gave up. Coming from Petersburg, Theodor Bastard slowed down a little bit serving ambient-folk sounds with whole range of unusual instruments. In spite of being quite early they managed to create dark and mysterious atmosphere. These two concerts were longer than it was planned since the next band – Ulterior was unable to come to the festival. Next concerts provided a considerable change in style. The fans of electro came to see Grendel and soon after him the stage was occupied by The Klinik in characteristic white masks and with loads of energy. The climax of the day was the concert of Portuguese band Moonspell considered by the audience as one of the best concerts of this edition of Castle Party. "Axis Mundi" and Fernando in the gladiator’s mask enchanted the fans and then it was only better. Among the hits played there were  "Luna", "Alma Mater" with Polish flag, "Scorpion Flower" or "Opium". Real variety of genres from gothic and doom metal to folk and everything in one concert. This mixture is what Castle Party audience really liked.
Meanwhile, in the church harsh guitars and so called metal day. The fans of death metal could lose their hearing thanks to Scylla, Vedonist, Tenebris, Pandemonium, Hazael and the most popular Christ Agony.
Despite the fact that Saturday’s concerts were started by the band called This Cold, it wasn’t cold at all, although the concert itself was coldwave and atmospheric. Also dark ambient Sui Generis Umbra didn’t make the temperature lower although they tried. The next concert was played by another Polish project with female vocal, namely Desdemona. They came back to Bolków after two years and threw a really powerful concert. It was hard to resist. After them it was time for French project Alcest who played in a very melodious way with strong guitars. It is emotional and introspective music. Next concert was a real show. All thanks to The 69 Eyes. Solid, powerful playing, loads of energy, verbosity of the vocalist and throwing different stuff to the audience – that’s the short description of the concert which made everybody move and got a lot of applause. In contrast to Jyrki, Sean from London After Midnight didn’t show any enthusiasm. Despite grumbling they managed to create magic and romantic atmosphere. The fans of Placebo should like the vocal which resembles the one of Brian Molko. To finish the day even more atmospheric and more melodious Deine Lakaien. The duet presented their songs in electronic version playing old and completely new ones. Full, majestic sound swayed the audience. It’s worth to mention some additional attrations such as pool party and ‘Gliniada’ parade.
Sunday concerts still in full sun were started by Bart Cathedral. After him extremely energetic Controlled Collapse considered as the hope of Polish electronic music. Obscure Sphinx also played very energetically plus powerful vocal of Wielebna. Then it was even more aggressive and more dynamic, Mexican C-Lekktor for the fans of electro evoking a lot of enthusiasm among female part of the audience. In this configuration Super Girl & Romantic Boys seemed pretty normal, however they also had their fans taking them into the past and preparing the ground for the next star who was Kapitan Nemo. It was simply a nice concert, really nice. Kapitan was warmly welcomed by the audience and it was pretty obvious that he is touched. Captivating show and if someone has any doubts where Nemo is, surely he is o the stage. It’s not the end, although it’s almost. And One were the Sunday headliner, well... guys jumping around, and German version of Maya the bee could have been funny but... With this optimistic part the festival was done. When it comes to the church, Patenbrigade Wolf deserve to be mentioned. Perhaps it’s not the most sophisticated music but the performance was interesting. The audience really liked the part with pouring beer.
During the festival different parties in the clubs were taking place. The host of DJs made sure that festival participants have fun before, after and during the concerts serving them whole range of alternative sounds. What does the DJ do during such a big event as Castle Party? ‘It’s never ending party, and it’s hard to see anything. Running such a party is similar to what we do on a daily basis but there are more guest performances. The obstruction was the organization of additional equipment and its transport. So many thanks to those who helped in delivery and installing. – Kchild.
Castle Party 2014 is over. What is left are photos, memories and waiting for the next edition. So prepare your outfits, make reservations and see you on 16th July 2015. Stay Dark!

Translator: morrigan
Add date: 2014-07-24 / Live reports

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