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Brainwave 2001

-Brainwave 2001, Het Evertshuis, Bodegraven, The Netherlands-


Here's the Brainwave report, as written and perceived by mpo:

On Saturday January 27th it was time again: The fourth wave of the Brainwave Festival. Nine bands were scheduled and I hoped to get my doses. In most cases this meant I had to walk back and forth between the main stage and the lounge where the festival had its small stage. You don't want to miss anything, right? Eventually I would miss the bands Walnut Groove and Pneumatic entirely.

Anyway, the first band on the main-stage started at four o'clock. Subatlantic Starfish had just changed their name into This Beautiful Mess. They played both old as new material. While they played, more and more people arrived. Their concert hardly dawned on me. The first hour was mainly a "hand-shaking-hour". Brainwave is also a place to hang out with others. This was the third time I attended the festival so there were quite some familiar faces and hands to shake. Cool to see everyone (again)! :)


Troy's symphonic rocksound was supposed to warm up the lounge. Six people on a stage that's hardly big enough for a sumo wrestler's match! Their atmospheric music is nice though it can have a little bit more aggression to my idea.

The noise of violence reached me through the hallway and attracted me back to the main-stage. It was Jacks Of All Trades going wild. The Finnish quartet played songs from their debut album R U Ready and the new EP Liar. The band was in a good shape, maybe a bit shy before the Dutch public though the singer mingled with the crowd later on.

The variation of the rapping J-Blast and the loudly screaming guitarist sounded cool. Involuntary you begin asking yourself if his throat will suffer from it. One of the photographers near the stage came up with the idea of giving J-Blast a pastille for his throat. The gift was accepted thankfully :). The last song of the set of the Jacks was Suffer Of Sweet J that ended with the impressive Our Father prayer.

After their show the band retired to their changing-rooms. Then I met J-Blast and guitarist Lary. The three of us went to some backstage room for an interview. The results of this can be found at: http://www.artfortheears.nl/NL/r/i/jacks.htm


Fire Fly was already playing on the main-stage when I returned from the interview. This was the band I was looking forward to! Since a year I knew their music, an interesting mix of alternative music and symphonic tinges, sometimes flirting with metal. No wonder as the singer and bassist were once part of metalbands like Seventh Angel and Detritus. Compared to those bands Fire Fly isn't a band to go wild with. It's atmospheric, emotional music varied with heavier tones. One song they played flirted with poppunk and the crowd started moving.

At Brainwave the sympathetic Englishmen played mainly new stuff. They also played the beautiful Angry Again that's on the EP Swings & Roundabouts. The new material sounded solid and I was surprised by their singer. Simon Bibby is quite small and yet he sang powerfully. What a sound the little fellow has! Impressive was the song in which he sang: "I'm not a mistake, I'm not a mistake, you're not a mistake! We're here for a reason!"

I had an appointment with Fire Fly too. Their manager Paul did all efforts to get all four of them together. It wasn't easy because when they were all together in the lounge, one of them told of the theatrically clothed singer of Dilemma that climbed on stage at that very moment: With a plastic shark on his head! While I was chatting with drummer Adam Gallagher, the rest of them hastened back to the main-stage.

Finally the four Fire Flies were together and we went back-stage for an interesting chat about their whereabouts. Who wants to read it, can find this lengthy interview at: http://www.artfortheears.nlNL/r/i/fire1.htm

At my return, the band Swirl was playing on the small stage in the lounge. They play grungerock that sounds nicely but they didn't convince me this time. The band did their best but the small stage didn't do justice to their show. And halfway their set the next band started on the main-stage.

The Blamed was on tour in Europe and the Brainwave Festival was their last stop. Funny to see was the drummer of the band who had placed his drum-kit on the front of the stage rather than hidden way back.   It kinda made him more part of the whole event.

The show of this American band from the Grrr Records label was a combination of hardcore, emo and some other styles. It was quite a heavy experience with three screaming and roaring band-members. But a bit too chaotic to my idea. The announced show of Fire Fly on the Lounge Stage was a good reason to sneak away.


Fire Fly played an acoustic set on the small stage. The space was tight but with the acoustic set this was cozy. Scott James sat either behind the piano (a grand piano!) or his keyboard while singer Simon Bibby sat on a bar stool looking down on the sitting audience. It was clear he was into doing this judged by his healthy dose of English humor.

Unfortunately I couldn't see their whole set as I had a train to catch. After they finished the beautiful Nostalgia I left. It was an excellent idea of the organization to let this band do their music in an acoustic setting on the Lounge Stage. Caps off!

While it rained cats and dogs outside, I ran to catch the incoming train. When I reached my home later that night, I had difficulties to get asleep due to all the impressions of Brainwave 2001: The concerts, the hanging-out with bands and the chatting with old and new familiar faces. Eventually I fell asleep. I think it was with a big smile on my face.

Marco Overvest, Art For The Ears