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
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
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