Reeperbahn Festival Day 2: Review

J.N. September 26, 2019

We knew already a few weeks in advance that the second day of Reeperbahn Festival would be horribly busy. We had two interviews and too many shows to cover and the editor had to meet up people at three different receptions to talk future collabs. And it became even more busy that we would have imagined. Not until late night at Molotow (where else?) we had time off and could relax with a beer – or quite many beers to be honest. But let’s start from the beginning. 


Just like last year the editor used Ms Sis guest room just around the corner of Reeperbahn to be close to the action. Although the first night didn’t end in bed until 3am we were amazingly fresh and even in great shape after Ms Sis’ pancake breakfast. It’s important to have a good breakfast when it’s a long day, and after breakfast (we’re talking lunch time) there’s nothing as good as a cold beer. First reception of the day was Audiolith Records’ Scumburg get-together at Jolly Roger, just like last year. We met label man Lars at Golden Pudel the night before and he obviously didn’t get to bed as early as the Messed!Up’s. A quick beer for the editor – Ms Sis stayed a few more minutes – and then a walk down to Pooca Bar for the first interview of the day.

What is fun to think of is how your spatial senses evolve when you’ve resided in a city for two years. The editor’s first Reeperbahn Festival in 2017 was a horrible history of taking the wrong turns and missing a lot of shows. Today, two years later, you navigate almost blindfolded between venues and bars, and even have time to stop to buy a beer in a kiosk when you’re in a hurry.

The first interview was also a meeting with Westside Music Sweden. There’s an obvious connection between Messed!Up and Sweden, even more obvious to Westside Music, and one of the iconic bands from the Swedish westcoast is Uran GBG, a 40-man strong collective playing something you can’t really pin down. Out of the ashes of Uran GBG, the three-piece The Exorcist GBG rised and became portrayed as a mysterious band with members called Osynlige Mann [the Invisible Man], Vesslan [the Weasel] and Tentakel [Tentacle].

Music-wise it’s somewhere between modern krautrock meeting disco funk layered in spacey synths sounds. Does it sound weird? It is! But the visual impression fused with those weird harmonies create a rather funky, danceable live experience. Vesslan, Tentakel and Osynlige Mann were also just like the characters on stage, mysterious but quick-witted and they also cared for the their decadent brand; the photo session was a long decadent parade. Wait for the interview to be published and you’ll understand.

The photographer had to run to her next job while the magic moment of the day occur for the editor: a 45-minute gap in the schedule involving two coffees and chillin’ out at Café May. An hour later Ms Sis met up after her and Mr R’s interview with Whispering Sons at Terrace Hill. Westside Music Sweden’s reception was a meeting point with many different partners this evening, mostly people we’ve met online, and finally we had a chance to talk face-to-face. Let’s say we made new friendships with the Swedes and were invited to cover their own showcase festival, Viva Sounds, in December. Of course we will do it!

Ms Sis had to leave after a few pizza slices though because of photo pit work at Whispering Sons and the editor had to meet up with Ms R at Knust to cover one of his favorite indie pop bands the last three years, Sea Girls.

Sea Girls have only released two EP’s and, just like many young bands today do, lots of singles. The point is that every single has hit potential. Listen to songs like “Lost”, “Call Me Out” and “Eat Me Whole” and I’m sure more than me will see the potential they have. Emblazoned front and centre, it’s what Sea Girls burst and pulse with – a band aiming first & foremost at being the torch-bearing sing-a-long for a whole new generation. Seeing the band play their tightly honed tunes, with a crowd chanting back every word on songs that pack such solid punches, makes you think they won’t be held back for long. There simply must be a breakthrough around the corner.

After the show it’s a quick run (well, we passed by a kiosk and bought beer for the way…) back to Pooca Bar because we need photos from The Exorcists GBG’s show, and we arrive just to see the last four songs by Pink Milk, a band I never heard of before but is on the listening list. Dark and depressive, just what’s needed for the winter. And then it was time for The Exocist lads – and of course it’s massive audio problems. The sound from the synthesizer didn’t reach through and people ran around like crazy to find a solution but there wasn’t any. What to do? Just run it through the amps, no one cares anyway (and it didn’t matter in the end)!

Attending am Exorcist GBG gig is something special. You need to get into the groove and it takes a few minutes to do that, but since the songs are very long you will end up in some sort of kraut-fused trance state where you find yourself moving back and forth after a while but you won’t know how it happened. It’s an amazing mix of kraut, funk, disco and space synths performed by three men that visually fits perfect for this type of music. The second half of the show the whole crowd were in some sort of Exorcist trance state, possibly enhanced by beer, and there’s clearly a huge interest for this kind of music in Germany. We can’t wait for the European tour!

A few minutes before midnight meant that we had 15 minutes to get to Molotow and Mid City’s first out of two shows at the festival. We also had an interview appointment with the band the next day and just wanted to catch a glimpse of their performance – and it was amazing! German singer-songwriter and presenter Olli Schulz made Mid City an over-night sensation in the German-speaking area via his podcast, but the Melbourne four-piece don’t really need promotion effort; with their anthemic songwriting, the band is sure to become an international hit.

On stage frontman Joel Griffith is an amazing character and runs around like crazy. Rather than trying to recapitulate his performance I refer to their videos – they’re hilariously fun! A great ending of the evening and great for getting you in party mode.

And there was a long party night with lots of dancing until the early morning hours. Let’s just admit that it was some tired Messed!Up’s the next morning.

Slider photo: ©Julia Schwendner


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About The Author

Music researcher with an unhealthy passion for music and music festivals. Former studio owner, semi-functional drummer and with a fairly good collection of old analogue synthesizers from the 70's. Indie rock, post rock, electronic/industrial and drum & bass (kind of a mix, yeah?) are usual stuff in my playlists but everything that sounds good will fit in.