Reeperbahn Festival Day 3: Review

J.N. September 30, 2019

The third day at the festival after a massive club party the whole night at Molotow wasn’t an easy start – and there were two interviews on the schedule. Luckily the first interview was with the lads that bought too many beers last night and we learned they had an even rougher morning because they did the opening show in Molotow’s backyard and opened the Aussie BBQ day. That was also what we were looking forward to; spending the whole day with great Australian bands.

Making breakfast was never an option and we went around the corner to pick up a bagel and some really strong coffee to get ourselves together, and an hour later the editor was on his way to meet up with Ms T a few minutes ahead of their interview with Mid City, one of the most exciting new Australian bands out there at the moment. It’s necessary to say, all artists we ever have met are amazingly happy to be able to do what they do. Most of them are aware of the fact that it all can be over tomorrow and it’s better to have as much fun as possible while you’re still in the game, and if you can stay long enough you may even earn a bit money although very few believe it’s possible. It’s not different with Mid City but for once I got this rare feeling during our interview like “They will actually make it because their ideas are unique”.

Frontman Joel Griffith just spurts out ideas and talk about “strategies” and “business plans”, a terminology you rarely hear among artists, but they seem to have something to back it Possibly one of the best interviews with a new band ever. Usually it’s difficult to talk music and career with new bands because there’s very little to build on but Mid City are an exception.

We walked back to Molotow with the band because we really wanted to attend the Aussie BBQ, the Australian reception by Sounds Australia with loads of great bands on stage. First band out for us was DZ Deathrays, the Australian rock three-piece – and what a show they pulled off! Straight into our “Best gigs of 2019” list! Heavy guitar riffs and lots of guitar riff faces driven by Simon Ridley’s furios drumming. Sure, I’ve seen them once before but can’t remember it being this furious. Although it’s just 4pm and a bit, people are already in a “eight beers later” mood and the band deserve it. Lucky for us that they’ll do two more gigs, tomorrow.

Olympia is on stage just a few minutes after Deathrays left and her manager introduces her by asking if there’s any TV channel out there up for an interview. It may sound like an act of panic to get airtime but for an established artist as Olympia, already three records into her career, it’s important to reach through. It also tells you something about the competition among artists/bands and how difficult it is to reach out to an audience. Olympia does a great performance, maybe nothing exciting music-wise for Messed!Up, but has the visual appearance of an artist that knows how you should build your career (the right clothes, poses, bantering etc). Hopefully she finds her audience and can build a career similar to what she already has in Australia.

After Olympia’s gig it’s time to take a detour to Uebel & Gefährlich. One of the bands we always had on our interview list is We Were Promised Jetpacks. When they visited Hamburg in October last year we couldn’t make it back to Hamburg in time and missed that opportunity, but this time we had it nailed in our schedule. And even better: they were on tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their epic debut album “These Four Walls” playing all the songs of the album. We met up with the whole band in the echo chamber of the stairway at Uebel and had lots of talk about being on scene for ten years and not understanding social media. More about that when it’s published.

As busy as the day was, Ms Sis and the editor split ways outside headCRASH; while Ms Sis covered a bit more of the Aussie BBQ the editor watched a few minutes of John van Deusen, an artist we interviewed the next day and whose German tour Messed!Up support.

Van Deusen live is an amazing experience. I always see him as that kind of creative person being in his own bubble on stage, someone you can’t reach out to, but also an artist that runs some lovely bantering between songs. This was also the first time we’ve been to one of his shows where he had a backing band, and he later explained with some dry humor Germans didn’t understand that the bassist is his wife that learned to play bass 24 weeks ago and the drummer is a friend he asked a week before the tour, just to make it sound a bit “punky”, like it doesn’t matter how it sounds. But it was of course great musicians!

Finally it was time for what we’ve been waiting for since it was announced: We Were Promised Jetpacks at Uebel & Gefährlich! Ms Sis was at their show at Molotow last fall but the editor haven’t been to a show since 2011 and never really heard all the songs from “These Four Walls” live. The first live experience was at The Cooler in Bristol (the venue doesn’t exist anymore) in 2008 where they played a few of those songs but that was a year before the album was released, the second show was just after they released their sophomore album “In the Pit of the Stomach” and naturally they played the songs from that album. But this night was different.

They thrusted themselves into “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning” and then just played through the whole album. “Roll Up Your Sleeves”, “A Half-Built House”, “Conductor” before they announced “This is it guys, now it’s coming” and “Quiet Little Voices” lifted the roof a few metres before the whole club exploded in some crazy dancing. It’s an epic indie rock act for a reason and hopefully ten years isn’t enough and they’ll continue for another stretch of years and continue doing more epic albums.

We left Uebel completely soaked in sweat and went back to our living quarters to leave our bags and go for a club night – again – at Molotow. It was Friday I’m In Love and last year was a blast – and then we made the grown-up decision to sleep. It’s was another hectic day on Friday and we just felt that we needed some sleep. Sometimes we do practice logic thinking.

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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.