Freakshow Art Rock Festival 2007


Abr 29 2007, 14h51

Freakshow Artrock Festival 2007

Finally, a review - or, a rather emotional look back on the events of Friday the 20th to Sunday the 22nd of April. Some bands' material was hard to digest, so it took me some time before I could actually write about it (including occasional lazyness and random exams). Here we go.

At first, I'd like to thank Charly Heidenreich for his endless effort, his willingness to realise such an event - again - after being in financial trouble after almost every Freakshow Festival in the past. Charly! We appreciate your devotional, persistent work on the Freakshow Festival, making it one of the most original and most exciting festivals on the whole planet. Thank you for that!

Friday the 20th

This day wasn't part of the festival, but included a progrock-dt meeting in Würzburg, the wonderful location of every FF (short for Freakshow Festival - I don't want to repeat myself on and on ;-)). The meeting involved traffic jams, Sal being drunken, a punk rock concert and Schuli "sleeping" in the meadows of a park, getting attacked by various animals, then waiting in front of the pension where all the normal people were resting, looking like the little vampire.

Saturday the 21st

The author, looking weird, in front of other strange prog people.

After seeing Schuli in such a miserable state of being, the fellow proggers decided to have a decent morning meal in a nearby cafe. Another short walk by foot led to the impressing first stage of the FF, the Cafe Cairo. It actually took some time to get the whole thing started and in the meantime, proggers gathered, mumbled and bought CDs - like proggers do. Charly, unsystematically, coordinated everything (in fact, he was searching for his keys) and sometimes caused the audience to carry around stuff. The breaks in general were long but okay, as there was much to discuss and to eat and to buy. The first band to play were the Swedish flower retro proggers of

Moon Safari

Moon Safari play some kind of late 60ies rock, combined with symphonic elements of early- and mid-70ies prog. The guitar player, to me, sounded a bit "shy" and on the whole more like a pop version of Roine Stolt, but the excellent keyboard works and part of the multi vocalist parts made their concert a nice thing to watch, though my head started to hurt after a while, when listening to the lyrics - all about joy, happyness and other positive aspects that, in their opinion, can easily be seen in the world by just changing the point of view. How... frightening. On the whole, Moon Safari were alright and a good opener for more bands to come, like


from Poland. I was curious about them. I had heard their album "S.U.S.A.R." three or four times a while back and knew that it was repetitive without that much of structured songs. On stage, they even had no singer, so, the whole concert was a repetition of riffs and atmosphere and riffs and atmosphere. Indukti consist of two guitar players (both for the rhythm), a bass player, a savage animal on drums and a cutie on violin. Her task was, to bring in the atmosphere and that was, what she did - they actually could have done some more spectacular stuff with this instrument, but she wore a shirt, saying "bite me", which satisfied most of the progger audience (rarr rarr). Indukti were fine and nice to bang the head to. Their riffs remind me of Tool, but with more metal in and the drummer thrashed the hell out of his drumkit. The festival proved, that it was fun. A male fan of the violin player - bawling "I love you" annoyingly after every song - turned out to be a fellow of the chamber avantgarde rockers of


The break between Indukti and them was rather long and when the audience finally saw all the equipment on stage - three keyboarders(!) + two woodwinds + one drummer + one violin player + one guitar player = full stage - everyone knew why. Yugen played a fantastic gig and their complex and polyrhythmic chamber rock pleased most of the critics (there were many) in the audience. Some softies left to watch a heavy metal concert of Diskriminator - alas!, such a shame. Yugen played a furious cover version of King Crimson's 'Larks' Tongues In Aspic' which was (were?) rather delicious. With this headliner of Day 1, the FF was already a success and "fun for all the family". The more exciting second day was yet to come.

Sunday the 21st

The author again, after a short night, in good company

Another sunny day in the charming Bavarian city of Würzburg, another breakfast with all the people, another walk - to the car this time - and a short drive to the next location: the akw. Another long time of waiting (and babbling and eating and buying) led into the first and only frustration of the festival:


Thinking that Jan Zehrfeld (of Panzerballet, see below) on guitar must be exciting, I was curious about them, as I didn't hear any samples before. Sadly, they turned out to be an annoying crossover act with boring compositions, complexity that seemed out of place and a Bavarian English singer who annoyed me so much that I left the hall after two songs. Many listeners thought the same and so, a crowd gathered outside to... you know what they did. Luckily, from that point on, the festival reached it's climax culminatively, starting with


the heroes of the last FF. Their powerful, funny and rocking Jazz Metal Fusion enchanted the audience and let them forget Jan Zehrfeld's other project. The saxophone player was only temporarily employed, but he did a great job, concerning the complexity of the material. Sure, he seemed a bit shy in the beginning and some of his intonations weren't that clearly, but his energetic solos compensated these slight irritations. So, after a lot of headbanging to "Weißer Morgenstern in Omas frisch gebackener Rüblitorte", most people had a grin on their faces. Outside, the young musicians of


had their good selling stand. Noone would have guessed that these innocent looking young French guys would raise such a confusing turmoil on stage. "Where am I here?" - my first thought when I entered the concert hall again. There they were, a pirat on guitar, a blonde, blue-skinned smurf-alien on saxophone, a military officer on trombone, a mafia guy on percussions, an older scientist and doctor on keyboards and samples, the pope (withour underwear and a hole in his dress, right where the butt is...) on organ, a crossdressing drummer in evening gown and with two penisses on his head and the bass player... dressed as a fetish-dictator with training wheels on his boots. Nutty. Sebkha-Chott did comedy theatre, forcing lots of audience participation and sometimes presented their funny musical mix of all the genres you can think of. It was rather amusing and even though I didn't like the stage diving, because I was the biggest guy there in front of the stage and had to carry most of the bass player's weight, I was enchanted and and enthusiastic after they left the stage. What a show! Could a band possibly top this feeling of excitement? Yes,

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

could. It still is so hard to describe how SGM brought me into this state of constant strain and haunting, yet so redemptive feelings. Were it the self-made instruments that fit so perfectly into their compositions? Were it the musicians with their absolutely professional appearance? Was it the fact that they played tighter than any other band that could be seen on this festival? I love SGM, now more than ever. So much power, so much energy that flew through the audience, shaking the people, letting them dance wildly and bang their heads to the industrial cacophony on stage, with beauty shining through from time to time, beaten down by shrill voices and relentless percussion. And how can it be that the darkest and most frighening band turned out to be the most charming, too? SGM are amazing, rather undescribable and truely one of the greatest bands I've ever seen. Never miss one of their concerts!

Anyway, sleepytime now. Hope you've got a good impression of what was going on. Thank you Charly for realising this and thank you, too, for organising a next festival in '08. You know, we love you for that.

Pictures taken by the lovely Lutz Diehl. For more pictures, check his website!


  • Bradmond

    I wanna go. :-) Or maybe I don't, too many people...

    Abr 29 2007, 17h59
  • grosswesir_sal

    Dawn, you're becoming a real proggie! Afraid of people...ha ha! What's next? Studying computer science and become a geek like 99% of us progheads? It was exciting, delightful, weird, strange, enchanting... it was intense and pure energy, it was friendship among the audience and the musicians, it was meeting lots of old friends and new friends. Really... I love this. Can't wait to the next festival...

    Abr 29 2007, 19h52
  • Bradmond

    Computer... science? I like your concepts...

    Abr 29 2007, 20h10
  • Flah

    SO LUCKY! Are these your pictures? Good looking set.

    Mai 1 2007, 19h29
  • heizi

    [quote]Pictures taken by the lovely Lutz Diehl. For more pictures, check his website![/quote] *whistles* ;-)

    Mai 1 2007, 19h41
  • Mustardfeet

    I love Sebkha-Chott and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, but I don't know the others. I love art music ... so I must hear all these. You should most definitely listen to Unexpect's In a Flesh Aquarium album if you haven't already.

    Mai 26 2007, 22h44
  • heizi

    Hehe. I did. Most songs were too extreme and without concept for me, only liked it a bit. But, yeah... Diverse Genres [that's my tag-name for bands like Sebkha-Chott, Unexpect, etc.] rules. :-]

    Mai 28 2007, 19h05
  • Shirito

    I wish that those bands could come here to Chile, at least one of them. Great Journal.

    Dez 18 2007, 19h48
Ver todos os 8 comentários
Deixe um comentário. Faça login na ou cadastre-se agora (é gratuito).