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Speedfest #4 - A gathering of misfits of todays society!
For the fourth time the lads of Holland’s loudest rock ‘n roll band Peter Pan Speedrock, presented their own festival. Again it had to offer the best of the metal, punk, stoner, psychobilly and rock ‘n roll scenes in one brilliantly organized festival. Although the sound in the halls of the Klokgebouw isn’t always that good and the prices for drinks and food are ridiculously high, it is still a memorable festival. The diversity between bands and audience is probably the best kept secret of this festival. Every year it’s one big party with a large diversity of people showing up. Where else will you see skins, psychobillies and metalheads all rock out and drink together… That’s right, at Speedfest!

The Shavers
The first band we attended at this festival was The Shavers, hailing from Holland. Due to some troubles with our photo-camera (so no pictures this year, sorry!), we had to miss out on the first two bands. This surf/slide rock ‘n roll band has a long history and after a 3 year break, because of some heavy surgery of their singer Johannes de Boom, they are back to rock out at Speedfest! This is just a perfect band for this festival; it is rock ‘n roll, but it also appeals to people from the psychobilly and punk scene. Of course the Dutch classics of these surf old-timers, were played as well. Always fun to see a crowd sing along to tunes like ‘Alcohol’ and ‘Halvarine’. The highlight of the show was when the drummer set his drum-sticks on fire and played his drum-kit with it. Good warm-up band, for all the good that had yet to come.
Reno Divorce
On the smaller Thrashers stage, the American band Reno Divorce tried their best to get the crowd going. They tried their best indeed, but couldn’t camouflage the fact that they are a pretty boring dime a dozen band. Musically they play punkrock ‘n roll in the vein of Social Distortion, Backyard Babies, but also the older Westcoast punk bands like Lagwagon come to mind. Nothing really special and when you do a boring cover version of ‘Ace Of Spades’ on a festival like Speedfest, you might want to reconsider what the fuck you're doing on this fest in the first place!
Banane Metalik
This French psychobilly band or gore ‘n roll as they like to call it themselves, is a pretty decent band, but most attention goes out to the great show with nice zombie-outfits, blood, gore and zombie go-go dancers. That’s the biggest problem with this band, the crazy gore/horror show is an awesome visual show, but musically it’s standard psychobilly rock ‘n roll with no memorable songs that will stick with you! Nonetheless they got all the psychobillies going in the crowd and a big psycho pit was formed in front of the stage. The setlist contained mostly songs of the recently released album called Nice To Meat You. Visually a great band to look at, especially when the go-go dancers come on stage it becomes wicked with naughty nurses or butchers, but musically not really interesting and the terrible French accent and badly pronounced English didn’t help either!
Valient Thorr
After the psychobilly party it was time for the first real highlight of this festival; Valient Thorr. This American band makes the perfect mix between oldschool NWOBHM, rock ‘n roll, thrash and punk and molted that into an explosive piece of music; this contributed with their highly energetic live gigs we are set to see something amazing. That’s what they did! The denim of TurboNegro, the battle-cries of Manowar and more balls than Motorhead! From the very first tone they rocked the crowd off their feet! The sound was terrible during the first couple of songs, but luckily it got better during the set. With their explosive live show and their ultra catchy oldschool hardrock/metal rock ‘n roll, it is hard to resist not banging your head along to these tunes. This had effect on the audience and a huge pit formed in front of the stage. The setlist contained a lot of songs from the last album Immortalizer, but also from the other two albums. Crazy show, with an unbelievably energetic, crazy frontman that really knows how to play a crowd! In the last song, the guitar players even switched guitars, by throwing the guitars across the stage to each other. Awesome show!
After the pulverizing set of Valient Thorr we decided to relax and see what Triggerfinger was all about! Oh, my bloody rock ‘n roll god! Why the hell didn’t I know this band before? This Belgian band preformed an absolute brilliant show on Speedfest, probably one of the best shows I’ve seen in ages. This Belgian band is playing the club-circuit in Holland for a few years already and with success, but somehow I missed out on them all the time. Now their road to victory led them to Speedfest and I think they surprised a lot of people, considering the reactions of the audience. Musically this band is a kind of Queen Of The Stone Age, mixed with roots music like blues, country and pop and they moulded that into unbelievably beautiful songs. The voice and charisma of their vocalist Ruben is also amazing, what a performer! The emotions and passion is oozing out of the pores of this band, some songs heavy and intense other songs small, intimate and beautiful. It has been a long time that a band absolutely blew me away with an intense and heavy show. It made me fucking cry of happiness. Truly brilliant show from an awesome band, which was even touching at moments! Watery eyes and goose-bumps all over.
After that I needed a drink and some food to recover, but even in the drink/food hall the party continued! DJ’s spinning records from Pantera, AC/DC, Rose Tattoo and many more… Eating your French fries and see people banging /dancing their head over their food is an amazing sight…
New Bomb Turks
After these two highlights, it would become hard to top that, but New Bomb Turks have a special place in my heart! Their debut album Destroy-Oh-Boy! is still the best garagerock ‘n roll album ever released, so I was pretty excited to finally see the Turks. My dream came true! They played the entire Destroy-Oh-Boy! album, from the very first song till the last one on it, genius! Especially the guitar player holds a few crates of beer more than a few years ago, but this band is still as energetic as they used to be. Highly energetic, filthy garagerock with some hardcore/punk influences. With a frontman like Eric Davidson it isn’t hard to set the crowd on fire! This guy is the Lou Koller (Sick Of It All) of garagerock! He pushes the crowd to its limits, constantly screaming for more and getting the crowd on stage. Incredible frontman with very good contact towards the audience. This resulted in a nice chaos in front of the stage and sometimes on stage. After playing all the songs of Destroy-Oh-Boy!, the crowd screamed for more and the Turks came back to play three more songs. During the last song Eric Davidson asked the crowd to kneel on the ground and jump up together with the band on their cue. This resulted in a one big party! Finally I’ve seen the masters of garagerock, so I could go home now in peace!
Karma To Burn
This instrumental stoner riff-machine started their Dutch adventure on Dynamo Open Air in 1997. Finally after a break up of over five years, they are back in the Netherlands. Although I thought this band was a little too slow for Speedfest, they proved me wrong. Musically you can expect instrumental Desert Spring stoner/groove rock, a bit like Kyuss but ten times groovier. Although they are instrumental, they absolutely got the crowd going. Really unexpected, but they literally got the place exploding! This was actually the only band on the whole fest, which got the people moving all the way to the back. Really impressive and very promising for Roadburn 2010. Great show by these groove masters!
Peter Pan Speedrock
After this tornado of riffs, it was time for the hosts of this fine party; Peter Pan Speedrock! As expected the place was packed and they had no trouble to get the crowd moving, so again a good show of one of the best live bands from Holland. The setlist contained songs from almost every record they did. Of course they did ‘Schoppen Aas’ with Dikke Dennis. We decided after so many highlights on this day, to leave earlier and miss out on Death Angel and GBH. I'm sure though that the GBH anthem ‘City Baby Attacked By Rats’ was screamed along by a few thousands throats. Again a great edition of Speedfest with as absolute winner Triggerfinger. Check out this awesome band! See you next year again.
Details Written on Thursday Dec 10th, 2009
Writer @RoyBalowski

Tags: #speedfest #4