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Paaspop 2006 - A start for the festival season 2006
In the weekend of the 15th and 16th of April, Carpesiem, Buzzin Hornet and Sledgehammer Messiah went to the first Dutch festival of the season: Paaspop. It gave a little bit of a strange feeling to go to festival so early in the year; it was a rainy weekend and we had to sleep with our clothes on, but the ambience was very good and we saw some awesome performances. Check it out!
The Shavers
The festival started with the fine Dutch rockers of The Shavers who are currently into their last tour due to physical disabilities by front man Johannes de Boom. It was a really nice rock & roll opening show with a warm positive attitude brought by the three men. Lyrics like ‘En dat maakt het leven fijn’ (And that’s what’s making life great) made the crowd smile and you could see the band enjoying their performance. Of course, ‘Halvarine’ was played (which turned out to be the big hit at the camping site this year) while everyone shouted their disgust against this product into the world. However, you could see that being on stage is becoming hard for Johannes, he had to sit down every now and then. Still, I cherish their performance because The Shavers didn’t want to disappoint the fans. A perfect opening act. (CarpeSiem)
Intwine was up next and although I have been surprised by their live performance in the past, the band seems to be unable to reach to higher levels. Mainly focusing on himself, front man Roger mainly stood still with the other band members only concentrating on their own instruments. The alternative version of ‘Get Out Of My Head’ is becoming pretty boring and the band has only a few songs (‘Cruel Man’ and ‘Today’) live which are somehow impressive and interesting for anyone who knows them from cd. It seems to me as if this band is about to fade away slowly. (CarpeSiem)
On the forehand, the guys from Gorefest told us that we could expect a mix between old and new songs, with the accent lying on the success-album False. And so it turned out. The most brutal band of the day showed that it is no coincidence that they have been on the list of almost every festival last year. Of course, La Muerte was represented a lot, emphasizing the fact that the band has gone through a certain period, but oldies like ‘Confessions Of A Serial Killer’ and ‘The Mass Insanity’ were not excluded. Guitarist Boudewijn certainly does not hate heavy metal, considering the high quality guitar solo’s he performed and the really identifying vocals of Jan-Chris were a must to hear. Brutality at its best, presented by Gorefest. (CarpeSiem)
My favourite act in advance of this day was Relax. If you’ve missed them this year than you’ve probably been playing too many Sudoku’s, because this band has been all around the country. Their combination of urban, jazz and blues is working out better and better every time I see them with a recent confirmation on the Sziget festival this year. Ever since the trumpet got into the music, the songs are so much better which was emphasized today. The set list contained songs from both albums (Live @ Panama and Odeur de Clochard) with ‘Aksun’, ‘Sunrise’ and the killer song ‘Saint Alcohol’. And when ‘Mister Sleeves’ was played, the whole crowd had to participate in the ‘polonaise’ (which is a pretty fun ‘dance’ when you're drunk, with a lot of people in a row, having each others hands on shoulders) and when the last song was finished, I heard the first real big applause of the weekend. (CarpeSiem)
No Use for a Name
After chilling at the show of Relax, we were in for something heavier and went to see No Use for a Name. This was actually only the second act I saw this day, after coming straight from my work. Still a little bit exhausted I hoped that these guys could pump up my energy level. I saw them a few years ago at Pukkelpop and although it isn’t really my musical taste I quite enjoyed seeing these guys rock. Unfortunately they are getting old and that was very much noticeable; they were just playing their songs which are pretty simple, but can be great when played with much passion. This was not the case; I was actually quite bored by these guys due to lacking stage performance and a few musical flaws. This couldn’t bother the punkrock kids in the pit which were going loose and this was actually the most fun and hilarious thing to see of the show. (Sledgehammer Messiah)
T. Raumschmiere
I was thrilled to see T. Raumschmiere from Germany on the bill of Paaspop. Marco Haas performed tonight with a live band instead of doing a DJ set. A lot of you guys might not be familiar with this guy so I’ll try to explain. Marco makes music which he himself called ‘Blastpunk’ during the show. His music is for the majority electronic, very well danceable and has most of the time an awesome pumping bass beat. But this is not just an ordinary electronic act; Marco has a punk background and this works out in an awesome heavy stage performance with him going totally wild and his music having the power of rock. This is mixed with some really nice industrial sounds and results in a bouncing and sometimes nearly moshing audience. The band exists of a drummer and a bass player which provides a nice electronic low rocking sound. T. Raumschmiere was in top condition and delivered an intense show with songs like ‘The Game is Not Over’ and ‘All System Go!’ which has an awesome dark industrial ambience. As always they ended in a huge climax with ‘Monstertruckdriver’ and the audience went insane. (Sledgehammer Messiah)
And while my dear colleague went dancing his ass off, I wanted to see what all the fuzz is about these days, witnessing the Racoon gig. And I must say, I still do not understand why their latest record has been responsible for the big breakthrough. Of course, the whole crowd knew how to sing ‘Happy Family’ ‘Love You More’ and ‘Feel Like Flying’ which were played without a single mistake. The singer showed once again that he has a tremendous voice while the guitarist proved to be able to have an almost ‘rocking’ sound with only an acoustic guitar. And together with a very nice dualistic singing and some easy-to-listen-to songs Racoon convinced me about the fact that they’re not just able to create such kind of songs but they can also handle big crowds without losing their characteristics. That is, creating a big smile on your face. A very fine performance on a festival that used to be ruled by mainly rock bands. (CarpeSiem)
Vive La Fete
‘Tout les jours les Fetes’. These are the lyrics of one of my favorite Vive La Fete songs, the last act of the first day on the main stage. And it was actually funny to see how the crowd was a bit exhausted (Peter Pan Speedrock?). Female singer Els Pynoo seems to be unable to create the same sphere with her horny (as mentioned in the festival booklet) voice but still, the almost freak show this act seems to be, is a must to see live on stage. When performed live, the music is really nice to dance to and that’s exactly what I did with enough space in the crowd. The set consisted mainly of songs from their latest album with the end of the set as the real big-bang, when two people came on stage, being allowed to play guitar while Danny lit up a smoke. After this, the guitar also went crowdsurfing, allowing anyone who wanted to play some notes (which leaded into a chaotic BANG! BANG!). The band seemed to enjoy this performance and so was I. At the very last end, Els left the stage, allowing the band to play a cover of Plastic Betrand. It was a song we all know, called ‘Ça plane pour moi’ but after this one, it was over. *sigh* (CarpeSiem)
The second day of the festival started with my current personal upcoming Dutch act, Powervice. I was singing the incredible guitar riff of 'The Hand of Glory’ the whole weekend and that’s exactly the song they started with. It seemed like it was no problem for the band that is being compared to Iron Maiden a lot lately, to perform on a pretty big stage, because Powervice was playing really tight and gave a great show in front of the people at Paaspop. I even reckoned some fans singing the songs from the 3-track demo , knowing every single word and it obviously influenced the band. Whereas the opening songs were more straight rock songs, the second half was more filled with instrumental parts in which singer Rogier sometimes left the stage. After almost fourty minutes, time was up for the pure rock formation but I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot from Powervice soon. (CarpeSiem)
Mark Foggo
Secondly, one of my favorite acts of these days was about to show up, Mark Foggo & The Skastars. I saw them for the first time on the Lowlands festival last year and I was so overwhelmed about the pure joy Mark is having on stage, that I had to see them again. And despite it was still pretty early, the crowd was eating out of his hands. The stage was filled with musicians and this funny looking British guy who is so dedicated to his genre that he has named half the songs after something with ska with the almighty ‘Hello Ska People’ of course as a final song of the set. ‘How are my Skaapeopleeee doiiiing?’ Literally everything went ska; the band played ska, the crowd was the ska-people, the tent was a ska-tent, the beer was ska-beer and everyone had a good ska-time. It was of no coincidence that the sun started to shine outside all of a sudden. And as a bonus, the band gave another performance in the very tiny LiveXS tent. Ska rules!! (CarpeSiem)
Gabriel Rios
The fact that Paaspop is losing this ‘rock-identity’ does not merely come from the inclusion of Racoon in the line-up but also because Gabriel Rios was performing. Of course, everyone in Holland knows him from the ‘Appelsientje’ commercial and I was interested whether he would fit in the line-up. Unfortunately, his Spanish-summerbeach tunes did not convince me that much. Gabriel was just standing his microphone all the time with his band around him as if he was a kindergarten teacher. The crowd did not react that much to his alternative tunes and looked as if it was only waiting for the daylight song. And when that particular tune was played, it looked as if it was over in no-time. A real misfit, Gabriel Rios at Paaspop, wrong act in front of the wrong crowd. (CarpeSiem)
De Dijk
I couldn’t resist but watching the performance of Huub van der Lubbe and his band. The absolute masters of Nederpop are playing together for over twenty years now and still, they are a really nice band to witness live. It surprised me that the band did not play merely hits but also a lot of new songs and as a result of this, songs like ‘Mag het Licht Uit?’ and ‘Bloedend Hart’ were not included in the set list. However, ‘Als ze er Niet Is’Ik Kan het Niet Alleen’ and ‘Dansen Op de Vulkaan’ did stay on the list, so the real fan had enough old material to sing a long with. And while I was standing inside the crowd, I felt a great warmth watching Dutch Tom Waits. It was a great performance with not my personal favorites, but that’s not always possible and I can live with that. Despite the relatively mellow songs, De Dijk did what they can do best, touching the crowd by creating a great atmosphere with some nice mellow songs. (CarpeSiem)
Anouk’s latest record had really surprised me, positively, with some great songs of which ‘Heaven Knows’ is her absolutely best song ever, so I was really interested in her performance. However, we came in the middle of a very, very long jam session in which Anouk herself had to do absolutely nothing. It lasted and lasted and when it was finally over, she sang ‘R U Kidding Me’ very uninspiring. The tent was totally filled and I got annoyed by all the sneaker-wearing girls and quasi-hip hair dressed boys who were holding each other when ‘Lost’ was played. It seemed as if most of the people in the crowd were having fun, but not me and it seems to me that it will be a good thing that Anouk will not be performing at the Pinkpop festival this year. (CarpeSiem)
Born From Pain
It was quite a bummer when Ramallah got cancelled for Paaspop. Fortunately their place was quite well being filled by another good hardcore metal band, this one from Dutch soil: Born From Pain. With their aggressive NY-hardcore style with major metal influences they sound a lot like Hatebreed, but these guys put some more simple, though effective double bass parts in their music. With Che Snelting’s voice often reminding me of that of Jan-Chris of Gorefest, Born From Pain isn’t the most original band of the Netherlands. But with a song like ‘The New Hate’ I don’t give a damn about that, because they know how to write strong songs and to give a good show. It doesn’t matter rather you’re into Metal, Punk or Hardcore, people from every scene seemed to enjoy the show. It resulted in a violent pit with limps flying all over the place and a huge circle pit; a worthy replacement. (Sledgehammer Messiah)
Less Than Jake
Then it was time for the last act in the Monsters of Rock tent, namely Less Than Jake. Not the typical rock band, I admit that but a very fine band to solute with. Less Than Jake is one of the best ska-punk bands around (think about Reel Big Fish for instance) with the saxophone and the trombone as the most important instruments to create the ‘happy’ feeling you get when visiting a gig. Right from the start I had this huge smile on my face and it did not disappear until the last note was played. The singer announced that, at the end of the set, there had to be a circle pit all around the technician tower and when it was about time to do so, the place looked like it was about to explode. It was a magnificent gig, I got tired as hell, with ‘Overrated’ as the highlight of the set. (CarpeSiem)
Dropkick Murphys
And then it was time for the main act to enter the stage. The one band that will always come back to Paaspop, namely Dropkick Murphys. I don’t think there is a band that will fit better to the crowd than this. Right from the start, the atmosphere was tremendous and I think the size of the tent was just about right for this act. The Metalrage crew took a place in the back were we could get a nice view with some space to dance to, enjoying the real ‘oi’ with the absolute killer sing-a-long song ‘Walk Away.’ Just at the end of the set, half the crowd (I believe it was only girls) were invited on stage, staying there for almost five songs, including my favorite ‘Oi, Oi, Oi’. And while we were getting exhausted and the band played the last tunes of their one and a half hour lasting set list, I realized that the festival season has had a great start. Who’s saying that Holland has got only the weaker festivals? (CarpeSiem)
Details Written on Monday May 29th, 2006
Writer @CarpeSiem

Tags: #Paaspop 2006