Speedfest 2007 - Peter Pan Speedrock and thousands of friends
Holy Shit! Is Eindhoven a rockcity or what? I mean, where else in the Netherlands can a bill that sports Madball, The Dwarves and Peter Pan Speedrock draw such a big crowd? Peter Pan is still one of the biggest Dutch rockbands, and in their hometown (Lampegat, Netherlands) this status can be doubled. If you wanted proof, last Saturday you could have seen it. The speedrockers invited a bunch of befriended bands and planted them in a huge industrial building called Strijp-S on two stages, organised a Hot Rod show, a CD and merchandise market and an impressive catering. The result: literally thousands of black t-shirts and tattooed arms and gallons of consumed beer. One couldn't possibly have entered the building and not be impressed by the achievement. A fantastic event.
Sadly Metalragers Lex und Carn were pestered by the phenomena of Public Transit, and therefor arriving late, missing the first couple of bands, and having to miss the last two headlining acts Madball and Mark Foggo. That's what you get for not owning a drivers licence.
When entering the building, Backfire! had just started. Probably the biggest Dutch Hardcore band, their somewhat linear approach has to be your cup of tea. Straightforward Hardcore isn't mine, but I do think it's great for bands in this genre to get to play to crowds of this size, something that must be a rarity for them. The crowd in their turn was devided in a group of diehard fans slamming it out in front of the stage, and the happy beerdrinking and headnodding people in the back.
On the other stage the 'cowpunk' rednecks of Nine Pound Hammer get on their way with their cool thumping punksongs and funny lyrics that involve a lot of beer and sex. Let a songtitle like 'Hookers in Hot Sauce' be a testamony of that. I for one had never heard of 'cowpunk' before reading the description in the programme booklet, but it has to be said: it's quite entertaining and sounds cool. A portion of the crowd joined in the redneck atmosphere by shouting 'Speuleh' (a Dutch term that is shouted usually when bands talk or tune their instruments in between songs that means no more than 'play') during the songs. Hmmm.. Beer...
One wonders if 'He Who Cannot Be Named' - the guitarplayer for The Dwarves owns the one cock that has been seen by the most straight men in the world. Infamous for wearing a wrestling mask and a guitar only, that might turn out to be a bizarre statistic. On this particular occasion the man wore a cup. Well I guess he's getting older like the rest of us. But enough of frontal male nudity. The Dwarves are a punkband, and a good one in that. I would describe them as a mix of Dead Kennedys and Pennywise, with a bonus guitarist that delivers a little extra. But above all The Dwarves are great songwriters. Tracks like 'I Will Deny' and 'Everybody's Girl' are true classics that are adored by punkers as much as rockers around the world. As for the gig, personally I find a full hour a tad too long for their kind of music, but most of the attending people up front didn't seem to mind, slamming and crowdsurfing all the way throughout the set. Same counted for the band, Blag Dahlia crowdsurfed along halfway through the hall.
The broom-headed Psychobillies called Mad Sin are a hate it or love it issue. Neither Carn or Lex belong to the latter group, and therefore a judgement wouldn't be in order.
But the initiators of this festival, Peter Pan Speedrock are more in our alleys. Of course, playing a home match in front of a huge crowd at their own festival, in their own town is a win-win situation. Steady as ever, the Eindhoven three-piece pounded all their 'hits' such as 'Ressurection' and 'Go Satan Go', as well as stuff of the new album like 'Heatseeker'. But in the end the whole setlist doesn't matter. An icing on a rock 'n roll cake, with Dikke Dennis obviously doing his duty of Schoppen Aas and Megas Des Titas.
As said, public transit made us leave early, but the impressive event with its great atmosphere and superb location are reason enough to come back for more next year.