Hamburg's historically mostly industrial used river island of Wilhelmsburg played host to the ninth edition of music and arts festival MS Dockville last weekend - attracting a total of more than 60.000 international visitors and enthusiasts over the course of three days and nights. Six stages hosted over 130 artists from around the globe as well as a fine selection of local heroes. The main stages saw memorable performances by good old Interpol, Caribou and a banging light show, Django Django, Icelandic circus FM Belfast, sunny good vibes by Darwin Deez, dreamy pleasures by Little Dragon, noise legend Dan Deacon who had the audience almost literally eating out of his hands, and really many more.
Naturally though, it's the smaller stages that Team Poule is drawn to. The first highlight came in the form of beard-heavy electro wizard and Bavarian Occupanther, who showcased his vast and spheric repertoire twisting and turning the knobs and buttons at Klüse stage, looking over the illuminated harbour, as pictured above - supported by a live guitar player who was the icing the cake really. Attached below is Color off Chimera - which is not a deadly virus hunted down by Tom Cruise but his latest EP, out since May on lovely Humming Records.
A further stellar performance was laid down by yet another German ensemble. The Cologne-based trio Woman played a perfect 40 minute set on Sunday afternoon. Their electro pop is glowing with warm beats and their live set leaves you wanting more. Which is a thing at festivals. Nobody plays encores which actually leaves you like 'they were only just starting how is this over already'. Good thing then that Woman will be on an extended tour this fall, playing Hamburg's newest venue Häkken October 8th. Check their banging single Psychedelic Lover here.
Pictured above then, are Danish super group Rangleklods. Their new album Straitjacket is easily among the top three LPs you will listen to this year and despite playing like 5 shows a week their live set is absolutely spectacular. You can see they are enjoying themselves and, having seen their Straitjacket set no less than three times this year, Team Poule can report that no set is like the other. It almost feels like that with all their travels day in day out they cannot wait to get on that stage every night and try out new things, play new songs, use new instruments even. A total must-see. Their set started out under the setting sun and orange skies and with every minute of the beginning night their light show got more intense and flashy and I believe they did enjoy their set too.
Rangleklods continue touring for the rest of the year, all dates are nicely listed here. Attached below is the second single of their current album Straitjacket which is out on Tambourhinoceros: Schoolgirls.
Further great sets were to be seen by powerful duo Sylvan Esso whose live set - very much like Rangleklods' - is straight forward and it is just fun watching them doing their thing. Liverpool trio All We Are also threw down a perfect performance on a sun-drenched Saturday afternoon slot, what more could you ask for really. The lovely Danes of Sekuoia played just before Rangleklods and presented their new tunes, great to watch and one that should be on your list.
Finally then All Star Son Lux is well worth a mention. The one man show supported by his brilliant drummer and guitar player was like witnessing the landing of a spaceship, pictured below, breathtaking and from beyond. I mean, look at the angle on that keyboard.
So, the 2015 edition of MS Dockville wasn't short of highlights then and three straight days of blue skies and 25 plus degrees celsius certainly added to the overall experience. What's great about Dockville is the fact that the two main stages attract the obvious names and audiences leaving the smaller stages to the newcomers and innovators - who Dockville always has a lot of, big up for that - giving them a place to present themselves.
Also most stages are facing southwestern, giving the artists a point of view that has the plain of audience in front of the harbour scenery and the sun dipping into the Wilhelmsburg waters, which in turn makes it a very special experience on stage as well. With all stages being just far enough apart and close enough together, Dockville creates an intimate atmosphere within itself while at the same time having this very green and natural setting of a river island which leaves a fair amount of breathing room too. Dockville, if you will have us in your tenth issue, Team Poule will be back next year. That said, early bird tickets go on sale October 4th.