Three days filled with freezing cold, rain, flashing rays of sunlight and finally sunburns - and that was just the music part of SPOT Festival last weekend in Aarhus, Denmark. The 2016 edition of SPOT Festival yet again wasn't short of highlights. What strikes me most about SPOT Festival is the vast range of genres and styles they manage to put together each year: from freezing metal bands and rainy hip hop over flashing electro beats to your burning pop crooner. Over 150 bands played over the course of three days in more than 20 venues from small and indie to big and orchestral, all set around the Aarhus Musikskolen campus which has to be the secret heart of the Danish music scene. Local Aarhus heroes LISS and Lowly both played banging sets, really giving it a proper go in front of their home crowds. Lowly, after a stellar performance last year, again delivered a marvelous set in the big music hall inside the Aarhus Music Hall, see.
Another local group for the books were Astronaut, pictured in full effect above. The charming Danish five piece played a late Saturday night gig at the Limbo stage, inside a tiny and packed old train freight yard. One of the many great and atmospheric venues of SPOT Festival. Astronaut, then, showcased their raw and catchy indie sound, peppered with lots of lovely details - a jubilant new breeze of 80s inspired pop. Their new single Supernatural is pure and real and attached below, at your convenience.
The one gig that left the deepest mark with Team Poule probably was Gundelach's. The Norwegians played a heavy drums driven banging set on Saturday night at the Radar venue, full of warm 80s vibes. Just mad, including the quick rushing off into backstage after the final song. The riffs and precise drums were much more clear and balanced than in a Spotify playlist, making all the difference on a stage. Attached below is their latest offering Space Echo, taken from their debut EP that is due May 13.
Further madness included Palace Winter's gig on Saturday night. The duo is made up of Australian singer songwriter Carl Coleman and Danish producer Caspar Hesselager, and their songs are like the ultimate driver songs: a pure and perfect pop sound that just make you want to roll down that window and see that white lane in the middle of the highway hugging your left front tire. They just released their rad new single HW Running, and a promise to deliver a full album by June 3, via Tambourhinoceros.
And then there was Wangel, caught of film above. After a hot gig on one of the second stages last year, the tall Dane this year was let loose on the main stage. And wow, the opening was one of the best Team Poule ever witnessed, a jaw dropping, synced light show and video set, with consecutive drummers, a stunning choreography. And this voice.
Further, honorable mentions include DJ duo Thanks whose set included great 90s samples mixed with 2010 electronic vibes, Bergen's Bloody Beach who played a fun and very indie rock set early on Friday, Hamburg ensemble Gatwick played a hectic synth loaded set with dreamy vocals and flashing lights, duo Pale Honey who sported a skinny female drummer and a great indie guitar driven vibe, Finland's Hisser who played a banging electronic set and of course Liima, the former Efterklang ensemble and their new lovely tunes. They have an album out now, should list highly on your year-end lists.
Ouff, so on just two nights, SPOT Festival again managed to give so many new bands and talents a prominent stage that it should make other festivals blush and try harder. The fact that most of them hail from and around the Aarhus and Danish scene is breath taking. With Aarhus being the official European Capital of Culture and European Region of Gastronomy in 2017, lovely SPOT Festival as well as the hosting city of Aarhus should be a must in your calendars next year. If you will have us, SPOT, Team Poule will be back next year.