Whether you attend a small or a big festival, it’s always the same story: you get there as early as you can, crack open a cold one as soon as you park your car, set up the camp and start the party with your friends! But it’s always heartwrenching to take everything down and go back home once the week-end is over… The best cure? Keep going to wherever the music is! One of the best thing when you live in Europe is that festivals are easy to find during summer. That is why after attending the almighty Hellfest I headed straight away to a much smaller festival called Rock In Bourlon somewhere in the north-east of France.
Although this festival always rocked pretty hard, it was not specifically dedicated to the stoner/doom genre. Still, they invited a few familiar bands in the past such as Glowsun, Zodiac, The Midnight Ghost Train and The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell. But this year it seems that they decided to go a bit further in this direction and I won’t complain!
My first gig of the week-end! They play some good old 70’s rock with a female vocalist. To give you a broad idea of what they sound like, just think Blues Pills and Jethro Tull had a child together! Because what makes Wucan different from the other bands is the use of a flute as one of the main instruments. And I can tell you that Francesca (the singer) knows how to rock the hell out of it. The energy she displayed was stunning as she kept moving around, switching between her flute and her tambourine, singing her heart out. She made a hell of a show with the solid support of the rest of the band. I have to admit that I was not convinced at first when I listened to them at home but they did not take long to convince me that they are a great band to see live.
That one was definitely the most surprising gig of the week-end: a one-man band. Indeed, it is not something very common and I often find it a bit awkward to watch. But damn, that guy was good! He played a kind of garage punk with A LOT of reverb and a touch of psychedelia. I always wonder how people in those kind of acts manage to play so well all their instruments at the same time. It was really impressive to watch, I mean, that guy had so much energy that you could not keep your eyes off him. Moreover, besides delivering quite an impressive performance, Wild Raccoon was also quite funny and communicative with the crowd. It was a nice concert that you could attend lying on the grass, with your friends, a beer in one hand and a joint in the other. His music just makes you want to go the beach and chill out.
Those guys are from Berlin and play simple, raw rock’n’roll. Their sound is not quite original as it makes you think of many bands, like Black Sabbath and Kadavar but I guess this is quite common when you play 60’s & 70’s rock’n’roll! Nevertheless, they had a lot of energy and their act is quite efficient as it is easy to sing along with them, headbang and tap your foot to the rhythm of their music. I can picture myself driving my car in a hot summer afternoon blasting their tunes.
The name of the band is exactly what you are going to experience: being charged and trampled on by a massive boar. This super energetic power trio hailing from England delivered a ton of catchy tunes and they really REALLY knew how to federate a crowd! It looked insanely easy for them to get us to sing along one of their anthem: “ROCK CITY!”. You could sense that those guys live for playing music on stage, it is in their blood. They know exactly what is to be expected in a Rock show and I can tell you that we got exactly what we came for: some pure fuckin’ rock n’ roll.
If this tickled your fancy, you may want to know that their sophomore album, Beyond The Valley of The Triclops, is coming out in a couple of weeks. If I were you I would keep an eye out for this one because it’s surely going to be a hell of a record.
I saw them a bunch of times and they never failed to deliver their sweet heavy psych sound – and this time was no exception. There is something fascinating about their music, the way they play: their riffs pull you into another world and trap you in it. And this is what happened that night, everyone fell under their spell – and I mean absolutely everyone: I remember this young punk with a huge mohican and a Exploited shirt who seemed to have the time of his life!
My Sleeping Karma
For sure, one of the high point of the week-end. Usually a quartet, they were only three that day because the keyboardist was not available. I must confess that I never took the time to listen to their music thoroughly so I came as a neophyte. But it didn’t strike me at all that they were missing a member: indeed, every song was on point and played in a very professional way. As a matter of fact, the friends I was with told me that they played some songs (such as Ephedra) a bit faster than usual but they were still quite contented with the result.
One of the best thing with small festivals is the feeling of partying with close friends and family and My Sleeping Karma made the most of this feeling: you could really sense that they were genuinely having fun (the bass player had a gigantic smile on his face throughout the whole show). It was really heartwarming. The crowd was also on fire: almost everybody recognized the songs right from the first notes and you could often hear people screaming “Ich liebe dich” (meaning “I love you” in German). Good vibes were really all over the place! It was one of those gigs that made you love everybody around you and strengthen your love for your favorite music scene.
Even though it wasn’t the last concert of the week-end (The Lumberjack Feedback had the honor to close the festival) it was time for me to go back to the camp and enjoy a few beers with my friends and the drunkards who were camping right beside us. I had a great time at Rock In Bourlon and I can’t wait to go back next year, it is a great way to chill out after the great gig-marathon that is the Hellfest