ESNS – Thursday – The Great and The Odd

I try not to have too much of a fixed plan when in Groningen for Eurosonic. It’s right to pick out a couple of ‘must-sees’ every day from the lengthy list of acts but it’s also right to follow your nose and to allow yourself to stumble upon the unexpected. Thursday throws up some delightful surprises. 

I make no apologies for posting this twenty minute video from Slovenian band, Sirom. It’s the best I can find on the web that demonstrates the beauty I experienced from their set. I mightn’t have taken a seat upstairs in the Grand Theatre if I hadn’t had a random chat with a chap from Slovenian radio  the day before but I’m really grateful for that tip. A rug is laid out on the stage and on it is an assortment of twenty or so wild instruments. I couldn’t begin to name half of them let alone play them but the three members of Sirom move hypnotically between them weaving a magical spell. When two of them beat out a tune together on an elaborate glockenspiel looking thing, I’m close to tears. The rug becomes a magic carpet and I’m flying on it through history. Completely enchanting and an act that should be booked for Womad or Musicport without delay.



Weird Bloom are from Italy. I pop into their set on the way to somewhere else and stay for the duration. They’ve got a psychedelic simplicity about their work; if you tried to write a nursery rhyme whilst high on magic mushrooms, you might end up with something from the Weird Bloom catalogue. It’s not the busiest of shows but those that pass by miss a treat. When lead singer, Luca Di Cataldo, leaves the stage towards of the end of the final tune, you really don’t expect him to be joining you in the crowd. He dances with those of us watching whilst making rock postures. It’s funny, delightful and massively entertaining. I’d pay to go and see this band again. 




I really should be heading to bed for it’s been a long day; a brilliant one during which I’ve seen so much great art. But the crowd that’s gathered outside Mutua Fides looks enticing and I enquire about what’s going on within. Meisterjaan is from Estonia and he uses jaw harps, a looper and live electronics to make the most incredible dance music. It’s clubbing but not as we know it; an act that would go down a storm at Sonar. Weary and fairly drunk after a full day of beer, I sway from side to side appreciating the noise and performance that’s coming from the stage. I can’t help thinking that it’s been a splendid Thursday and I feel myself getting far too emotional. If I see acts that are half this great on Friday, it will have been an excellent Eurosonic.



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