I can’t remember the name of the band who were about to take to the stage. Judging from the queue of people I’d had to make my way past at the entrance, they must have been an act with a lofty reputation. I was feeling hot, bothered and on the edge of heading back to my rented apartment in the centre of the city. It had been a heavy weekend.
Two swaying women, probably more drunk than I was, came and stood in my general vicinity. One was very tall and the other less so. The shorter one said something to me in Dutch. At least I assumed it was in Dutch; this would have made sense as we were all in the Netherlands.
“I’m sorry. I can’t understand. I’m English”, I apologised. This was my first conversation with Jolene.
(Click on page 2 for more of this story)
I’ve been casually exchanging e-mails with Emiel, the guitar player from an exciting post-rock band from Belgium, The Guru Guru, for a couple of months now. They were playing one of the fringe events when I was over in Groningen for Eurosonic. I wanted to head along but a combination of it being in a maze-like venue consisting of many rooms and alcohol (yeah, Ok, I got lost) meant I missed the chance.
(Click on page 2 to find out more about The Guru Guru)
It’s been a long and exciting day. I write this as the wind outside howls around the dark and wet streets of Groningen. But I’m ok – AirBNB has worked wonderfully and I have a fab room in the heart of this fine city.
Regular readers of Sonic Breakfast will know why I’m in the Netherlands. I’m reviewing Eurosonic Noorderslag for eFestivals. The plane from Southend touched down just after 5 and since then it has been all systems go. In the space of a few hours this evening, I’ve seen much that a fuller review will warrant but for now I’ll pick a shorter tale.
I clocked the band on the train from Liverpool Street. I needed a wee and so walked up and down the aisles to try and find a toilet. These shuttles don’t seem to have them but I did walk through a carriage that was laden with trendy looking musicians carrying boxes of equipment. “They must be on their way to Groningen“, I thought to myself.
(Click on page 2 to find out which band it was)
We return to my itinerary for Eurosonic in Groningen next week, randomly chosen by Facebook friends. With Let’s Eat Grandma, they were already a name on my shortlist before Laura Horton, Chief Executive at Leicester’s Centre For Integrated Living, former Labour councillor in the Tory stronghold of Melton and all round lovely person decided to add the request ‘L7’ to my wall.
Aside from having one of the most entertaining band names across the whole festival (arguably the delightfully named Cocaine Piss are more of a draw), Let’s Eat Grandma crossed my radar last year when I saw the young duo’s mysterious, kooky and highly captivating turn on ‘Later With Jools Holland’. There was enough weirdness and off-kilter creativity on display to warrant another look.
(Click on page 2 for five more Sonic Breakfast reasons why I’ll be at the Stadsschouwburg at 8PM next Friday evening)
Randomly picking my itinerary at Eurosonic Noorderslag seemed like a good idea at the time. Check back on this post (here) for an explanation of how I asked Facebook friends to pick the must-see acts in Groningen this year.
Steve Parker is a wonderful acoustic singer-songwriter based here in Leicester. A couple of years ago, I featured this lovely man on Sonic Breakfast (here). He was the second person on my wall to come up with a combination of letter and number. “G8”, he typed, possibly referencing the assembly of world powers.
Steve had picked Glints , otherworldly hip-hop from Belgium. Steve is a tolerant sort when it comes to music so I’ve no doubt he’ll approve.
(Click on page 2 to find out more about Glints)