Thursday, October 24, 2019

Desert Fest Antwerp, Belgium Oct 18-20th, 2019

We arrived at Desertfest about 15 in the afternoon so we could get everything sorted out and it would run smoothly for us when we play at 23:25 on the Friday, the first day of the festival. We met all our contacts and all went very smooth. 

Everything went super smooth. We did some promo fotos with a really nice Portuguese lady. The band loved it when she said “Ricardo!”..  We got a few laughs out of that. The guy we were staying with Bram, was the stage manager for the stage we played on, so that was great. We had everything we needed. I spoke to the sound man about doing a soundboard recording and it was possible but some how we only got the last 14mins.. so he did not do right.. Pity..

Monomyth were the first band on and they had an amazing sound on that stage they played. I was really into it but they only played 35mins which was really short. They played a couple of new songs, as they have a new album that was just released now. I did not see it for sale but I had already ordered it!  Great band and I spoke to them a bit later as well. Seem like nice guys.

Nebula was the first band up on the main stage and opened with To the Center. Great choice. I think they had a new drummer since Sonic Blast last summer?? Anyway, they were sounding great. Eddie’s voice is very harsh compared to what it used to be but he can still play the guitar.  I only saw the first 25mins or so. Man’s Best Friend was a super heavy new song. Great stuff..

To the Center, Do it, Man’s Best Friend, Aphroditie, ??, ??

Temple Fang were next on the stage that BMC would play later. I love this band and told the BMC guys to for sure check them out. They only played two songs as a big medley of sorts, opening with Gemini, which they always play first. Then Not the Skull… Gemini is a slow spacey track where the guitar below does the lead vocal. He has a cool voice. It is a great track. They have a great classic rock vibe to them this band and can also play some high energy rock and roll as well with nice use of the two guitars. Can't wait for them to record an album but they are really slow. Have not even started yet. They did not play any new songs since when I saw them twice at Roadburn. They are making us wait!!

I caught a bit of the Truckfighters but it is not a band I really dig. They have an amazing energy and the crowd clearly really dig it and get into it and sing the songs and it is a wild time of high energy stoner pop riff rock!! No solos….   People go crazy for them and it was packed.
30000 Monkies was a strange band. They reminded me of Mr Bungle or some of the crazy Mike Patton projects.  I am not sure people knew what to make of them and neither did I. I only saw 2 songs.

Yatra were next and this was some heavy stuff. Not my kind of music but they were passionate and massive… I spoke to the band a bit at the end of the night and they were super nice folks… Crowd was into their show, which is great..

The band before us (Black Moon Circle) finished early so we had a lot of time to set up and soundcheck was smooth and it sounded great.  I started the show with my new sequencer into the modular and did a 3 min space in, we called March of the Antwerpans!  We opened with Ghost, as we did the night before. The place was totally packed. Next up was a monster 20min version of Engimatic Superbandit. This went down well with the audience. We tried out the new song, Monster Serpent and also extended this to at least 15 mins. We had almost used up our time but I had spoken to Bram if it was ok if we went a little over and he said it was so we did Warp Speed. We only had 50mins but I think we played about 70! You can see the first part of the show below.

Set List: Space Intro, The Ghost, Enigmatic Sueprbandit, Monster Serpent, Warp Speed

Audience loved it. One girl told me it was the best show of the day. We hung out with lots of cool folks and went to the night disco until 0230. Peter was playing tons of cool stuff. It was a great night but I was very tired when we crashed at after 3.

It was great to see my friends Anders, Ann Karin, Sara, Benni, Desierre, Geir, Paula, Johnny, and Luc, and many others.. 

Oct 19th

Our tour mates, Bismut were the first band on, so we arrive in time to see them and a few other bands before we had to head off to play in Tilburg!  Bismut had a great sound and pretty full room when they played. This is a fantastic instrumental metal prog-psych death boogie music.. I guess. Complicated stuff with heavy metal guitars but also strange sounds and effects on the guitar and bass sometimes. They played 4 songs in their set, I think two were new ones. They plan to record a new record in Feb-March 2020.

Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell from the UK were next up. I really dig these guys and their last show in the church at Roadburn a few years ago was awesome. Anyway, they have a new album out Oct 25th and I expected to hear some new songs.  This is down and dirty greasy, ugly rock and roll, straight up, no fucking around. 

Set List: Do it Now, Markon, Hairy Brian, Elementary, Potato Boy, Wrong, Robo Colobo, Red Admiral

Fireball Ministry was next on the big stage. I had never seen them. Scott Reeder from Kyuss was playing with them but sadly you could not hear him for the entire show. Totally shit soundman. The singer who was also the lead guitar player was inaudible for the first 3 songs as well. I really dig his voice and they had some cool songs but it just did not sound right with no bass and one guitar way louder than the other. Sound man sorted out the guitar after 3 songs but never the bass. Pity….  Lots of nice air bass from Scott!!
Fireball Ministry
I managed to catch a couple of songs by RRaigs, who Amber played for us in the bar in Oss. They started with what seemed like a jam before going into the first song, which I did not like at all. Just did not get it.. But the next song was really good and they seem to get rockin.  I think they have an EP out.

We had to leave for Tilbug so no more bands but lots of great stuff later that day including Church of Misery (I said hi to them..), Bongripper, Ruff Majik, Elephant Tree, Pelican, Lo Pan, Dopelord, Ty Segall, and more. Sleep was the headliner on the sunday. 

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