Sunday, 7 August 2016

Schollenpop 2016

Schollenpop is one of The Hague's free summer festivals and like Kaderock usually runs around guitar/rock orientated bands. Last year was the best version ever, due to the adding of a metal stage organized by THHMA. To complete the brilliance Death Angel was one of the bands on the main stage. This year Textures was announced pretty fast, which raised the hopes for another great year. Unfortunately we learned that the co-operation between Schollenpop and THHMA had ended and there would not be another metal stage like last year. Then suddenly a few weeks before the festival was held a new metal stage was announced. This year concentrating on local bands, but with a headliner that was amongst the most touring bands in Holland in the eighties. So for those looking for a general Schollenpop review you went to the wrong blog, as I saw only one band on the two main stages. For those not knowing teh festival it is at the beach best location there is and to please the organizers and visitors we had a beautiful sunny afternoon, so I write this burned (not bruised).

On the Metal Stage on the other hand I only missed one band, due to a slightly late arrival, so sorry Mr. Cramer hope to see you later. The Metal Stage was comfortably located at the entrance of the festival again. Actually if there would have been a bar and coins for sale, there was no need to leave the first 50 meters in the afternoon. Upon my arrival Warborn Waste started their set. This very young band played Death Metal and did so rather well. Promising band for the future I guess, let's see what their EP sounds like when released early next year. Next on were Defazer and they turned out to be the best band of the day (in my ears). Defazer plays thrash metal as we came to know it in the eighties. Everything sounding good this band I shall follow closer during future shows in the area. Buzz Rockington had to follow this up and they had some problems keeping the crowd close to the stage. Their music is groove driven and I saw them before opening for Warrior Sould when they fitted better than on the sunny beach. Good voclas though.

Next on were our recent favorites of Icarius. This was basically a shorter version of the HPC gig they did a few weeks ago. Nick proving again he has a great voice and instrumentally a tight band with some great guitar solo's. I borrowed a picture from their page to show what Schollenpop looked like from the stage. I hope they grow further as they are very lively on stage. Old Man's Riot followed and they groove and rock. Sounding nice enough, but I lost some attention during the gig when burned neck and beers started taking their toll. Closer of the Metal Stage were Jewel. This band played everywhere in Holland in the eighties and always started a party. Remembering their shows with the trampoline on stage for the audience to jump off. Musically they play a mix of thrashy metal with an overdose on melodic guitar solo's. In Henky Backer they had Holland's first guitar hero in the band (if we forget Jan Akkerman and some others) I probably have not seen them in 25 years, so a bit curious I was. Vocalist Rick Ambrose (who organized the stage parties) is no longer with the band, but Nico who took over did a good job. When the show started Henky was already on the beach and not on stage, so expectations came through and still Jewel is about giving us a party to watch. Not to many songs I recognized, but Blacque Moon from their EP passed by and Ballroom Blitz was raced through as well. The show had to end with their hit La Morta, still a great song and a worthy closer of Metal Stage.

During the Jewel set one thing started nagging. The main stage kept their time schedule, so halfway you could see Textures starting from the corner of your eye. Supporting underground, old school I decided to stay with Jewel, but wen they finished I fairly fast moved to the main stage to see Textures play their last 25 minutes or so. Textures is a big name in the Djent scene and you can see that from their stage show. "Illuminate the Trail"was played after I found my spot in the sand and sound and show were from a different level from the limited possibilities on the Metal Stage.The small impression I could get was very positive and seeing a pit in the sand is always great fun, as people get tired and struggle to stay on their feet for several reasons. This year Textures are playing many festivals and I will see them again at Progpower. On bass we had a substitue (?) in Robin who I saw playing before with Cynic, Exivious, Mourn and hopefully soon with Our Oceans. After speaking with Danny from Trespass last week I understand it might be a bassplayer thing to collect many bands.

And then it was over for me. Some talks and drinks would follow, but musically nothing attracted me any longer. That did include Danko Jones, who I was not overly impressed with last year. The sun helped making this a remarkable Schollenpop again. Last year probably shall never be topped again, but this Metal Stage could be considered a success as well. Especially Defazer, Icarius and Jewel made me look out for more of them. 

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