Saturday, 25 August 2018

Schollenpop - Duindorp Beach, 25 August 2018

Schollenpop is back to the format we used to know for many years. Two stages and a line-up basically build around guitar orientated bands. Nothing wrong with that it seems, but we metalheads were spoiled in 2015 and 2016. In 2015 Death Angel played the main stage and THHMA put together a very diverse metal line-up with bands from Holland and Belgium bringing us anything, from Death, through melodic up to old fashioned Heavy Metal. In 2015 Textures played the main stage and the organization put together their own metal stage, with a focus more on local bands. Both years had glorious weather and if only we could get the sun and the metal stage back. Well we can not this year so face the reality. This still means that for line-up of all free festivals in the bigger The Hague region Schollenpop remains second best after Kaderock. This year also the date changed from the first weekend of August, to the last weekend of school holidays. I do not know the reasons, although I heard rumours of historically better weather expectations for the end of the month. Well after a beautiful summer peaking early August, we have today the first poor day in months. In proper English I believe it is called Foking shite. Finally I do not know if the festival also suffers from  sponsor cuts for cultural events by our government. I did not know any of the bands playing before apart from Claw Boys Claw, but the metal budget shrunk. With all respect to For I Am King if we had in the recent past Death Angel and Textures on the main stage they are just not (yet?) in that league.

So feeling sorry for all involved within the organization about today's weather, I also picked the short slot that looked most interesting to me. So that was around the metal band. Arriving a band called Afterpartees was on the main stage. They played some sort of britpop and were appreciated by the few watching them play. First impression, was that it would be empty today. Even with the space reduced quite a bit the beach looked empty from every corner you went. As I was on holidays last year I do not know if the second stage being in a tent was new or not. Anyway it was very welcome for sheltering when the rain became really bad. When I did enter the first time, another positive surprise was there as Code 69 was on and they played hard rock. Five songs only, but sounding OK. Next on the main stage was the metal band of the day For I Am King from Amsterdam. I did not know them in advance so convince me.  Well they did so in a way. Their Death Metal Core music was apart from some tapes played tightly by the band. When a band has a female vocalist we know it might be that she grunts.. Schollenpop being a general rock festival also attracts people who do not know that. Always funny to see some surprised looks when the small vocalist started of with some aggressive punches and a low grunt. Her screams were OK as well. Actually her weak point to me was her clean voice, which was a bit light. The songs were good and some calmer breaks took care of the needed variation. So we had a good 45 minutes in the sun, rain, storm and sun again. Pieter meanwhile showed up, but we took one more beer only as the weather was not improving and the band playing in the tent was very poor. So short but sweet it was and cold, yes that too.

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