Joined: 11 Apr 2004
|Posted: 15-12-2005, 23:37 Post subject: Castle Party 2005 Bolków
|And the biggest Polish dark music festival is over. And once again we had the pleasure to admire “gothic” skin-tight clothes and hysterical teenage girls, whose greatest worry was whether someone would take them a picture.
Impossible? But how true. The Polish youth once again proved that it’s more important for them to show themselves than to get truly involved in a musical event like Castle Party 2005. And it’s a great pity but we should concentrate on the festival itself.
The sun was already beating down on the people wearing black clothes and boots, when the festival opened with the DJ Noname’s set – the greatest hits of VNV Nation, Project Pitchwork, Funker Vogt, Combichrist , Hocico and Grendel – a generally electrifying mixture whose aim was to enliven the slowly gathering mob.
The next artist was traditionally DJ Leszek Rakowski, whose strongly trance set would be appreciated by fans of such climates like Talamasca.
And then came the time for the first star of the night – Mark Jackson from VNV Nation. The hits like Neuroticfish’s “Skin” or Covenant’s “Call The Ships To Port” were remixed. To me it was a disappointment at first. I think I had expected more from the performance of the guest of such a fame. But each minute it was getting better, the audience were enjoying it a lot (and this it what it’s all about in the end). However, it didn’t all go without minor mistakes and blunders, for a moment even the music was completely gone. Fortunately, the organisers put on a good face and everything ended well. Generally, I think that it wasn’t that bad, nonetheless I expected something more.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t given the chance to see Electric Universe.
The next day stared with a Slovakian dark electro project – Disharmony and they were the first band to make a positive impression on me. I had a great time. It’s a pity that they played at such an early time.
The next guest of the festival was our native Agonised By Love. They played quite a good concert, but I wasn’t moved by their music. Though I admit that they have a potential. Rafał Tomaszczuk and Mariusz Gryciuk may still surprise us with something. I only hope they will not try to copy Diary of Dreams. Everything’s before them.
Finally, there came the time for Slovakian Lahka Muza. And here goes another positive impression. Though I’m not very fond of this project, I liked the concert anyway. Maybe their songs sounded a bit too alike but it might have been because I don’t understand their mother tongue, as well as the fact that their music is so specific. It still could be a bit better.
Then there appeared on the stage the first truly “gothic” band of the festival – Last Days Of Jesus. You could tell that the band really tried hard – a great show, wonderful choreography, there was something to look at. And they deserve our respect for this, ‘cause you could see that they came there to entertain the audience and not just to fulfil their contract.
The next band was Attrition that surprised me, as I had really great fun during their concert. Their albums had never carried me away and the concert was really fine. I wish they visited Poland more often.
Epica… well… The band that had earlier played at Metalmania. Personally, I like listening to some stronger sounds but I came to this particular festival to get something different. If I ever want to listen to the low-quality mixture of Nightwish and Tristania, I will visit once more the Spodek in Katowice. I left my spot near the stage very soon. However, I have to regrettably admit that the audience had great fun listening to this performance (so I understand that either they had confused the festivals, or the majority still believes that gothic sounds are just like this horrible strumming and ladies’ wailing mixed with pathetic symphonic parts – unfortunately, for all those who think like that, I inform you once more… it’s not like that).
And there came the time for American darkwave – Cruxshadow. The band have bad luck when it comes to play concerts in Poland. The DEF organisers had problems and in the end there were very few people in their concert, during the Castle Party the weather was against them. The rain and storm forced the band to stop the fantastic performance, what I really regret. We could see the manoeuvre, which Rouge is already famous for, that is climbing the stage scaffold. There was a strong bond between the audience and the band, and Rouge, a charismatic leader, went close to people, which I really liked. The most interesting, however, was the “unplugged” fragment, when Rouge appeared on the stage alone and started to sing without music and without the microphone. In my opinion, it was one of the best concerts during this festival.
Camouflage, unfortunately, didn’t play at the festival because of the storm. On the Castle Party website there is an information that the band will visit Poland next year. I hope so…
The third day opened with the Estonian Forgotten Sunrise’s concert, to which I came almost twenty minutes too late. The time the concert took (only half an hour) surprised me. It was ok, it’s a pity that it was so short – it was not enough.
The next band on the stage was Holodne Sonce. I’d never heard of them, but they think they are stars (they were late for their own performance and as a result they played shorter than they were supposed to, but maybe it was an advantage) – the moment they started to play I knew why. My wiser half described it as a mixture of HIM and the Cranberries. Indeed, the vocal was delusively similar to what the Finnish boys do. The performance could not be saved by anything, even by the cover of the Depeche Mode’s “Stripped”.
The next formation that happily appeared was the reactivated Cytadela from Warsaw. They took the concert with a tongue in the chick and it was ok. They played some coldwave bits that weren’t welcomed enthusiastically by the audience and it’s a shame, as it was really interesting. Concert not only was not bad but it was played with a humorous attitude, whose signs were songs like “Euromenel” and “Jedziesz bejbe, jedziesz…”. The audience probably didn’t recognise the so-called epoch attire that is some trashy clothes made of… I don’t know… cellophane?
Strommoussheld was another band that confused the festivals. I like their music but I’ll still be saying that their place is rather at the Metalmania. Although I liked their performance, especially the fragments composed of electronic sets with Miroslaw Matyasik from C.H.District. It was an interesting, original show as for the metal band. I recommend their album “Halfdecadence” to all the metal (and not only) fans.
The German synthpop Final Selection played a moderate concert. In my opinion, it was a bit dull but in fact, I can’t reproach them for anything. I just wasn’t carried away by their music. It could have been better, I listened to the concert drinking beer at the castle but it wasn’t their fault that they couldn’t keep me near the stage. I hope that they will improve next time.
At last there came time for the biggest, for me, event during the festival – the concert of the Dutch dark electro project Grendel. And I wasn’t wrong expecting great fun. The audience went crazy, the perfect harsh bits moved almost everybody, the briskly jumping at the stage vocalist was really able to enliven the crowd. I really enjoyed myself, such projects should appear more often at the festival. I’m not saying that the dark electro should dominate but I believe that just two bands of this kind is not enough. I recommend listening to “Prescription: Medicide” or “End Of Ages”.
After the best concert of the festival there came the time for Scream Silence. It was supposed to be the star but I was once again disappointed. And I was not the only one. It was boring, the band played something which reminded me of “gothic rock” like the one of the 69 Eyes. Sorry, it was enormously boring, I remember the vocalist saying “this will be a bit slower” and the audience started shouting “so it can get even slower?”. The band is just right for the ones in love with the Finnish mass production bands like 69 Eyes (which I sometimes like, as they play in a more interesting way), that is for the teenage girls – which was visible on the beaming faces of the dark small girls’ faces. I don’t recommend it… and why there were any encores? They should have given me Grendel once more!
Then there came Renata Przemyk. Many people came to this concert out of curiosity. It was a really, really good performance, one of the bigger events of the festival. I didn’t mind that Renata in fact doesn’t suit such a festival. It was a well-prepared material, charisma and a great concert that did its job, I think the audience liked it as well. The vocalist soon made a contact with the audience and won their liking. It was easy to notice that she was moved (truly, I think). It was a great performance, the encores were fully deserved (and not almost forced like in the case of Scream Silence). Krzysztof Rakowski was right when asked by me in an interview about Renata Przemyk’s taking part in the festival, he said that it might be one of the greatest events of this year’s edition. And it was.
The last performance of this year’s Castle Party was the synthpop group Wolfsheim. Despite the fact that when I hear Peter Heppner’s vocal, I feel the urge to rip his throat, I can’t say anything negative about the concert as such. Though their performance in Bolków could hardly be called a show. I’ve met opinions of the friends from abroad that live Wolfsheim is boring. Indeed, it wasn’t interesting, however, the group should play a good concert and not just look nice, and they did that. They played some encores and it was all right, the audience liked the performance, the respect of the people was well-earned.
And that was the end of Castle Party 2005. It’s a pity that the turnout was so poor and the list of bands as it was (it was not to my liking but of course, it’s a very subjective opinion).
Feel invited for the musical rest in Bolków next year!
And just a few more words about the people and the festival in general.
What was happening near the entrance for the journalist is beyond belief. It was especially visible during the Cruxshadows’s concert. People, you should at least keep up appearances of culture (and the gothic subculture still tries hard to look like that in the eyes of other people). I understand the circumstances, the rain, everybody wants to make a photo but you could just form a line. Paradoxically, the more professional cameras people had, the more patiently they waited for their turn, what cannot be said about the herds of dark ladies with photo passes, that pushed and elbowed their way just to get under the stage quickly.
The next thing – Guys! If you want the bands to respect Poland and visit this country more often, behave in such a way that you’ll be remembered well.
I’d like to thank Andrzej Korasiewicz from alternativepop.pl for the help in my return trip to Łódź.
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