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1. August 2012

Burg Herzberg Festival @ Breitenbach (DE) – 19.22.07.2012

„MAKE LOVE WORK“ were the declared words of peace for the BURG HERZBERG FESTIVAL 2012. By the heavy continuous rain for days the stage-, camping- and parking area was turned into a mud-pie. It was by the festival crew, security and the farmers around the terrain-surrounding with their helping tractors & hands in day and night-shift that the festival could take place. These were always helpful and even laughing, no bad word at all, although they did not have much sleep. Every single car had to be pulled to its destination place.

Their work should be awarded and they arranged the real slogan: “MAKE LOVE MUD”.

THANK YOU; THANK YOU; THANK YOU*****

The atmosphere all festival days was very relaxed though without any aggressivity.

Dana Fuchs declared the mountain as her gospel church and her worshippers were delighted about the utmost explosive performance. Her outfit was very hippie and trendy for the festival. Her voice was again stunning, specially by the slower titles like ‘God’s Song’. The lady can sing the blues, but also rock, like she did towards the end by her electrifying performance of “Helter Skelter”.  The hill was trembling by applause and by the shakes the rain had stopped for a moment.

Anathema was really a delight live. Not only by their brilliant live-sound, but specially by the lightning-designs engulfing every individual musician and covering visionary the whole stage. If you did not know them and you would have experienced them at the festival for the first time you would have been dazzled by their music which you can describe as unique progressive-metal-rock. You could call them the “Pink Floyd of Heavy-Metal. The contact to the fans was immediately utmost intensive by the start with ‘Untouchable Part one and two’. Singer and rhythm-guitarist Vincent Cavanagh was demonstrating what aura he has live. He can sing forceful, but also very sensitive. It was Lee Douglas on female vocals who added more melancholy and folk-elements by her chant. By ‘Fragile Dreams’ the end of the gig was already achieved. What a live-passion and devotion by Anathema.

Kamchatka from Sweden were the starters on the big stage in the early afternoon on Friday. Their blues-rock integrating psychedelic elements was ideal to do the wakening-call for all visitors and they were already quite numerous in on the field. Thomas „Juneor“ Andersson was not only a powerful vocalist, but also brilliant on guitars. Roger Öjersson on bass  and Tobias Strandvik on drums were taking care of the rhythm-drive. For a lot of the hyppos this was a delicious meal with some special cakes and smokes on top.

Texasbased Deadman were live very exciting, specially for music lovers of roots-rock. You can call them the progeny of musical acts like The Band. Live they were including a heavy shot of bourbon trenched southern rock and besides the congenious guitar melodies the multi-harmony-vocals werethrilling.  By closing their eyes and letting their fantasy loose the fans could think they were on a horse-ride through some desert-area in Arizona.  The keyboard plays intensified these imaginations.

The Tubes celebrated the wildest, most extroverted rock-punk’n-roll party you could imagine. These  “Young Dudes” were playing kick-ass.  It was guitarist Roger Steen to start on vocals by ‘Up From The Deep’. The whole band proved immediately what music-power they have. Singer Fee Waybill was starting dressed in white like a gigolo by ‘Haloes’ He can sing everything from bar-jazz, blues to punk…  He was immediately heating up the party. The first shocker was ‘I Was a Punk Before You Were a Punk’ when Mr. Waybill was wearing a Misfits t-shirt and a mexican wrestler-mask. By ‘Mondo Bondage’ he was performing with a S/M mask and showing his ass and nude upper body-part. Pity that they did not have a domina whipping his ass.  Keyboarder David Medd played some funky, virtuoso keyboard solos on ‘Pimp’. And the non-plus-ultra highlight was to come by ‘White Punks On Dope’. The hill was going completely foolish and Fee appeared as ‘Quay’ with silver latex-pants and high-boots, a black  fether-boa and white peruke. His vocals were murderess. They could have plaed on for hours, but sometimes you have to finish at the highlight.

Jethro Tull`s Ian Anderson started his very motivated gig by `Thick as a Brick – Pt. I & II”. This was also the theme for this evening. Ian was in most excellent mood and communicating a lot with his fans. They liked it very much. He played as starting instrument the ukulele. It was specially Florian Opahle on lead-guitars.specially to be mentioned. This young maestro was playing georgeous solos. The medieval ‘Upper Sixth Loan Shark’ and ‘Banker Bets, Banker Wins” could be considered as one of the highlights. Specially by ‘A Change of Horses’ Ian was demonstrating what extraordinary lord of the cross-flute he is. The song which all the fans were requesting and waiting for the utmost was concluding a spectacular performance: ‘Locomotive Breath’. Ian Anderson and band were hard-rockin’ and giving the freaks what they desired by a long-version of this cultique song. The man playing often on one leg and his troubadours got overwhelming appluse as Good-Bye.

Tito Larriva & Tarantula were the right band for the late-hour-show. It was Titty-Twister-Time and fans not keeping an eye on the line-up regularly were buffed by it. Mister Larriva had gathered some new musician-pussies around him a.k.a. Lolita on rhythm guitar and Sammi on drums. The two new girlies were very nice from the optical side, but rather solid by their playing. The only additional guy, Victor was partly on drums and rhythm-guitars. He was drumming the second set and much more power was into the live-performance. Caroline on bass was a blood-sucking monster on bass again. Storms of applause were rising by his cult-song ‘After Dark’. Tito tried several times to call girlies and freaks on stage for dancing, but the security prevented it. By his punk-rock version of ‘La Bamba’ with wild guitar-shredding Tito Larriva & Tarantula terminated the set and the vampires were creeping off to their tent-tombs.

 

Violons Barbares, a melt-down of musicians from Bulgaria, France and Mongolia was very, very special. Even heavy-metal-maniacs where headbanging by their music. You can describe their music as world-metallic-melange in the style of Apocalyptica.  Their string-instruments were very extraordinary too; the Gadulka, a Bulgarian instrument and the Morin Khoor, a Mongolian national instrument. Additionally it was singer Dandarvaanchig Enkhjargal- Epi to play his fiddle in wildest way, shake his head, and sing in highest tones or low-tone heavy-metal-growls. They would be a high-hype for any big Metal Open Air in 2013…

It was Canterburytea-folk-time when Caravan entered the stage. The band is exisiting meanwhile since 1968. Their progressive rock with folk-elements was exciting the fans. It was specially Geoffrey Richardson on viola, flute, guitar and even spoons, shears who was adding some sugar to the live-tea. Pye Hastings vocals and guitar-solos were fascinating by their ultifariousness. Most of the fans had never expected that these “Oldies” were performing such a marvellous gig.

Dickey Betts & Great Southern were without doubt the most anticipated top act at Burg Herzberg Festival 2012! By ‘High Falls’ as start everybody was immediately aware that Mr. Betts was in excellent physical condition and that he is one of the most electrifying guitar-players in this tiny little world. He was joined by his son Duane Betts and Andy Aledort to form a three men guitar armada. His solos were rather latino oriented.  The first blues-highlight was ‘Statesboro Blues’. On brilliant vocals and keyboards Mike Kach.  He was singing most of the titles… ‘Jessica’ the Allman Brothers Band instrumental was the jewel or crown whatever you want to call it of the whole set. Phenomenal also the drum- & percussion duels. Dickey Betts & Great Southern were closing their jamboree by ‘Ramblin’ Man’. His soulful singing and guitar-hooks were marvellous to this Southern Hymn. It was visibly a great moment again for good ole Dickey to play a huge crowd and festival again.  Very emotional he waved goodbye. The only woefulness was that he did not play another encore. A magical live-moment of glory was over.

Wishbone Ash were awaited by the guitar freaks, as they are famous for their double lead-guitars. From the original line-up it is only Andy Powell on vocals and lead-guitars as band boss. By Muddy Manninen he has an excellent second guitarist, although he was not playing in the same league as Laurie Wisefield in former days. Andy’s vocals were full of power, he did an excellent job. Joe Crabtree on drums and Bob Skeat on bass were a strong rhythm-duo. Songs like ‘The King will Come’ and the finale ‘Phoenix’ were very much appreciated by heavy applause. Their set was shorter than normally, the demand for another encore was not fraught with. Very professional gig, a bit too cool by performance.

Sunday the rain had totally vanished; finally a beautiful hot summer-day. It was the daytime on the big stage for all techno-ravers and hip-hop lovers fon the main stage. Specially Orange were hot for them and beloved. Rock and blues-lovers were just relaxing and eagerly waiting till the evening.

The festival organisers were always very much addicted to the Hamburg Blues Band and as a birthday-present for their 30 years spanning career they had the honour to present again the  Herzberg Blues Allstars with the HBB and a who-by-who of musicians of the UK and US blues-scene. This music-night was also in the Spirit to Jon Lord – R.I.P, who had sadly passed away so quickly by cancer on the week’s Monday.  First guest was Miller-Anderson on guitar and vocals. He was a very close friend of Jon and was one of themusicians joining Deep Purple for their masterwork Concert for Group and Orchestra. ‘When a Blind Man Cries’ was the worship song for his soul. Adrian Askew played a terrific Hammond solo. Host and Band-Boss Gert Lange was enchanting by the intro song ‘Bad To The Bone’. Over the rainbow permanently the guiat-solos of Clem Clempson as lead-guitarist. Soul-Sister Inga Rumpf was next to join some funky blues-grooves. Organ sweepstaker Brian Auger was awesome as next visitant. Hans Wallbaum on bony drums and Michael Becker as master of bass were the hot dynamo-groovwe-duo afterwards. Stormy applause when Popa Skinny” Chubby entered the stage. He was rockin’ the house and evoked the spirit of Stevie Ray Vaughan. He was also playing some kind of rockabilly solo. Stunning also his sentience when he plays slow blues. The “God of Hell & Fire” Arthur Brown was the concluding very special guest. He was the man to sing over 5 octaves. The crowd went completely crazy when Arthur performed his biggest hit ‘Fire’. A fan even put up the heat by performing Mr. Brown’s old trick with a fire hat.  Arthur Brown was even so crazy to climb into the audience by his Young Age. Hell Yeah! A jam-set of the Herzberg Allstars was the finale with all guests. A unforgettable five star concert was over.

MORE SUN; HEAT & LOVE TO BE SPREAD IN 2013!