Desertfest Belgium Part II: Live At Trix, Antwerp

Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

When it comes to after parties Desertfest is certainly no Roadburn, where shenanigans are abound after the bands finish, but the brilliant cocktail bar outside, and rum n coke’s so strong you can see right through them in the venue itself, do get the party started, even if it takes a while. And by three in the morning, as venue security tries to sweep us out the door, most want to linger for a bit more dancing.

Fans at Desertfest Antrwerp, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Sunday

Again we open with a nice batch of no fuss stoner/doom, this time from the northern brethren, the Dutch. Komatsu rolls forth on wheels of riff, and have a very gravel sound to the rest of their music. The band is definitely earning it’s spurs when it comes to live shows, and are a great warm-up for anyone not into the more psychedelic Moaning Cities.

Komatsu, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

My Sleeping Karma, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

When speaking of instrumental bands the word soundscape is really overused. However with My Sleeping Karma you can barely use another word as their spacey and ethereal psychrock. If you close our eyes,you see beautiful aerial shots of fantastical landscapes roll out before your eyes. The music paints these before you and lifts you up to view them. The building of tension and mastery of the musical arch, combined with the sheer joy you see on the musicians as they play, create a captivating show.

La Muerte,, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

La Muerte were from before my time. I’d heard a lot of my older metal mates tell me they were excellent and I knew they had an incredible reputation, but I’d never actually listened to them nor seen them live so I had no idea what to expect. A few of it’s members also play in Wolvennest but that band isn’t much of a frame of reference for La Muerte except when it comes to visual flair.

Lonely Camel, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

There is an art to naming a band right, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Slayer, Mötorhead all of those bands sounds to a certain degree like what their name invokes in your head. So does Lonely Camel. You can hear the tumble weeds, smell the desert and feel the sun parching you out in their desert stoner with a surprising amount of sleaze in the excellent riffs and pleasantly rugged voice.

Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats are sort of an odd character, layering so much over everything it’s hard to find anything solid at it’s core. They play exceptionally well though. The fans gathered into the Desert stage are excited and elated to witness one of their favourite reclusive bands play, and though the band keeps up it’s air of mystery with minimal to no audience interaction, minimal lights and most of them from the back, the fans are clearly pulled into their own world. Uncle acid leave me feeling like the kid that didn’t get the joke though, as they’ve never managed to pull me in like that, ans seeing the rapture in the reaction of the people who clearly have found their way there, I wish I could, and feel like I’m pressed against a hidden window, looking in.

 

For those who prefer heavier slower riffs over trippy layered fuzz, there is Castle, thunderous, momentous and surprising catchy, this group manages to shake the vulture stage on it’s foundation and hypnotizes those squeezed inside to watch.

Goat, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

 

Goat, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Goat, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

Wild and eclectic, Goat are one of those acts where it’s near impossible to describe their sound without just putting a tune on for people. African percussion and drum beats interspaced with spacey psych rock, and a heavy 70’s vibe, rock n roll and two singers yelling vocals while dancing about with feathered and beaded masks on is the best I can do. All you can really say is that the hypnotic, repetitive riffs build into the songs well, and there is an irresistible urge to just dance, which is basically what most of the room at Desertfest ends up doing. After this excellent crowning glory on the weekend, people file out of the main room in a sweaty, grinning mass. A few will stay to witness the final few bands on the bill at the afterparty, but mos of us headed home, back to out mundane little lives and a Monday.

Goat, by Susanne A. Maathuis Photography

DESERTFEST BELGIUM 2016 PART I

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY SUSANNE A. MAATHUIS