by Thanos Mitras, Photos: Anastasis Kostopoulos
The first official day of Fraternity of Sound Festival began with a slight delay and the ones that swallowed the awkwardness of the opening band were Linnéa Olsson’s (Beastmilk, Grave Pleasures, The Oath) Maggot Heart. The relatively empty at the time venue didn’t make the band startle and they unveiled their gloomy rock’ n’ roll accompanied by their frontwomans experience which stand out. Their set rolled with no surprises and they did what they know best. I enjoyed very much the self-titled song of their first release “City Girls”.
Next were locals Kooba Tercu who with their eccentric way presented a set characterized by its variety, containing kraut, jungle, psychedelia and gang shouting. Despite their complex set-up they managed to put out a pretty descent sound quality, even thought it had its issues at first. Personal highlight was their cover of Bauhaus’ “Double Dare” in a whole new own shape. I carry the impression that somewhere between their set I heard the famous vocal line from “A History of Bad Men” by (the) Melvins, but I can’t say for sure. This was my first time seeing them live and my impression of them could only be classified as pleasant.
Finnish Circle managed to coil much fuss around their name the last couple years, not just for their music, but also for their explosive live performances. What was about to happen was made clear from the time they climbed up the stage for a last minute soundcheck before playing. Leather jackets, flashy spandex, long hair, spikes and pure Finnish craziness flowed from the stage even at a time they had to act professionally. When their set began fan levels hit the ceiling. Made out of 80’s rocker material, abundant ease on stage and definitely a well-designed choreography (their singer has got to have taken ballet classes), they made all secret heavy metal fans to get out of their closet and paint the town red. Präpi and his Losers will not be easily forgotten.
It was time to transition to a completely opposite direction with the legendary British Nurse with Wound, a long time wish from the Greek alternative audience. A huge set-up like a fortress was built on stage, lights went down and the audience waited still like being on a sermon patiently for what was about to come. Being ignorant concerning drone and dark ambient, I can safely say that this experience changed a lot inside me. Their approach at manipulating sound didn’t have to do with completing a live performance, a well-rehearsed reenactment of their material, but reminded of an academic lecture. The exploitation of room space, the ambience, is the Alpha and Omega, but with a big difference. At that Friday night, the room exploited Nurse with Wound to prove its importance and that’s only because they allowed it, too. A pleasant surprise was Manos Six’s (Skull & Dawn) appearance on stage at the beginning and the end of their set who accompanied them at first with ritualistic vocals and in the end with outraged screams.
We carried on with our headliners, The Soft Moon from the US. Their show was in a few words an extravaganza. I’m positive that their relentless touring and their companionship with Depeche Mode some years back made them work very much on their stage presence and they presented a highly energetic show with big standards. The audience danced without stopping at their rhythms and the intense movement was flowing through the venue. Changing instruments and smashing metal at their hit song “Wrong” like Savage Republic’s Ethan Port once taught, frontman Luis Vasquez made crystal clear that they were worth of their place in the line-up. They presented some old and new songs. What an ideal day to close the first day of the festival.