Tuesday, 10 November 2009

EuroSonic Noorderslag - The SXSW of Europe?

Lucy Love
, pic thanks to http://allscandinavian.com

EuroSonic Noorderslag is Europe's biggest music industry conference and showcase. Every year a selection of Europe's new musical talent get a chance to strut their stuff in front of industry pros, including promoters from Europe's biggest festivals, as well as hoards of music lovers. All will be eagerly scouring 100+ gigs to discover the next big thing.

This year the particular focus is on Norway. So expect a strong presence of indie-dance, death metal and great facial hair. (Ok so this was the best cultural stereotype I could muster. Blame Lordi.)

Past success stories include Blood Red Shoes, Goose, Lykke Li, Yelle and, last year, White Lies, who clocked up an impressive 15 European festival bookings after appearing.

Blood Red Shoes had this to say:

""EuroSonic Noorderslag is one of those weird showcase things you do but feel uncomfortable about because it's crawling with music industry types and not many real people, a bit like SXSW. But much like SXSW, if you do a good job of it, you get some way cool stuff out of it."

...which makes it all sound a bit cynical, but adds some weight to the SXSW comparison. Although the guy from White Lies had this to say:

"At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what job title each member of the audience has, they are still potential fans and still have the ability to be moved and excited by your music".

...and get you way cool stuff....


The line-up is all new to me - but after a preliminary listen my ones to watch are, in 3 categories:

I Think I Might Like You: Bands With Promise

Joensuu 1685 - Psychadelic, lofi rock.
Lucy Love - Electro, dancehall and dubstep beats with assertive female MCing. Loads of potentially good tracks and catchy riffs. Still lands a little short of brilliant, yet. Though check out the OK Formula rmx of No VIP on her Myspace.
Sliimy - Synthy indie-pop-soul, with impressive voice and and one eye on radio play. Plus a few good covers.
So I Watch You From Afar - Intelligent and progressive heavy-ish instrumental rock. Swapping from emotional (small e) Post-Hardcore riffs to fantastic african rhythms and a sense of the Epic. Bits of ATDI, Mogwai and QOTSA (I'm not using all these acronyms just to take the piss, I promise). BIG sound, stirring, yet never outlandish.
rockettothesky - can't tell if I like this, but I might do in time, so have included it. Very strange sounds, lots of synths and some guitar, lots of reverb on the minimal drums. Twinkly and gentle music with floaty female vocals. Makes me think of snow.

Will Probably Be Big, But Shouldn't Be

Lee Everton - Singer songwriter plays rootsy reggae meets rhythm and blues, easy on the ear. Average, unimaginative, coffee table.

I'm Already Loving It , Get Your Orders In.

Svjata Vatra - Bagpipes, accordian, trumpet, djembe and amongst other instruments something called a duduki make up this weird-and-wonderful-sounding band. Primarily a Ukranian and Estonian folk band, but embracing elements of "Tango, Polka, Punk, Rock, Funk, Soul, Ska, Jazz and Reggae." Adventurous and exciting music, never losing its sense of fun. My only criticism being I wish it would kick off a little more often. Personal taste perhaps.


On a different note the Evening Standard published their list of 1000 most influential people in London. Apparently I'm not on there. I can only assume I came in at 1001. Bastards. Don't they know who I am?


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