Local math rock favourites Mutiny On The Bounty kicked off the 8th edition of Congés Annulés Festival at Rotondes on Friday night in front of a zealous crowd.
Now in its eight year, Congés Annulés has become the highlight of the summer programme for many music goers in Luxembourg, bringing with it an eclectic collection of artists from all over the globe from modern classical with “Greg Haines” on July 30 to experimental music from “Goat” on August 3, before finishing on August 26 with the trance rock of “Föllakzoid”. Check the August preview for some highlights of the festival.
Starting outdoors from 7pm with a DJ set from Luxembourg based hip hop artists Hokube, the evening had a celebratory feel in the air, maybe it was the excitement of the the night or even month ahead or maybe it was just that it was another fine summers evening, but by the time American producer and drummer NAH kicked things off most of the crowd were still outside.
NAH walked onto the very dimly lit stage and proceeded to make one all mighty racket, the mellow lighting was juxtaposed to the sound as there was a cacophony of sound blasting from the speakers, one minute bringing comparisons to Death Grips with some industrial samples and loops, the next it was Aphex Twin, which at times felt quite abrasive and challenging but the intensity was in some ways cathartic and thoroughly entertaining.
By the time MOTB took to the stage Rotondes had filled all the way to the bar at the back in anticipation of Luxembourg’s foremost band and on last nights showing they certainly deserve that accolade. Their set was full of power and passion from start to finish, I’ve managed to see MOTB a good few times now in Luxembourg and even a show in Glasgow but last night was their finest moment, maybe it was just that Friday night vibe but everything just seemed to click.
When a band can combine complex instrumental sounds into weird complex shapes but still get the crowd going from head nodding to outright head banging they’re doing something right. Through moments of distortion with a fidgety yet brutal groove they blend in the sharp clean guitar sounds which makes the songs feel alive and visceral before deconstructing them only to build them right back up again.
With the lack of a singer in the band they do their speaking through their instruments, be it subtly or with an almighty crash but either way they left the audience bobbing away all set and opened the festival with a bang. If every night could be as busy and as invigorating as last night, then it will be another triumphant festival.
Rotondes – 29/07/16