Strassen welcomed the return of Stroossefestival on Saturday as the festival brought the community out onto the streets with performing arts and music.
Every second year since 2002, Stroossefestival has brought a mixture of the arts to the streets of Strassen with a priority on originality and quality over quantity which meant the festival has become just a one-day event, but that one day is now bursting with quality and originality.
After an afternoon of performance art with acrobats and mimes, it was the music that took over the evening activities. Seed To Tree kicked it all off in the stunning surroundings of the Spiegeltent with its sides decorated in mirrors and stained glass, providing colour and light to this intimate venue. With a grand setting Seed To Tree delivered a suitably grand sound, brining in a brass section to their set as they opened with “Now Is Forever”, grabbing the attention of the children who had made the tent their playground as the weather decided to close in. The band continued to thrill the audience with their indie folk bringing in the crowd from the damp, but it was “Dancing Alone” that got the desired affect with a lone child at the front deciding to throw down his best dance moves to the delight of the band and the audience with frontman Georges Goerens making sure he got a free CD for his efforts, this upbeat set was a fitting way to kick off the music section of the festival.
Overlapping Seed To Tree was The Kooters who had won their chance to play the festival after their performance at the Screaming Fields festival earlier in the summer. There was no surprise why they were chosen, with their energy emanating from the stage of the Circus Tent with lead vocalist and guitarist making his way off the stage and thrashing away at his guitar as the band went from stoner rock one moment to heavy rock riffs the next. There was even a grunge delivery to the vocal too which just added to the sense of all encompassing rock from this budding young band full of potential.
Another local band now based in Berlin, Say Yes Dog, brought another sound to the Circus tent with their electro pop, which got the crowd shuffling their feet as they turned the tent into a late night club for their hour long set. From radio friendly electro pop to some deep house grooves, Say Yes Dog knew when to drop the beats and when to bring it back to the more minimal sound, getting plenty of heads nodding in the process. Another accomplished set for this band who never fail to impress and with this being one of their last shows of the year lets hope they’re going back into the studio to follow up on last year’s “Plastic Love” album.
One of the surprise highlights of the night was the fire tango of Cie Bilbobasso, who brought their interpretation of Argentinian tango with the introduction of fire, well it was a spectacle that got the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the crowd. The wonderfully choreographed moves of the two dancers saw them flirt with danger as the gravel pit in which was their canvas kept sprouting up with pockets of flames. This original and poetic display had the crowd captivated and the flames also gave us the allusion of heat as the night began to draw to a close.
There was still plenty of music to keep us going though as the Spiegeltent welcomed the infectious indie sounds of FOX, who got the tent hot and sweaty with the crowd filling the venue and creating a party atmosphere. With clear influences from the likes of Oasis and Neil Young there was no surprise they got such a good response from the crowd, what was a surprise though was when one of the band members took the washboard he was playing out into the crowd for a solo and some crowd interaction.
As FOX delighted audiences in the Spiegeltent, arguably Luxembourg’s biggest band Mutiny on the Bounty were closing the Circus Tent with a math rock onslaught. Their power, energy and passion are infectious as they had the crowd bopping away to the brutal groove of the clean guitars and sharp beats.
The Rockbox finished off a triumphant day at the Spiegeltent but by that point some of us had to make their way to the last bus. Leaving the festival, you are left thinking a festival of this quality should be on every year but I suppose it’s the fact that they have that extra time and money by doing it every second year which makes this small festival pack such a punch, well I suppose all we can say is here’s to 2018.
Strassen – 17.09.16