The beautiful town of Tilburg has a long and successful relationship with music lovers.
Not only is the host for the annual Roadburn festival, it also offers a home for some smaller but no less ambitious undertakings like the Incubate festival. It consciously tries to sidestep any of the bigger festival names in favor of smaller obscure bands that even the more advanced music might not be too familiar with. No genre is considered too out there. Whether it be post-punk, drone, experimental electro or noise. If you’re primarily a metalhead then you could feast your ears on the likes of Yob, Ramesess, Mutilation Rites or Wiegedood to name a few.
Especially Sunday turned out to be an excellent day more the metallurgically inclined. The Jupiler stage of the 013 brought back from the dead UK doom stalwarts Ramesess for an unbelievably heavy show. There weren’t that many people in the audience, but those that were they witnessed Greening and co at their very best.
Meanwhile there was plenty of other stuff going around all across the center.
The dynamic duo of Black Cobra was spitting its venom in a rabid frenzy, followed by a rare collaboration between Belgian hardcore act VVOVNDS and the Dutch noise act Svartvit. They delivered one of the most caustic performances of the day, with a very confrontational approach from the singer who literally stood in the audience, bumping into the spectators in front as he screamed his lungs out.
More metal fun was to be had at the Little Devil where another Belgian act Wiegedood brought everyone into a trance with hthier mesmerizing brand of atmospheric black metal. For sure on of the finer bands to emerge from Belgian soil lately. Mutilation Rites from the US followed it up with a particularly nasty blackened thrash attack. Old school but effective.
Just to prove that you don’t really need very much to build a party, I can’t resist adding the following anecdote. While most of Sunday’s audience was getting ready for the mighty Yob’s return to the 013, a small corner of said venue had been equipped with a karaoke machine that spun all your favorite eighties hits. Needless to say more than one festivalgoer abandoned all pretense and stereotype and sang along with full conviction and very much out of tune. No festival should go without it, please leave the machine there until next year’s Roadburn.
On then to more serious business with Sunday’s most anticipated act Yob, one of the most acclaimed and appreciated bands in doom metal today. Although they are regular seen guests at the 013,it’s the first time we got see them perform on the renovated stage instead of the main stage, which was slowly filling up now without becoming packed.
A Yob concert is always about sharing a particular moment in space and time between the audience and the band, where Mike Scheidt and co take you along on a psychedelic trip to the moon and back. This works all the better on a smaller stage like this one. They started up quite fired up and heavy and then slowly built in more atmosphere and mellow moments as the set progressed. Despite a few technical hiccups here and there, this was welcome reunion with Mike and friends and a more than fitting closure of this festival.