24th to 28th August 2022
W-Fest 2022 Day 1 with The Kids, Nits, Fiction Factory, Big Country, Scritti Politti, Anne Clark & Bauhaus
Last year, the W-Fest has moved from Waregem to the Klein Strand in Oostende, directly at the beach. This year, the festival was taking place once more at the “Small Beach” in Oostende, extended to five days now. The first day offered such heroes like ANNE CLARK and BAUHAUS. The festival once more offered a fabulous line-up. Fancy five days of sun, sea and the best music of the 80s and 90s. There were some special performances during the festival. I.e., I think of BAUHAUS or FICTION FACTORY and ANNE CLARK.
The day started with the Antwerp band THE KIDS which was founded in 1976 and is the one and only Punk group that Belgium has known until today. The split in 1986 and reunited and in 2001. Nice start of the day even though many people were still waiting outside to enter the area. Next on stage were NITS from Amsterdam. THE NITS began as a Guitar Pop band in 1974, soon turned to New Wave and have since cultivated an eccentric style that draws on influences from minimal music, Jazz and Independent Pop. The name is considered an allusion to another insect-related band name, THE BEATLES. The show at W-Festival was very jazzy and experimental. I had the feel it as kind of a lounge character. Very chilled at the first day’s afternoon. Setlist NITS: 01. Nescio / 02. J.O.S. Days / 03 Sketches of Spain / 04. House on the Hill / 05. Dead Rat Ball / 06. Cars & Cars / 07. Yellow Socks & Angst / 08. Adieu Sweet Bahnhof / 09. Dutch Mountains. FICTION FACTORY entered the stage next and seven people on the stage looked quite crowded. The British band was founded in 1983 and in the same year released the first single, ‘Feels like Heaven’ which – of course – could not be missed at the festival. Sure people sang along loudly. Now we finally got into the flow.
Scottish rock band originally associated with New Wave, BIG COUNTRY, was next. The band plays Rock music with strong Scottish influences. Like all the other bands played so far, the band split up and reunited again. During live performances and so today, the space on stage originally kept by front man Stuart Adamson, is left empty in memory of him. BIG COUNTRY were up to celebrate a party with the audience. ‘Look Away’ was making people sing along already during the first minutes of the show. The band has lots of hits to offer and had a lot of fun on stage presenting them to the audience. At times, the band let the audience sing alone and you could hear a big choir sounding over the festival area. There were good songs, a good speed and a happy band on stage… great show and satisfied audience.
New Wave band SCRITTI POLITTI are heading from Leeds in England. The band was founded already in 1978. The name SCRITTI POLITTI is considered a homage to the political writings of the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. Although the correct Italian spelling would be “Scritti Politic” Gartside, the head of the band, chose SCRITTI POLITTI because it “would sound more Rock’n’Roll”. Even though the band has such a long history, they only released four albums so far, ‘Songs to remember’ as first one in 1982 and 1999s ‘Anomie & Bonhomie’ as latest one. A new single was then released in 2020 with ‘Tangled Man’. With songs like ‘Small Talk’ SCRITTI POLITTI brought kind of a Reggae feeling to the festival ground. ‘Hypnotize’ was later on speeding up the pace with a typical eighties feel. With ‘Sweetest Girl’ they also offered the first single they ever wrote. With ‘Absolute’, SCRITTI POLITTI were ending their W-Festival set. Setlist SCRITTI POLITTI: 01. Sweetest Girl / 02. Small Talk / 03. The Word Girl / 04. Day Late And A Dollar Short / 05. Oh Patti / 06. Trentavious White / 07. Perfect Way / 08. The Boom Boom Bap / 09. Hypnotize / 10. Skank Bloc Bologna / 11. Wood Beez / 12. Petrococadollar / 13. Absolute
With ANNE CLARK, finally a woman entered the W-Festival stage. Fun story besides… just on my way to the festival area, I bumped nearly into Anne during her stroll on the beach promenade and we had a nice little chat. That in mind, I was even more looking forward to the show, especially since it was quite a while ago since I last saw her perform. I was happy to see her so healthy and happy after her disease. Combining literary, socially engaged texts with innovative and genre-breaking soundscapes, for over 40 years, ANNE CLARK has held a unique place in both literature and music. She was and is always looking for new ways of expression and communication through the emotion of music’s abstraction and use of direct language. She seeks to not only challenge herself but her audience also and so she did on W-Festival. The mood was great and especially the semi-acoustic versions with violin and cello added a lot to the mood of the songs. With 90 Minutes, the W-Fest audience could enjoy a full-concert length of the set. Anne was also in really good mood, smiling a lot and talking quite some stories to the audience. Highlight was of course ‘Our Darkness’ towards the end of the set. After the final with latter one, no other song could have topped this anyway.
Setlist ANNE CLARK: 01. The Spinning Turning Of The Summer Earth / 02. Alarm Call / 03. No Coward Soul Is Mine / 04. This Be The Verse / 05. Poet’s Turmoil 364 / 06. Heaven / 07. The Hardest Heart / 08. Reaktion / 09. Elegy For A Lost Summer / 10. Now! / 11. When You Think Your Time Has come / 12. Full Moon / 13. Off Grid / 14. The Bluebird / 15. Echoes Remain Forever / 16. The Healing / 17. Morrison’s jig / 18. Sleeper In Metropolis / 19. Boy Racing / 20. Abuse / 21. Our Darkness / 22. In The Twilight
The next band was surely the one many were eagerly waiting for: BAUHAUS. They were just playing in Berlin two days before and I head they had struggles with their equipment since parts were lost on the way from USA to Berlin. But they found some replacements in Berlin and so we could enjoy a smooth concert. The English rock band was formed in Northampton, England, in 1978. The group consists of Daniel Ash (guitar, saxophone), Peter Murphy (vocals, occasional instruments), Kevin Haskins (drums) and David J (bass). The band was originally named BAUHAUS 1919 in reference to the first operating year of the German art school Bauhaus, although they shortened the name within a year of formation. One of the pioneers of gothic rock, BAUHAUS are known for their dark image and gloomy sound, although they mixed many genres, including dub, glam rock, psychedelia, and funk.
It was finally getting dark at the beach when BAUHAUS finally after a long intro entered the stage. Daniel Ash wore a glittery furry jacket and Peter was dressed as a “living disco ball” with his glitter shirt. He was acting as cool as we know it. First highlight was already ‘In the flat Field’ where Peter was illuminated by a bright beam of light. ‘A God in an Alcove’ followed where Mr. Ash showed his saxophone skills. ‘She’s in Parties’ was the first of my personnel highlights. Love that song and it was performed perfectly. Right at the beginning of ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ the fans literally freaked out. The beginning is so characteristic, only a few sounds and you know what’s coming up. Peter was standing once again in bright spotlight and threw rose leaves into the audience like into a grave… well, Bela is dead, or isn’t he? Well, of course this song was another highlight. This is for sure BAHAUS’ trademark song. With ‘Dark Entries’, the main set was already over. But BAUHAUS had prepared some encores for the crowd, including two cover songs.
The first one of the cover songs was T. REX’ ‘Telegram Sam’ and the last one the cover of ‘Ziggy Stardust’ by unforgotten DAVID BOWIE. Another highlight of the evening and the end of the festival day. Setlist BAHAUS: 01. Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale cover) / 02. Double Dare / 03. In the Flat Field / 04. A God in an Alcove / 05. In Fear of Fear / 06. Spy in the Cab / 07. She’s in Parties / 08. Kick in the Eye / 09. Bela Lugosi’s Dead / 10. Silent Hedges / 11. The Passion of Lovers / 12. Stigmata Martyr / 13. Dark Entries / Encores: 14. Adrenalin / 15. Telegram Sam (T. Rex cover) / 16. Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie cover)
All pictures by Dani Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)