What happened before
Will there be a FemME again? Fortunately after the 5th edition of that festival it became very clear that there would be a FemME 6, only this time not in Eindhoven, but in Hilvarenbeek. The Box is a fine venue, located just outside the centre of Hilvarenbeek. I have been there before during a performance by Dream Ocean, Phantom Elite, Shadowrise and Beyond God. And also the Dutch FemME Battle and the final of this Battle took place at The Box.
So far nothing new I think. But how would it go now that there is only one stage and so there is time between the different performances. In Eindhoven, with 2 stages, there was music all the time. Good for the real music lovers but sometimes also difficult because I had hardly time to eat. But lets see how it goes.
No extensive reporting
Often I want to write extensively about all the bands I see performing. To do that here goes a bit far. Much has been written in the meantime and there’s no point in repeating things. So this time I want to limit myself to just my experiences these three days. Experiences of course which have to do with the bands and their performances. But also about other things, because FemME is for me a lot more than just music. It’s the atmosphere, seeing people with the same interest and passion for music, making new friends etc.
By the way, sometime during the winter something will appear that is purely focused on the music and relates to this edition of FemME. Then it’s been a bit longer and the bands will be able to tell more about their own experiences. But I’m still busy with that.
It may be a rather difficult time for many people, but on Friday, October 11 at 2.30 p.m. the time has come, Femme 6 is about to start. After a welcome by Ton Dekkers (the father of FemME) it’s up to Pandora’s Key to open the festival. As the winner of the FemME Battle, this band has conquered a place on stage. It’s a great opening! I’ve seen the band three times in a row fairly quickly and I have to say that they are making quite some progress. In the two previous gigs there might have been some nerves, but now there was no sign of that. It’s a great start and the band is doing better every time I hear them.
Then we see Equisa appear on stage. The second acquaintance with this band, after Dreamfest last year. And once again the shoes of singer Petra go off. Again we are treated to a wonderfully happy and cheerful performance. These are real professional musicians. You can see that they are busy with music on a daily basis and this is where their passion lies. And also outside the music I am sometimes doubly smiling when Petra takes us into her daily life in which the kids play an important role. People I like with all my heart.
When Flowerleaf appears on stage, even I find it exciting. I’ve listened to the album several times and I think it’s great. But how does it sound’s on stage? Pretty good actually. Sometimes Vivs has some trouble with the real high tones and they have to be taken from afar, but it’s a nice show. A band with a lot of potential for the future. Another example that there is enough talent to discover. And apart from singing they are really great people. They live for their music and are always approachable. And that’s where FemME excels. Here there is no distance between bands and the audience. We celebrate the party here together and that’s great. For that reason alone you would go to FemME. And I’m not even talking about the audience among themselves. No dissonance, no hassle but always respect for each other. You can do your thing here without being looked at or anything else. In fact, where necessary we help each other.
After the first three bands there’s a wonderfully serene atmosphere in The Box. Well, it’s quickly adapted when Antidemon appears on stage. This three stubborn formation from Brazil knows how to put the people back on the ground. Our legs are shaking, because the floor is thunderous (just like half of Hilvarenbeek). Unadulterated death metal descends on us. But I like that. And it immediately shows the versatility of FemME. Something for everyone. At least I’m awake again and I’m glad that after the performance the parts of my camera are still in place.
In the meantime, we have also received good news. On February 1st there will be a FemME winterconcert. Again here in Hilvarenbeek. With an already nice line-up, but not all bands are known yet. But I already know I will go.
And there will be another FemME in 2020. There is still some discussion about the dates but now we know it, it’s clear now, October 9, 10 and 11. And what I like very much, there will also be a Battle.
Then it’s Sleeping Romance’s turn. Today with a normal set. Because I forget to tell you, prior to this festival Sleeping Romance gave an acoustic performance at JBM in The Room Kaatsheuvel. I’d love to be pushed there but a day of sea fishing threw a spanner in the works. Going to such a session with a snipe cold is asking for trouble. I think my cough would attract more attention than Federica’s excellent voice. And that can’t be the intention. But today that’s being made up for. A wonderful performance by this more than sympathetic band.
Vetrar Draugurinn, from our own country. For me this band is and remains special. They were the ones who gave me the opportunity to take my first pictures and make my first concert report. In Merlyn Nijmegen. I haven’t made much progress yet but I can’t say that about this band. What a difference with then. I remember that they played the 4 songs of their EP, now there is a beautiful album and they are regularly on stage to admire. Highly recommended.
Ancient Bards is the headliner of FemME 2019. And singer Sara Squadrani adorns this year’s poster. Now headliner is always a stretchy concept, you can and may also give another band this title when you like it. And I have to say that I think it’s a fine band that performs very well. But for me personally it’s not the headliner. But that’s purely personal. But I have to say, it’s a remarkable band and I sure love them.
By the way, I recommend everyone to read on Facebook what Sara writes about her fellow band members. I think she reflects exactly what’s going on. You can and may be the front woman of a band, without your musicians you are a bit helpless. And she really described that beautifully.
The end of the first day
And so the first day of FemME 2019 comes to an end. A wonderful day that will be a prelude to two more nice days. It was nice to see some friends again, to get acquainted with new bands and to see that bands are constantly improving.
But also a day when we laughed a lot. Because humor is also part of this festival. The atmosphere is relaxed and there is plenty to find. There are always some remarkable things. But that’s not always for the report.
Tomorrow we will go on and on. Now we have to go to sleep first because a day like that is a big deal for an elderly fan. But as they say at home, you get older but it’s nice and quiet when you’re away!
End so it is, they are always right!!