Day 2 of Roadburn 2011.
Photos: Antony Roberts
I couldn’t get in for Year of No Light at the Midi Theatre. This was really disappointed after missing them the day before due to clashes. It had been moved forward by 15 minutes from the original schedule and was already rammed when we arrived. Those I spoke to that saw it said it was amazing.
I headed to the main room to see Keijo Haino who was conducting his noise like some crazy old wizard. A little headsore from the day before personally this was not what was needed first thing.
A packed green room to catch Aluk Todolo who are hard to describe. I guess I could picture them doing a new soundtrack to perhaps Eraserhead or Requiem for a Dream. Soundscapey but with some haunting parts.
Earth were arriving late so a switch around in the main room with Circle with Pharoah Overload left many of the crowd confused who weren’t aware the bands had been changed and expected Earth on. The change over meant being able to go catch a few songs of Place Of Skulls. They started with Silver Chord Breaks and then a cover I forget the name of but as good as they were, having seen them many many times before I wanted to go catch a good spot for Trap Them.
As the Trap Them singer Ryan talked to the crowd it was mentioned they were playing early as they had another show to get to the same day. The crowd responded and showed their appreciation clapping, whooping and opening up the second pit of Roadburn 2011. Mid set the band were clearly knackered and joked they weren’t used to playing such long sets but went piling straight into The Facts from recent album Darker Handcraft. A brilliant set and bands like this continue to show the diversity of the modern Roadburn lineup.
Next up was my first really big clash of the weekend with Sabbath Assembly and Winter on at the same time. Completely different to each other and I love Winter but Restored to One has practically been on repeat at home since it’s release. I really wanted to catch some of their set even if it meant missing the beginning of Winter. Jex Thoth in her thigh high boots looked quite the 70’s hippy moonchild spinning around captivating the male audience watching. The sound was as full as the album and almost all of Restored got played.
The Saints Shall Inherit The Earth and Hymn Of Consecration secured it for me and I had to go catch Winter. Winter were absolutely awesome there’s really not much else to say, if you like Winter you know how good they are and they lived up to everything I hoped they would be live. Their slow, slow doom was witnessed by a packed out main room. The amount of backing line they had for a 3 piece meant their drawn out heaviness reached crushing levels, I was glad for my ear plugs.
Following on from so many good bands we had to nip out to get some food and time slipped away catching up with friends old and new and without noticing we missed Earth and COC, just managing to catch the last of Menace Ruine.
Sunn0))) took to the stage about 30 minutes late with a visible portion of the crowd bored with waiting and leaving to go catch other bands. The stage was filled with dry ice and when the curtains opened down the front it was hard to even see your hand in front of your face to begin with. Photographers tried and tried but the fog won this day catching the odd shot as they came through the dense dry ice.
Heading around and to the back of the main room to hear it from a distance I couldn’t even see anyone on stage, not even the lights from the amps, not even a silhouette! Having seen them a bunch of times before it was time to go see the other stages and actually visibly see someone play. From other people’s opnions it sounded like I should have stuck around for an amazing set but that is the case with Roadburn, you can’t catch everything!
Hooded menace played not in the monks habits of sunnO))) in the main room but just a simple hooded sweatshirt, hood up chav style. How they stayed in them for the whole show I do not know as it was rammed in the green room. Drawing from material from both albums their doomy take on death drew and held a huge crowd soaking the green room walls in sweat. One of the festival highlights.
Grave Miasma, OK I have another confession to make, this is another band I own nothing by. There’s a lot of great bands out their now and sometimes some just slip you by. Their Blasphemy style blackened death made my already amazing day even greater they were brutal but in an old school way. Highlight of the festival so far for me, who’d of thought it from a predominantly doom/stoner/psych line up!
Staying in the Bat Cave The Secret came on and blew out the tiredness for those that were waning from the long day. Their blackened take on post-hardcore/metal fitted the size of 013’s smallest stage perfectly and made for a very intense and intimate show providing a perfect finish to the second day.