Durbuy Rock Festival 7th/8th April 2017
Durbuy Rock Festival was brought to our attention by a very good Belgian friend and having a love for all things Belgian this was an opportunity we couldn’t miss! Having been to a fair few Festivals in the country over the years and missing out on Alcatraz in Kortrijk last year for health reasons we grabbed the chance to attend this festival incredibly in its 21st year!
The line-up had the amazing Arch Enemy. Delain, Sick of It All, Finntroll and Ensiferum to name but a few of the exciting bands included on the roster over the next two days.
Arriving early on a warm spring day we entered the venue consisting of a stage inside and the other with an outside stage where there was an assortment of reasonably priced food and clothing stores etc , you could not help but be impressed, the place was buzzing with the expectation of what was to follow.
The Beer I was told was more expensive than the previous years but to this Brit being honest it’s still cheaper than the crazy rip off prices the Festivals and Venues charge here in the UK. Unfortunately, we missed the two Opening bands as we were getting our passes and Interviews sorted out ,and my use of French was a bit rusty even after four days of already being in this tremendous Country.
So, after Interviewing Belgians finest Thrashers Evil Invaders we headed into the venue and rather than go into detail about each band here’s a summary. We caught the tail end of “Master of Rebellions” who’s stage presence and killer delivery impressed and warmed the crowd up nicely for Sweden’s Haunted who took to the stage with the rabid venom and hostility of a Rottweiler the crowd thronged and slammed to the Bands aggressive tones as bodies started to mosh to the party of Durbuy 2017! Thrash Maestros Evil Invaders wrecked many a neck with their thrashing delirium and head banging intensity as the band slapped you in the torso like an Exocet missile!
Having missed the recent Delain tour here I could not wait to catch these Symphonic Metal giants and I tell you they did not disappoint , they were fabulous and gave me goose bumps as they entered the area they had the whole place mesmerised, and singing along with their vibrant tones.
Aged Thrashers Sodom were up next and sadly I missed them as at this point I had lost my smart phone and spent ages looking for it! Luckily a good friend found it for me. Phew! I could hear Sodom in the Back ground and I know from what others were saying that they kicked some serious butt , as they stalked the stage with their beastly Thrashing magic causing pits to erupt at their killer depravity!
Arch Enemy next took to the stage, having seen them before I kind of knew what to expect and they never seem to stop touring, they were like a well-Oiled machine of killer riffs and growls from the deepest pits of hell, Alissa and the band decimated your brain cells.
By now the temperature outside had plummeted as Italians Lacuna Coil took to the stage, their brand of Metal soon made everyone forget how damn cold it was , as they delivered a stellar set to warm even the dead!
To end the evening we had Eagles Road, a cover Band … arrgh! Not a fan of tribute Bands but to be fair these guys were enigmatic and finished off a great day at this cracking party of Metal /Rock bands in the beautiful Ardennes Countryside.
Day Two Back to the festival courtesy of a cool taxi driver we turned up to a hot n heady day of musical delight.
Today was made up of bands with a Celtic Viking verve mixed in with some Punk Core attitudes you just knew this was gonna be a stupendous day! The opening two Bands Prelude to Disaster and Down to Insanity sure impressed, especially Down to Insanity a Band here at The Metal Gods Meltdown we will be looking up as well as fellow countrymen Aktarum who took to the stage battle ready and captivated the room, this band have a big future ahead of them without a shadow of a doubt, with a hard core following already , great things can be expected from this Band. T.A.N.K from France were up next outside and kicked up a storm with their vitriolic attitude absorbing, and exciting, the crowd. Surge of Fury on the inside stage prowled the stage like hungry wolves with their dynamism wowing everyone.
Shoot the Girl First and Hungary’s Dalriada had us totally transfixed they were both bands I didn’t have much knowledge of and they both gave one hell of performance with full crowd participation a must. Unfortunately, I missed the Band that was in between these two up and coming stars of the scene, so apologies to No One is Innocent as I was busy interviewing.
Tagada Jones and L`Espirit Du Clan have a huge ardent following in the mainland and it’s so easy to see why with their energetic entrancing spectacles.
Having last caught Finntroll a few years ago at PPM Fest we were excited to see these Finns again, they were stunning and a few of us even got unintentional boots in the head while in the photo pit from crowd surfers! Big heads up to the excellent security as they worked tirelessly throughout the Fest no more so than on the Saturday! Then it was back outside for another Band we caught at PPM a band I was l not sure about at first being that they are French, but dress up and play songs about the wonderful country of Scotland. So, to The Black Tartan Clan with their pipes their drums and Gaelic themed ditty’s enticing and amusing the throngs of people, am glad I wasn’t in a kilt though as it was getting cold, but these Highlander wannabes sure know how to party.
Talking of party, New Yorkers Sick of it All took to the stage , bouncing and pogoing into the place ,the animation,aliveness and Punk Fuelled oomph was outstanding when you consider these guys have been around for 30 years! Another Band who have been around a canny time were the only English Band the Anti No Where League, bit of a strange choice in my opinion and can think and know of many bands who from this fair isle who would have been better suited. Having said that they ripped back the years and showed the crowd a good time. Final band Ensiferum ended a truly spectacular festival so with war paint on and our Battle jackets we banged our heads and lapped up every second of this set and partied into the night.
Typically, the weekend before just on our doorstep some of the Bands that played at this superb Festival had made an appearance at a new shin dig in Edinburgh but they didn’t have Delain! And end of the day work called ,and needed to save the pennies for Belgium where the Beer is superior and atmosphere at their festivals cannot ,and will never be matched! So yeah back to Durbuy Rock Festival and the surrounding area next year? Ya can bet your pint of Maes and Waffles on it!!!
DURBUY FESTIVAL ……….IT RAWKS!! More Photos to Be Added Soon!!