Running in its 11th year, Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg has become a musical institution and a MUST in every music lover’s diary.
Every September Hamburg hosts the festival which sees more than 5oo live gigs over 4 days and across all musical genres.
I was lucky enough to attend the festival for the weekend and have had a great time seeing bands that I already loved in tiny venues and also discovered some more musical gems that have already been added to my playlists.
Following a hectic weekend in the Hanseatic City running up and down Reeperbahn to catch the hottest bands, I thought I’d give you a run down on my Reeperbahn Festival highlights.
Aussie five piece The Lazys headed up Molotow as part of the Big Aussie BBQ showcase on Friday afternoon.
The small venue was quickly packed to the brim with rock and roll fans that were ready to get their headbanging on early in the afternoon.
Blasting out some proper classic rock tunes, The Lazys quickly get the attention of the crowd, songs like ‘Hold Me In Your Arms‘ and ‘Hey Man‘ get the crowd moving easily and any sore heads or tired feet are instantly forgotten.
Singer Leon Harrison voice is a faint reminder that there is more bands out there than AC/DC and the Rolling Stones that have mastered that dirty rock thing.
The Lazys show is anything but lazy and boring, the band surely knows how to rock out loud and heavy and guitarist Matty even climbed up the bar at some point to deliver a killer guitar solo.
Here is to hoping that The Lazys will come back to Europe with some new material to rock out too anytime soon.
Discover more about The Lazys sound!
If you have never heard of Dream Wife, then where have you been? The three glorious power girls may look all nice and sweet but they have come to conquer the music world by storm, a loud and edgy storm of pop and punk rock.
The London based trio played their first ever Hamburg gig as part of Reeperbahn Festival 2017 at the Molotow. The small venue was rammed to say at least and right from the start it was clear that the band was having a blast which was mirrored by the crowd.
Some impressive dancing was going on in the front by some dedicated fans who were word perfect to every song and even further down the crowd no one really managed to stand still. Dream Wife performed a nice mix of older songs and spruced it up by adding in some new material of their new EP ‘FIRE‘.
Front woman Rakel Mjoll easily plays with her innocent outlook during songs like ‘Lolita’ whilst aggressively screaming her heart out during ‘FUU‘ whilst casually singing about cutting and fucking someone up. Providing the heavy guitars and strong bass line are guitarist Alice Go and Bella Podpadec on bass guitar.
Together the three of them are a force to be reckoned with, not afraid of tackling difficult subjects in their feminist songs like ‘Somebody‘, where they take a clear stance on that your looks don’t define you.
These strong messages paired with their fierce girl power (if you listen closely to their songs you will find some Spice Girls lyrics tucked away) is gonna get Dream Wife very far. And if their first ever concert in Hamburg has proven anything, than it’s that they are here to stay and easily pick up fans as they tour the continent with their infectious sounds and charms.
Join the Dream Wife’s bad bitches club!
You know what’s great about festivals, when you randomly discover amazing bands. That’s what happened to me when I stumbled into the tent at Download Festival this year and was greeted by the heavy sounds of Fizzy Blood.
A few more festival sets later, I knew I was in for a treat to see Fizzy Blood perform at Reeperbahn Festival in a small venue, because to be honest they won’t be playing the small venues that much longer.
The Leeds five piece took to stage on Saturday night at Kaiserkeller at the end of Grosse Freiheit and immediately the space in front of the stage was crowded by eager fans who couldn’t wait to start a mosh pit.
Performing a kick ass high energy festival set, Fizzy Blood didn’t hold back at all. And why would they? With rock bangers like ‘Pawn‘ and ‘Summer of Luv‘ their heavy bluesy rock sound just makes you want to lose yourself in the moshpit.
It all got hot and sweaty quickly down at Kaiserkeller as singer Benji Inkley went from rocking out in the verse to screaming out his heart in a few seconds over the heavy guitars to ‘January Sun‘. Fizzy Blood seemed genuinely chuffed to be part of Reeperbahn Festival and the crowd thanked them with some impressive mosh pits and ‘We want more chants’ as they couldn’t get enough of the Fizzy’s.
That gig was a perfect marriage of a band that had the crowd in the palm of their hands from first to last riff and a crowd that was up for anything as long as it was some perfectly crafted heavy rock music from a certain Leeds band.
Prolong the summer of luv with Fizzy Blood!
As the night continued things just got heavier down at Kaiserkeller. Norwegian punk rock band Blood Command was up next. Fronted by Karina Ljone, always good to see ladies killing it in the heavy music circles, the band went straight in for the kill with ‘CTRL+ALT+Delete‘.
Leaving the crowd no time to breathe Blood Command were bashing out those bangers one by one with the majority of tracks coming from their recent album ‘Cult Drugs‘.
Their powerful set was gripping and had some metal heads headbanging along to the likes of ‘Gang Signs‘ and ‘You Can’t Sit With Us‘. The high vocals of front woman Karina cut sharply through the heavy sounds and leaving a definite mark on the Reeperbahn Festival audience.
Blood Command’s sound is strangely familiar, so that any fan of heavy rock music will instantly feel at home upon listening to the band, yet extraordinary. As you will hear some trombones in the background of ‘(The World Covered In) Purple Shrouts‘ which might sound strange, but this simply adds another interesting element to the song.
If you’re up for some fine Scandi hardcore, give Blood Command a spin!
Last gig of Reeperbahn Festival were Sløtface. Headlining the stage at Kaiserkeller, the four piece came prepared with a bag full of happy pop rock songs to close the night.
Almost playing their entire debut album ‘Try Not To Freak Out‘, Sløtface treated the fans to all the hits alongside a faced paced performance.
Front woman Haley Shea belting out the lyrics to the bands hit ‘Empire Records‘ and ‘Sponge State‘ while guitarist Tor-Arne Vikingstad and Lasse Lokøy on bass were rocking out along. The fans were tirelessly dancing along to the hits and celebrated the closing of Reeperbahn Festival.
Sløtface headlined with ease and proved that they are easily capable off headlining bigger stages and judging by their happy faces during the set, the band probably already figured that out themselves.
It’s fair to say that their debut album is a massive banger and sounds well good live, Sløtface seemed to have mastered the art of wrapping feminist topics and more tricky subjects nicely up in a happy sounding pop rock song.
Don’t miss out and listen to Sløtface amazing debut album.
Reeperbahn Festival, you have been well good! See you again next year.