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DDave

Pukkelpop 2018

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Best attempt I can do at a review coming up! I will do the bands first and then probably ramble nonsense later.

Day 1

  1. Circa Waves - Quite enjoyed them actually. Pretty generic indie but a couple of good songs. Had a decent crowd
  2. Jeff Neve & Crossbones - This was brilliant. With Andre Brasseur in 2016 and this I think they are on to something with the "something completely different slot"
  3. Phoebe Bridgers - Wasn't too bad. I think I expected more but pleasant enough
  4. Rag n Bone Man - I thought he was excellent. Very good voice
  5. Dua Lipa - She was great. Exactly the sort of pop act a festival should book.
  6. The War on Drugs - They were brilliant as always, added bonus of bumping into some board members at the gig
  7. Jess Glynne - Packed, another great example of the right kind of pop act being able to deliver at a festival
  8. Arcade Fire - They were very good. Not incredible though, don't know why I didn't 100% connect with them (beer perhaps), but they played Rococo which is one of my favourite tunes

Day 2 (aka crap Friday)

  1. You Me at Six - They're OK I suppose, though entirely forgettable for me. Seemed to have a decent audience who were into them
  2. Nothing but Thieves - Again, not really remembering much about them (maybe getting on the drink early wasn't the best idea)
  3. JD McPherson - He was good, really rocking band and some good songs to boot.
  4. Kodaline - Just caught the end of them, had a couple of good songs that everyone clearly knew and generated a big sing-a-long
  5. Papa Roach - Only caught a bit of them and they were not very good
  6. NERD - Lots of fun, good audience participation. Pharrell seemed to be in a good mood and everyone watching seemed to be having fun
  7. and a bit of Amenra - I didn't mind these to be honest, the Mrs hated the though. So we left and went back to town for a beer

Day 3

  1. Confidence Man - Probably the highlight of the festival. Fantastic live act, lots of fun. Great pop act who are surely destined for bigger things
  2. Ronnie Flex and Deuxperience - Sat having a beer whilst they were playing. Pretty good actually, and I think had we headed down to the front and got involved then they would have been very good
  3. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - I was a little bit disappointed actually. They were good but just not as good as I had expected. Shame really as they still sound good on record (Spotify).
  4. Maribou State - Really good chill out set, just sat in the tent and let them wash over me. I had not really listened to them before but I liked them and will certainly be listening more in the future.
  5. Bazart - Only caught a bit of them but they were another one in the "one that got away" category I think. Seemed fun, engaging and had some good songs. I'd 100% watch them again should they play again (which they undoubtedly will)
  6. Roisin Murphy - She's great. I think she's played the festival quite a few times and had a good crowd who were well into it. Nice version of "sing it back" to finish, all good.
  7. Imagine Dragons - They were OK I suppose. The Mrs enjoyed them more than I did. Lead singer has clearly been through a lot and put a lot of himself into the show (also, he's been down the Gym. He was HUGE)
  8. Justice  - Yep, they've definitely got it. I am always surprised be how good some "dance" acts are live. I shouldn't be really as there have been loads of good ones at PKP over the years.

All in all, not my favourite edition but much better than I expected it to be given my (mostly misplaced) concerns over the lineup. We had  great time, a good catch up with the crew from eFestivals and some other fun stuff going on. I will ramble about non-band stuff later.

 

Edited by TheNewUnion
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4 hours ago, johnybegood said:

Can you see Madonna getting booked for Pukkelpop 2019? Her name is in the mix of rumours for several festivals...

I mean, it'd be great but I really can't see it. 

I do think we'll get the first names earlier next year. Pretty convinced that Twenty One Pilots will headline one night (or at least subheadline it) and their big March gigs in Belgium and the Netherlands are sold out already. Be interesting to keep an eye on anyone who announces a stadium tour for around the same time as they'll be contenders for Pukkelpop if this year's trend continues. Metallica are on tour in Europe from May-August next year but I can see them at RW or TW Classic rather than Pukkelpop again.

 

Edited by DiscothequeDave

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Based on what we have seen of late Twenty One Pilots, A Big Name (e.g Arctic Monkeys), Flavour of the Month in Belgium (no idea who) would be my best guess.

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6 hours ago, DiscothequeDave said:

I mean, it'd be great but I really can't see it. 

I do think we'll get the first names earlier next year. Pretty convinced that Twenty One Pilots will headline one night (or at least subheadline it) and their big March gigs in Belgium and the Netherlands are sold out already. Be interesting to keep an eye on anyone who announces a stadium tour for around the same time as they'll be contenders for Pukkelpop if this year's trend continues. Metallica are on tour in Europe from May-August next year but I can see them at RW or TW Classic rather than Pukkelpop again.

 

Florence And The Machine - Antwerps Sportpaleis March 7th (sold out)... 

Edited by johnybegood
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15 minutes ago, johnybegood said:

Florence And The Machine - Antwerps Sportpaleis March 7th (sold out)... 

Yep. Got to be big contenders. Not out of the question that we could get an announcement around that time with both Florence and TOP. That's where my money would be.

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Rambling thoughts on the festival.

As usual, the journey was really easy with the Belgian rail network proving as efficient as always. Our hotel owner text when we were still in Manchester to see what time we were arriving (they were headed to Pukkel) and within within 3 hours of replying we arrived in the hotel. Whilst a bit expensive, but I cannot recommend Hotel Het Menneke highly enough. Staff were great, so friendly and helpful, loved that they went to the festival and put up a notice "We are closed, gone to pukkel" in the afternoon. Breakfast here is great, set us up for the day.

On the Wednesday, we went back to Hasselt early and found ourselves at Toeternietoe Zomerfestival, which was a good laugh. An outdoor stage with a covers band, food beer and some other stuff which we missed. Great fun.

Major disappointment was that the thatched cottage wasn't open so we had to find somewhere else to eat and drink (basically ended up with Frites and Pizza almost all the time). €2 for a beer pretty much everywhere outside now, decent value I suppose.

Big fans of the Beer Shack and PKP Cafe. Beer Shack is great, the music was excellent, great (slightly older) crowd, hopefully it will set the festival up for booking some "heritage" bands for upcoming festivals. PKP Cafe was great, had a couple of sessions in there. Great to meet up with the Brits (and ex pats), and a couple of the local guys too. We've exchanged a lot of forum chat over the years so nice to finally put faces to screen names, also entertaining to now be able to bump into people we know at various times around the festival. Any Manchester gigs coming up, just shout.

Was also a real "small world" scenario when one of the lads turned out to be someone Nicola and I worked with way back in about 1999/2000. Small world eh?

Learnings for me this time, I need to just commit to watching a band at the expense of another. Missed the end of a couple of shows to race to another show (which I missed the end of to race back to yet another show).

Shout out to @Semprini for getting us on the backstage tour. Great to see the workings of the event, also cool to meet the bass player from JD McPherson's band. A thoroughly nice chap who was happy to chat about any old thing.

All in all it was a great festival, one of the weaker lineups I have seen, but actually found plenty to watch and enjoy. Having checked next years busy holiday schedule it's looking like we will have to miss PKP19 due to other commitments (had to squeeze another holiday in over the easter break to will probably be out of holidays by summer!) but having had such a good time we will certainly be heading back to Hasselt for a future Pukkelpop (hopefully 2020).

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4 hours ago, TheNewUnion said:

 

All in all it was a great festival, one of the weaker lineups I have seen, but actually found plenty to watch and enjoy. Having checked next years busy holiday schedule it's looking like we will have to miss PKP19 due to other commitments (had to squeeze another holiday in over the easter break to will probably be out of holidays by summer!) but having had such a good time we will certainly be heading back to Hasselt for a future Pukkelpop (hopefully 2020).

Only need the one day off next year if you do the 3 nights. Going back to work the day after is achievable, honest!

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