Waterpop Festival, Wateringen, Netherlands - 17 August 96


Summertime is here! That means music festivals all over Europe, so also in Holland. Originally my plans were to go to the Dutch Lowlands festival (3 days, 80 bands this year), where Motorpsycho already performed two years ago (smashing gig by the way), and I must say that the line-up of bands wasn't that bad this year either: Sonic Youth, Sebadoh, 22-Pistepirkko, all kinds of bands that I positively like. But, unfortunately, the festival this year took place right in the middle of my examination period, so I couldn't afford to go. Besides, Motorpsycho wasn't playing there..

However, Motorpsycho would be performing on the Waterpop festival, the second largest free festival in The Netherlands. This festival only takes one day, and since Motorpsycho would perform quite early in the evening, I would have more than enough time to get back to my hometown by train (a three hour ride..).

So, in the late morning, I got on the train in Groningen, together with my good friend Martijn. It seemed that it woud be a sunny day, so perfect for a one day festival.

Well, I must say, I was struck by this festival. It was a really friendly atmosphere. It took place in a park in the middle of the little town of Wateringen, part of the so called "glass town" - the area in Holland which consists mostly of greenhouses. Maybe this is the place where your tomatoes came from..

When we got there, a British reggae band was playing. Or at least, it was something like reggae, I don't quite remember. We sat down in the grass, like everybody else, and started with our first beers. After this gig, a dutch band got on the stage, a band called Skik. They come from one of the northern provinces in Holland, and they play quite REM-like popmusic. But they sing it in their own dialect, and I can tell you, there weren't many around that quite understood it.. Me and Martijn however (we're from the north as well) had a good time. Singing about dried sausages (the regional delicatesse), where do they get it from..

We went looking at a ska-band, Jammah Tammah, they're from my hometown Groningen. They were quite nice, ideal music for summer days. At that time it was already six o'clock, and slowly the festival began approaching its magnum opus. But first Senser had to perform, a sort of Rage Against The Machine-like band. I didn't really like them too much - sounded a bit too hectic for me. Jungle beats, samples, heavy guitars - like Zack DelaRocha on speed. I guess the guys from Motorpsycho (who were already on stage, building up everything) didn't like it too much either. They were making fun about it, Bent did a funny dance on the music while walking up to Snah, who was sitting and smoking a (marihuana?) cigarette backstage, and Helge Sten sat down behind the drum kit and pretended like he was wildly drumming along the breakbeats.

Then, finally Senser had finished. Motorpsycho could start, they really had loads of guitars standing on stage. The same intimate set- up as I am used from them: Gebhardts drumkit up front in the middle, Bent on the left and Snah on the right. They even do this on really big stages, I've heard.

I had already walked up to the front to try to read the playlist which was hanging on Snahs amp - I could make something out of it, but not too much. Well, why bother, I thought, there was a huge monitor hanging above the stage on which the bands' technicians made the announcements of the songs. So I could write them over from the monitor, I thought.

I thought, indeed. I already had a vague feeling that something was going to happen - ofcourse they wouldn't just play and say "that's it". Because what they did to the monitor was beyond comprehension: they had given each song a new (and quite dirty) name! Look on the playlistpage and you'll see that they have been joking like this quite a lot.. You can find the complete list down below, I didn't dare to translate them, just ask someone who knows Norwegian and you will probably get slapped in the face.. Although I would like to make one exception ofcourse - "Oppi Rompa" means In Your Ass, and "Kuken te Snah" means Snah's Dick.. the latter song sounded quite a lot like Nothing To Say, however.. During the last song, the message "GEFOPT!" ("Gotcha!") appeared.. I wondered if the band really knew, they were standing under the monitor and didn't see it. Maybe it was just a joke of the sound-engineers.

Well, let's not forward on things. I already noticed on the playlist that they were going to play quite some few new songs: I counted nine songs, and I only saw four songs that were familiar to me - of which only two are available on regular CDs..

They started with a song called Starmelt - I guess I already heard this song during their Blissard-tour. It's quite a nice song, with both Bent and Snah singing the chorus. After this song, they immediately went on with another new song. On the list it said H & H, but now I have found out that this song is called Heaven and Hell. Really a smashing song, quite intense, and with an outrageous solo. Snah, by the way, is the only guitarplayer from whom I tolerate guitarsolos..

They went on with Nothing To Say, a "goodie but oldie". Everyone who knows Motorpsycho must surely know this song. However, they played quite a different version, with lots of bass and a weird psychedelic last part - sort of like they mixed Mountain inbetween somewhere. In the middle of the song, Bent stopped singing and both he and Snah started laughing like crazy - probably the Dutch magic cigarettes.. But they kept playing.

Next song was Sideway Spiral, a heavy song with quiet breaks and Snah singing. Very nice song. I didn't know this song either. The next song was also a new song - You Lied. A deep melancholy song, with some cool psycho-stuff in it. Two-voice singing here as well. Then they played one of my favourite songs - Flick Of The Wrist. MP only plays this song live, and I have it on this live tape I got from Kalle. Good thing too that it's only played live, because I wonder what would be left of the wonderful solo that lasts about five minutes.. Anyway, it's a pure live-song, they always play it different, it was really a heavy jam-session on stage here! They played Heartattack after this, a loud and wild song with Snah screaming the lyrics from the top of his lungs. Then they played another known song - S T G. I like this song, especially when they do this cool looking thing with their guitars - pointing them up to the sky both at the same time. And then, unfortunately, already the last song: Into The Sun. I believe this song was only brought out on a split single with Hedgehog, another Trondheim band. Anyway, during this song the message appeared that everybody had been fooled (ofcourse almost noone really understood what it said on the monitor, except for me and Martijn - we both study Swedish, so we understand quite some Norwegian as well). They played Into The Sun about just the same as on the record, but when the song had finished, they started all over again.

Well, that was it, it was over before I knew it. They played for about fifty minutes, and at first I thought "Well, nine songs in fifty minutes, that's not too much", but as they stretched the songs, everything turned out to be more than OK. As the roadies started to take away the equipment, I walked up to the stage (ofcourse there was a fence with some room behind for the security crew), and I asked one of the roadies if I could have a playlist, and I got Snah's playlist, written on the back of a guitar string bag - at least now I know what kind of strings he uses..

After Motorpsycho, the Osdorp Posse (a hiphop-crew with rap in Dutch language, wondered what MP thought about that) performed, but we had to go to catch the train. We ate some fast food outside the festival- field and watched the night come over this place here far from home, took the bus to the railway station and traveled back to Groningen. This had really been a good day!

PLAYLIST (Including "alternative titles")

Starmelt Kuksug H & H Fett & Faen Nothing To Say Kuken te Snah Sideway Spiral Oppi Rompa You Lied Med Rompslim Flick Of The Wrist Tiss & Basj (ofcourse this had to be Bajs) Heartattack Tre i toern S T G Saed til folket Into The Sun GEFOPT!

Jeroen Dommisse

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