Getting Acquainted with New Music: The BRUIS Festival

Remember when I wrote about the adventure of being in three places at once and I said that the day didn’t end there? If you don’t, you can go back to that post.

It ended with the BRUIS music festival right here in Maastricht.

Colorful like everything I've seen here

For someone who loves music as much I do, it pains me to admit that the only festivals I’ve ever attended are AUB’s Outdoors and the  Fete Du Musique in the Beirut Central District. So naturally, a chance to go listen to new music with a bunch of equally enthusiastic friends, who had spent most of the day laughing and taking random pictures, was not to be missed.

From the old days: AUB Outdoors house band plays Fisk stage in 2009

BRUIS brought together alternative, indie,  and rock artists from across the Netherlands and Belgium mostly, as well as one band from the Basque country and another from Ireland, for two days of rocking out and discovering lesser known acts- at least for me.

Of course, no rock festival would be complete without some weirdos who are in desperate need for fashion advice. Case in point, the woman below who entered the premises right before us.

Obviously she was pressed for time and could not consult a mirror before leaving the house

The setting was all too-familiar for an event of this sort. A grass field was transformed into an area for people to lie down, drink, and enjoy life. There was the main stage where the more alternative and rock artists were showcased, but also two smaller stages, one which I’m pretty sure was focusing on some hip-hop and rap.

It's important to note that it wasn't really crowded, a good thing of course

Additionally, there was a kids area, a food tent, and several merchandise fueled stands which I was too busy to look at.

Who said you have to be in your teenage years to enjoy a festival?

Entry to the festival and listening to the acts was free. So how did the organizers make a revenue? By offering the concert-goers a deal of buying 5 coupons (used for drink and food) for only 10 euros.

Blending in- they didn't have my standard order of 7Up so CocaCola had to do

Regardless of that, the music was pretty good- or at least the part I witnessed- which sadly was one act, that of the Villagers, the Irish band.

Conor O' Brien, lead singer of Villagers, takes the stage

A quick search for them on Wikipedia resulted in the following information:

Conor O’Brien formed Villagers after the break-up of his previous band The Immediate. The very next day, O’Brien wrote the first song after waking up with a hangover. O’Brien’s time as a guitarist inCathy Davey’s band was also critical to the development of his style as he had never before performed alongside anyone outside of The Immediate.Villagers gave their first live performance as a support act with The Chapters at a show in Whelan’s in November 2008.At that point the band had previously only rehearsed together on two occasions. They had only seven songs, written by O’Brien and passed on to the rest of the band to learn.  The debut single of Villagers was “On a Sunlit Stage” and was released in October 2009. On January 15, 2010, Villagers represented Ireland at the Eurosonic Festival in Groningen, the Netherlands. A debut album Becoming a Jackal was released in Ireland on 14 May 2010,with a UK release in May and a US release due on 8 June 2010.The album immediately went to number one on both the Irish Albums Chart and the Irish Indie Albums Chart. It proceeded to continuously top the indie chart.

I can’t exactly recall what songs they played or what lyrics they were singing but I remember that I liked their vibe. Also I recall socializing and taking a million pictures, mainly challenging myself to take a picture of the ever elusive James who absolutely hates it when I do that- not that I will stop anytime soon.

Not my finest photographic work but what can a girl do?

But thankfully, there’s Youtube for that, and I chose to share this performance of their song Home for the poetic lyrics, strong vocals, skill in playing, and a show of pure emotions that you don’t see in music everyday. 

Coming out of that festival, my only regret is that I didn’t get to hear all the rest and broaden my musical range- which right now is stuck on a mix of Coldplay, 30 Seconds to Mars, Darren Hayes, Savage Garden, and Fairouz- not exactly what you’d call new.

But there will be other event, right? It’s Europe after all…

6 Comments Add yours

  1. caroinmaas says:

    I am sure James will love this post 😀

    1. TK says:

      I’m sure he will. Not only is he featured, but the band was Irish! Talk about coincidence…

  2. The ever elusive James. he sounds like quite a character…….

    1. TK says:

      Pretty nice guy if I must say. He just has an unreasonable hatred for cameras and Coldplay. Also, I think he should update his blog sometime this year…

  3. But then some of the magic of his evident elusivity (in my mind that is a word) will wear of…..

  4. wear off. My laptop doesn’t like me today

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