FolkWorld Live Review 08/2000:

Sterren in Drenthe festival, the Netherlands

Great music - but no audiance

By Eelco Schilder

Fungus in their first life, press photo "The Sterren in Drenthe" festival had its first edition this year and unfortunately it was not a very successful one. The programme was very strong. Groups like Tenareze, Ti-jazz, Ambrozijn, Terem Quartet, Väsen, Fungus and many other musicians showed their talents. The location (five small villages in the east of Holland) was beautiful but…there was no audience. The best-attended concert I visited was Fungus', there were about 20 people there.

Väsen's Olov Johannson; photo by The Mollis Nevertheless I heard some good music. Tenareze didn't feel much like playing for nine people but they did it anyway and it's impressive to see how they create beautiful tunes on partly hand-made instruments. Another famous French group, Ti-Jazz, mix folk and jazz. L'occidentale de Fanfare tried to have a party with an audience of 12 listeners; thank God they had brought their own dancers with them. Their music is wonderful, real party folk with a lot of show and played with much fire. A few members of this Fanfare also formed Freres Goa-Tech. Mixing traditional music with samples and modern beats must be very difficult because this was one of the worst concerts I've seen in years. Let's talk about something more worthwhile: Pekel. This is a Dutch group playing traditionals and a few self-written songs. They were located in a small pub, late in the evening and that was just the perfect atmosphere. They showed some good playing and singing and had a fine sense of humour. Another legendary Dutch group, Fungus, gave a decent set, especially their harmony vocals are still tremendously strong. It was a pity that the percussion was hardly audible. I enjoyed myself during this festival but I hope that before next year's edition the organization will realize that good public relations are vital to the success of such a festival.

Read also the article about the new life of the legendary Dutch band Fungus.

Photos: (1) Fungus in their first life, press photo, (2) Väsen's Olov Johannson, photo by the Mollis

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