Le Guess Who? 2015 Preview

Mid-November and it’s time for one of the best festivals in northern Europe, the Le Guess Who? in Utrecht, Netherlands, Thursday-to-Sunday, November 19th-22nd....
Le Guess Who? 2015 Preview

Le Guess Who? 2015 Preview

Mid-November and it’s time for one of the best festivals in northern Europe, the Le Guess Who? in Utrecht, Netherlands, Thursday-to-Sunday, November 19th-22nd.

Once again, the university town in the central region of the country will offer the best names in indie music, either consolidated or on the up, in different clubs and venues that will transform the city in the reference of popular culture:




Tivoli-Vredenburg Grote Zaal
The Notwist, 20:30 – 22:00
Faust, 22:40 – 23:40

The veteran electronic indie trio The Notwist (QRO album review) will present their new work, Close To the Glass (QRO mp3 review) where their trademark dysfunctional yet highly attractive melancholic electronics still leave enough room for pop melodies and light. Remember they have a special ability to transform songs live, so this will be a can’t-miss gig (QRO photos).

Still in Germany, one of the biggest totems of experimentation comes back to Utrecht: Faust. Eeriness and sonic landscapes are still their forte and their sometimes-minimalist tracks paved the way for the transformation of bands like Radiohead, 15 years ago.

Tivoli-Vredenburg Pandora
Constellation Records
Eric Chenaun, 19:45 – 20:30
Saltland, 20:45 – 21:30
Avec Le Soleil Sortant de Bouche, 22:00 – 22:45
Last Em, 23:15 – 00:00
Ought, 00:30 – 01:30

Courtesy of Constellation Records – who curate the entire night in this room – cellist Rebecca Foon, a.k.a. Saltland, uses her instrument and loop units to cement interesting textures and sounds, which range from Mediterranean folklore to more classic details. Ideal for lovers of the intimate.

Also from Constellation Records, Montreal’s With the Sun Coming Out Her Mouth (Avec Le Soleil Sortant de Bouche’s in English), are an ‘art-rock’ quartet. Yeah, the labels. Their starting points are band of the genre: Talking Heads, Stereolab… But they add a sort of post-punk twist in the form of some recognizable sounds. Anyway, they also have a predilection to jam for longs periods of time, so expect few songs per se in their set.

Julia HolterJanskerk
Sunn O)))
Hildur Gudnadóttir, 18:40 – 19:30
Julia Holter, 20:00 – 21:00
Majical Cloudz, 22:00 – 23:00

Presenting her latest work, Have You In My Wilderness, an unconventional yet precious mix of tunes and images, the Church of John is the ideal place to enjoy the dreamy nature of the American songwriter Julia Holter (QRO photos).

Grimes (QRO live review) collaborator Devon Welsh has been making his own name in his Montreal duo with Matthew Otto, Majical Cloudz (QRO photos at a festival).

De Helling
Sunn O)))
Chaos Echoes, 21:15 – 22:00
Grumbling Fur, 22:25 – 23:15
Bölzer, 23:45 – 00:30
Majical CloudzOM, 01:00 – 02:00
Demdike Stare, 02:30 – 03:30

Torii, 20:15 – 20:45
The Homesick, 21:15 – 21:55
Rats On Rafts, 22:25 – 23:15
Dollkraut, 23:45 – 00:30
Torus, 01:10 – 02:00
Hoek, 02:20 – 03:15

Best offering from the Dutch alternative scene, including Rats on Rafts (QRO photos).

Rats On RaftsClub 3voor12/Utrecht
Woods On Fire, 21:15 – 21:45
IX, 22:05 – 23:35
The Great Communicators, 22:55 – 23:25
The Mysterons, 23:45 – 00:15

Indie, psychedelia and electronic in small format.



Besnard LakesFRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20th

Tivoli-Vredenburg Ronda
The Besnard Lakes, 19:00 – 19:45
Titus Andronicus, 20:15 – 21:05
Swervedriver, 21:40 – 22:35
Evil Superstars, 23:15 – 00:15
Blanck Mass, 01:00 – 02:00

Early gig for The Besnard Lakes (QRO album review), one of the flagships of Montreal shoegaze still going strong after 15 years of career.

Titus AndronicusStraight outta Jersey comes Garden State pridesters (QRO live review in New Jersey) Titus Andronicus (QRO photos at a festival), who were hitting all fifty hard (QRO photos out-of-state) even before (QRO photos at a festival) the release of their Civil War-inspired The Monitor (QRO review) – though 2012 Local Business (QRO review) was a big of a retread. They come to Le Guess Who? behind this year’s 28-track opus The Most Lamentable Tragedy.

dEUS guitarist Mauro Pawloski leads the other half of Belgium’s attack on rock in the 90s as Evil Superstars. Pop classics like “It’s a Sad Sad Planet” will prevail in a festival plagued with experimental bands.

METZTivoli-Vredenburg Pandora
Kaki King, 19:15 – 20:15
Protomartyr, 21:00 – 21:40
METZ, 22:30 – 23:25
Viet Cong, 00:05 – 01:00
A Place To Bury Strangers, 01:45 – 02:40

Both loud and skilled, Toronto’s METZ (QRO live review) come ready to rock and impress at Le Guess Who? (QRO photos at a festival).

Containing half of Calgary’s defunct Women (QRO photos at a festival), the band formerly known as Viet Cong (QRO photos at a festival) bring a “labyrinthine post-punk” to Le Guess Who?.

Brooklyn’s own A Place To Bury Strangers (QRO spotlight on) challenge Spinal Tap for claim of ‘loudest band ever’, but AP2BS (QRO interview) are also skilled musicians, from their self-titled debut full-length (QRO review), 2009’s Exploding Head (QRO review), 2013’s Onward To the Wall EP (QRO review) & Worship (QRO review) full-length, and this year’s Transfixiation (QRO review). They (QRO interview) come to psych out The Netherlands once again (QRO review in The Netherlands).

Tivoli-Vredenburg Cloud Nine
Low & Gaudeamus/Muziekweek
A Place To Bury StrangersWilbert Bulsink & Jessica Sligter, 20:00 – 20:45
Jerusalem In My Heart, 21:45 – 22:30
Anna Meredity, 23:25 – 00:15
Liima, 01:00 – 02:00

Tivoli-Vredenburg Hertz
Fluster Nights
Deaf Center, 20:45 – 21:45
Lubomyr Melnyk, 22:30 – 23:25

Tivoli-Vredenburg Plein 5
Josh T. PearsonRed Light Radio Broadcasts Live, 21:00 – 04:00

Tivoli-Vredenburg The Pit
Sigma-Michel Banabila/Law-Rah Collective, 22:00 – 01:00

Mirel Wagner, 19:00 – 19:45
Michael Price Trio, 20:15 – 21:05
Josh T. Pearson, 21:45 – 22:45

Folk in a church from Mirel Wagner? The perfect combination for expansive acoustic music.

Though he started as part of the short-lived, well-loved Lift to Experience, alt-country artist Josh T. Pearson has since forged his own path.

Sunn O)))
Chelsea WolfeMarissa Nadler, 19:40 – 20:30
John Doran, 19:00 – 19:25

De Helling
Sunn O)))
Circuit Des Veuk, 20:45 – 21:30
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, 22:00 – 23:00
Chelsea Wolfe, 23:40 – 00:40
Virus, 01:10 – 02:00
Aluk Todolo, 02:30 – 03:20

Precursor of the likes of Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, GOAT and even Iggy’s movements, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s theatrical take on rock, glam will be the star of the second night at the De Helling.

Chelsea Wolfe (QRO photos at a festival) brings her drone-metal-art-folk mix to Le Guess Who? behind this year’s Abyss.

Prefuse 73Ekko
Huerco S., 21:00 – 22:00
DJ Paypal, 22:30 – 23:20
Prefuse 73, 23:50 – 00:05
Stuff., 01:30 – 02:20
Less Gamble (DJ set), 02:45 – 04:00

Producer and electronic artist Guillermo Scott Herren has worked under many aliases, but his best-known one is Prefuse 73 (QRO album review).

Howard Eynon, 20:45 – 21:30
Thus Owls, 22:00 – 22:45

Two different takes folk from Howard Eynon and Thus Owls. Veteran Eynon’s dry-witted lyrics and seemingly effortless songs gained him cult following in his native Australia with Apricot Jam, now re-issued forty years later. As for Thus Owls, their take on avant-folk verges on the orchestral and results in compelling, ominous, beautiful works.

Theater Kikker Main
Ná Hawa Doubmia, 20:45 – 21:45

GroomsTheater Kikker Second Stage
Dave Heumann, 20:15 – 21:00
Eartheater, 21:30 – 22:15
Masavoshi Fujita, 22:45 – 23:30

Kicking the Habit
Black Oak, 18:30 – 19:15
Hooton Tennis Club, 19:45 – 20:30
Hop Along, 21:00 – 21:45
It It Anita, 22:15 – 23:00

Contemporaries of …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead (QRO live review), Belgian combo It It Anita combines with great skill the post-hardcore energy with very intricate compositions. Something different to watch on this LGW?.

Chantal Acda, 20:30 – 21:20
Moon Moon Moon, 21:45 – 22:35

Grooms, 20:00 – 20:40
J Fernandez, 21:10 – 21:55
Younghusband, 22:20 – 23:05
Bully, 23:30 – 00:15

The London quartet Younghusband (QRO photos at a festival) is touring their new brand-new work, Dissolver, a step beyond in their melodic and dreamy catalogue.

YounghusbandBV Terzij De Horde
Nefast, 20:30 – 21:15
Laster, 21:30 – 22:15
Gnaw Their Tongues, 22:30 – 23:00
Terzij De Horde, 23:15 – 00:15

Insect Ark, 19:30 – 20:15
Thisquietarmy, 21:10 – 22:00




Tivoli-Vredenburg Grote Zaal
Destroyer, 19:30 – 20:30
T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou, 21:30 – 22:30
Kamasi Washington, 23:30 – 01:00

In the western Canadian super-group The New Pornographers (QRO live review), Dan Bejar (QRO photos at a festival) has been called ‘the George Harrison’, thanks to his stripped, skilled alt-folk work in his own outfit, Destroyer (QRO photos in Europe), most recently with this year’s Poison Season, the follow-up to 2011 full-length Kaputt (QRO review).  He returns to Le Guess Who? (QRO photos at LGW? ’12).

Sunn O)))Tivoli-Vredenburg Ronda
Sunn O)))
Phurpa, 18:40 – 19:30
Magma, 20:30 – 21:45
Sunn O))), 22:45 – 00:00
Adrian Sherwood at the Controls: ’79 – ’84 Classics (DJ set), 00:30 – 01:15
Adrian Sherwood at the Controls featuring Disappears, 01:30 – 02:20
Adrian Sherwood at the Controls: All New Selection, 02:45 – 03:30

In a bill competed by Russian dirgeful savants Phurpa, radical prog-rockers Magma and different sets by Adrian Sherwood, Sunn O))) are the cornerstone of the night. As it happens with Friday’s APTBS (see above) or Sunday’s Deerhunter (see below), both in their respective fields, it is difficult to write about Sunn O))). The best thing is to leave your prejudices at home and immerse yourself in the sound of the darkness.

Tivoli-Vredenburg Hertz
Sunn O)))
Ringo DeathstarrCharlemagne Palestine, 19:30 – 20:30
Keiji Haino, 21:40 – 22:40

Tivoli-Vredenburg Pandora
Levitation Festival
The Myrrors, 19:00 – 19:35
Deradoorian, 20:00 – 20:45
Ringo Deathstarr, 21:15 – 22:00
Suuns & Jerusalem My Heart, 22:25 – 23:15
Bo Ningen, 23:45 – 00:35
Total Control, 01:10 – 02:00
Lightning Bolt, 02:30 – 03:20

Though they hail from Texas, Ringo Deathstarr (QRO spotlight on) have found more success in the U.K. (QRO live review in England), to the point of signing to a British label and even adding the ‘u’ to the title of their debut, Colour Trip (QRO review).

Bo NingenLondon-based Japanese quartet Bo Ningen (QRO photos at an Asian festival), close collaborators with Savages, has Can or Neu! as main starting points but don’t be fooled as the range of their work goes from noise, post-punk, heavy metal and chaos that sometimes makes you feel you’re at the end of a cliff about to fall (QRO photos at a festival).

Before there was the plethora of wild guitar-and-drums duos that there are today, there was Lightning Bolt (QRO photos) – a bass-and-drums duo known for guerilla-style shows who put out their seventh noise-rock LP, Fantasy Empire, this year.

Tivoli-Vredenburg Cloud Nine
Lightning BoltShabazz Palaces, 21:45 – 22:35
Islam Chips/Eek, 23:30 – 00:30
Yung Gud, 01:00 – 01:45
Heems, 02:00 – 02:45
Lotic, 03:00 – 04:00

Hip-hop collective Shabazz Palaces hail from Seattle (QRO photos at a Washington State festival) – that’s why their full-length Black Up (QRO review) was released by indie label Sub Pop, better known for starting the grunge sound from up there twenty-plus years ago.

A feast of rhythm and Egyptian keyboards, the highest venue of the Vredenburg will host the best offering from the Middle East in Islam Chips/Eek.

Shabazz PalacesTivoli-Vredenburg Plein 5
Red Light Radio Broadcasts Live, 21:00 – 04:00

Tivoli-Vredenburg The Pit
Yoshio Machida/LCDrone/Yoshio Machia & Trap & Zoid, 22:00 – 01:00

De Helling
WavvesUltimate Painting, 20:45 – 21:30
Shannon & The Clams, 21:50 – 22:30
Nots, 22:50 – 23:30
Wavves, 00:00 – 01:00
Jacuzzi Boys, 01:20 – 02:10
Meat Wave, 02:30 – 03:10

Redemption? After Wavves singer/guitarist Nathan Williams (QRO photos at a festival) had a very public breakdown, on stage at Primavera Sound Festival in 2009, the San Diego act cancelled their whole European tour. However, since then Williams got back on the road (QRO photos at a festival), recruited the backing band of the late Jay Reatard (QRO photos), put on the much-praised King of the Beach (QRO review) and 2012’s Afraid of Heights. And he’s even returned to Primavera (QRO photos at a festival) – plus he seems to have cut out imitating Pauly Shore.

From Sub Pop Records sister-label Hardly Art comes the wild rock of Jacuzzi Boys (QRO photos at a festival), who return to Le Guess Who?

Car Seat Headrest, 20:15 – 20:55
Widowspeak, 21:20 – 22:00
Saintseneca, 22:30 – 23:15
The Drones, 23:45 – 00:35
H09909, 01:10 – 01:55
Nam, 02:25 – 03:00

Brooklyn’s dream-pop Widowspeak (QRO photos at a festival) come to Le Guess Who? behind this year’s All Yours (QRO review).

Melbourne’s The Drones won the inaugural Australian Music Prize in 2005 with Wait Long by the River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By, and the garage-rock group have kept going since then. One of the least-known Australian combos yet one of the most intense.

Sunflower Bean, 21:45 – 22:30
The DronesHousewives, 23:00 – 23:40

Dawn Penn, 20:45 – 21:45

Theater Kicker Main
Fluster Nights
Trigg & Gusset, 20:00 – 20:45
Otto A. Totland, 21:15 – 22:00
Christina Vantzou, 22:30 – 23:15
Loscil, 23:50 – 00:40

If you want to take a break on electricity and the bluntness of guitars, Loscil is the best option to chill while discovering one of the best ambient artists of the last decade.

Theater Kikker Second Stage
Jessica Moss, 20:15 – 21:00
Dan Friel, 21:30 – 22:15

Dan FrielLeevwen-Bergh
The Weather Station, 19:30 – 20:15
Jennifer Castle, 20:45 – 21:30
Kodiak Deathbeads, 22:00 – 22:45

Quintet and Miriam Overlach, 20:00 – 20:30
Sleep Gunner and Frankie Vis, 21:20 – 21:50
Arvind Ganga and Buhrs & Mulder, 22:40 – 23:10
Dylan Carlson, 23:50 – 00:20
Jasper Stadhouders Poly Band, 00:30 – 01:00
Lovers & Lollypops Soundsystem, 01:00 – 02:00
Negra Branca, 02:00 – 04:00
Lovers & Lollypops Soundsystem, 02:40 – 03:30



Mikal CroninSUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd

Tivoli-Vredenburg Grote Zaal
Sunn O)))
Gave Su Akvol, 15:30 – 16:15
Okay Temiz & La Fanfare Du Belgistan, 16:50 – 17:40
Mustafa Ózkent Ve Belcika Orkestrasi, 18:30 – 19:30
Bennie Maupin, 20:30 – 21:30
Annette Peacock, 22:00 – 23:00

Tivoli-Vredenburg Ronda
The Babe Rainbow, 17:10 – 17:50
Mikal Cronin with Strings & Horns, 18:20 – 19:05
Ariel Pink, 19:35 – 20:25
The Pop Group, 20:55 – 21:45
Atlas Sound, 22:15 – 23:00
Deerhunter, 23:00 – 00:00

Ariel PinkDirect heir of the sunny pop of the sixties, Mikal Cronin (QRO photos at a festival) will have a unique opportunity to show his live credentials with the help of both a string and a horn section for a one-off live performance.

The just-past-thirty Ariel Marcus Rosenberg, or ‘Ariel Pink’ (QRO live review), helped start chillwave just recording in his bedroom, but has since recruited a band (QRO live review) and ventured out & onto the stage, with 2010’s Before Today (QRO review), 2012’s Mature Themes (QRO review), and last year’s pom pom (QRO review), and has kept it up live (QRO live review).

The Pop GroupCornerstones for most of the dancey post-punk ensembles such as PIL or Gang of Four, The Pop Group’s latest work, Citizen Zombie, the first after 35 years show they have lost none of their flair as it doesn’t matter if they are 20 or 50 years old. Most still have to learn from them (QRO photos).

No one was more prolific in 2008 than Deerhunter’s singer/guitarist Bradford Cox (QRO live review), who not only put out the well-received Microcastle (QRO review), but also included a second disc of all-original bonus material, Weird Era Cont. (QRO review) – and oh, yeah, released a solo record (as Atlas Sound – QRO live review), Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (QRO review) that beat ‘em both. And, after a hiatus & Atlas Sound’s Logos (QRO review), 2011 saw Deerhunter (QRO photos outdoors) reach even higher thanks to Halcyon Digest (QRO review) – and in 2013 they followed it up with Monomania (QRO review), a more garage-rock record – and show (QRO photos at a festival), including at festivals (QRO photos at a festival). Known for electric shows whether as the Sound (QRO live review) or with Deerhunter (QRO live review outdoors), Cox & Deerhunter (QRO photos outdoors) have been as prolific with the festivals (QRO photos at a festival). They play Le Guess Who? after last month’s release of Fading Frontier.

But before that Cox breaks out Atlas Sound, coming off of last year’s Parallax (QRO review).

DeerhunterTivoli Vredenburg Pandora
Jacco Gardner: Cabinet Curiosities
Nick Garrie, 15:00 – 15:45
Michael Rault, 16:00 – 16:40
Eerie Wanda, 17:00 – 17:40
Death and Vanilla, 18:05 – 18:45
Jacco Gardner, 19:10 – 20:00
Os Mutantes, 20:30 – 21:30
Dungen, 22:10 – 23:00
The Numero Group DJ’s, 00:00 – 02:00

From right in the Netherlands comes neo-psych keyboardist Jacco Gardner (QRO photos at a festival), whose debut single “Where You Will Go” was released in garage label Trouble in Mind Records, the same as Ty Segall (QRO album review).

While the Anglos were expanding their minds on psychedelica in the late sixties/early seventies, Brazil experienced a boom in tropicalia – and combining the two were Os Mutantes. After a hiatus lasting over two decades, the new millennium saw Os Mutantes reunite, and his the road again in 2006.

Tivoli-Vredenburg Hertz
Elie Maalouf, 13:00 – 13:45
Rami Zeidan, 14:10 – 14:55
Sahar Taha, 15:15 – 16:00

Jacco GardnerSome of the best current Lebanon folk offerings.

Tivoli-Vredenburg The Pit
Allert/OSC1899/Seht Zahn/Zeno, 13:30 – 17:00

Baba Commandant & The Mandingo Band, 18:00 – 18:50
Songhoy Blues, 19:30 – 20:30

De Helling
Sunn O))) & The Southern Lord
Big/Brave, 14:50 – 15:30
The Secret, 16:00 – 16:40
Martyrdód, 17:10 – 18:00
Goatsnake, 18:25 – 19:25
FollakzoidToday Is the Day, 19:45 – 20:45

Jack Name, 15:00 – 15:40
Kelley Stolts, 16:00 – 16:50
Föllakzoid, 17:20 – 18:20

Theater Kikker Main
The Space Lady, 15:30 – 16:15
Laura Cannell, 16:45 – 17:30
The Necks, 18:00 – 19:00



For festival website, go here: http://leguesswho.nl/