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Entremuralhas 2011 | FESTIVALPHOTO

Entremuralhas 2011


Since the last and first edition was a great success, the Fade in organization and the City Council of Leiria decided to continue the fest this year in the same spot: The Castle of Leiria; let me tell you a little bit about this magnificent piece of architecture: this medieval Castle was built by the first king of Portugal D. Afonso Henriques in the XII century, first it was used as a military fortress against the moors and later on as a residency of King Dinis and Saint Isabel the Queen (that’s when the Castle lost its military function). So we have a romanesque/gothic imponent structure that in some extent reflects the style of the music and the fest itself.
The stages inside the Castle were three (one more than the previous edition) that were distributed by ground levels so if you wanted to go one stage to another you had to climb up huge stone stairs to the next stage. The first stage called “Palco Corpo” near by the entrance was the biggest and it was used for the headliners of the fest. Upper we had the second stage called “Palco Alma” this stage was smaller and used for other bands (in the backside of this stage there was a projection of silent films) and the third one was “Igreja da Pena” this one was a gothic church in ruins with no ceiling being the smallest.
In the afternoon before the concerts there were ongoing confereces in the top of the castle (after passing Stage 3) with writers such as Luis Peixoto, musicians like Pedro Laginha, the film maker of the “W.S. Burroughs – A Man Within” Yony Leyser and a paintings and sculpture exhibition of Sílvia Patricio.

Day 01
Ignis Fatuus Luna (Igreja da Pena): this project consisted of 3 belly dancers with gothic, pagan and oriental influences; it was really an interesting eclectic mixture of sounds, garments and a series of performances with highlights for the sword act in which consisted of a belly dance with laying swords upon the dancer’s heads without dropping them.

Irfan (Palco Alma): The night came and so Irfan started to play, their music is influenced by the Balkans, Persia and the Middle East. I was surprised by the soft loving voice of Denitza Seraphimova which matched very well with the deep strong chants of Kalin Yordanov he was very communicative with the audience sharing and describing visual images of the inspirations of their songs. Within the best-known songs they played were “Hagia Sophia”, “Vernal Garden”, “Peregrinatio” in which Kalin said that they face their diggressions as a kind of pilgrimage and “Star of the Winds” wich was inspired in the strong winds that face the Balkans he also playfully said that we too have other kind of winds (since that night was particulary windy). Kalin said that they were fascinated with the public and with the festival, being one of the best places they’ve ever played.

Sol Invictus (Palco Alma): The brittish pioneers of the neofolk Sol Invictus started to play new songs from the last album such as “Rain in April”, “Kill all Kings” passing to some oldschool classics like “The Abattoirs of Love”. In generally their setlist was well distributed between songs from the new album “The Cruelest Month”, and some more from previous albums such as “Sol Veritas Lux”, “The Devil’s Steed” and “In the Rain”. Despite some sound problems (voice and bass too low) and ocassionally coughs from Tony Wakeford the concert developed very well with the captivating romantic and poetic atmosphere of Sol Invictus songs.

Rain in April
Kill all Kings
Abattoirs of Love
We are the Dead Men
Sawney Bean
An English Garden
Twa Corbies
Old London Weeps
Blackleg Miner
Black Easter
Believe Me
Angels Falls

Nitzer EBB (Palco Corpo): After a calm evening of relaxing acoustic and atmospheric music, Nitzer EBB came to change the vibes completely. The night of Electro/EBM had begun: the place was crowded and when vocals Bon Harris entered on Stage it was EBM non-stop till the end. This was the first time they play in Portugal so I guess Harris’s dinamic posture always running and dancing through one side of the stage to the other encouraging the audience ran like a virus among the audience who danced, waved and clapped as well. Some of the songs they played were “Getting Closer”, “Down on your Knees”, “Let your Body Learn”, and “Lightning Man”.

Day 02
The day didn’t even started and we already got the news that would ruin the fest for at least a few people: Suicide Commando, the headliners of this day had cancelled due to the vocalist health problems, so aparently his doctor prevented him from travelling. To remedy the situation, the organization asked the Portuguese “Eden Synthetic Corps” to be their substitutes for the night. The cancellation of the projection of the Movie “The Baron” by Edgar Pera in the conference hall due to technical problems was another downside.

Brainderstörm (Igreja da Pena): The place filled up really quickly, this Portuguese band is a pretty recent project so this was their first show; they share some influences of Death in June, Dead Can Dance and Peter Murphy.

Sieben (Palco Alma): With some delay Sieben started to play, Matt Howden enchanted the audience with his violine and his voice, making percussion sounds with his violine and twirling nimbly the violine’s bow. His music reminded me of the solo projects of the Cavanaugh brothers (Anathema), Matt was very easygoing and talkative with the public, you could see that he was enjoying the ambience of the festival, while promoting his merchandise he made jokes about his previous moustache on the cover of Star Wood Brick Firmament album. At the end of the concert he played a cover from Joy Division “Transmission”, everyone was thrilled singing along and asking for more and since the show lasted more than an hour Matt replied to the audience “we’ll see you’ll kill me!”, but fortunately he did live and we were fortunate to have him singing and playing for a couple more songs.

Rosa Crux (Palco Alma): The show started with one of Rosa Crux dancers kneeled on stage with a black outfit with a kind of a breathing device doing a robotic and repetitive choreography. In the stage you could see a giant set of bells in many sizes that it was probably a self-built instrument, an old piano and the most famous of all their instruments: the BAM (Batterie Acoustique Midi - a set of genuine drums played by a programmable electromagnetic process). The two female singers’ reeinforced the ritualistic atmosphere that Olivier Tarabo gaves to his music through his vast chants in Latin (which are in fact excerpts from old liturgical and esoteric books), almost as an invocation of underground divinities.
In one of their songs two “dark pilgrims” walked between the audience waving flags of Rosa Crux; during the “Omnis qui descendum” track they showed its video clip (greatly executed, you should check it out) they also showed projections of the catacombs of Paris and in the end played the famous “Danse de la Terre” in which two dancers covered in mud climb up a plataform in the middle of the audience to carry out the well-known ritual act of pouring clay powder in their bodies repeatedly almost an act of "purification”. The show lasted almost an hour and a half.

Eden Synthetic Corps (Palco Corpo): Even with the cancellation of Suicide Commando the place was crowded, there was some unnecessarily delay (in my opinion) since their equipment was already mounted and ready to go. They played songs from almost every album: “Waste of Ammo” and “Needle Catwalk” from the “Enhanced” album, “Eight Thousand of Square Feet” and “Correcting Gods Design” from their last album. They also played more than an hour but due to previous delays the concert ended pretty late.

Day 03
Narsilion (Igreja da Pena): This Spanish group had the collaboration of three guest artists: the drummer and keyboardist of Sol Invictus who joined Narsilion in the drums and one of Arcana’s female vocals. The concentration of all drums increased the festive and medievalesque essence of their music and yet the angelic voices of the two female vocals softened the drum beats reminding us of their neo-classical influences.

Arcana (Palco Alma): So it seems that not every band had a pleasant flight to Portugal as it was the case of Peter Bjärgö (vocals) whom told the audience he had a bad flight, aparently he got sick (yes, he was too!) and had a high fever, but he played sick anyway, saying that they were finally here in Portugal and that they were proud (an admirable attitude if I may say). Arcana also had guests’ artists from Narsilion with Sathorys Elenorth playing the Keyboards and Lady Nott in the Violin. They begun with “Cantar de Procella”, “Wings of Gabriel”, “Invisible Motions”, “Love Eternal” practically a little bit of everything and they also presented us with a new song of the up-coming album. Since Peter was sick the concert didn’t last any longer but they were gentle and play an unusual song of their first album called “Like Statues in the Garden of Dreaming” this song was never played live before, then the show ended shortly after with “Withdrawal”.

Diary of Dreams (Palco Corpo): This show was especially dedicated to true fans of Diary of Dreams since their setlist was composed mostly of the least known album tracks, more in the depressive goth-rock style than their previous synthpop rhythms. Nevertheless they played some of the most popular songs such as “King of Nowhere”, “Menschfeind” and “Chemicals”.

And so ended one more edition of Entremuralhas fest, the atmosphere was great, the food was delicious and the variety of the activities you could attend inside the Castle was very interesting (rich in alternative culture and arts). The variety of the bands that played was impressive an the three stages with certain characteristics and configurations gave even more life to the shows; but theres also some aspects that needed to be attended, such as the lack and the quality of portable wc’s concentrated in only one spot, the lack of food stands that made you wait at least an hour to get a pork sandwich, the fact that the drink tickets only lasted one day and not the whole fest, people were always complaining because they bought extra tickets so they could spend them during the fest but they were not accepted the next day and finally the concert delays were too big and too frequent. I’m sure the organization is already working to improve even more this new gothic festival that was missing in Portugal so that the next year they could grant us with a brand new edition.

Writer: Claudia Bernal
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