Reeperbahn Festival 2012: Thursday Preview

Once more, Reeperbahn Festival is on the verge of flooding Hamburg with a bee’s swarm of musicians, industry delegates and music lovers for three days’ time, starting September 20th. As excited as we are, we are also quickly exhausted at the sight of a line-up comprising about 200 artists, many of them so new their debut won’t be out until the middle of next year. Where are the gems you must not miss? Luckily, to find these you don’t have to sit through hours-long listening sessions – because we did. And here is what we found: the ultimate Reeperbahn Festival preview for Thursday. (Friday’s and Saturday’s tips to follow …)

Stages marked with an asterisk (*) are accessible without a festival wristband!


17:00, Spielbudenplatz Stage East*; 18:15, Spielbudenplatz Stage West*

Songwriter folkrock from English-singing Italian who shatters clichés with a cowboy’s rawness. (recommended by Belle Brummell)


19:30, Hasenschaukel

And when you think there will never be anything great coming out of Germany … then out of nowhere comes this voice, haunting and direct, absolutely unique, impossible to withdraw from. Think The National as a more stripped-down, experimental indie version. Addictive. (recommended by Belle Brummell)


20:00, Molotow

Cheerful sywnthpop by LA duo featuring masks, triangles and beards. Grab a taste of the bygone summer and dance like you did at the last sun-kissed rave. (recommended by petepelican)


20:00, Neidklub

We stumbled upon this little piece of gold playing the daytime campsite stage at MELT! this year. Still an underground artist, Barnes combines beatboxing with church-choir-style vocals, creating, incredibly, something unique as well as irresistible. Leaves you wet-eyed and with your belief in youth and music restored. (recommended by Belle Brummell)


20:00, Angie’s Nightclub

At merely 18 he manages to sound purely British one moment and incredibly American the next. Classy folk delivered by a voice that will make itself heard. Promising with an undeniable commercial appeal – almost 30,000 facebook fans without having an album out and the fact he looks like an indie Justin Bieber make this a sure shot. (recommended by Belle Brummell)


20:45, Spielbudenplatz Stage West*

There is an unexpected band sound behind the name, sunny with afrobeat elements, but a lonely-kid-in-garage feel persists (in the best way). Possibly the next hipster darling on the rise. The glorious beard speaks for him. Second chance to see him: Friday 21:20 at Moondoo! (recommended by Belle Brummell)


20:30, Pooca

Crystal clear dreampop you want to keep listening to for hours while watching raindrops race across the window pane. (recommended by Belle Brummell)


20:30, Schmidt’s Tivoli

Reepfest has a space for radio pop’s rising stars, not a given in the German indie festival landscape. This little swedeheart presents her professionally manufactured pop with a surprisingly credible edge – almost too good to be handed over to the mainstream. Chances are she could become The Next Big Everybody’s Darling. (recommended by Belle Brummell)


23:10, Molotow Bar

Incredibly addictive Foals-style indie. Second chance to see them: Friday 21:50 at Prinzenbar! (recommended by petepelican)


23:40, Angie’s Nightclub

Grand Southern drama dragging you deep into the swamplands, swinging and grooving with irresistible vibe. It has actual soul, grabs you and doesn’t let go. Second chance to see him: Friday 21:45 at Hörsaal! (recommended by Belle Brummell)


23:45, Molotow

As convincing as they were at Greenville this year,  their dark and noisy indie rock definitely works better within a club atmosphere, which Molotow offers the perfect setting for. (recommended by petepelican)


00:00, Imperial Theater

An intriguing blend of indie rock and Austrian folklore. There is a haunting atmosphere to their songs. I don’t know what it is about Austrian bands that got me lately, but I’m totally hooked. (recommended by Belle Brummell)


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