Immergut - Photo by Robert Page

Photo by Robert Page

Germany at the end of May. The whole country seems to be drowning. The whole country? No. A small community remains to resist. This is how the story of this year’s IMMERGUT-Festival could be written but we don’t want the weather to rule over the music, don’t we? And the music was what we came for at the last weekend in Neustrelitz. Nonetheless: to be welcomed by warm sunrays rather than by cold grey wet is always preferred. “Jedem Ort sein Wesen” (“Every place its nature”) was the slogan for this year’s edition of the cosy Indie-festival north of Berlin and indeed, it set itself apart once again. A decent line-up with some of our favorites and lots of exciting new acts reassured everyone that there will always be a place for the IMMERGUT in our hearts and festival-calenders.

As soon as we arrived, our beloved German songwriter HONIG and his charming backing band set the frame for this weekend full of peace and relaxed atmosphere with their melancholic folk-pop. But, as there’s always some need for cheerfulness, right after this chilled entry, the very promising ROYAL CANOE got everyone in the right mood to celebrate a good time with their catchy complexity. Really a bunch of nice Canadian guys with an impressive sound from which we should hear a lot more in the next time. Now that everyone got warmed up, it was the right time for WHEN SAINTS GO MACHINE to enter the stage with their big-gestured synthie-pop – right place and right time for them indeed! Meanwhile, everyone was invited for a little alternation which was performed by British Shoegaze/Post-Punk-newcomers TOY who did their best in destroying some eardrums – the charming way of course; not that varying but quite entertaining nonetheless. Needless to say though, that they were no competitors for our Danish friends from EFTERKLANG who once again cast their spell on wide parts of the audience. It seems that these guys never fail to amaze with their performance full of atmospheric beauty.

While TEAM ME succesfully prepared the tent for the big nightly dj-party with their tunes, big parts of the attendants already hoped for JENS LEKMAN to finally arrive: and he did. It took him some time to get used to the big stage, some sound-difficulties and the quite reserved audience but maybe it was the giant dolphin he ordered from the audience, that finally convinced him. What a pleasant, heart-warming appearance of the Swedish prince charming and the perfect end to a first festival day – not, that that would mean that anyone got to sleep. German house artist CHRISTIAN LÖFFLER seemed a bit surprised by the giant and thankful crowd in front of his small stage but his soft and gentle tunes were just the right thing for the nighttime. And for those who didn’t want to go to sleep at this point either, the disco-team offered the chance for chanting an everlasting “up all night to get lucky”. Day 1: suceed!

Immergut - Photo by Sebastian Gottschalk

Photo by Sebastian Gottschalk

IMMERGUT FESTIVAL: One of Germany’s finest

That the festival crowd had to endure some more showers from above at the second day, wasn’t that essential for everyone’s mood. Especially because one of the first acts already was one we instantly fell in love with. FENSTER‘s reduced but captivating dream-pop served as the excellent music to slowly get in the right mood again – definitely a band one should keep an eye on. While YOUNG DREAMS did their best to warm-up the main stage a little, it was far more impressive to see the literally “young” XUL ZOLAR shake of their nervousness with ease during their gig in the tent. Impressive skills from the young Germans who did a great job later on in the backstage as well – but that’s another story. Now, as the dreaminess of the hangover started to dissapear, it was time for some rock-fun again. Brooklyn’s fuzzy newcomers BEACH FOSSILS literally got physical in order to establish some distortion on the blank surface of the ruling pop-bands in the line-up – if only the sound wouldn’t have been a mess once again.

The last chance to take a deep breath in then was given by British folk-rockers DRY THE RIVER – beautiful and pathetic loudness as well as some excellent sounding new material? There’s nothing more one could have hoped for. The girls loved the band, the boys loved their beards; peace, love & understanding all over the place. Fortunately, the sound at the mainstage finally found a good balance as THE VACCINES entered it. To be honest: there was little to expect from yet another British indie-rock-band. But what they did, they did with everything they had, plus: they delivered some really awesome tunes on their way. Conesequently, this might have been the first time that the crowd as a whole seemed to be really enthusiastic – good job! In the following it was time to be welcome back some old friends at the IMMERGUT. And the Scots from WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS did what they usually do best: make everyone (including themselves) sweat and yearning for some cold, golden drinks.

And those were needed indeed because what THE NOTWIST did afterwards at the main stage was nothing less but world class: the German indie-institution returned to Neustrelitz with their irressistible sense for fragile beauty and overwhelming noise and by that, definitely set the highlight of this weekend. What an appetizer for the things that are hopefully to come on a new record; better sooner than later. For those who weren’t thrashed by this already, the night remained young. With ROOSEVELT and GOLD PANDA there were still two highly entertaining and skilled electronic artists waiting, until this wonderful weekend finally came to an end. A great mixture of artists and styles, the extremely positive atmosphere and last but not least the beautiful setting of the whole environment proved the IMMERGUT to be what it is, has been and hopefully always will be: one of germany’s finest.