Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival is a four day long celebration of new and up- and-coming bands. More than 300 bands from 35 nations are set to bring Hamburg’s St Pauli district to life this weekend, fabulous Pigalle is flying over from London to report on the action! Ahead of the action, here are our Reeperbahn Festival ones to watch…
Image: Hannah Busing
Gigs will be played in the various clubs, dive bars and venues amidst Hamburg’s notorious red-light district. Many of the bands playing will be showcasing their music for the first time to a European audience. For the past eight years, the Reeperbahn Festival has offered new musicians including the likes of Jake Bugg, Skinny Lister, Swim Deep and PEACE, a platform to flex their talent in front of an international crowd, music journalists and industry professionals. Listening to a few sample tracks from the line up, it’s pretty staggering to believe there is such a wealth of talent out there, just waiting to be discovered! Ahead of the weekend’s fun we selected a few favourites to share, here are just a few of the bands we’re lovin so far!
Marla Blumenblatt: Marla loves the fifties. At home she has a huge shellac collection that ranges from Wanda Jackson and Caterina Valente to Frank Sinatra and various Surf and Rock’n’Roll classics. Her debut album “Immer die Boys” (“Always the boys”) brings these sounds back to life. Rock’n’Roll meets Swing, Chanson, Retro-Pop – and Marlas cheeky, suggestive lyrics. She sings of hot boys and fruity ice cream, of passionate love and a pink bathtub in a shady grove. In the show business Marla is an old hand. Her Macedonian parents raised her in Vienna, where she studied classical ballet. After a short stint as a dancer in New York Marla started working as a showgirl at the famous cabaret theatre “Crazy Horse”, in Paris as well as in Las Vegas.
Aiden Knight: So, this may not be the video that the official press channels will be sharing, it’s not slick, glossy or polished, it’s straight from YouTube and just goes to show that Aiden Knight can belt out a song even when he’s on a snowy mountain side in Canada somewhere.
Kill it Kid: Kill It Kid play what they call damn cool “Garage Brit Blues”. Heavy guitars accompany Stephanie Ward’s soulful voice and Chris Turpin’s absolutely incredible bluesy howl. Kill It Kid sound raw and unpolished, loud and boisterous. After two releases on One Little Indian they have recently signed a major deal with Warner Records and went to Los Angeles to record their third album. Sounds like they’re on the verge of hitting the big time!!
Gambles: It’s probably no coincidence that the press pictures of Gambles are reminiscent of a young Bob Dylan. It’d be pretty tough to listen to Matthew Daniel Siskin, which is the real name of this New York-based musician and not reel off names like Dylan and Leonard Cohen. If you’re anything like me and love poetic lyrics set to an acoustic then Gambles is one for you. Even though he has only been making music under this moniker for about a year, respective media like Pitchfork, Stereogum and Spin have already picked up on him. At the end of September he will release his debut album “Trust”.
Josephine: Born to a Liberian mother and a Jamaican father, Josephine grew up in Manchester. British culture has influenced her musical upbringing just as much as the West African culture. After touring with artists like Paolo Nutini and Michael Kiwanuka Josephine has recently releases her first album “Portrait“, which made Elbow singer Guy Garvey a fan. “Josephine is an old soul singer in a beautiful young girl“, too true!
Can’t wait to share more outstanding talent from the festival with you. Visit the official Reeperbahn Festival website to discover more bands: www.reeperbahnfestival.com
‘Without music, life would be a mistake’