Over the last weeks Austria was haunted by heat and drought, but just in time for the Sauzipf Rocks festival in beautiful Döbriach in Carinthia, the weather decided it is time for some rain. Good, because a festival without rain is like a hangover without fast food. It´s really not that great but it belongs to it to make the experience complete and sometime it even can be simply awesome.
Day 1 Wildhunt and Unavoidable had the thankless task to be the opening acts of this years´ festival. Thankless because most people (as well as the author of this article) were still arriving or had to build up the tents at the camping area instead of rocking in front of the stage.
More photos here! However, with DxBxSx (or Drive By Shooting) from Berlin it finally could start, and with their Punk mixed with some Stoner Rock they had exactly the right kind of music to do so.
Everyone who still not dared to go rocking in front of the stage was latest convinced when Circle (who will be known in future by the name Falcon) from Finland started playing.
More photos here! Their extremely witty Experimental Rock and their - even for someone who does speak a bit Finnish - absolutely incomprehensible lyrics had the term “Dadaism Rock” pop up in my mind. It was just ingenious and a definite highlight on a festival which was anyway rich in highlights. Beyond that, the photographers were quite thankful for the band´s constant posing (see photo gallery).
More photos here! Everyone who wanted to continue to shake his or her ass could stay exactly where they were because Peter Pan Speedrock was coming next. The band name of the Dutchmen says it all and holding still was impossible. Even the occasionally heavy rain could not lessen the mood a bit and was even an welcome cool-off.
More photos here! It continued doomy with Our Survival Depends On Us from Austria. Unfortunately this extreme change in mood was difficult for some to follow. A pity since, if you could get into it, you were rewarded with good Progressive Doom.
More photos here! However, everybody who was in a lighter mood could come back to the Finnish Girls Patsy Walkers who played entertaining Horror Punk and were the last Band of the Day. Usually the last Band plays at a bonfire but because of this years drought and with that the danger of fire it had to be canceled. This affected also the Campers who were encouraged to not make any fires, which means all the barbecues had to stay cold this year.
Day 2 As an old Sauzipf tradition, the program of the second day does not start musically but with the Hogeye-spitting respectively Hogeye-eating Contest (“Sau” means hog in german, so you could say they stay true to their name). Competitors as well as the audience had their fun even though always the same guy wins in the end – the now four times champion called “4-times hog boy”.
More photos here! Everyone who got apatite from the delicious view could get good food from the grill or the “Happy Hog” which offered, as the name may suggest, vegetarian food, before Dave & the Pussies would open the musical program of the day.
More photos here! The Austrians may have looked a bit like the new Daft Punk album sounds, but with entertaining Surf Rock they managed to wake up astonishingly many people. The many calls for an encore on such an early hour spoke for themselves.
More photos here! But eventually the Stage had to be free for Punk from the German Band ContraReal which were followed by
More photos here! Nightstalker from Greece. The time may have been far to early for a Band with such a name respectively for Stoner Rock, but nevertheless they rocked the stage you wouldn´t believe.
Latest by now everyone was awake and to get sure that everyone stays awake, the Austrians Disastrous Murmur were happy to do so with their old-school Death Metal.
More photos here! Sleeping was indeed impossible, because the mixing focused way too much on the bass, which is difficult to understand, since usually there is no reason to complain about the sound on Sauzipf Rocks.
More photos here! Everything was better again when Stille Volk entered the stage, since their Neo Pagan Folk would not have been anyway the right music for overtuned bass. The French band and their music had an unique selling point on this festival and used it the second time (after 2008) to drive the crowd crazy which, after the show, pleaded for more like with no other band. A lucky coincidence was that the sound system malfunctioned once exactly in the right moment and the audience took over the singing part.
More photos here! Not only Folk but also Industrial Metal is one of the less usual genres on the Sauzipf Rocks, but also for the French Treponem Pal this fact and that the vocalist had to perform with crutches was no barrier to entertain the audience on the highest level.
More photos here! As a kind of at least trying to be a responsible journalist, I take notes during the festival, but after the ingenious show of the Austrians Kadavar all I managed to write down was “wicked, what more?” With these words really everything is said which needs to be said. A small addition is however possible. Also during this gig the sound system malfunctioned for one short moment.
More photos here! The original plan was that the next act would be Toner Low, but because of the danger of fire they let the Italians Hangee V go first, who where supposed to play at the bonfire. Their entertaining Mexican Rock would have been indeed a perfect closure. but they also did well on the stage at this time.
More photos here! Toner Low was then really the last band of the festival and even if it was not planned like this, the Dutchmen have done the job very well with a mixture of Stoner Rock and a bit of Doom and brought the festival to a closure.
Though they had a few technical problems, this year the Sauzipf Rocks was once again a great festival, due to the excellent selection of bands, the fair prices and the relaxed atmosphere, and it proved why it has its legendary reputation among fans.
More pictures by Michael Stadler you can find here.