Daniel Melia

11:13 7th January 2008


Later this week Gigwise will make what is now becoming something of an annual pilgrimage to the town of Groningen in Northern Holland. The reason? The Eurosonic/ Nooderslag weekend. What started out in 1986 as a small “battle” for bands from Holland and Belgium has now become one of Europe’s most important musical gatherings which sees 180 acts from across the continent converge on the small town at the height of winter. Gigwise will be bringing you news and reviews from the event which begins on Thursday (January 10) but before then we’re here to give you a quick preview of what you can expect from the three days.

When we first visited two years ago Gigwise hailed the whole event was a real eye-opener for the UK music scene which often has much disdain for the musical talents of its European cousins. 2008 looks set to be no different with acts from as far a field as Lithuania and Moldova gracing the stages of Groningen alongside the big name draws from across the channel. Not only will there be new acts hoping to get spotted but also some of the last twelve month’s biggest artists including the likes of Robyn, Calvin Harris, Reverend And The Makers and The Futureheads all lined up to perform.

Rather than trawling through the whole line up we thought we’d provide you with the five bands we’re most looking forward to seeing.

Aux RausSaturday @ Oosterpoort

The Dutch duo are notorious for their legendary live shows which often descend into mayhem and chaos. They’re like the gabber/punk equivalent of Lightening Bolt with a bit of Best Fwends thrown in for good measure so expect your ears to bleed and maybe some other body parts too.

AlphabeatThursday @ Grand Theatre

While they may not be to everyone’s taste there is no doubt that Danes Alphabeat are building up some momentum and look set to be one of the break through acts of 2008. Boy-Girl vocals and synths place them in Scissor Sisters territory but with a hint of the B-52s, and one thing you can’t deny is that their music is a whole lot of fun!

Those Dancing DaysThursday @ Huis Maas

The all girl Swedish quintet are sublime purveyors of throwaway synth-pop fused with Hammond led Northern Soul. Just don’t ingest too many sugary drinks before you see them because the result may be some kind glucose induced musical come.

The Bloody BeetrootsFriday @ Simplon

Whereas the Parisians get all the plaudits for their seemingly endless reign over the European electro scene the Italians have quite a few exciting acts emerging too, none more so than The Bloody Beetroots. They’ve already remixed the likes of Goose and Timbaland plus have supports slots for Justice in their locker.

Boys In A BandFriday @ Shadrak

Gigwise can’t think of another band from the Faeroe Islands but quite frankly Boys In A Band sound more like they come from the US with a touch of Scandinavian pop nouse. If you’re into the likes of Shout Out Louds, Jakobinarina or Love Is All then this is the band for you. Check out the track ‘Before The Flood’ for proof.

To check out the full Noorderslag/Eurosonic line up go HERE