Following the success of last year’s event, the news that a second Fuzz Club Eindhoven festival would take place this year was greeted with great fanfare. As the line-up has trickled out, excitement has built and now the day is finally here expectations are high. Huge queues are outside the Effenaar as the doors open for the first time and keen fans waste no time snapping up the souvenir 3 vinyl compilation of the festivals acts.
Austin vie Gothenburg duo Routine Death have the honour of opening proceedings and they have brought a full and with them for the occasion. They caused quite a stir last year with the release of their debut LP Parallel Universes and so their inclusion on the bill was a draw. Their set is made of songs from the album and highlights come in the form of ‘Charm Tooth’ with its ethereal vocals and fuzzy guitar and title track ‘Parallel Universe’ with its complex layering. With incredible visuals provided by Innerstrings, this is a perfect start to what is set to be a great day.
Tuscon’s The Myrrors have become one of the most well-known names in the psychedelic circuit and so despite some raised eyebrows at the time of their set, the main room quickly fills with eager viewers. Highlights from the mesmerising set that leaves jaws dropping include ‘Tea House Music’ from 2017’s Hasta la Victoria, ‘The Blood That Runs the Border’ from 2018’s Borderlands and ‘Liberty is in the Streets’ from 2016’s Entranced Earth. Being right at the front for this set allows a full sensory experience with the stunning visuals accentuating the music. Coming so early on, this will take some beating.
Medicine Boy are a painfully beautiful duo who are joined on this tour by a drummer, adding to the intensity of their live performance. The dream pop outfit originally form South Africa but now based in Berlin perform mostly new tracks which have a bit more depth and intensity than their 2018 release Lower, making their performance all the more captivating. This type of music isn’t very everyone but the packed room is testament to their appeal.
Los Angeles’ The Warlocks are somewhat veterans on the scene, a claim that not many can make. Their endurance is due to their universal appeal and the nine studio albums they have under their belt has kept them firmly in the fray. Their set spans their career and includes hits such as ‘Shake the Dope Out’ from 2002’s Phoenix, ‘Caveman Rock’ from 2010’s Rise and Fall, EP and Rarities, a new one in the form of ‘Mean Machine’ from latest release Mean Machine Music and ‘Zombie Like Lovers’ from 2007’s Heavy Deavy Skull Lover. The whole set has the crowd mesmerised and they sure know how to put on a show; one of the many reasons why they have been at the top for so long.
The Underground Youth need no introduction, being associated with Fuzz Club for many years and another mainstay in the scene. Opening with ‘Sins’ from their latest LP Montage Images of Lust & Fear instantly sets the scene for their captivating, edgy post punk. ‘Morning Sun’ from Sadovaya is always a favourite when played live, today being no exception and ‘The Outsider’ from 2017’s What Kind of Dystopian Hellhole Is This? is also well received. Ending with ‘Mademoiselle’ and ‘The Death of the Author’ creates a juxtaposition of light with dark. Once again TUY deliver a top quality, mesmerising performance that leaves the audience breathless.
Rotterdam’s Iguana Death Cult were an unknown to me prior to the festival but quickly became a most see with their infectious riffs and energy. They play tracks from 2017 album The First Stirrings of Hideous Insect Life that see the crowd dancing along enthusiastically. For those who don’t know them, they constitute a cross between Thee Oh Sees and King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard but somehow don’t really sound like either. Their energy permeates the room and listening to the crowd afterwards, they have gone down very well and gathered an army of new fans.
London’s The Oscillation are another name that has been around for a number of years and they have rightfully earned their spot on festival billings, consistently putting out quality releases. The last two albums, Wasted Space and U.E.F. were both put out on Fuzz Club and they have become strongly associated with the label; a match made in harmony. Their set tonight is off the usual high standard and 2011’s ‘Telepathic Birdman’ is an instant hit with its hypnotic bass groove and dancey countenance. Other highlights include ‘Lonely People’ from 2016’s Monographic and ‘Drop’ with its electronic intensity. Another stunning performance from a stunning band. Such a shame that some idiot decided to hack and delete their social media the day after the show, losing 10 years of acquired memories.
Milan’s The Gluts are by far the loudest band on the billing, a crown they will claim with both hands and lashings of reverb. With three LPs under their belt, the last two released on Fuzz Club, they are rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with, with a reputation for explosive live shows. Highlights come from ‘True Rose’ taken from latest album Dengue Fever Hypnotic Trip with its hypnotic motorik beat and probing bass line. ‘That’s Me’ from Estasi is dedicated to David Gali who’s tragic passing earlier this year sent shockwaves through the psych community, it’s a touching tribute and the audience bows their head in collective respect. As the set draws to a conclusion, frontman Nicolò jumps into the crowd and chaos takes over with fans wasting no time in getting involved. One very noisy set and one broken Fender later, they leave the stage to rapturous applause from the sweaty and sated crammed to capacity room.
Due to needing a break from the musical intensity, I only manage to catch the end of The Telescopes set, but needless to say it’s very impressive. Formed in 1987 by Stephen Lawrie, the now notorious band have gone through many changes and this year sees the 30 year anniversary of the release of their debut LP Taste. The intense performance has captivated the audience and more than one jaw is agape as they gaze on.
Concluding the evening to much excitement are Brazil’s finest shoegaze offering Firefriend. After a previously cancelled tour due to visa issues, they have kept European audiences waiting to see them live and so this appearance is much anticipated. Bathed in psychedelic colour of every variety with their logo sitting proud behind them, the trio more than hold their own on this bill of giants and produce a set that leaves everyone aghast. With a set list that spans their enviable back catalogue, the fuzzy guitars and rhythmic beats create an intoxicating mix which takes hold, ensuring that no-one dare leave despite the late hour.
For a day that’s consisted of over 11 hours of live music, it’s passed remarkably quickly. It’s a good job there is day 2 to look forward to tomorrow, as I’m definitely left wanting more after such an incredible day.