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Eurosonic day two, Groningen, the Netherlands

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Bethan Elfyn Bethan Elfyn | 10:51 UK time, Thursday, 21 January 2010

Daytime Eurosonic is all about the conference and talks, just like In The City in Manchester or The Great Escape in Brighton, except by the time I'd done a few interviews at the main centre, the Oosterpoort, there was only one talk worth going to... The Truth about Norwegian Black and Extreme Metal, and I chickened out of this one last minute too! I opted instead for some record shop browsing in Groningen.


By night it was all go again, finding more venues, and trying to plot my activities a bit better than the previous night. I started at Simplon where Ellie Goulding was making an appearance. Sadly due to the fairly extreme levels of hype surrounding Ellie, I was rather skeptical of what to expect to say the least.

Yet, to my surprise Ellie's performance was slick, comfortable, vocally perfect and sweet. She has a better voice than all the effects and remixes had led me to believe, it really has a lovely quality, and a strength beyond the amount of gigs and the level of performance she's probably consumed in her short career so far.

I wondered around the corner to find Ireland's answer to Sweet Baboo or Conor Oberst in Villagers (below), and upstairs from this venue, called Het Paleis College, Belgium's supposed answer to Devendra Banhart in The Bony King of Nowhere. Sadly, despite having a tender and trilling voice, the Bony King had nowhere near the stage presence and charisma of Devendra, but one to watch perhaps.

villagers_01.jpgBack to Simplon to catch Los Campesinos!. It was a forceful and formidable performance from Los Camp as always, and you can hear a few of the live tracks on my show this week, along with other highlights and interviews from Eurosonic festival.

Back from this out of town small circuit of venues to catch what turned out to be the highlight of the festival for me, the BBC-nominated Everything Everything. Like a mix between Delphic, the Futureheads, and Friendly Fires. Their songs sound impossible, their vocal gymnastics and falsetto harmonies improbable, and all with a slow building driving electro beat.

Everything Everything played in the main Grand Theatre building in the centre of Groningen, and were themselves taken aback by the response and enthusiasm of the crowd. I saw many bands over the two days in Groningen, and with Everything Everything, it was just one of those special moments, when you've witnessed a band break through to the next level. You can hear more from their live set by listening to Huw Stephens' 9pm show on BBC Radio One.

So that was the end of my first and flying visit to Eurosonic festival. Its certainly worth a visit, and being so early in the annual music calendar probably can be quite influential in setting a few festival agenda's around Europe.

For more information, and if your interested in next year's event, head to www.eurosonic-nooderslag.nl


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