Preview: Reeperbahn Festival 2012

Hamburg we're coming...
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Lager louts on tour. Head on a cheap flight East and find yourself in a red light district. Hamburg's Reeperbahn is just that. But instead of strip clubs, swinger dens, and brothels, all the action takes place across the city's music venues. Disappointed? You won't be. With a line-up that boasts big name acts such as Best Coast, Graham Coxon, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Temper Trap, Speech Debelle, Max Richter, Dan Deacon, FUN., The Wedding Present, The Wave Pictures, and, The View (did someone mention strip clubs?).

Also on the bill are trendies in acts such as Charlie XCX, Crocodiles, B.L.O.T., Hauschka, Mine Tindle, Japandroids, Ren Harvieu, Toy, Tu Fawning, Chew Lips, Cold Specks, and 2:54. Looking at the list most of the artists can be split into two categories: those who gurn with an air of 'please take me seriously' counterweighted with poses so kooky they reek of desperation. But that's the general gist of these events. Sure there's going to be a lot of hungry acts looking to impress the right people. Sure there's going to be lots of delegates with meaningless job titles milling around, and there's definitely going to be a lot of people talking about how, "the next single is going to be a game changer." But it's these odd events that can prove to be the most exciting. Where bands aren't just coasting their way through day 58 of their European tour.

Added to that, the Reeperbahn is one of the most radical areas in Europe, playing home to a large society of marginalised socialists and a politicised Left. There's a gentrification program taking hold of the area and there's the atmosphere of a cultural war zone. With everyone fighting recessions, closures, eviction and extinction Hamburg and the Reeperbahn is one of the most exciting climates in terms of musicians and youth culture.

There are boat parties, Beatles tours, after-parties, and general festival fare. There's also the greatest football club in the world in F.C. St. Pauli. Hamburg we love you, we're coming.

Full information HERE.

Words by Samuel Breen

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