What better way could there be to kick a festival day into full swing than with intimate live performances? Which is why, on two of Reeperbahn Festival’s four days, we headed up to Hamburg super-venue Molotow’s Sky Bar to host some stripped-back daytime sets.
With their unique take on garage pop, Afterpartees offer a turbo-charged start to Day One. Forward rolling into the audience, stumbling over speakers and his own feet, frontman Niek Nellen’s vitality gives the band a rambunctious lease of life – an impressive feat for noon after a night of heavy drinking. She Drew The Gun are decidedly more subdued, but what they retain in energy is more than made up for by the magic of their poetic words and intricately woven refrains.
With people crowding outside the door straining to peek in, Izzy Bizu’s popularity is inescapable. Giving a stripped-back performance, her staggering vocal talent is given room to flourish. Signing programmes and posing for photos post-set, the impression she leaves is one that refuses to be forgotten. Soaring vocals meet rock and roll when The Entrepreneurs take to the stage. Driving riffs and towering lyrics craft a vast space to get lost in, a raging whirlpool of contagious hooks and distortion.
All the way from Australia, Holy Holy’s melodic indie pop brings Day Two to an engaging start. Bounding through a short set of new material, the band’s buoyant energy is both refreshing and engrossing. Later, tearing punk back to its roots, Shame put on a show quite unlike any other. Veering on the edge of cataclysm as frontman Charlie Steen glares menacingly into the audience, smokes a cigarette mid set, and douses the stage (and himself) with water, their larger than life character proves as thrilling as it is captivating.
Bringing the showcase to a close, Jamie Isaac’s smooth grooves echo enchantingly in the sunlit room. Fusing jazz with soul and electronic rhythms with live drum beats, he presents three songs worth of indulgence at its most enjoyable.