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Haldern Pop Festival / Louder Than War

Ploughing up this Garden of Good Intentions, like some industrial digger carving through a site of special scientific interest, were Trupa Trupa. The four piece rock band from Gdansk have a formidable new record in the offing, and we got the odd number: poppier and more direct in approach.

Not that that point would have been noticed by a numbed crowd on Friday night. Sharp and acerbic, and possessing a great melancholy that they can never shake off despite their courteousness, Trupa Trupa played their debut German show on the market square as if it was the signal for Ragnarok to be unleashed. Crushing electronics, haunting, half poems-cum-incantations and a shuddering machine-pressed beat brooked no defeat. Taken as a whole their music has an internal logic that, when unlocked by the listener, is impossible to ignore. And this gig was the amplification of that logic made flesh. Some left, maybe unable to square the noise and the blinding lights from the stage as well as this new strange band from Poland with their handmade instruments and gnostic worldviews. Was this entertainment? Others sat utterly entranced by Trupa Trupa’s metal machine music. A classic Haldern moment.

Richard Foster,