All For One!
This year 20 years ago, the MPS started in Borken, Germany. Now, 20 years later, this spectacle has grown to a big event in a lot of places throughout whole Germany during the summer-season and a few events during the winter. During this weekends a large area is filled with ‘Heerlager’ (a beautiful German word meaning encampments). A a lot of places where knights and other warriors can display their skills. Juggler’s performing all kind of acts, with fire, swords etc. A large number of stalls selling jewelry, beautiful clothing, re-enactment gear, mead, etc. Of course there are a large number of bars and food stalls as well. But don’t expect to get chips or burgers somewhere. Very nice special medieval based food, like grilled meat and delicious bread filled with meat. Enough to keep you from getting hungry or thirsty and all for a good fair price.
And although this is all very nice, there’s more, because there are bands as well. The area in Borken has three stages. On two of them are bands throughout the whole day, a lot of them, like Saltatio Mortis for instance, performing throughout the whole day, alternating with another band. On the third stage are less known bands like Spiegelkeller, besides them, Rapalje, Omnia, Faun and Das Niveau where playing this day.
We were there on the saturday and on this day the festival goes on until somewhere about midnight. The whole area is lit with candles and campfires which gives it a nice atmosphere.
Events like this host a lot of artists following their dreams, performing as free spirits and earning their small income, playing in bands of as streetartists. Unfortunatelly a week earlier during one of his shows Jens, better known as fakir Abraxaz, who’s also a bandmember of Heidenlaerm, and performing at the MPS regularly was badly injured during his act and has to miss a hand. The MPS has initiated an action to raise a lot of money for this fantastic guy, who won’t be able to perform his shows anymore. At the MPS you can put your money in several boxes.
The Rapalje fanclub has opened their bank-account for this fundraising and this has become a sort of subtheme of this weekend’s event. All bands are making a plea for this good cause.
Did tree gigs during the day and a long concert in the evening. You should see them once when you’re able and personally I think they’re at their best during the medieval concerts. They rock the place with their beautiful, sometimes up to no less then 4!, bagpipes. Playing songs from their ‘Manufactum’ albums like Promotheus, Eulenspiegel, In Taberna and lots more, it’s simple not possible to stand still with these guys. During the days the gigs are a lot shorter, but a big party everytime. In the evening they add nice lights and some flames to it. Which is of course very spectacular in a song like Ich Bring euch feuer.
But the band can keep it small as well. Lasterbalk really gets angry referring to some comments on the internet, in which people doubt the fundraising fur fakir Abraxas, ‘because the artist have enough money’. He ask everybody to spend some money. And they play a song for Jens ‘Nichts bleibt mir’ (Nothing remains), Alea plays acoustic guitar in this one and they ask everyone in the audience to record it and post it later on as a tribute to Abraxas. During the song Alea fights a real struggle and breaks when we tries to explain afterward what happened with him when he looked at his hands during the song and realized what it meant when you would miss a hand. Very impressive moment, in which we can only hope everyone spends a dime on this.
Unfortunately we couldn’t watch their whole show, because we liked to see a little piece of Faun and…
Spiegelkeller was performing on the ‘newcomer’ stage. Unfortunately they faced some technical problems with for instance the guitar. This was obviously taking some of the attention of the musicians and caused a little frustration, which could be heard as well some times. What I really missed was the voice of their female singer, this is something which is such an important element of their sound it can’t be left out. But for one or another reason she wasn’t there this evening and the violin and other instruments can’t easily straighten that out.
They played a few nice songs until I couldn’t stay any longer and had to leave. Hopefully I catch them the next time with their singer.
All in all a very nice day again at this spectacle. And I can say: like always. Although the weather wasn’t what you really want. There wasn’t much rain during the day. And they had done everything possible to prevent as much as they could of becoming muddy. MPS: Nice job once again.