19 & 20 September 2015
Freizeitpark Probsting, Borken, Germany
‘In Names des Folkes’
It’s Saturday the 19th of September, very early in the afternoon. Time to jump into your medieval clothes and onto your horse and ride to the Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spektakulum (Medieval Fantasy Spectacle) in Borken, Germany. Well, to be honest, I don’t see any horses at the huge parking lot near the festival area. A lot of campers and tents and people dressed in medieval (fantasy) clothing. But everybody seems to arrive by car, and maybe you have to, there’s a lot to do today and you worn out at the end of the day.
There are little changes in the area, the camping lot has moved a little and the entrance of the parking lot moved up a little, nice adjustments to reach the area with clean boots. The stand have moved to the paved paths in the area. There are still a lot of encampments and groups of knights demonstrating their skills, but maybe it’s my imagination, there seems to be more emphasis on the bands. As said it might be my imagination, but there seemed to be more nice bands then ever. We had to plan our day, to see get the most out of it.
So, we started with Versengold first, because we wanted to see the only gig of Omnia this evening, we had to miss their evening-concert. This means you won’t get all their greatest songs, you have to miss ‘Ich und ein Fass voller Wein’ for instance, which will be one of the songs on their set-list of their evening show, but there’s a lot of other nice stuff, ‘In Names des Folkes’ and ‘Auf die Ebbe’. A lot of fans have come out to see them, and despite of the heavy rain a lot of people are dancing barefoot. They give away a nice show, now the band is expanded and has no less then 6 members, they can play the slightly heavier songs as well, something which is highly appreciated. Versengold has become one of the finest bands in their genre over the years, with great songs and a very nice Medieval folk sound.
Saltatio Mortis I
After we’ve used our little spare time visit the stands in this area, we get to see Saltatio Mortis on the same stage as Versengold. Saltatio Mortis, one of the 4 big Medieval Rockbands is one of the signature-bands of this festival. An hour of humor, bagpipes, drums and more bagpipes. When you like the medieval sound of bagpipes, you simply must see Saltatio Mortis in a medieval show. Remarkable: we don’t get any song of their new album Zeitgeist. But maybe they will save this for their evening show.
Unable to keep your legs still for one minute during their show, our plan to skip a song or two at the end of the shows, fizzles into thin air.
The Dolmen I
Not able to move you feet off the field with Saltatio Mortis towards the stage near the main entrance, causes we miss a few songs of The Dolmen. But I’m not going to regret this, because The Dolmen disappoint me a bit in this first show. It looked to me the alcohol had flow a bit too much previous to the show, some members seem to suffer from this. Besides this their seemed to be some issues between some band-members causing this show to be a bit disappointing.
The sign-board of the Scottish Duncarron project is the band Saor Patrol. With their banging percussion they draw lots of people to this stage. The nice sound of the bagpipe, accompanied by subtle guitar*work does the rest. Stand still with this one. You simply can’t! The percussion is grabbing you and you simply can’t escape and have to pay them attention. Just as the Duncarron project needs your attention and help. These people are building an ancient village in Scotland, check it out!
Mr. Hurley & die Pulveraffen
After buying a few bottles of mead for the winter-evenings at home when we have to miss out on these nice festival-nights, we’re moving to see the last few songs of Mr. Hurley & die Pulveraffen. For the Pirate-music fans is this a band to look out for. They seemed to have become very popular in Germany, because hundreds of fans are singing their songs along. A bit of a shame we could only watch the last songs of their performance, they are surely worth a lot more of attention.
The Dolmen II
While Omnia needs an hour to prepare the stage for their gig, we go to watch The Dolmen for the second time. This set seems to be a bit better. But this show becomes really nice when they play ‘Witches Woe’, a song in which they can really freak out, but this time Saor Patrol’s Steve joins in and together with Josh they bring this song to great heights with magnificent guitar-work, as it’s seldom heard at the MPS. Although they should have closed it up after about 15 minutes, this was a really great performance.
Then it’s time for another very popular band at the MPS. A lot of Germans and quite some Dutch people join the area at the third stage at this spectacle. A concert to remember, Omnia played lots of older stuff, that means, not to many song of their latest album, which has a slightly change of style. Adding a guitarist again a while ago was already nice, but now Satria seemed to have become a full member of the band. Not only did he get the opportunity to play a magnificent solo, he has become a full part of their performance as well. A great show, which would please all the fans of these Dutch pagans to the max.
Saltatio Mortis II
We had to walk quickly on the forest-path to the other stage, because Saltatio Mortis started at 22.00, the same time Omnia ended. We had to miss out on the first songs, but what was worse, there were a few thousand people between us and the stage. SaMO never lets you down, playing a very tight show, in which the minstrels try to get their colleagues out of their role with a lot of jokes. This causes the show to be a swirling one, with a lot of action, nice dances and fun on stage. The, sometimes up to 4 bagpipes, work your spine. The drums get your tired legs moving and this is simply FUN, well that’s an understatement, I’ll try is again
Just feel the warmth coming of the stage, and not only in songs like Promotheus with nice fireworks, these sympathetic musicians warm you up like a good bottle of mead. The only thing we had to miss were songs of their new album ‘Zirkus Zeitgeist’, they kept them for their tour later this year. Too, bad, this is a great album and I would have liked to hear at least a song or two of this magnificent piece of work.
At the end of this day, you can only draw one conclusion: We’ll be back next year!