Mead instead of Speed
Don’t we all love the romance of the middle-ages? No, not the dark middle-ages, not the plague, hunger, the cruelties. But the fun time of it, heroic warriors, food which is fresh, friendly music with flutes and bagpipes and drums, relaxed times around a campfire, no speed… and lots of mead.
Saturday and Sundag 16th and 17th of September it was time again for the wonderful medieval fantasy spectacle MPS (Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectatulum) in Borken, Germany.
After a week of storm and lots of rain the encampments settle in Borken again. This festival has become huge over the years and is travelling throughout whole Germany. This friendly festival is for everybody, with friendly prices for the slightly older people, so they can show their young hearts. And low prices for the young ones, so they can show they are fierce warriors and lovely princesses.
The festival is blessed with nice weather this weekend, the sun is shining on both days and there is almost no rain, just a few drops. So, nothing can hold us back to dive in.
While a large group of people from the encampment make a tour across the whole area, we start with the gig of….
Quite common with a lot of bands in Germany, two faces. Lots of bands in Germany have a rockshow and a Medieval show. This enables them to do nice rockshows and they are often present at metal-festival, but on the other hand they can show up at medieval festivals as well. We see this in other countries as well lately, in the Netherlands there is Baldrs Draumar for instance, doing metal and acoustic folk shows. These bands all have different songs for both projects, sometimes songs are re-arranged for the Medieval shows, but most of the time they use different songs for both shows.
Cultus Ferox has brought no less then 5 bagpipes and lots of percussion to entertain us. The pounding drums and revolving tunes of the bagpipes, make you move. These sounds make everybody happy, as we can see with the younger kids, who simply can’t stand still either. These guys play a tight show, with the help of 2 female dancers every now and then. I just miss two thing, which would make this complete, a appealing front-man and a singer. This would help to make this complete. The music is there, but what this can do for a band, can be seen in the other band on this stage tonight Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen.
We leave the field with the MPS-stage, and on our way out we visit some of the nice stalls, with cloths, jewelry and all kinds of food. In the midst of all these stall a nice playground for the kids, a theatre, swings with viking boats, and the funny rat-throwing. Goal of this game is to throw you rat on a rat trap to gain points.
We take a look at the medieval life at the encampment and enter the other part of the area where the folk stage is situated. There are quite a few changes made to the festival this year. There are no longer 3 stages, there are only two now, the total area has shrunk with about 33% and there is a change in the food, which is available. The food has become a bit less medieval, the inevitable German sausages had made their way to the festival, hidden in fresh bread and baked together in a nice oven. But there are baked potatoes and pulled pork as well…
There we watch the ‘show’ of The Dolmen, once again I was quite disappointed. This band has such nice songs with this nice foundation of drums and very nice bass, but they use this afternoon show, to throw 15 minutes during songs in a jamming way to us. Every song, way past the expiration time.
After this the pounding rhythms of Soar Patrol, a bit too much talk in this show, but they make up for this with their nice songs. The band proves you can make fine songs without singing and even manage to get the audience humming along, that was a new experience for me, haha.
After a bit messy but ever-so-nice gig of Rapalje, where we were treated on lots of their nice folk songs again, we pay a visit to the mead-shop with lots and lots of different kinds of mead.
And when you leave you immediately feel homesick and want to return. Fortunately there will be plenty opportunities, it’s sad to know this was the last time in Borken, but the festival will be back next year in lots of other German towns. And there will be a few wonderful Christmas-markets as well. If you weren’t here, grab your chance the next time.