Review Le Guess Who?

Once again, Le Guess Who? celebrated the diverse, emerging music genres from around the world.

The highlights this year seem to be too many to mention. Indeed the whole festival was a highlight, showcasing music as it is meant to be played, in venues that are meant to be visited and sounding like heaven on earth..

The legend that is Lonnie Holley performed his opening show in Grote Zaal and was legendary! His trio filled the grand hall with gorgeous, echoing sound.

Vera Sola’s followed and her gothic Americana held the room’s attention. SASAMI  played a mind blowing indie rock set at EKKO, and has clearly moved on from her time in Cherry.

Friday night in Tivoli began with serpentwithfeet’s glorious melange of gospel, synth and electronic sounds and “Bless ur Heart” was the highlight.

At the Ronda room The Breeders reminded us of their glorious past as well as introducing us to their most recent record . Could it really be fifteen years ago that we first heard them?

Kojey Radical and JPEGMAFIA. Stormed through an energetic set and then the night ended with a set from New Orleans very own Katey Red.

Saturday’s features were perhaps a little quieter and we heard the best shows late in the evening. GAIKA’s rap was outstanding.

The night was completed in the beautiful main room of Grote Zaal, by the wonderful and wondrous Neneh Cherry. She performed a number of tracks from her Broken Politics album. Her voice is still as sweet as ever and she proved this to perfection when she sang “Manchild” .

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On the final day there were two highlights. Colombian producer Lucrecia Dalt performed an experimental show that made us all think about the very soul of music.

Then there was Tirzah. She stands at the front of the stage and sings. It’s as simple as that. Her album Devotion is an album that has to be heard and we were all fortunate to be there in person. If you can, get the album. You won’t be disappointed.

Le Guess Who? Achieves everything it sets out to achieve. It is different, it is eclectic. It challenges the listener. It promotes Music. No matter what the genre is, you know that the performers at Le Guess Who? are all about the music. Le Guess Who? Is Utrechts answer to Woodstock. It is fresh, unique and diverse. It is the accessibility to music that is key and this is what it must hold onto. 2019 awaits us. How will they beat this year’s programme? That is the mystery of Le guess Who? And that’s to be endlessly praised.

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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