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Preview: Incubate festival – Tilburg

The Incubate festival (formerly ZXWX, a name that was indeed inspired by the SXSW festival) is one of the most interesting and diverse festivals in the Netherlands. The festival is held from 10 – 16 september in different big, smaller and small venues and bars in Tilburg, which is a medium sized city the southwest of Holland (hence the initial name). Where a lot of festivals claim to be open minded and broad in their programming they never really live up to that. Not Incubate, because where can you see Yann Tiersen (ao. from the Amelie soundtrack) or Fields of the Nephilim play the same stage as Napalm Death or Conan? Exactly. Nowhere.

Despite having a very diverse line up i’ve only been to Incubate once, which was in 2010 when Black Mountain performed in the open air theatre, but this year i’m planning on going two days. With the line-up during these two days it feels like a bit of a mini Roadburn festival for me.

The friday for me isn’t a real Incubate day. In an event called Incubeard ao. Mars Red Sky from France and Yama from the Netherlands play. We are not sure yet if we are going to buy a ticket for the regular festival, i’m quite curious about Darsombra (ex Meatjack), Stinking Lazaveta, Nekromantheon and Ramesses and I would really like to go check out the Fields of the Nephilim playing the regular Incubate festival but my guess is most of them will play the same timeslot as Mars Red Sky and Yama.

Saturday is a promising day and a busy one (kinda like last years Roadburn were on some days we barely had time to eat because of the amount of amazing bands playing). The day starts of rather laidback with Cheek Mountain Thief, a band that’s best comparable with stuff like Arcade Fire and something i really dig lately.

Next up are Ortega, a Dutch band along the lines of Isis and Cult of Luna and also a band i’m looking forward seeing as their 1634 album regularly finds my playlist.

Then there is a clash between two bands that sound promising. First up there is Slomatics, who i only heard from their split with Conan but sound promising enough to check out.

They clash with H A R K, the new band from former Taint frontman Jimbob Isaac. I’m not sure what the plan is going to be but i can see ourselves checking out Slomatics first and then head over to the next venue to see H A R K. Mainly because next up in that same venue is Ides of Gemini, a band whose albums The Disruption Writ and Constantinople are in my playlist a lot these past months. Ides of Gemini play some sort of psychedelic doom, and they have Sera Timms on vocals, who you might know from Black Math Horseman. Really forward looking to this one.

After Ides of Gemini it’s time to get back to the 013 venue to check out Yann Tiersen and Mogwai in the mainhall. I have no idea what to expect from either of them, i never was a big Mogwai fan but their older albums are quite alright and the time i saw them live (somewhere in 2004 in Paradiso Amsterdam) they were pretty great, and loud. Yann Tiersen is something that might be rather cool to see because of the many great soundtracks he did.

In between those two acts it’s Conan playing. Unfortunately we couldn’t get in the hall they played when they played Roadburn earlier this year, but this time they play the bigger hall so hopefully we can get to see them because i really like their caveman doom!


This is just a fraction of what’s playing the days i plan on going, and while bands like Vile, Wolvon, Tu Fawning, Monolith or Desolated are probably worth checking out as well but this is all that can be fitted in one day. The rest of the festival is more than worthwhile to check out as well with bands like Laibach, Napalm Death, Japandroids, Nils Frahm, The Men and Gnod to name but a few.

I hope to be able to do a review of the gigs, stay tuned!


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