Reeperbahn Festival 2018 – Review

Aysha Hussain / October 1, 2018

All photo credit: Reeperbahn Festival

Another year passes and SSG Music finds itself transported once again to the heart of Hamburg and along the strip for Reeperbahn Festival. Sail with us as we delve right into this year’s festival.

Nursing early hangovers after the first night, along comes the Hangover Cruise hosted by Eventbrite and Filter Music Group. Cue a boozy fun filled affair with burritos and margaritas. Music came by way of the ever charming LUI HILL and indie electro duo Fye & Fennek whilst meandering through the port and waterways. It was truly a juxtaposed sight to behold.

Heading back to the mainland, some cinematic offerings were on the bill. Both MIA and Whitney Houston had their respective histories reflected on the silver screen. MATHANGI/MAYA/M.I.A gave an insight to this complex artist through the lens of Tamil resistance. An almost accidental South Asian pop star along the way, her work is fraught with the heaviness of diaspora and being a refugee. Whitney provided a harrowing emotional excursion into Houston’s past and career and eventual sudden death. It was certainly a sobering watch as the lump in your throat never quite goes away.

Back on Reeperbahn, an extensive line up of acts old and new awaited. Unexpected delights were strewn amongst more established acts with the likes of Jungle, Metronomy, and even Muse showing up for a secret show. However, as the weather turned, the winds changed and some cancellations did occur, rendering gaps and disappointment (Stormzy, Men I Trust). However, such feelings were swiftly dispelled with an eclectic mix of some memorable acts.

Female-fronted Amyl and the Sniffers packed their raw Aussie energy into their set in Molotow. The 70s-punk inspired quartet are thrilling both in sound and vision, striking up a raucous show. Hamburg-based Ilgen-Nur brought her breezy nonchalance and indie-pop dream scape to Moondoo. From playing her hit ‘Cool’ to newer material seems to point to an evolved state in her musical direction. Hip hop artist Serious Klein, another one to watch certainly didn’t disappoint. Hailing from Bochum, he flitted between rapping and audience-engaging verses with ease. Finally, Altin Gün provided a hypnotic take with their blend of psychedelic Turkish pop and funk, working up a frenzy on the dance floor.

As such fun and discovery has to come to an end with a return to the real world, so must Reeperbahn Festival. So, we wave as we pull out of the port and await next year’s voyage.

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