Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum 2012 with Faun, Saltatio Mortis, Rapalje

The Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum (medieval fantasy spectacle) is a travelling medieval culture festival, that will make 24 stops all over Germany this year. Last weekend’s location was Speyer and we decided to drive there. They offer two days of medieval fun from morning till late at night. For me of course, the best part is the music!

They had over 20 bands confirmed for the various locations. Since we were there only on Saturday afternoon, we got to see Rapalje, Saltatio Mortis and Faun.

In Speyer, the Spectaculum takes place in the park behind the cathedral, which you can see on the far right in the picture above. Here’s Rapalje playing on stage II right behind the cathedral wall:


They are an Irish-Folk-Band from the Netherlands and I must say they are quite entertaining! They play traditional Irish, Scottish and Dutch folk songs as well as their own material, sung in English and Dutch. All the band members are multi-instrumentalists and according to Wikipedia they even invented their own instrument – the Gitouki! They wear kilts on stage and one band member actually designed his own tartan and is now the only member of his personal Clan McTreashcaighn! 😀 Rapalje are featured first in my video below.

The second show we caught was by the amazing Saltatio Mortis, who are a German medieval rock band, signed with Napalm Records and are considered giants of the genre. They alternately publish albums with purely medieval music or medieval rock. They played four shows a day in Speyer and during their last show they recorded a new live CD! The instruments they use are the bagpipe, the shalm, the jaw’s harp, the actual harp, the didgeridoo and so on and so on! If you get a chance to see them live I recommend you take it, because their shows are so much fun, awesome music and great entertainment! I managed to capture the entire song “in taverna” and a “commercial break” on video, which you can see below. If you don’t speak German, before the first songs they explain that “in taverna” is dedicated to their innkeeper. Apparently there’s a very special relationship between a man and his innkeeper, which women can not understand… 😉

Later at night we saw Faun, a Bavarian paganfolk band that you may know, too. They play their own compositions interspersed with historical songs from various ages and regions. Accordingly, the vocals are performed in a variety of languages, including German, Latin, Greek and Scandinavian languages. They play historic instruments as well, like the Celtic harp, the Swedish nyckelharpa and the hurdy gurdy, just to name a few. You may have heard that Eluveitie’s Anna Murphy was inspired to learn how to play the hurdy gurdy by Faun. In my video you can see and hear Faun performing ‘Rosmarin’ (rosemary), a part of “Die Drei Wanderer” (the three wayfarers) and an epic tambourine solo!

I made a second video about the Spectaculum, in which you can see the groups Ars Equitandi and Fictum in a knight’s tournament.Below the video I’m sharing some more impressions from MPS 2012:

The Old Gate of the city of Speyer

The Unicorn Pharmacy – in case your unicorn is sick!

A fair maiden

Two fair maidens, yes, this is what women look like in Europe.

Bread on a stick

Pigs on a stick

Ars Equitandi


Graspop Metal Meeting 2012 Day III

The first show we attended on day 3 was by MaYaN, a band which features members of EPICA, After Forever and Sons of Seasons.

Grunter Mark Jansen, keyboardist Jack Driessen and guitarist Frank Schiphorst have gathered a couple of very talented musicians around them.

First and foremost I was once again impressed by the amazing talent of Sons of Season’s vocalist Henning Basse. The female vocal parts were taken over by the well-known and beloved Floor Jansen and the Italian opera singer Laura Macrì. The band is completed by Ariën van Weesenbeek, Isaac Delahaye and Rob van der Loo, all from EPICA.

After the show we went outside to see Sebastian Bach, but the rain was so heavy that only few people held out in front of the main stage. The unlucky singer said that he was afraid to walk up to the edge of the stage, because he feared he might be electrocuted.

So the next band we saw for real was the freshly reunited Ugly Kid Joe. They mostly played their old hits like ‘Cats in the Cradle’, ‘Neighbor’ and ‘Everything About You’, but also songs from their new EP, which sounded quite promising!

Singer Whitfield Crane’s voice has obviously gotten a bit deeper over the years, but the singing in itself was flaw- and apparently effortless. He was wearing a Motörhead shirt, which had me confused at first, but it turned out that Phil Campbell would make a guest appearance later on!

Crane tried to climb one of the tent’s pillars, as you can see above. Two security guards however were determined to prevent this and  held on to his legs so that he eventually had to give up. He was really mad, obviously, and flipped the security off about 200 times during the next song, which is partly captured in my video below. A while later he had calmed down and apologized to the security guys. He said they had “a little misunderstanding before” and shook hands with one of them.

Phil Campbell, who we later saw on the main stage with his band Motörhead!

Killswitch Engage and Machine Head were luckier than Sebastian Bach, as we could see them without getting soaked!

Killswitch Engage’s Adam Dutkiewicz wins the GMM sexy legs award, lol! What was he thinking?!

Behemoth put on an amazing stage show at Graspop! Singer/guitarist Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski was in extremely good shape considering that he has recently undergone a bone marrow transplant! As he sang, blood dripped from his mouth – which was hopefully artificial, or I’d have to withdraw my previous statement. His guitar carries the name “flying” V in full right, if you know what I mean.

Behemoth’s show included an insane amount of pyro and some burning inverted crossed, as you can see in my video.

But for me, the highlight of the day were Children of Bodom with the incredible talent of their frontman and guitarist Alexi Laiho, who partly played his solos standing on the hood of a car that was a stage prop!

The headliner of the day was Guns n’ Roses, who were scheduled to play for over two hours. They could have packed this entire time  with mega hits, but sadly what they did was play mostly songs from their new album and give every musician an eternity and a half for solos. This made it easy for us to leave at about halftime. We could hardly make it to the car as it was, because our feet hurt so much after three days of basically only standing and walking.