Crescendo Festival in France 2016

By Stuart Smith
IO-Earth hit the stage next and we’d already had a good chat with their leader and guitarist Dave Cureton and a beer with their engineer in the nearby Skooby Doo bar. The band is from the UK and have three studio and a live album to their name. This is neo-prog with hints of art rock, ambient and electro, but at the same time Dave Cureton brings a healthy dose of ROCK to the proceedings with Linda Odinsen adding fabulously ethereal vocals to the mix that have a touch of gothiness about them. Clearly these are a headlining act and have a power and presence that sets them apart from what has gone before. Cureton is a bit of a demon on the guitar and isn’t shy of coming to the front of the stage for the obligatory “guitar god” pose. He really is a blisteringly good guitarist and tonight the music verges on the edge of melodic metal.
The band gel brilliantly and clearly play off each other to bring out the best in each. Christian Nokes on bass and Christian Jeromes on drums adding a rock solid foundation on which the rest of the band build and special mention should also go to the violin of Jez King … I’m a sucker for a bit of violin in rock music.
And so Cresccendo draws the curtain for another year. It still amazes me how a festival of this scope and with such a wide variety of musical styles from all over the world manages to remain free, but then behind the scenes there is a whole load of organisation from the volunteers that make this happen. The music this year, or what we saw of it, was certainly progressive in the main, but the term prog rock is a very broad church and we’ve been treated to almost metal, Kraut rock, space rock and folk amongst what many would consider to be the more conventional prog rock sound. The site was cleared within a couple of days, leaving no litter and barely a sign that there’d been a festival at all.
If you find yourself in the area, or if you just love great music, then you really owe it to yourself to get down to this remarkable event. I can’t think of a better setting for it. The surroundings are beautiful, there’s plenty to do during the day for families, there’s good eats to be had and then there’s the legendary Pink Fluid. Thanks to all the people who put so much effort into making this happen and thanks to all the bands who took part…even if we didn’t manage to catch you all.