FESTIVAL REVIEW – m4music, ZURICH – 15.03.2019

On Friday March 15th, m4music planted its roots at Schiffbau in Zurich for two days of conferences, showcases, concerts and the demotape clinic.

The rainy and moody weather on Friday were not really ideal for the openair stage set outside the Schiffbau building but people gathered in front of it nonetheless.


The conferences

Ivo Sacchi, Fabienne Schmuki, Marc Lynn, Lorenz Haas, Philipp Albrecht, Markus Ganz und Andreas Hutter, von links, sprechen an der Konferenz “Zahlen, bitte!” am m4music, das Popmusikfestival des Migros-Kulturprozent, aufgenommen am Freitag, 15. Maerz 2019 im Schiffbau in Zuerich. © Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

My day started with an interesting conference on the analysis of the music market, it emerged that music is mostly downloaded and streamed, although physical supports like CDs still remain important especially in rock music, where the fans want to own CDs or vinyls of their favourite bands.

© Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

I attended another conference named Music journalism 2020, with various music journalists and an expert of the generation Z having a discussion around questions like: Does music journalism still exist? Does it need innovation? Some interesting points were raised such as the need to be more interactive in the writing itself, but this obviously sets some limits as well. A music article doesn’t have to be broken off by too many videos and pictures because the most important thing is and remains the quality of the writing itself.


The concerts

8.45pm-9.30pm, Box

Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes

© Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

Frank Carter, ginger British guy tattooed from head to toes seems a really sweet guy. That’s what emerges from the gig and it’s the message he passes on throughout it. The gig kicks off on a high note, Frank Carter directly comes down the stage and starts singing from the parterre surrounded by the audience, while his band remains on stage. The punk-rock he and his band play is loud, fast and powerful.

Incredibly charismatic, Frank Carter has the audience’s attention from beginning to end. He can’t stay still a moment and he can’t seem to stay on stage too long either. Indeed, he is either singing from the parterre, on the bar or crowdsurfing.

Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes present a new song “Heartbreak” from their upcoming album End Of Suffering due to be released on May 3rd, 2019. Singer Frank Carter introduces the song on top of the bar and asks girls who have never crowd surfed to do it in this safe place and that if some men try to touch them he will kick them out. And then he says something really touching: “I am really sorry I didn’t say this before, ten years ago. I didn’t know what a woman has to put up with everyday until I had a daughter”. The public claps and a few brave girls let themselves be carried up onto the crowd’s heads to the rhythm of the powerful riffs and rumbling drums.

© Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza
Frank Carter unterhaelt das Publikum am m4music, das Popmusikfestival des Migros-Kulturprozent, aufgenommen am Freitag, 15. Maerz 2019 im Schiffbau in Zuerich.

And of course if there are people crowdsurfing, Frank Carter wants to do exactly the same, so he asks the audience to come a little closer and during another song he crowd surfs while doing a sort of head stand all in front of the admiring eyes of the audience. Intense moments of pure rock craziness!

The band also presents a song that the singer wrote while putting his daughter Mercy Rose to sleep and he dedicates the song to her. It’s a rather slower song with powerful lyrics.

All in all an amazing and very powerful gig, hands up for them!


9.45pm-10.30pm, Moods

International Music

© Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

German trio International Music makes the audience travel from one continent to the other and back in time. Although they sing in German, their music sounds yet very international as their name suggests because of the basis employed in their music.

Their songs are patterned by loud guitars recalling sounds from the sixties or so. On stage they are fun and interactive with the audience.


11.15pm-00.15am, Moods

Larkin Poe

© Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

Larkin Poe are sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell from Atlanta, Georgia who grew up listening to blue grass and Americana. Blues runs through their veins and throughout the gig they definitely prove it. Very talented, they also present songs from their self released album Venom & Faith (2018). On stage aside the two sisters there are a drummer and a guitarist.

Larkin Poe plays a song dedicated to their blues roots “Preaching Blues” in which the lapsteel played by Megan takes the toll. The guitar riffs are constantly intertwined with the drum beats and Rebecca’s voice is backed up and sweetened by the vocals of her sister Megan. The complicity between the two sisters is evident, from an exchange of gazes to a smile.

© Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

Lead singer Rebecca Lovell says she is the loud mouth of the band and the one who writes most of the songs, using it as a cheap therapy. The lyrics are powerful and so is her round voice which at times gets high pitched. They also play a beautiful blues-rock cover of Lead Belly’s “Black Betty”, which gets the audience in a dancing and sing along mood.

Great with the audience, they manage to connect with them and make them travel to the southern land of blues. No wonder in 2014 they won the prize of “Best discovery” at Glastonbury, totally deserved!


Simona @TakeMe2aConcert


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