Singing In The Rain

There was such a downpour in the afternoon that Irish act The Revs strummed “Singing In The Rain” during its line check, which lifted the spirits of the 7,000 crowd at Germany’s Haldern Pop Festival.

The weather made no difference to the attendance as one of Europe’s most highly regarded niche festivals – with an enviable record for spotting upcoming talent – had sold out more than five months in advance.

According to promoter Stefan Reichmann, it was the most rain that had fallen in such a short time throughout the event’s 23-year history. Fire crews from five nearby stations were pumping out the backstage lake as the festival continued.

Mercifully, the rain stayed away from picturesque oak tree-laden meadows on the banks of the lower Rhine at Rees-Haldern when the outdoor stage was in use.

The music critic from Jetzt magazine, the youth section of the daily regional Sueddeutche Zeitung, highlighted Haldern’s reputation for consistently picking out the best of emerging U.K. talent and singled out Guillemots, The Revs and Paolo Nutini as the acts to watch from this year’s bill.

When Reichmann, who has an uncanny knack for picking what turns out to be the most popular bands from the European Talent Exchange Programme in Holland each January, was asked for his personal favorites, he reeled off a list that was pretty much the same as the entire festival lineup.

Remarkably, for such a small but very influential event, this year’s August 3-5 bill included Ed Harcourt, James Dean Bradfield, Kante, Lambchop, Mogwai, Morning Runner, Mystery Jets, The Zutons, and We Are Scientists.

– John Gammon