Hooverphonic Sweeps In To Groningen

Belgian band Hooverphonic is the best-known of the first batch of acts to be confirmed for January’s Eurosonic-Noorderslag weekend in Groningen.

The Flanders-based outfit with a 12-year career that’s seen it move from trip-hop to rock and pop is on a list of 25 acts that also includes fellow countrymen Baloji and The Tellers.

They’ll be hoping to emulate the 2007 success of Goose, the electro band from Kortrijk, Belgium, that earned eight slots on major festivals from its performance at January’s European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP).

Although Goose had very little profile outside of Belgium, the Groningen show had it stepping across borders to appear at Denmark’s Roskilde, Festival, Sweden’s Hultsfred, Germany’s Melt and Switzerland’s Open Air St. Gallen.

It also did well with Belgium’s near neighbours and played France’s Les Eurockeenes De Belfort and Vieilles Charrues, while the Dutch weighed in with shows at Pinkpop and Lowlands.

Eurosonic program director Robert Meijerink and his team sifted through more than 2,000 demos to choose the 200 or so acts that will play the January 10-12 showcase festival.

Another act to catch the eye will be Detektivbyrån, a folk-rock three-piece from Gothenburg, given that Sweden’s track record at ETEP includes Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Peter, Bjorn & John and Moneybrother becoming better known on the European outdoor circuit.

Among the other acts already announced for Eurosonic-Noorderslag are the U.K.’s Pete And The Pirates, Denmark’s Who Made Who, Germany’s Miss Platnum and Irish songstress Cathy Davey.

Some of the smaller emerging European markets have also been quick to get a piece on the board with Hungary’s Little Cow, Shangri La (Bulgaria), Sunshine (Czech Republic), Eliit (Estonia) and Eternal Tango (Lithuania) all among the first names to be announced.

EuroSonic has around 200 acts playing in 25 venues in the inner city of Groningen and is supported by 26 European Broadcasting Union (EBU) radio stations, 60 ETEP festivals and dozens of European agents. It’s attended by at least a hundred international journalists.