Over 50 years ago, a little known 4 piece left Liverpool to play a series of bar and basement gigs in one of Hamburg’s most notorious neighbourhoods. That band was The Beatles and that street was the now legendary Reeperbahn.
The Reeperbahn’s bars and discotheques became the training ground on which the most famous band of all time cut its teeth. “I might have been born in Liverpool” John Lennon once said, “But I grew up in Hamburg”.
Over half a century later the Reeperbahn is still going strong. Pulling crowds of music fans from all over the world to seek out what’s new and exciting in the world of live music. The notorious night spot has helped launch the careers of many a break-out act. Reeperbahn Festival now in its eleventh year is one such showcase that cements the district’s reputation as the best place to watch, hear and discover new music. After all Bon Iver, Lykke Li, Jake Bugg, Ed Sheeran, and Janelle Monáe all played some of their first major international gigs at the Reeperbahn Festival.
Reeperbahn Festival 2016 runs for 4 days from Wednesday and presents 400 concerts in 70 different venues all over the Reeperbahn and St. Pauli districts, as well as art, film, and spoken word events, plus a conference for the music and digital creative industries.
TicketWeb will be in town for the whole thing. With hundreds of gigs to choose from, it’s impossible to pick favourites, but here are the performers we are most excited about.
Croydon-born singer & songwriter Olivia Sebastianelli cites Elvis Costello, Kate Bush and John Cooper Clarke as some of her inspiration and has been producing melodic but grungey sounds since she was 14 years old. She recently received a nomination from the Reeperbahn Festival organisers for their first ever ANCHOR award– an award that recognises promising, international talents on the music scene – the winner of which will be rewarded at this year’s festival. Hear her new single ‘Oblivion’ out this Friday and look out for a new EP in the near future.
Olivia plays Imperial Theatre on Thursday 22nd September at 9.10pm and Schulmuseum on Friday 23rd September at 8.30pm
Gang of Four
Gang of Four first burst out of Leeds in 1977 and quickly established themselves as the angular kings of post-punk. Their stripped back fusion of punk, rock and funk not only saw their debut album ‘Entertainment!’ hailed as one of the 5 best punk albums of all time by Rolling Stone, it has seen them hailed as primary influences for such luminaries as Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Franz Ferdinand.
The band’s current line-up has been in existence since 2013; consisting original member Andy Gill and new vocalist John “Gaoler” Sterry.
Catch them at Uebel & Gefahrlich on Thursday 22nd September at 9.30pm
Acid Arab hail from Paris and uniquely merge oriental folk with old school acid house to create rhythms guaranteed to get you dancing ecstatically. The duo will be bringing their excellent show to Reeperbahn having been a major draw at festivals including Melt and Sonar.
Get down to Molotow SkyBar on Thursday 22nd September at 8pm to catch their show.
Ealing-born 21year old singer and songwriter, Isaac Gracie released his single ‘Last Words’ at the end of last year had journalists chucking around names like Jeff Buckley and Radiohead and generally getting all in a palaver. Isaac’s delicate voice and emotive compositions are a combination that makes his Reeperbahn performance one of this year’s hottest tickets. Expect to hear lots of music and live shows from the young man this year and next, but catch him in Hamburg so you can say you were there
Molotow on Thursday 22nd September at 9.10pm
A childhood raised on Blues, Country and Jazz has given Brighton based singer and song writer Holly Macve the kind of pedigree that has seen here nominated for this year’s Reeperbahn ANCHOR award.
She’s been making dazzling and spectral music since she was 17 and her debut album was produced by Lanterns on the Lake’s Paul Gregory.
Listen to Holly perform at Molotow on Thursday 22nd September at 8pm and at St Pauli Fanshop on Friday 23rd September at 10pm
Psychedelic three piece Jagwar Ma release their eagerly anticipated follow-up to 2013’s acclaimed debut ‘Howlin’ in October 2016. ‘Every Now and Then’ will not disappoint the Sydney band’s fans, offering another heady mix of grooves, swagger and electronica. The band will be hitting European stages, including Reeperbahn Festival 2016 to showcase their new album. Anyone lucky enough to catch their Reeperbahn appearance scheduled for Friday will be in no doubt that the weekend has arrived.
Jagwar Ma play Uebel & Gefahrlich on Friday 23rd September at 9.15pm
We’ll see you down the front!