Wickerpark Music Festival is back with a line-up of seriously the best and most eccentric Lebanese artists. In an effort to promote local talent and raise environmental awareness and after 2 amazing festivals in the previous 2 years, the guys are back to complete the trilogy! A celebration by the sea for music and nature lovers (say Woodstock, but with less mud and much less nudity). Don’t miss out on the amazing line-up they have for us, from the rocky and bluesy sounds of the Wanton Bishops to the rhythmic Brazilian percussions group Segundo Bloco. You really want to be there!
Wickerpark is without any doubt the best Lebanese music Festival you will witness this year. The kickass performers, the kickass venue, the kickass people behind it and most of all the positive vibrations flying over everything that’s wicker! It’s a true celebration of what this country needs the most: Peace, love and music!
Here’s a little about the people that will rock your world on September 15th:
The Wanton Bishops
The Wanton Bishops is a Lebanese rock band formed in Beirut in 2011. The group consists of Nader Mansour (vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards) and Eddy Ghossein (guitar, backing vocals, and yes.. the banjo). The duo began as an independent act founded after Mansour and Ghossein met outside a bar in Beirut and eventually bonded over their mutual appreciation for blues music. The Wanton Bishops was eventually formed and emerged among a second wave of popular garage rock revival and are considered today to be one of the leading bands in the Middle East. After signing with young talent promoters Keeward, the group released its debut EP, Bad Rhyme in 2012.
Near Surface is an alternative rock band from Lebanon. The band initially started off covering alternative rock bands in several local pubs, before releasing their debut album Crooked Landings in 2012. The album turned out to be quite successful, but the band’s big breakthrough came a year later, after several major live performances.
Near Surface is: Mark Najjar (vocals), Cyril Yabroudi (bass), Elie Zarka (guitar) and Carlos Abboud (drums)
Charlie Rayne is a singer-songwriter from Lebanon. He started a solo career with the release of a self-released EP “Thirty Sunsets” in early 2013. He has since performed in several cities in Lebanon and Europe and is currently working on his first full-length album. Charlie is making his Lebanese come back in this year’s Wicker Park!
Lebanese psychedelic rock band The Incompetents builds on the unexpected musical encounter between “incompetent” guitar player/singer/songwriter Serge Yared and up-and-coming producer/multi-instrumentalist/sound engineer Fadi “Fe” Tabbal. After many desperate hours spent listening religiously to the Beach Boys, Moondog, Stephen Jones, Tom Waits and The Sparks, Yared entered Tabbal’s studio one day with a bunch of broken lyrics and out-oftune melodies. The result was the duo’s first album, “More Songs From The Victorious City” (2008), a rollicking collision of art rock and sun-kissed pop. With several releases and performances under their belt, The Incompetents have become one of Beirut’s most notorious musical UFO’s. The band has acquired weight since its inauspicious debuts, and covered extensive ground in its personal and unprecedented musical orientation. Along with their rotating line-up of guest contributors, the two original Incompetents have played in most of Lebanon’s alternative festivals and venues; the only band in Lebanon bold enough to cover songs from the repertoires of Captain Beefheart or Tom Waits, interpreting them in a personal way, making them their own… Their live sets are both creative and playful, in what can only be referred to as a Dadaist approach to the concert format.
The DnB Project
One of the most original acts to ever pop out of Lebanese soil, The DnB Project is a collective, live and improvised concept trio consisting of a rare combination of electro-acoustic drum’n bass improvisation, also covering genres like ragga, jungle, hardcore, dub.. Their music is more of a sound spectrum than mere melodies. Liliane C gives birth to dreamy soundscapes, robot squeals and insane melodic noise standing on the shoulders of a solid yet liquid rhythm section. Bassist Bashar Farran and drummer Fouad Afra together give us the grooviest, funkiest, and darkest beats. This band’s life act can be a life changing experience. You might even mistake it for an alien invasion.
The DnB Project is: Fouad Afra (drums), Liliane Chlela (synths, robots and alien genitals) and Bashar Farran (bass)
Montreal’s Wake Island is an exchange between four musicians from Lebanon, the USA and Canada. Drawing inspiration from their own cultural differences and enlisting the help of long-time producer Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes, Wolf Parade, Suuns), the band crafted an inherently modern sound, informed by eclectic artists such as Grizzly Bear, FOALS and Charles Mingus. Throughout their work, they examine the devastating impact of comfort on our modern lives and propose cultural dialogue as a necessary solution. They have just released Use It as a Weapon // Uncomfortable B-sides, a companion to their latest LP, It Takes Time To Be Uncomfortable.
Jammit the Band
Jammit The Band have spread true sincere vibrations of Reggae and Ska for the past six years. Although world music tops their description, yet the demanding bass grooves by their bassist Pascal Sarkis, and Rany Mikhael’s (lead vocal and guitar) old strings sounds produce unique Reggae and Ska compositions. Soldiers, Reggae for Lincoln, Kings and Queens are some of their great songs. On different stages, several outstanding drummers like, Jihad Said, Fouad Afra, and Gio Najarian, joined and supported Jammit’s music, to seal up the groove. Best enjoyed along the Mediterranean coast at sunset, yet this group has inspired many in all of their performances, from a small stage to a big one. “One Love One Aim One Destiny” is carried as a message along this formation, from the heart beating streets of Beirut.
Postcards is an indie-folk band – based in Beirut – that has been thriving on the new wave of upcoming bands in the city. They have performed at numerous shows since their early beginnings less than a year ago (including opening for The Royal Concept) and have been growing ever since. Their hit single “Oh
The Places We Will Go” was recently featured on the world’s biggest music blog “Indie Shuffle”, has received air time on various radio stations across the region (notably in Jordan), and is currently available on pretty much every online distribution website. In the coming months, Postcards’ first EP entitled “Lakehouse” will be released and will be followed up by both local and international gigs.
Postcards are: Julia Sabra (Vocals, Ukelele), Marwan Tohme (Guitar, Vocals), Rani Bechara (Bass) and Pascal Semerdjian (Drums, Harmonica).
Segundo Bloco was founded by the students of ‘Filhos de Bimba Escola de Capoeira, Lebanon’ in October 2011. Their performances are energetic displays of carnival music that include samba, sambareggae, afoxe and various afro-Brazilian rhythms. Costumes, choreography, songs and DJing are all part of the now 15-member band. The Bloco was established by Kevin Safadi (Samuray), Roberta Meireles (Chapinha) and Gabriel Meireles (Chapão), bringing the musical culture of Brazil to Lebanon. Segundo Bloco is a community band, providing an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to join. Being the only Batucada in the Middle East, its popularity is soaring, with performances all over the country, spilling into neighboring countries. From small music-bars, to music festivals, university campuses and wedding venues, the sound of samba is resonating far and wide.