Genuine Christmas spirit was in the air in Köln, and there were Weihnachts markets on every town square –including Stadtgarten, where you also find the famous venue of the same name. Here three Danish acts were given the opportunity to impress the German music industry.
The SPOT On Denmark campaign this December was but the second campaign in the city, which is known as the cultural capital of the Rhineland and the media centre of Germany. Like last year, the event was organized in collaboration with the influential German festival C/O Pop. Last year’s event was a huge success, and with Danish music moving up in Germany, it was only natural to continue the collaboration with another round of SPOT On Denmark.
The latest innovation in connection with SPOT On Denmark was Wednesday’s SPOT On Sync event (Read more here). On Thursday it was then time for the traditional SPOT On Denmark launch.
As was the case last year, the showcase took place in the Christmas-decorated Stadtgarten. Here approximately 50 influential German and Danish music business people enjoyed a lovely three-course Christmas menu with the by-now classical SPOT speed dating concept that makes it possible for the guests to network with a lot of people and exchange views on and share experiences about the music business in general and Danish music in particular.
After the network dinner the three carefully selected Danish bands went on stage in the Stadtgarten venue. Folk group Cody, indie rock band I Got You On Tape and grime rap talent Linkoban had all been singled out on the basis of their gigs at this year’s SPOT Festival by a Köln jury consisting of C/O Pop (leading German music business conference and festival), Intro (Germany’s biggest music magazine), Eins Live (one of Germany’s biggest music radio stations – based in Köln and the Ruhr District’s equivalent of BBC Radio 1), the venue Stadtgarten, the music blog Lets Get Hey and Kölncampus (the biggest campus radio channel in Germany).
Cody Captivated the Audience
Cody started their showcase at the Stadtgarten venue with a bunch of their quiet and melancholy songs from the latest album “Fractures”, which was released in August. As the concert progressed, they increased the pace and upped the volume, and the Copenhagen septet – which due to paternity leave – was temporarily reduced to a quintet managed to captivate the German crowd, who forgot the Glühwein for a while and were mesmerized by Cody and their folk-like sound. Sebastian Schweigatz from their German booking agency Pop-Up Records was particularly pleased with the second half of their concert – “A bit more, bass, drums and heavy songs suit them”.
Cody front man Kasper Kaae has taken on the German audience before, and he is optimistic about the band’s future in Germany – “We keep showing the Germans that we return, and we keep getting selected for the SPOT On Denmark, so we keep moving in the right direction”.
I Got You On Tape Delivered
In contrast to Cody, who primarily played songs from their latest album, I Got You On Tape started out with a veritable hit parade and got around their most well-known songs. Equally impressive was the visual dimension with the varied light show. It was obvious from the focused eyes and the tapping feet that the music touched a chord and was to the Germans’ liking.
I Got You On Tape have lots of positive experience with the German market. They have previously played a number of gigs in the country, and this fall they were in the top ten on the official college radio chart. The band is also planning a German tour in January, and the album “Church of the Real” from 2011 was released in Germany in November this year.
Jacob Bellens with the charismatic voice, who recently released his solo debut, was more extrovert on the Köln stage than we are used to seeing him in Denmark, and it suited the band.
Linkoban – Impressive Display of Energy and Attitude
The new sensation on the Danish grime rap scene was the last act on stage this night
Linkoban has no German booker, so her manager Kettil Myrstrand, who is also the manager of Lucy Love and the owner of Superbillion Records, was looking forward to the SPOT On Denmark concert – “Linkoban is to play in front of a lot of important music industry people. For the time being she doesn’t have collaborators in Germany so that’s what we are going for all night: a booker and a distributor. I think the prospects are good. She’s going to release her album in May so the timing couldn’t be better. Here at SPOT On Denmark, I make connections that are lot more personal than if I just send emails to people.
Right from the start Linkoban was brimming with energy and cool attitude, and she created quite a party in front of the stage in Stadtgarten. “Come closer! I can’t smell You”, she shouted and that was all it took before the dance floor was packed. With her full-speed performance she made Germans who had never heard of her before shout her name again and again. Linkoban’s explosive gig rounded off a fascinating night in Köln, which has hopefully made the bonds between the Danish and German music businesses even tighter, and which may result in concrete collaborative projects.
The Work in Germany Brings Growth
SPOT Festival boss and deputy chairman of MXD – Music Export Denmark Gunnar Madsen is happy after the two Spot On Denmark events in Köln – “We are happy to see the increase of business presence as well as the growing crowd in Köln. In short, the two SPOT On Denmark days were yet another confirmation of the value of long-term strategy. This is just our second year in Köln, but the SPOT On Denmark platform has existed in Europe since 2007 with more than 30 events so far. And of course we shouldn’t forget the work done in relation to the German market at the SPOT Festival. This year we had a record number of German music business guests in Aarhus. This is also the explanation why our collaboration with c/o Pop is already perceived as an established entity by the German industry and the German press. We are looking forward to taking stock of the overall payoff of both the pitching sessions we set up between German supervisors and Danish labels and the three bands playing here this year. We have already seen one inquiry from a prestigious festival.
*SPOT On Denmark is a collaboration that involves ROSA – the Danish Rock Council, The SPOT Festival and MXD – Music Export Denmark
The SPOT On Denmark event was funded by the Danish Arts Council
The SPOT On Denmark showcase and network session were funded by the additional appropriation from the Danish Ministry of Culture for MXD to increase the work in Germany in 2012