Songbird Festival Opening #1: The Drops / Willam White – young freshness vs. positive vibes

Concert, Davos, Live, Music, Songbird Festival, Switzerland, The Drops, William White

The 7th Edition of the Songbird Festival taking place in the Swiss mountains of Davos couldn’t have a better start by having on stage two acts totally different from each other: the young pop/rock quartet of Basel based band The Drops and our national Reggae Sweetheart William White.

The Festival starts punctual every year in the beginning of December, with the winter sport season, when all the snow lovers find their up to our mountains. I have to admit, I’ve never learned any sort of Skiing or Snowboarding (this might be the result of living in south Italy most of my teenage years), but it isn’t something that would stop myself to hit the mountains during winter. There is a lot going on during the season here, especially when the festival is running, so don’t be afraid of the cold! Besides the big names of the Swiss music scene, you’ll find uprising gems, most acoustic acts, playing unplugged sets in several bars in town.

Songbird Festival Official

The opening night was held in one of the most exclusive Hotels of Davos, the Intercontinental, well known for its golden egg-shaped design, and a huge, modern cottage interior. The official announced concerts take place mostly in Hotels, legendary cafés or even in museums sometimes. The Drops’ and Willam White gig was a successful sold out at the Intercontinental Ballroom, and,  I was quite surprised to find a seated location, especially for a rock and reggae concert. I made the experience in the past already, that people tend to be stuck into their chairs the whole time, even if they feel to dance along the songs during the show. Seats may are a good idea for a chilled out acoustic or classic concert, but a little less if there are some guitar riffs involved. Fortunately, the whole shy athmosphere of the beginning turned into a big party later on; it was great to see people putting all the chairs aside and transform the ballroom into a big dancefloor.

The Drops opened the first official festival night:  they’re fresh wind for our national music scene: young,  passionate and powerful. Their songs are catchy, sometimes they remind of a fresher Coldplay version, on the other hand when the guitar riffs get louder they really take me back to Mando Diao’s golden era (“Happy Clapper” has exactly that light touch). One of the prooves might be their Youtube Hit “Eleanor”, official Music Video for the first Single of the Album “Flying Dutchmen”, released two years ago.  This track was also winner of the SRF3 Talent Award back then, and very well deserved. I already had the pleasure to see these guys live as the opening act for the band My Heart Belongs to Cecilia Winter four years ago in Zurich, and somehow I knew that they’re gonna take it very far. They have some genuine fun on stage, and a big plus is also their interaction with the audience after the show: always there for a chat or some photos, The Drops are very open minded and down to earth. The Drops threw a good warm up for the main act, an amazing job actually, I wished they could play a little longer… Their new record is planned for next autumn, and I’m quite sure that there are some amazing stuff coming up with their new project. So stay tuned!

Have a listen to “Eleanor” here:

The headliner of last night’s festival opening was Swiss Reggae superstar William White, and I was overwhelmed of this man’s passion and power! I am pretty ashamed to admit that this has been an absolute premiere for me: I never attended a reggae concert before. But there’s always a first time for everything, right? And it couldn’t be better! William White started his musical career 15 years ago, is already a big Name in the music Scene here in Switzerland, and is starting to get recongnition for his work also internationally. The Independent Artist was the man who transformed the room into a well thrown party. Switching from reggae, to blues and also to some salsa tunes, making us laugh between the tracks with his jokes, it was pretty clear that sitting there wasn’t an option for Long. Wrapped from the very first note, I had the feeling of being part of a private jam session, when in some moments the Barbados born artist turned around to his band while playing and spreading positivity through the room. The whole seven piece band was involved and part of it, which is a thing I love the most during a live gig. The extended show included some famous tracks like “For Your Love” or “Open Country”, also the title of his actual work, but there weren’t covers missing as well, like Bob Marley’s “Caution”. At some point, the crowd showed some initiative by throwing the chairs where they’re surely not needed, so that every space in front of the stage was free for dancing.

I rarely left a Show wrapped in positivity like it happened last night. I might should listen more Reggae… William White is already saved in my playlist for sure, so I would say it’s a pretty good start. I couldn’t walk out of Intercontinental happier and thrilled to attend opening night #2 at the Hotel Montana on Saturday.

“Open Country” was recorded in Portland, Jamaica, and includes collaborations with Ziggy Marley’s guitarist Ian Coleman or bassist of Burning Spear Devon Bradshaw. The Album was also recently released in the UK in digital form.
William White will be on tour again next year solo and with band. Find your Dates here.

With The Drops 🙂
A Special Thank You to Michel Pernet & his Blofeld Team for having me

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