Blue Bird Festival, 2009
Critical, political, remonstrative content under the cloak of kittenish, charmful, captivating vocals and arrangements: Eva Jantschitsch aka Gustav is laying it on thick on her poetic-idealistic musical universe without forgetting about its simultaneous deconstruction through subtle irony. Her ingeniously and innocently performed, rose-coloured negation-attitude creates a wide space of allusive ambiguity and surprising images. Next to some experimental sustainability-pop with electro, orchestra or chanson-borrowings the peculiarity of the Vienna-based musician is her associative mélange of lyrics and languages that circle around German, English or French. Gustav is not preaching, yet purring from a blurred and kitschy better world. She is lulling her audience with critical appeal, disguised and gemmed as a praline. “Das Leben ist kein Wunschkonzert” – life is not all beer and skittles, not all cakes and ale or literally “life is no musical request programme” – Gustav is lilting at her backstage performance of “Happy Birthday”. Well then – Prost!
Blue Bird Festival
Whereas most festivals tend to avoid cities and occupy rural landscapes for a few days in summer, Bluebird has found its home in the very center of Vienna. The festival celebrates the art of songwriting and brings some of the best artists and bands of this guild to the stage. Since 2005, Bluebird has taken place annually on a weekend in late November at the Jazz club Porgy & Bess, which doesn’t see any pop acts performing for the rest of the year. Thus, the atmosphere is quite special, with some parts of the audience seated in front of the stage and on the balcony; the acoustics are amazingly clear regardless where you sit. The festival is run by the Vienna Songwriting Association (VSA), which has committed itself to the promotion and support of songwriting. VSA was founded in 2004 and hosted its first concert evening – a tribute to Nick Drake – at the end of November 2004. The Bluebird festival now celebrates this “birth” of the VSA annually, although there are countless other concerts set up by the VSA taking place in Vienna all year, in venues like Gasthaus Vorstadt or Haus der Musik. The selection of artists ranges from young Austrian talents to international Indie-favourites such as Okkervil River and SoKo, who headlined the sold-out Bluebird Festival in 2008. 2009 included singer/songwriter Howe Gelb, Laura Gibson or William Fitzsimmons.