It was possibly music that got Sue and I together in the first place, well it was during our teenage years and everyone is into music at that age.

At the moment we are kind of addicted to one particular band that the average visitor to this site will never have heard of. Well never heard of is a bit strong, most people will react something like 'Oh you mean that Scottish band that sang Kayleigh'. Well they did sing Kayleigh but none of them are Scottish since Fish left all those years ago. Our passion for this band is so strong that we have dedicated an entire section of the site to them, here you will find information about the gigs we have been to and some photos of the band. Click here to find a better way of life. You guessed it I'm banging on about Marillion that band that is variously described as Rock, Progressive Rock, Symphonic Rock and no doubt various other labels they don't really quite fit

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Collapse 20052005
Porcupine Tree, 10 April 2005, Paradiso, Amsterdam
Queen + Paul Rodgers, 26 April 2005, Ahoy, Rotterdam
Levellers, 4 May 2005, Paradiso, Amsterdam
Finn Brothers, 16 June 2005, Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam
Fish, 15 November 2005, Paradiso, Amsterdam
Fish, 16 November 2005, Tivoli, Utrecht
Porcupine Tree, 013, Tilburg, 4 December 2005
Uriah Heep, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 13 December 2005
Collapse 20062006
Levellers, Tivoli, Utrecht, 7 March 2006
Levellers, Patronaat, Haarlem, 8 March 2006
After Forever, 28 April 2006, Patronaat, Haarlem
The Sisters Of Mercy, 30 April 2006, Melkweg, Amsterdam
Fish, 7 May 2006, Nighttown, Rotterdam
Porcupine Tree, 27 September 2006, Paradiso, Amsterdam
IQ, 29 September 2006, Boerderij, Zoetermeer
Status Quo, 5 October 2006, Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam
Uriah Heep, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 8 November 2006
Levellers, Paradiso, Amsterdam, 17 November 2006
Levellers, Paard van Troje, Den Haag, 18 November 2006
Fish, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 21 November 2006
It Bites, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 26 November 2006
Collapse 20072007
The Musical Box, World Forum Convention Center, Den Haag, 30 January 2006
Blackfield, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 28 February 2007
Maroen, Sir Winston Club, Rijswijk, 14 March 2007
Levellers, Tivoli, Utrecht, 21 March 2007
16 Down, Taverne, Bergen, 1 April 2007
Marty Friedman, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 6 April 2007
Delain, Patronaat, Haarlem, 13 April 2007
16 Down, P3, Purmerend, 20 April 2007
Moke, Plato Record Store, Leiden, 28 April 2007
Moke, Sassenheim havenfestival Queensday, Sassenheim, 30 April 2007
Moodak, 't Oude Pothuys, Utrecht, 11 May 2007
Sylvan followed by Blind Ego, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 12 May 2007
Moke, Patronaat, Haarlem, 19 May 2007
The Mission, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 20 May 2007
Porcupine Tree, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 28 June 2007
Peter Gabriel, Westerpark, Amsterdam, 29 June 2007
Steve Vai, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 18 July 2007
The Stranglers, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 9 October 2007
Moke, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 12 October 2007
Porcupine Tree, Phoenix, Toronto, 16 October 2007
After Forever, Fun House, Toronto, 16 October 2007
Levellers, Waterfront, Rotterdam, 21 November 2007
Levellers, Patronaat, Haarlem, 23 November 2007
Moke, Patronaat, Haarlem, 30 November 2007
IQ, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 1 December 2007
Porcupine Tree, Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, 5 December 2007
Fish, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 10 December 2007
Collapse 20082008
Epica, Patronaat, Haarlem, 11 January 2008
Delain, P60, Amstelveen, 15 February 2008
Lords of the backstage, The Waterhole, Amsterdam, 22 March 2008
Fish, Paradiso, Amsterdam, 22 March 2008
Dragons, Patronaat, Haarlem, 23 March 2008
Hayseed Dixie, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 13 April 2008
Mick Pointer, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 17 April 2008
Vader, Patronaat, Haarlem, 24 April 2008
Red Flag 77, Cafe de Vinger, Den Haag, 29 April 2008
Gazpacho and It Bites, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 19 July 2008
Hayseed Dixie, Tivoli (de Helling), Utrecht, 14 September 2008
Levellers, Paradiso, Amsterdam, 19 November 2008
Riverside, Paradiso, Amsterdam, 10 December 2008
Collapse 20092009
Gazpacho, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 27 March 2009
Pure Reason Revolution, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 11 April 2009
Cloudmachine, Patronaat, Haarlem, 16 April 2009
Porcupine Tree, Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, 12 October 2009
Riverside, Patronaat, Haarlem, 28 October 2009
Moke, Leiden Station, Leiden, 31 October 2009
Collapse 20102010
Kontrust, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 11 May 2009
Transatlantic, 013, Transatlantic, 20 May 2010

Porcupine Tree, 10 April 2005, Paradiso, Amsterdam

Supported by Anathema who were very good and clearly came with their own loyal following. A couple of firsts for us. Firstly it was the first time we had been to Paradiso and secondly it was the first time we had been to see Porcupine Tree.

It was a great evening and we were treated to some of the new material from the new album 'Deadwing' and quite a few tracks from 'In Absentia' and some of the earlier work too.

The venue was interesting too, apparently an old church with two levels of balcony. They even kept the stained glass windows which they kept lit from behind until the house lights go down. We managed to get some good seats on the first level looking down over the stage.

I managed to get a few photos from my balcony position and you can see these here Pictures.

Queen + Paul Rodgers, 26 April 2005, Ahoy, Rotterdam

OK no pictures this time. I didn't even try to take the camera along because I suspected that security would be as tight as ever and sneaking past a bulky SLR was not going to happen. Shame really because this was possibly the best concert I've been to, the lighting was superb, the sound was excellent, what a show!

Paul Rodgers really fitted in well with Brian May and Roger Taylor (not sure what happened to John Deacon). If you get a chance to see them in action you will be impressed (well anyone who remebers Queen from their hayday should be). Almost everything was Queen material but there were are few Paul Rodgers tracks too including 'Can't get enough' and 'Alright now' and these seemed to be received as well as the Queen material. All the big names on stage took turns to sing some tracks and we even had portions of Bohemian Rhapsody sung by Freddie courtesy of a video. I can imagine people will be thinking that if they wanted to see a video of Freddie they could get the DVD. True but you would not have Brian May and Roger Taylor playing along live and you would not have Paul singing the last section.

I had wondered how they would deal with the lack of Freddie and I'd say they did it really well. They clearly acknowledged how important he had been to the band.

Many people have asked, in the days since seeing the band, if you were constantly thinking 'this isn't Freddie'. I can honestly say that was not the case Paul really seemed at home with the rest of the band and was even responsible for introducing the video of Freddie.

The Levellers, 4 May 2005, Paradiso, Amsterdam

I have Meirion to thank for this. It was he that suggested we go and see the band and I was not all that familiar with them so got down to listening to a few borrowed albums. Very soon I was eagerly awating the date of the show to arrive.

3 Daft MonkeysThe levellers were supported by a 3 piece band called 3 Daft Monkeys and they seemed to manage to get the attention of the audience with their style that I would call folk but it really was more than just folk.

LevellersAfter a good warming up we had the usual delay while the stage was prepared for the Levellers but when they hit the stage they really hit it hard. The amount of energy these guys put into their music is just astounding and everyone in the room just loved it and seemed to put as much energy into dancing to the music. It's fair to say that if the Levellers pass this way again we will be making the effort to see them.

A friend and keen photographer, Steve, came with us and we both snapped away for most of the show. We had both arrived really early to get a good place at the front while Sue went upstairs to get a good seat on the balcony. Most of the shots were taken from the front but later on I went upstairs and used a monopod to get some stable shots with the long lens. Between us we managed to take a huge number of photos and you can see a selection of these here Pictures.

Finn Brothers, 16 June 2005, Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam

The two Brothers gave a really great show performing a lot of their joint work and including Split Enz and Crowded House material. But somehow neither of us could quite get into the spirit of the show. To be honest I suspect it was because we had flown back from Boston that morning and I personally had not slept since. But it might also have been just too loud, in fact so loud that it was distorting so I wore earplugs. This reduced the level quite nicely but has the awful effect of allowing you to hear every word you sing and I don't sing well I've discovered :-). I only removed the plugs during a tribute to their friend Paul Hester who had recently died, they performed a completely unplugged version of 'Four seasons in one day' with the audience providing the majority of the vocals.

Fish, 15 November 2005, Paradiso, Amsterdam

For those of you that saw me lugging the camera round and asked for pictures you have come to the right place. I've taken the time to sort out the better ones and you can find these by clicking on the following icon.Pictures

But how was the gig? All I can say is awesome, I had a photo pass arranged for me and then popped out for dinner only to find Fish was eating at the next table. Then the show itself started with a fairly long set of Fish material. Following what appeared to be the end of the show it all started again the La Gazza Ladra and then all of Misplaced Childhood. I've already been asked to compare the experience with Marillion and I'm not going to be drawn into that argument. On the way home we bumped into some really nice people who (it turns out) are really good mates with the man himself and I suspect rather well known to the Fish insiders.

In summary I can see that I will have to start preparing another dedicated section of this site just for Fish. Although hearing Misplaced Childhood after all these years was excellent it really has to be said that Fish has managed to create some excellent material that I'll be looking forward to hearing again.

Fish, 16 November 2005, Tivoli, Utrecht

Fish Set ListFor me the evening started well because while I was looking for someone to authorise me to photograph I ran into the big man himself and got his blessing. I'm not entirely sure who arranged the music being played over the PA while the audience was gathering but it included a number of Kino tracks including swimming in women.

Another fabulous evening and I believe Fish and the band were every bit as good as last night. I really loved the way they ended the set during credo with Fish and then the rest of the band gradually leaving the stage while the audience sang credo. Perhaps that is common for regular Fish fans but for me it was only the second time and it was really striking.

A criticism that was levelled was that certain sections of the audience did not seem as interested and were instead having a chat amongst themselves. Personally I did not notice this on my travels around the venue. Thanks to everyone who let me sneak in to take a quick picture and apologies to those I may have got in the way of. As with last nights pictures here is a filtered set of the better ones. Pictures

As you can see I managed to grab a set list. This one was from the lighting desk and although you cannot see it here there is some evidence of burning so I'm not sure what they were up to. In addition to the tracks listed there was a second encore of Fugazi.

Porcupine Tree, 013, Tilburg, 4 December 2005

Sue decided to sit this one out at home. At least in part this was because this would be the third gig in as many days but also because it would have been rude to leave our friends at home to fend for themselves.

The gig started with the support act Oceansize (thanks to André for getting in touch and reminding me) whose style is a little heavy for me but they were clearly talented. I'm still fairly new to Porcupine Tree but I really enjoyed this gig. Halo and Trains really stand out for me but Lazarus is also excellent and Steve's explanation of the lyrics before the song also helped. I'm impressed by the way they combine video and live to make the show a much bigger experience.

I met a couple of other photographers at this show who also do this purely for the fun of it. So at least I know I'm not the only one who expends such time, money, and effort in pursuit of the 'perfect shot'. Anyway we generally agreed the lighting was challenging (a euphamism for dark) so sorry if you find the results less than impressive. Pictures

Uriah Heep, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 13 December 2005

Thanks to the fan club for allowing me to photograph this show. There was no support act and although the guys hit the stage a little late there was no evidence that it was because they were 'So Tired' (sorry).

Judging by the size of the crowd the guys are still really popular. They were cramming them into every corner. I have to appologise to a couple of people who were clearly put out by my trying to get past. This is not usually a problem at most gigs but in this case there were so many people that it really was difficult to get around without (litterally) treading on a few toes.

I've managed to get a few shots and I've filtered these down to my favourites which you can see here. Pictures


The Levellers, Tivoli, Utrecht, 7 March 2006

Neeka Mighty JackalsAfter Meirion had pursuaded me to go to the Paradiso in May 2005 and I'd witnessed the enthusiasm of the band and the fans it was no chore to go and see them again so we decided to go twice. Steve flew back from the UK to come to the shows and it lived up to expectations. Simon was suffering with a slight cold but it barely showed and Mark had had a close encounter with a door (no really it's true) that needed stitches above his eye. Perhaps there is something about the Tivoli because the last artist we saw here was Fish who was sporting gash to the top of the head apparently sustained in the overly cramped tour bus beds. We met up with a couple of dedicated fans that we'd encountered in May and that makes a show even better.

They were supported by two support acts, firstly The Mighty JackalsPictures who were on their last ever show which was a great shame because they were great fun, and then the rather more laid back NeekaPictures.

Jeremy, The Levellers Mark, LevellersSo how was the show? Well it was every bit as good as the previous shows we had been to. The fans were again on top form (or at least the ones down the front with us were) and the band presented a great set that even a novice Leveller fan like myself enjoyed from start to finish.

A really big thanks to The Levellers for allowing us to photograph them. Between the two of us, Steve and I managed to cover most angles although sadly the balcony was closed and we never manged to make it up there. I've sorted through the best of the pictures I took and you can see there here.Pictures Steve took a bunch more and I'm hoping he will have time to sort his out so you can see them too.

The Levellers, Patronaat, Haarlem, 8 March 2006

NeekaOK so I did not get to bed until 2am after the Tivoli and then my rather bizzare body clock told me to get up at 7:30. After several Red Bulls and Pro-plus tablets I was ready to face a second night. As this was the last night of the tour for us we decided to stay out until 4am even though I was Bob (Dutch visitors will understand) so much more Red Bull and proper Italian Espresso later I finally managed to drive home and get to bed at around 5am.

This was the first time I'd been to the Patronaat and I am really impressed. It's not a converted anything but a specially built venue, the lighting was great and most importantly the venue was designed so that wherever you stood you could see the stage. Steve and I were granted access to the otherwise closed balcony and to the side of the stage so that we could get some more interesting angles. A strange feature of the building is that it is sprung (all of it and not just the floor), so when the fans started their innevitable pogoing the whole building jumped in time. I could try to blame this for some of the more blurred shots but actually it was really a case of caffeine overdose :-). 

Levellers, SimonSet listLevellers, JonThe support act was NeekaPictures followed by another energetic set from the Levellers. Simon was still occasionally showing signs of his illness and Marks eye was beginning to blacken nicely. Musically they were superb and once again the audience enjoyed it in their usual style. A few people tried stage diving, either they were feeling their age or they didn't trust the crowd to catch them because it was a little half hearted.

Once again we have a number of pictures and you can see these here. Pictures

Someone suggested that I get to Eindhoven for the next night. Sorry but I could not do it, I am feeling my age and really needed to catch up on some sleep. I'll be looking out for the guys when they come back this way though and, if they let me, I'll be there with my camera.

After Forever, 28 April 2006, Patronaat, Haarlem

After Forever Non DivineIt was an ex-colleague that loaned me a Nightwish CD that started all this. I really got into their style and decided I was going to try to get to one of their concerts. Then they announced they had sacked the lead singer so that kind of stopped that. Then whilst at a levellers concert I was discussing this with a Dutch girl who suggested I should listen to After Forever. There is a certain amount of cross over with the two bands styles and I found myself quite enjoying After Forever too. So finding they were playing at the Patronaat was great news.

They were supported by Non Divine whose web site describes them as 'Groovy Metal Music From The Netherlands'. They clearly had fun playing to the Patronaat audience with the entire band dressed in matching white overalls carrying their patient numbers. There are more pictures of them in action if you click on their lead singers picture to the right. 

When it was After Forevers turn to enter they did so to the sound of the track 'Enter'. This is such an excellent track to start a show. From then on it was pure drama all the way through to the end. If you have ever seen one of those bands that looked really bored to be on stage and just trudge on and then trudge off again, well try to imagine the complete opposite. This lot clearly love what they are doing and don't keep still for very long (which makes my job a little harder). The lead singer is clearly able to get and hold the attention of the audience with an absolutely astounding voice.

Towards the end of the show it was announced that one of their crew was leaving them and he was given the chance to play with them.

Anyway, given the chance, I'll be going to see them again.

There are loads of pictures of the show here Pictures.

The Sisters Of Mercy, 30 April 2006, Melkweg, Amsterdam

This was my first time in the Melkweg and I liked the layout. It's big enough to get a decent crowd in but small enough that you are all near the stage. Plus with the balcony that extends down both sides and along the back you can see the stage from anywhere you are put.

But you did not want to know about the venue I'm sure. You are probably curious why there are no pictures. The Sisters Of Mercy management were kind enough to let me photograph so long as I signed a contract. The contract stipulates that they have the copyright in all photographs taken of them and that they may choose which pictures may be shown. For this reason they ask that I send them the thumbnails and a CD promptly. As they have not responded I can only assume they did not like the results.

The picture to the left is some fog that I've coloured up to give it a bit of a concert feel. If you were in the front row this is what you could expect to see most of the time. Coloured lights playing across a thick field of fog. Now this is not a criticism, an artistic decision was made to fill the venue with smoke right from the start and then shine light through it so that you could occasionally pick out silhouettes of the band. Very effective it was too, I'm sure if I were to bump into them in the street I'd be none the wiser.

Musically it was a good show with them playing many of their older tracks along with a lot of newer stuff that I'm not familiar with. Many people have pointed out that the lead singers vocals were mixed very low so it was difficult to pick them out. The set was shorter than I've come to expect and we were out in the cold Amsterdam air within around 75 minutes of the start.

Fish, 7 May 2006, Nighttown, Rotterdam

Setlist FishWhat a great gig this was. I'd never been to Nighttown before and I was expecting something a lot smaller. They could probably have squeezed a few more people in but not many.

The show was broadly the same set as last year only now we had a support act. The support act was Odin Dragonfly (Heather Findlay and Angela Gordon from Mostly Autumn) They were on for half an hour or so with their rather folky but very listenable to set. If you want to see some more pictures of them then click on their picture to the right.

The line up was slightly altered with a new drummer and no female vocals. I have to say I enjoyed the shows with the female vocals so it was a shame not to have them this time.

As previously we started with a load of Fish's own work finishing with Credo while the band gradually disappeared and then a short break while La Gazza Ladra was being played. To anyone that had been around in the 80's (or had been to one of the recent tour shows) this could only be an introduction to Marillion. True enough the band came back on stage and played Misplaced Childhood all over again.

After three hours of great music we finally set off home and as this was the last European gig of the tour so did the band.

We met a load of people that we had seen at previous shows including some who have been bitten by the photography bug so hi to them. I managed to take a fair number of pictures myself and you can see these herePictures.
Odin Dragonfly
Fish
Fish

Porcupine Tree, 27 September 2006, Paradiso, Amsterdam

Porcupine Tree had promissed a return visit when I saw them at Arrow and it's amazing how time has just flown by since that festival. They were supported by the band Paatos from Stockholm. To me they sounded scandinavian with a strong female lead. They seemed to enjoy playing in the dark which made my job a little more difficult but I did manage to get a few pictures and you can see these herePictures.

Porcupine tree have clearly been gaining in popularity. Paradiso was absolutely packed out on all three of its levels.

The show was divided into two halves with the first half dedicated to purely new material that nobody, other than those one this tour, will have heard before. One song in particular stood out as something special it lasted around 17 minutes and, as Steve said, would formerly have been introduced by a prog band as side six of the new album. Steve even took to playing a very small keyboard during some of the new material.

The second half of the show started after a short break during which the band left the stage. It contained the more well known material including Open Car, Halo, Arriving Somewhere, Trains, and a lot more that I forgot to write down. The audience seemed to really appreciate the new material. A friend who had been brought along having had no previous exposure to Porcupine Tree was later trying to persuade the bar man in his local to put on some PT. Clearly we have another convert.

Anyway I managed to get a few good shots and you can see these herePictures.

I bumped into a number of people better known to me as Marillion fans so hi to them.

IQ, 29 September 2006, Boerderij, Zoetermeer

To be honest I'd never heard anything by IQ despite the fact that they are celebrating their 25th anniversary. I know that a lot of the Marillion fans have mentioned them to me so I thought I'd go along and see what the fuss was all about. Having managed to get tickets only a few days before hand I was kind of expecting it to be a little quiet but actually Boerderij was about as full as it can be on both levels.

Well it was a great evening and the show was incredibly long. They certainly managed to keep in the prog style with one small exception and that was when they briefly broke into Caroline by Status Quo. And once again I was staggered by the age ranges of those in the audience, although I'm sure the youngest had been brought along by their parents. I know that if they come this way again I'll be making the effort to go and see them. There are a number of pictures I've taken of them here Pictures.

Status Quo, 5 October 2006, Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam

Quo were supported by SQY Rocking Team. More than that I can't tell you because a decision was made not to allow photographs during their act and to ensure that this didn't accidentally happen they kept us all waiting in the reception area. So I have no idea what they were like but a number of people have posted thumbs up on the Quo forum although Sue gave it a bit of a thumbs down.

But what about Quo? This is not your girl runs away from home, girl gets involved in a bad crowd, girl jumps from bridge type music that I tend normally to listen to. This is the music that I grew up with, the type of music that really has you wanting more right from the start. I really, really enjoyed this evening and so did a packed Heineken Music Hall.

I can't begin to remember the set list, no doubt some eager fan will have it on the forum in a few hours (OK it's already there as I edit this) but one thing is certain, even someone who is not a fan probably knows almost every song they played tonight and that really tells you something about the success of these guys.

I also bumped into a guy called Jos from the Dutch fan club (I'm sure he is known to many of you) he too was photographing so you'll no doubt see some of his results soon. I missed an absolute opportunity to boast about Marillion, one guy in the audience who had flown in from the UK to see Quo asked "are they still going?" and I replied quite eagerly that they sell out large venues but not quite HMH sized venues. What I should have said was that their last gig had a crown of 100,000 (OK it was free but still).

We drove home really delighted by the evenings entertainment and so much so that I've decided to do the write up immediately. If or rather when I get the opportunity to see them again I'll be jumping at the chance.

Well I have a few pictures here. To be honest they are not my best results despite the best efforts of the band to humour me from time to time by looking in my direction. I think the pressure of the three song limit really does show in these. Well if after all that you are still interested then click here Pictures.

Uriah Heep, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 8 November 2006

A bit of deja vu here because it was about this time last year that we all gathered in the same place to see the guys perform a similar (but still different) set list. I enjoyed this show perhaps more than the last time and I found myself singing along to more of the tracks than I'd expected.

Thanks again to Louis for helping to get me permission to photograph the show. Once again the Boerderij was almost at its capacity and getting around was tricky. Perhaps the most interesting thing for me to hear was Mick promissing that there will be new album, I'll be keeping a lookout for that because it has been quite a while.

I don't think I managed to get a good shot of it but someone in the audience handed over the largest bottle of whisky I've ever seen to Bernie.

I managed to get around despite the crush and I think I managed to get a few reasonable shots, certainly there are some I'm quite happy to share and you can see these here. Pictures


Levellers, Paradiso, Amsterdam, 17 November 2006

The levellers were supported by a Dutch band called Circle J. I'm sure they will hate the description but I was immediately reminded on the Pogues (but with better teeth). The music was up tempo folkpunk and was quite gripping and they clearly enjoyed playing it. Anyway there are a few pictures of them here Pictures.

But the Levellers, well it seems I was forgetting just how energetic the music was and the fans too. A really big thanks to all those fans who helped shield from the worst effects of the mosh pit.

The show started with bag pipe music which played the band in. Then the show started properly with the game. An extended visit by Steve on the dijareedoo led to some interesting pictures.

Well I'll have to stop writing now. I've prepared the pictures and then tonight we have another show in Den Haag. Click here to see the pictures from this show Pictures;

Levellers, Paard van Troje, Den Haag, 18 November 2006

Circle JThis was our first visit to the Paard van Troje and this only came about because of the sudden demise of Nighttown in Rotterdam. From the outside it just looks like virtually any other old Dutch terraced house but when you get inside it's far bigger and far better equipped than you could ever have expected. As with Patronaat in Harlem the entire hall is mounted on springs.

The support act were Circle J again and I think they got a better reception than they did in Amsterdam. In part I think that's because the Paard is just that bit smaller so people were already nearer the stage. I spoke to the lead singer afterwards and they are appearing at a few more gigs in December so I think I'll try to catch up with them. I bumped into a couple that had moved into the same are that Sue and I live in just a few months ago and they were there to support Circle J, I never got the chance to find out what they thought of the Levellers. There are a few piccies of Circle J here Pictures

The levellers played exactly the same set list as the previous night (not that that mattered to anyone present). The crowd were on top form and gave those springs I was mentioning a good workout. While I was on the balcony I could feel the entire place jumping during some of the songs. The extra springiness of the floor might have something to do with the fact that I've managed to take a fair number of pictures with various people clearly in mid air. For a start there is the picture to the left of Steve caught in mid flight and then in the gallery you will find a number of pictures of other band members in the air. Pictures

After the show we and a number of fans who had been following the tour on a bus gathered in the local English pub (they do a great all day breakfast too). Sadly the party came to an abrupt end when their bus arrived at 1:00 to take everyone back to Blighty. Well I hope you all made it home safely and that the hangovers didn't make the coach journey too awful :-).

Fish, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 21 November 2006

Sue and I along with a couple of friends decided we just had to go to see this show. The Boerderij is just down the road from us so despite having seen this show a number of times we were happy to see it again. There was no support act so the show began with Fish and was to last around three hours.

So this was to be the last Misplaced Childhood show and clearly they were going to make it something a bit special. For a start take a close look at the set list. We were also treated to all the guys on stage being made up perhaps a nod in the direction of Fish's earlier days. We also had a visit from Death, well OK one of the crew dressed as Death due to having spread some illness to everyone on the tour bus. Fish himself took two separate trips down amongst the assembled crowd while singing. We also had La Gazza Ladra interupted by the crazy frog (I believe that's what it was anyway so someone correct me if I'm wrong).

And then we had Yatta arrive on stage dressed as Donald Duck playing a guitar. He left only to return to start a custard pie fight on stage and nobody on stage was exempt, take a look at the gallery for more pictures of custard (well shaving foam I think) covered band members. And if you are curious why Fish is looking rather mischievous in the picture to the left well it might have something to do with just having tried to give Frank a rather passionate kiss. From the look on Franks face it certainly is not the start of a beautiful relationship.

Well altogether it was a great show and a real shame if it was the last ever Misplaced Childhood although I'm really looking forward to the next Fish show regardless. As is usual I took a load of pictures and so can see the gallery here Pictures.

It Bites, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 26 November 2006

It bites were supported by the Dutch prog rock band Kramer. I have to say that I really did enjoy their set to the extent of buying a copy of their CD. It was a shame that the turnout at the Boerderij was not the best it could have been for this event. You can see some pictures of Kramer in action here Pictures.

It bites were really great playing great a cross section of their back catalog. John Mitchell did a fantastic job as lead singer and guitar. I think for a large number of people this was a real trip down memory lane. Some of their work I was familiar with either from hearing it on the radio (a long time ago) or because of covers played by Kino at the very same venue.

As has been come to be expected I managed to get a few shots of the guys in action and you can see these here Pictures.

The Musical Box, World Forum Convention Center, Den Haag, 30 January 2006

Well I don't normally do a write up unless I've a few pictures to go with it. In this case it was such a great evening that I thought I'd make an exception. I wrote to them to ask permission but apparently an agreement with Genesis means that they are not allowed to permit photographers. Still there are loads of great pictures on their own site so if you want to see more then take a look there.

If you are not entirely sure what or who the Musical Box are then perhaps an explanation is in order. They are possibly the best known Genesis cover band and they really go in for total authenticity. This show was a reproduction of Selling England by the pound. The music was incredibly accurate and they had even made a real effort to reproduce the set and costumes.

They were supported by a band called For Absent Friends. They are a really talented prog band who perhaps deserve recognition beyond as a support act.

Blackfield, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 28 February 2007

Pure Reason Revolution Pure Reason RevolutionI have to say I was a little torn. It was either go to the Blackfield show for which I already had tickets months in advance or go to the Marillion Somewhere Else CD listening party which Sue had won two tickets for. In the end Sue decided to go to Marillion and I decided to go to Blackfield. I was not unhappy with my decision but I was frustrated to have to choose.

Blackfield were supported by Pure Reason Revolution who went down well with the crowd and were enjoying the gig themselves. I can't be absolutely sure but I think the Boerderij had changed the colours in the lighting rig because everything seemed a little more vibrant. But perhaps it was just the music. Anyway you can judge for yourself by the pictures in the gallery here Pure Reason Revolution Gallery.

SetlistI went along with Meirion and a colleague from a previous job called Petra. I also bumped into a few people I'd known from previous gigs. If you are not familiar with Blackfield then you might be familiar with Porcupine Tree and one of the two lead singers is Steve Wilson from that band.Blackfield

The drumming on Once was absolutely superb and so distinct, it was a great way to start the show. If you are having a hard time reading the end of the set list, sorry. The very last song was cloudy now. When I saw this on the set list I thought strange that they would finish on such a slow song. But I'd forgotten that the end of cloudy now is anything but slow.

I'm afraid I did not manage to quite get as many pictures as I often do as there was a three song limit and with the venue being completely packed it was not easy to get into position to get many of the varied shots I sometimes do but still there are a selection in the gallery here Blackfield Gallery.

BlackfieldAt the end of the day it was a shame to have to choose between Marillion and Blackfield but given how rarely Blackfield tour and how excellent the show was I am delighted to have been there. It does not look like Porcupine Tree are coming this way this year but perhaps that will change.

 

Maroen CD party, Sir Winston Club, Rijswijk, 14 March 2007

Maroen put on a great performance in front of a decent turnout for the launch of their CD. The first time I saw Maroen was at last years Schollenpop festival and I enjoyed the show then so it was no chore to go along to the show. The guys don't as yet have a full time bass player but they all played well together and I think you should hear more of them in the future. Anyway check out their site and check out the pictures here .

Levellers, Tivoli, Utrecht, 21 March 2007

The support was a one man act whose name I never caught but someone told me it was a guy called Free Born John but googling that certainly does not lead to any Dutch musicans. So if anyone out there knows who this guy was or perhaps if he has a web site then could you please use the feedback form and let me know. There are some pictures of him here .

OK I've been put right (thanks Anne) the guys name was Lucky Fonz III and you can read more about him on his site. But essentially he's a Dutch guy based in Amsterdam with a very varied past who now prefers solo work.

We bumped into Mark before the show started and had a chance to chat briefly. We asked about the Beautiful Days line up. The answer was yes they do know whose coming and no he was not going to tell me. Well I had to try.

We turned up to find a couple of people that I'd call regulars at Levellers shows. I know they go to just about any Dutch gig they can make it to and it was good to speak to them again. So hi Linda and Daniella, sorry we never made it to the bar after the show but I was expected in work early the next morning.

Meirion brought a large crowd of his own along so that once again Sue was not abandoned on her own while I went off to take some pictures. I also bumped into an old colleague who had turned up by himself.

So the gig itself. Well I enjoyed the set and I get the impression that once again the fans did too. Before it all started I managed to get a snap of the set list and I'd been told by Linda that they had played the Devil went down to Georgia on a previous evening so it was nice to know what was coming. Actually there was nothing on the list that I didn't enjoy.

I have to say that the lighting was very low. In fact I'm really struggling to find any great pictures. On the plus side it does mean that a lot of the pictures capture that blur of motion that is Jeremy. Well you can see my efforts here .

16 Down, Taverne, Bergen, 1 April 2007

Firstly I have to mention that this is quite likely the last ever show in this little venue. Sadly the free regular shows have had to stopped due to a dispute with the neighbours over the sound levels. I'm not sure how popular the other shows were but I really cannot imagine that they ever had more people than during the last show because that would not be possible.

Anyway the show started very early at around 18:30 and wound up around 9:30. I'd guess this was to try to appease the neighbours but actually it was quite nice to be back home so early after the show on a work night.

The support act may be known to some of you if you are a Marillion fan because they appeared during the Marillion convention this year. I'm talking about the Dutch band 'A day's work'  who are continuing their association with Marillion during the upcoming tour. Anyway they gave a great show and I'm looking forward to seeing them in a couple of weeks again supporting 16Down in Purmerend and also on the Marillion tour. There are some pictures of their set here .


No this lad is not a critic! He was sat on the front of the stage so perhaps he can be forgiven for finding it a little loud.

16Down gave an awesome show. I've become rather a fan of their album FLO, it's been playing in the car most days for a while now. Two tracks really grab me, astronaut and motorbike and I was delighted that they played both. The musical tastes of the general public often differ wildly to mine but I'm astounded that these guys are not universally known although certainly a lot of people I mention the band to are familiar with the name. If you are not familiar with them then check out the samples on their myspace

Sorry the set list is a little unclear anyway if you can't make it out it says
  • Never odd or even
  • Hello astronaut
  • Heaven still cries
  • Forest
  • Paralyzed
  • River
  • Cold
  • What's god supposed to say
  • It's right in front of you
  • Soleil Sunday
  • If the money's right
  • Motorbike
  • Subtle movements
  • Stop getting me down
  • Compulsive behaviour

Anyway I took a few pictures, they came out a little dark due to the lighting in the venue but they are quite atmospheric. You can see them here .

Marty Friedman, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 6 April 2007

Having arrived a little early we were shocked to see only a handful of people in the audience. We needn't have worried because by the time the show started there was a very healthy sized audience. Friends I was meeting had some difficulty using public transport so perhaps that explains the problems faced by others trying to get to the Boerderij.

After a false start where the bass player was inaudible due to a techical problem the show got underway at 9:00 and Marty announced that the show was being recorded for a DVD.

Marty is, by his own admission, not the tallest person and the platform shoes he was wearing nearly brought him up to the height of the bass player. What he may lack in height he more than makes up for in talent. The show was mostly instrumental so you really had the chance to appreciate the guitar playing.

My brother in law (co-owner of Jam Guitars) told me to look out for the slightly unusual way Marty uses his right hand when playing the guitar. If you look you can see that he does slightly curl his hand round to the strings (not actually shown in this picture) rather than the flatter technique used by other guitarists. Perhaps this is the secret to his success.

The drummer was not only excellent at his job but also perhaps one of the most energetic musicians I've seen. In addition his appearance was striking being covered almost entirely in tattoos. From my own point of view it was a delight to see a drummer that was being properly lit so I was able to get some decent shots. Nearly every other band leaves the drummer in the gloom.

Well as usual I managed to get in a few shots and you can see these here . Once again it was great to be at the Boerderij, the lighting was great, the music was great and it was a friendly crowd. The coming lineup for the boerderij is looking impressive too so check that out.

Delain, Patronaat, Haarlem, 13 April 2007

TrisomyDelain were supported by Trisomy  who are another Dutch rock band with clear gothic influences. You can see more pictures of them here .

We arrived a little early to find a group of eager fans waiting outside. I have to say they do have a very youthful following or to put it another way we are not as young as we used to be.

DelainFor those that do not know Delain, they are a new gothic rock band but starting out with strong ties to the biggest names in the genre including Nighwish, Epica, and Within Temptation.

Delain SetlistYou can see the set for Delain on the right here. It was all performed with the usual amount of energy that is typical of gothic rock. For me the high point was the superb 'The Gathering' but it was all good really. The encore was another rendition of The Gathering so I went home happy.

DelainAnyone familiar with gothic rock will have heard the really high speed drum beats that is common. I'd always imagined that this was electronic so when I saw the bass player playing along I kind of assumed that the secret was actually that this isn't drum but just bass guitar. Later in the show I was lucky enough to catch a view of the drummer from the stage side and noticed he was using his pedal to create the high speed drum beats and his foot was just a blur.

Anyway there are a few pictures of Delain here .

16Down, P3, Purmerend, 20 April 2007

A Day's Work Setlist A Day's WorkThis was my first time in this venue, it is a modern purpose built building located near parking and the station for trains to Amsterdam. If you read back a couple of gigs you'll notice that I was at another 16Down concert less than a month back. The last show was in a tiny bar and was packed really beyond the capacity of the place, this time it was much more comfortable.

As I was getting everything set up I met up with Christa (who may be known to a number of the Dutch Marillion fans), and Paul and Wouter from A Day's Work who were supporting 16Down again.

I'm sure most of you will already know that A Day's Work are supporting Marillion on the upcoming tour. The performance they gave this time really allowed me to hear what they were all about much more than the Bergen performance where the audio setup was not ideal (what can you expect in a small bar that was built long before amplified music?). Anyway I really think that those going to the Marillion shows are in for a good time. I bought (no I'll be honest Christa bought and I owe her the money for) the CD and I've given it a few listens in the car and I've been please with my (erm sorry her) purchase. Well there are a few pictures of the guys in action here .

16DownI was told that an American couple had flown over to Europe and were taking the chance to see A Day's Work before flying off to Italy to see Marillion. Well I spoke to them before the 16Down set and they asked what they were like. I could only suggest that they listen.

16Down SetlistThe 16Down set was the same as the Bergen set but with a lot more room for manouvre. They had a bit of comic moment when between the main set and encore the drummer declared that nature called, anyway they returned to the stage without the drummer and so the singer was kind of forced to take over the drumming while playing the guitar. Again they played my favourites, astronaut and motorbike, but as I've said it was the same set. So for me it was a great evening.

So what did our transatlantic visitors think of the guys? Well they found it a little, er, transatlantic for their tastes :-) Anyway sorry to them for not going to 16Downsee The Church at Ekko but I could not get a ticket. Oh and I got a great shot of you guys and A Day's Work so get in touch if you want a copy.

And for anyone looking for more 16Down pictures then take a look here .

Moke, Plato music store, Leiden, 28 April 2007

Well I'd been told by a colleague and friend Arno on the Friday to look out for these guys. I asked him if they were appearing anywhere I'd know in the near future. And it turns out they were playing the next day in Leiden about 15 minutes by bike from home. So I turned up with no idea what to expect.

Well the pictures turned out as you'd expect, like a band playing in a cramped music store but you can see my efforts here . But what about the music? Well suffice to say that Arno was right they are well worth listening to and as such I picked up the album before leaving the store (yes I paid for it) and we are intending to go and see them again on Monday when the play a local festival.

Having listened to the album, well it's going to be one of those that doesn't get much time to gather dust in the CD rack. Take a listen to the sample on their myspace and decide for yourself though.

Moke, Sassenheim havenfestival Queensday, Sassenheim, 30 April 2007

OK Sassenheim is a small town lying 30 minutes bike ride to the North of Leiden (where we live) and Queens day is a once a year celebration of the Queens Birthday when The Netherlands (an already patriotic country) goes berserk with patriotic fever.

It is common for people to come out and set up temporary flee markets, seemingly having trawled the attic for anything they really don't need anymore and setting up shop on a blanket outside the house. Apparently a lot of people mange to grab a bargain. The other side of the day is the large amount orange that is worn and the large amount of beer that is consumed. It's certainly all good fun.

Jan Tekstra As Sassenheim was so near by we had a choice of going by car or bike. The weather was great for the end of April (in fact we've not seen any rain for the entire month) so we made the trip by bike.

Cliff DanielsThe schedule was a little off so we arrived in time to see Jan Tekstra and Captain Darling, Jan being the singer and Captain Darling were the band (nothing to do with Black Adder). 

After Jan had finished we went over to a very cramped and hot local bar to see Cliff Daniels performing various covers. I'm not sure what the little lad was up to but he carried on strumming along throughout.

We took a few more pictures of the two sets but at the moment I don't have time to put them up. If you are especially interested then please get in touch but otherwise I'll try to find time to put them up later.

MokeFinally it was time for Moke. We were not dissapointed although they were a little bit troubled by some technical problems especially initially.

MokeThe guys are appearing at the upcoming bevrijdingsfestival in Haarlem. This boasts being the largest such festival in the country and we are hoping to be going along but with the amount of other gigs coming up we cannot yet be certain.

Anyway I took a few pictures and you can see them here . The bright sunlight does mean that to get the contrast right was difficult because either the face or some other part of the body was in shade while another part was in direct sunlight. 

Moodak,'t Oude Pothuys, Utrecht, 11 May 2007

Moodak features Wouter Schild on bass from A Day's Work and he invited me along to see the band in action. They are very different to A Day's Work describing themselves as trip hop, to me they had a kind of chillout style with a jazzy edge added by the trumpet very suited to the venue.

The venue is a cafe restaurant based in the basement vaults of on of the typical Utrecht canal side builings. When we arrived the bar was in restaurant mode but as the kitchens shut and the tables were cleared away it became a small music venue.

Well the gig was scheduled to start at 9:30 and we arrived at 9:15 to find the band still eating their meal. I have to say it was a mistake on our part not to have chosen to eat at the cafe, the food looked great so we may try to eat there the next time we are in town. After a long delay they eventually started at gone 11pm and the two part set did not finish until gone 1am.

All in all it was a very enjoyable venue and the music suited it very well. We did sit out the later part of the set in the other tunnel where they had some comfortable chairs but we were stll able to listen to the music. I'm not sure when the band finally got home as they had to pack up and head back to Amsterdam but for us it was around 2:30am.

Well the lighting was 'challenging' but I've managed to get a few pictures that I'm happy to share. You can see these here .

Sylvan followed by Blind Ego,Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 12 May 2007

I was careful how I phrased that caption, this was not one act supporting another, it was two headline acts. Sylvan took to the stage just after 8pm and did not leave until around 10pm. Then Blind Ego took to the stage just after 10pm and continued until around midnight.

Clearly a lot of people had turned up to see Sylvan and listening to people speaking in the bar before the show a lot of people had travelled to see them from Germany, their native country. So, as I've said, I had no idea what to expect but I found myself impressed by the bands progressive rock style. Superb vocals were accompanied by some excellent guitar work. I later heard that the guest guitarist had only practiced with the band on five occasions, perhaps to Sylvan fans this showed but certainly not to me.

Well I picked up the album 'Posthumous Silence', which is their concept album and I've been listening to that since the show. They will be performing the entire album at the beginning of September so if you find yourself in Hamburg then look them up.

If you are interested in more of the photos that I took during the show then click here .

About a month before the show Nanda from the Boerderij got in touch with me and said I should really make an effort to come and listen to Blind Ego.

I have to admit I had no previous knowledge of them but they are a band brought together from other bands that most people will have heard of including RPWL, IQ, Arena, and It Bites.

Well I got my hands on the album and took a listen, from there it did not take much to convince me that I should be going.

Sorry I didn't get a full copy of the set list but it was hidden behind a monitor and I didn't realise until I got home that I'd missed the top. The lighting in the Boerderij was excellent as usual and I managed to take quite a few pictures. If you are interested in seeing them then take a look here .

Moke,Patronaat, Haarlem, 19 May 2007

Moke were supported by Tangerine, an enthusiastic local young band that gave a great performance (despite a short problem with the lead guitar).

You can see a few more pictures of the guys in the gallery here .

But Moke! Well what can I say. They were booked to play in the small concert hall with a capacity of 300 people. Possibly due to their appearance at the local liberation day festival where they played to 120,000 people, the demand for tickets way outstripped the supply for the small room so they were upgraded to the big hall with it's capacity of 1000 people.

If you look back up this page you will see that I've photographed a number of bands at this venue, some of those are far bigger names and yet this was the first time that the balcony was open. Although the show was not entirely a sell out they cannot possibly have been far short of a capacity crowd.

Looking round the crowd you could see that a number of people were not entirely familiar with their work but you could also tell that they were having a great time. So well done guys, let's hope this is just the start of the bands growing popularity.

Lighting for both Tangerine and Moke was kept very dim and the shots you will see here reflect this. The pictures of Moke can be found here .

The Mission, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 20 May 2007

The Mission were supported by David R Black. For completeness that is the name of the band and not the name of a member of the band. Very rocky style with just a bass, lead guitar and drums plus vocals. Quite hard rock but then sometimes not. Oh to be honest I can't really describe them well. I'd just go to their myspace and take a listen if I were you I really don't think you'll be dissapointed.

They are supporting The Mission for the rest of the tour so if you are going then you will see them.

The lighting during their set was a little restricted and I was dissapointed that it was almost entirely red which never really produces excellent photographs. Well judge for yourself in the gallery  .
The Mission are on tour promoting their new album 'God is a bullet'. I've been listening to the new album and it really has a lot of great tracks that should become Mission classics.

They opened the show with one of my favorite tracks, Headshrinker. The finished the main set with Grotesque with it's excellent guitar ending. In between loads of great tracks.

Not sure of the politics of this but comparing this gig to the one I attended by a band of the same genre in the Melkweg is innevitable. What can I say superbly played instruments, clear and precise vocals and an excellent show that was clearly visible and lasted a decent time (from the start of the support to the end of the show was just short of three hours). Really a great gig. This was certainly not a meddly of their greatest hits but rather the work of an active and still productive band.

Something that struck me about the fans was their level of enthusiasm for the band and the music. The Boerderij has been more busy (the balcony was open and the floor was fairly packed) but don't think I've seen scenes like the ones in this photo.

I've taken a bunch of photos of the gig and you can see them here .

Porcupine Tree, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 28 June 2007

This was my first visit to the newly reworked Melkweg. I did kind of expect more of a change but as far as I could tell they took the photo pit away updated the bar and very little else but it is still a nice venue. I did feel that perhaps they squeezed in a few too many people for the show and the air conditioning was clearly not able to cope as it was very hot on the balcony.

Porcupine Tree were supported by Pure Reason Revolution who I'd first seen supporting Blackfield in Zoetermeer. Although I have not purchased their album I've heard a few tracks from their myspace and I'd really encourage anyone to take a listen. Anyway they performed a great set and I was able to take a few pictures.

I took a few pictures of them in action but the lighting was very difficult for their set so I'm not so impressed with the results but you can see them here .

Fear of a blank planet is a great album although perhaps not my favourite by Porcupine Tree but still this was a fabulous show containing a lot of material from the album but also a lot from the back catalog. I really like the way Porcupine Tree combine video along with the lighting into the gig to make it a real professional show. I was only allowed to photograph the first three songs of the Porcupine Tree set (quite a normal restriction with some bands) and given how crowded the building was and no photo pit this was really not a problem as getting about would simply have been too difficult and irritated too many people. You can see the Porcupine Tree gallery here .

We would have loved to stick around after the show but it was a work night so it was straight back to the train and off home.

Peter Gabriel, Westerpark, Amsterdam, 29 June 2007

Well no photos I'm afraid. I'm sure I could have sneaked in a small camera as so many people did but perhaps for once I just did not want to take any pictures. Nope not true I'm afraid, I'd have loved to have photographed the show but sadly Peter's people were not prepared to get in touch :-)

The weather in Amsterdam was awful, heavy rain meant that Sue and I went to Amsterdam dressed from head to toes in waterproof gear. We arrived to find they were confiscating umbrellas from people at the door and then selling people rain coats (clever). The rain would have been lashing onto the stage so they had erected a screen in front of the stage and the support act with good humour played from behind that occasionally popping a head out tp let us know what they looked like. I actually quite liked them but I can't remember the name so perhaps later I'll look them up later.

The rain subsided and they took the screens down so that we had a clear view of Peter Gabriel and his band. It really was a great show but it started with the slower numbers but picked up massively towards the end with numbers like steam, sledge hammer, and biko. The rain clearly did not put anyone else off either and there were a lot of happy people by the end partying big time and we even had some sun and a rainbow before the end.

Well we are off to Genesis on Sunday and I'm guessing that a number of people will be going to both shows like us. 

Steve Vai, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 18 July 2007

I was asked to go along and photograph this show because Bryan Beller who plays bass for Steve had a Mike Lull guitar and Jam Guitars are the importers in the UK. So if you are interested in the guitars then follow the links. I had some mixed reports about Steve's music but I have to say that those people with negative comments were in the minority and luckily for me I found the show brilliant along with another packed (and sold out) crowd at the Melkweg. I was told that two old colleagues were also going to be present, well I never caught site of them but Steve and Ian if you are reading this, hi I was the guy at the front with the camera :-).

The show started at around 8pm with a young guy called Zack Wiesinger who not only played a mean guitar but also managed to give his full range of facial expressions a work out too. I did try to take a picture of his set list but I was at just the wrong angle. He began with the theme to James Bond and then the rest I cannot read prtly because it was written in hand writing that would make the medical profession proud, partly because of doodles that had been drawn all around the edges, but mostly because half of it was out of focus :-(. He later joined Steve for some parts of the main show too. If you are interested then there is a gallery of some of his pictures here .

Steve's set followed Zack's after a short delay. It's fair to observe that Steve's music is not about singing, he prefers to leave the vocals to the guitars and at times you really can believe that they are talking.

I was also given the impression that Steve is a good bloke. He spent a huge amount of time handing out picks to members of the audience. At one point he even allowed the audience to briefly play the guitar. When mistakes were made (and they tended to be technical not musical) he could laugh about it and joke with the crew and audience. He was also happy to make jokes about his age and generally have a good time on stage. Despite his many, many years of experience he was also able to take a step back once in a while and let the rest of the band show case what they were able to do. We had a solos from the other guitarists, dualling violins, a visit from a posessed drum kit and generally were able to see what each member of the band was capable of rather that it being a Steve and some other people type show.

So you do need to be a bit of a guitar fan but if you are then this is the show to be at. After the show was finished I stuck around to chat to a few of the die hard fans and suddenly noticed that it was very nearly 12pm. I'm guessing the show must have lasted around three hours. So by the time I was at home it was 1am and I was beginning to think my usual 6am start might be delayed. However mixed blessings as I have the day off because my employers building is contaminated with asbestos so we were all sent home. So this means I can sit behind my computer and prepare the pictures for you guys out there.

OK I've managed to process a huge number of pictures and I've taken some of the nicer ones and included them in a galery that you can see here . Actually there are loads more too but you'd be waiting hours for the page to download so you'll just have to take in this lot for now and perhaps I'll sort a download out sometime.

The Stranglers, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 9 October 2007

Well what can I say? Years and years and years ago I owned a Stanglers album with all the well known hits so having seen that they were appearing at my other home I thought I'd go along and see what they were up to nowadays. The venue was comfortably full, not packed and certainly not empty. It was a surprise hearing so many English voices in the crowd, clearly they have a loyal following of fans who, for reasons that are not clear to me, come armed with rolled up newspapers.

The event had been billed as accoustic and so it was. It really was extremely laid back. It was not just a meddly of their old hits performed with an accoustic guitar although there were a number of those. Certainly no more heroes was very different unplugged.

There was a certain amount of interaction with the crowd, someone at the front had clearly shouted something about the music being a bit too limp wristed for him. He was not be allowed to live it down for the rest of the show :-).

So for what it's worth here is my opinion. Bloody fantastic, clearly a band who have not in any way forgotten how to be both entertainers and tallented musicians. Yes I would have loved to hear an electric set but that will probably come with time because I intend to sign up for whatever news letter is available so that I have some warning next time they do the rounds.

I bought the laid Black album on my way out and as I write this it's playing in the background and I'm really quite enjoying it. My only complaint, the live version of Old Codger is much more funny, I'm sure anyone who has heard it live will know what I mean. If you are one of the guys that asked me to take their picture at the start of the show, you have come to the right place. Perhaps you can explain the news papers.

Well in another massively fast turnaround here is the gallery of photos from the evening. Enjoy.

Moke, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 12 October 2007

We went along with several friends including Arno who was responsible for suggesting I look out for Moke all that time ago before their rise to fame.

Moke were supported by the Amsterdam band S.C.A.R (Secret Community for Adventurous Rock). They were really very good and very loud. I noticed something familiar about the singers voice and pointed this out to Sue, then Arno said the same thing to me. Just every now and then he did sound quite a lot like Fish. Difficult to know if he would take that as a compliment but as far as I am concerned the resemblance is there and I certainly mean him no disrespect. Well I enjoyed the set enough to buy the album which is in itself quite interesting because you have to scratch the cover with the edge of a coin to reveal, er,  well I'm not sure because I haven't scratched it yet. Having listened to (and really enjoyed) the album I have to say the resemblance to Fish is much less.

You can see a gallery of the pictures from the S.C.A.R set here . They are playing in Den Haag on the 31st October and if time permits I think I'll go along and take another look.

Moke arrived on stage a little later than scheduled. They performed a great set again and closed with an extended version of long way before returning for the encore of Here Comes the Summer. They seemed to go down well with the crowd although the Boerderij was not as busy as it could have been which was a shame. Speaking to Felix after the show he was telling me that they were off to Amersfoort the next say and a sold out show so I suppose it just varies from venue to venue. Moke are always into atmospheric lighting so expect some moody pictures, you can see them here .

After the show they stuck around for a long time chatting with their fans and signing albums and various limbs too. In fact we had to rush off so that I could get this write up started and the pictures uploaded. Here are a few pictures of both Moke and S.C.A.R during the after show and a few backstage too .

Porcupine Tree, Phoenix, Toronto, Canada, 16 October 2007

We were in town just for a week or so visiting friends and I looked up the local gig guide to find out if there was going to be anything on that I might like to go along to. I was delighted to find not one but two bands, Porcupine Tree and After Forever.

The down side was that both bands were on on the same night at venues across town from each other. Getting to photograph not just both bands but also both support acts took a lot of effort and included several taxi rides between the two venues.

Porcupine Tree were supported by a band simply called 3. You can read more about them on their own site here. As I'd been photographing the support act at the other venue I really only caught the end of these guys but they seemed to be going down quite well with the large crowd that had gathered.

A comment I have to make is that the lighting was very low, for this reason and the pressure to get the shots within a few songs the resulting pictures are not some of my best by a long way. To be honest this is why I've waited more than a month before writing the review. Anway you can see some of the pictures in the gallery here

Porcupine Tree took to the stage and I'd been allowed ten minutes to get as much material as I could. Well the crowd were clearly enjoying the show so without a pit I was not going to be able to get near enough the front to get great shots.

After the ten minutes were up I reluctantly made for the exit and a taxi to take me to the Fun House. From reports from friends who stayed for the entire show I gather it was a great gig. You can see the pictures of Porcupine Tree here

One final point, all public venues in Canada are non smoking, take that as a warning if you like but for me it was litterally a breath of fresh air. Coming home from Dutch (and other European) venues stinking of smoke night after night loses it's appeal after a while. Let's hope the proposed public ban on smoking due to be introduced next year covers music venues without affecting attendence.

After Forever, Fun House, Toronto, Canada, 16 October 2007

After Forever were supported by the band Unexpect and this is where my evening began. The venue 'Fun House' was the first floor above a shop in the less desireable end of Toronto's Queen street. We had checked out the area a day or two before the gig and could see no sign that After Forever were appearing and it didn't really change on the night. It had to be said that the crowd while enthusiastic was not large. The stage was really quite small and again dimly lit.

I quickly took a few shots of the band and then had to rush off to get a taxi to the phoenix. Well you can see the resulting shots here .

The Taxi ride was quite interesting, the driver had moved from South America some 30 years before and we had a great chat about his experiences of living in Canada and how often he returns home to visit family.

So having grabbed some pictures of Porcupine Tree and their support act I caught another taxi back to the Fun House only to hear Floor announcing that the next song was to be the last, OK this did not include a couple of encores so I did manage to get a few more shots of them in action and you can see these here .

Well I don't really feel I've done either band complete justice and I really do not intend to try and capture two shows in one evening again. It's really not the same as doing a festival.

My final Taxi ride was to take me back to the friends house. The driver had obviously moved to Canada and was a really excitable bloke who just loved to tell tails of some of the overweight passengers he had had in the past, including one guy who could not physically get himself into the vehicle. Trouble was it was all quite serious so I had to do my laughing on the inside.

Levellers, Waterfront, Rotterdam, 21 November 2007

The Waterfront is, as it's name suggest, on the river in Rotterdam. I'd gone along to photograph the show and to see a friend and former colleague who has until now always been busy or away when the Levellers are in town.

The venue was actually under some kind of road junction and it was only after calling the friend that I managed to get myself to the entrance. The actual hall had a really low cealing and the stage was really not all that big and certainly not high so for anyone more than a few rows back it was really only possible to see head and shoulders.

The Levellers were supported by the band Divokej Bill from the Czech Republic. I've never seen quite so many people on one small stage at once and these guys certainly had a great style that fitted well with the Levellers own style.
I found the following video on You Tube and thought it might be worth showing it here. The original video I'd found was a low quality version of the video that is a bonus on the live DVD but it was removed from You Tube so I've put this one up instead. The only thing about the venue was that the lighting really was very low so all the shots were taken at very high ISO and are correspondingly grainy. Anyway you can see the results here .

The Levellers gave a great set and included a couple of new songs. Well on their way to twenty years in the business and I'm guessing a new album fairly soon next year is going to be something quite special and if this evening's performance is anything to go by then they have not lost their touch.

Well I managed to get a few shots in and you can see them here. Once again sorry for the lower than usual quality .

I've obviously been to a fair number of their gigs now because I've started recognising some of the regulars that hire a bus and come over from the UK to give support to the guys. I can't say I know too many of them by name but it certainly says something about their dedication that they are prepared to take time out to follow the guys around.

The journey home nearly became something of an adventure as I thought I'd lost the ticket to the now closed car park. The prospect of taking a train home and back out again the next day when the car park was open was not something I was looking forward to. Luckily the ticket turned up deep in the crevices of the camera bag.

Well the next gig is the Friday gig in Haarlem.
 

Levellers, Patronaat, Haarlem, 23 November 2007

To be honest as soon as I'd started photographing the Wednesday show I knew I wanted to be at this show. Sue had wanted to go along to the show and Meirion told me he was going along with a large group of friends and colleagues. In addition we knew a couple of other friends and loyal Levs fans (Linda and Daniella) were coming along too.

The guys were supported by Divokej Bill (meaning Wild Bill). I'd told the guy on their merch desk on Wednesday that I would love to buy the CD but I did not have any cash and he took no cards. So this evening after Sue had heard the band I asked her if she would like me to go and get the CD. I came back with the entire catalogue, plus a Christmas CD, sticker, and live DVD. Clearly this band has enjoyed some real success in the past because the DVD shows them appearing at a festival with a huge crowd. One song that seemed to go down well equally well with both the Czech and Levellers crowd is the song Alkohol, I'm sure you can imagine why. Anyway you can see the photos from this evening here .

Another great levellers gig! The set was essentially the same as Wednesday but with a huge difference. Both bands came back on stage to perform a couple of songs. The combined total was something like fifteen people crammed onto the stage. Anyway you can see the resulting pictures here .

After the gig we went off to a local bar for a quick drink before getting off home. I really cannot wait for the 20th anniversary tour. I took a bunch of pictures of fans at the Patronaat and you can see these here .

Moke, Patronaat, Haarlem, 30 November 2007

Earlier this year I wrote somewhere on a blog that it was my intention to focus more on Dutch bands and less on the well known acts that come through this way. Well I feel I've achieved mixed results but cetainly an outstanding moment has to have been being tipped off about Moke.

But more about them later. The guys supporting them were a local Haarlem band called The Hype. I cannot find an official site for them but they do have a hyve here. They mention a huge number of influences but one that stands out as particularly relevant are the Beatles. The guys clearly have something of a following already because I noticed a few of their T-Shirts being worn in the crowd. They seemd to be well received by the audience and I also really enjoyed their set and the guys clearly enjoyed performing too. It's nice to see a bunch of guys who enjoy performing so much and I know for a fact that they did not stop once they were off stage, giving a private performance for a few people backstage.

In short, if I see they are on the line up again for another show I'll try to make the effort to go along. You can see a gallery of their pictures here .
So perhaps a little later than expected Moke arrived on stage. While the Patronaat had been busy during The Hype it was now packed solid. Clearly Moke have been gaining more and more fans, the first time I'd seen them in the Patronaat they had been upgraded from the small room to the main room and now they were very nearly selling out the main room and getting around the venue was very tricky to be able to photograph.


When Moke are on stage they have an obvious trade mark and that is an almost complete lack of lighting. This makes for really tricky photography but also some stunning moment such as the silhouette of Phil in the mist.

For those of you who have somehow not heard of Moke you might like to listen and watch the video. Most people I've spoken to instantly seem to like the style and with more listening it just seems to get better.

There is a gallery of shots from during the show here . After the show the guys stayed around for a little while signing anything that was put in front of them, including people. I took a bunch of shots of that but without a flash and in a dark cellar not as many as I'd have liked turned out the way I wanted but you can see them here . By the time all of this was over it was 1:00am and I still had to drive back to Leiden. Still I'd count it as one of the better gigs. Oh and the chance to talk to one of Holland's most well known photographers was an excellent bonus.

If you are interested in other events that I've covered involving Moke then scroll up this page and you will find several more plus I've also covered them at the Bevrijdingspop and Beschaving festivals both on separate pages.
   

IQ, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 1 December 2007

Warning, if you happen to be a Moke fan that's scrolled down a little further please be warned that IQ are a prog rock band. This means that if you decide you are going to perhaps listen to one track to try them out make sure you are sitting comfortably because you could be there for a while.

The video here happens to be of the sound check at Zoetermeer. It's not from the same gig though, one clue to that is the fact that Martin Orford was still playing keyboards rather than the Mark Westworth who recently joined the band. I think it's fair to say that Mark has been accepted into the line up and he certainly played his part well.

The Boerderij was more or less packed out. I believe you could still get tickets but then finding somewhere to stand might have been an issue. The show started at about 8:30 with no support act so it was straight into IQ playing tracks from throughout their discography.

As you can tell from the picture of Michael, the show was being professionally filmed so who knows, perhaps there will be a DVD available.  It will be a long DVD too, the show finished at around 11:00 so that's 2.5 hours.

Those of us that stuck around in the cafe were later rewarded for our patience when the guys came and joined us at the bar. I recollect that as I was leaving at just gone 1:00am J.J. was trying to gather members of the band and the crew to rejoin the bus as they needed to get to the crossing back to the UK that night. His efforts were not unlike to trying to heard cats.

The gallery of pictures is here and if you are interested in the pictures from the 2006 gig in the same venue then take a look further up this page.
       

Porcupine Tree, Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, 5 December 2007

Firstly let me start by saying I was wrong, but I was not the only one. A number of us thought that Porcupine Tree having booked to play a 5000 person venue on the night of one of Hollands most important family holidays was a recipe for disaster. Well not a bit of it, the crowd was not a capacity crowd but it certainly filled the standing area and almost all of the seated area at the back. I've heard various figures from 4,500 down to the more reasonable and most official figure of 3,500. I'm really delighted about this as it made for a great evening and it means increasingly us PT fans are not alone so perhaps more and more bands will start to see success in the same genre, which can only be a good thing.

The support act were Anathema, they had supported PT at the first PT gig I'd been to in Paradiso right at the top of this page (I'd encourage you to take a look back at the pictures but that was the early days and I like to think I'm a little better now). Once again they gave a great performance (even with a fill in drummer) and so I rushed off to buy a CD with no luck as they were sold out. We were restricted to three songs and one of those had started before we were allowed out so the pictures are a little limited but take a look here if you are interested .

Porcupine Tree arrived on set and were also clearly delighted that so many people had abandoned their children to come and see them play. I get the feeling that Steve is becoming more and more comfortable interacting with a crowd. Other than Arrow this is the biggest audience I've seen them play to. I believe they played all of Fear of a blank planet and they ended with Trains and, my personal favourite, Halo. Well their gallery is here , again a three song limit (which is actually quite a long time for PT) has reduced the number of pictures I could choose from and it was a great shame that we were only allowed to photograph from the pit as the stage and lighting looked stunning from further back.
     

Fish, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 10 December 2007

I'd passed up the chance to see the big guy on this tour earlier in the year because I'd heard unconfirmed rumours that he would be coming to the Boerderij and that's a venue that's very much a home from home being only thirty minutes drive away and the prog venue of the country (no really take a look at the people they get gigging there). So it was a bit of a downer to find that the gig was sold out before I had chance to buy a ticket, luckily for me a friends boss was taken ill meaning the friend could not make it, cheers Meirion.

Sue and I had been to the Boerderij for a Marillion gig only a few days before (you can see the photos here). For Fish there were a few more people and the Boerderij was a little more cramped because of this.

There was no support act so it was straight into the Fish set. I'm sure the set list will be familiar to most of you. So many songs that I've never heard live, or at least not for several decades. So it was a great gig and I'll be booking my tickets for the next Fish gigs really early to avoid dissapointment. You can see a gallery of pictures from the show here .
   

Epica, Patronaat, Haarlem, 11 January 2008

I'd been told about the gig in the Patronaat by a former colleague and friend who is very much a metal fan. I'd wanted to photograph Epica for a while so along with some of her new colleagues we picked up our tickets and headed for the venue.

Looking back it seems there is something about the Patronaat and this genre, I've photographed Delain (in 2007) and After Forever (in 2006) both of them at this venue.

Epica were supported by the local (Haarlem) band the NAME. They seemed to be on quite a busy schedule and after their set had to rush off to play the Paradiso in Amsterdam.

This was my first pyro gig, I've tried to photograph fire in the past and it usually seems to come out badly so I'm quite pleased with the results from this gig. If you are wondering why the set list has everything crossed out well I can only guess but as this was a back stage copy I was guessing that as each track was played the corresponding track was crossed off, I've never seen this before so it's really a guess.

I guess we are quite lucky to see the band because with Simone being ill at the moment a huge number of shows have been cancelled. I have to say her illness clearly has not affected her voice, it's still quite astounding.

For both bands the lighting was typical of the genre, very dark, but you can see the photographs in the following galleries, here for the Name and here for Epica.

Thanks to Petra for the following review.

"Ik kende de muziek van Epica wel maar in tegenstelling tot een aantal bevriende collega's van mij heb ik de band nog nooit eerder live gezien. Aangenaam verrast was ik door het superstrakke gitaarwerk. Werkelijk ongelofelijk, het publiek bleef headbangen en ik zelf bleef ook niet verschoond van een stijve nek. Simone was op dreef, ze had best de nieuwe zangeres van Nightwish kunnen worden, ze heeft namelijk een stem om kippevel van te krijgen. Het strakke drumwerk werd bekrachtigd door de explosies van een prachtige vuurwerkshow, al met al een geweldige avond." - Petra Koelewijn
 

Delain, P60, Amstelveen, 15 February 2008

Cardamon supporting delain
Cardamon Cardamon
This was my first visit to the P60 so a few words about the venue to start with. This does seem to be the ideal venue, although the stage is not huge it was certainly large enough to accomodate the band. The layout reminded me of a slightly smaller version of the Paard van Trooij in Den Haag or Melkweg in Amsterdam with a large standing area downstairs and a balcony running round the sides. The location is incredibly easy to reach being only two minutes from the A9 junction and with a huge amount of parking in two separate car parks. If you prefer to travel by public transport then again this is the ideal venue as it's located right next to the bus station.

P60 has it's own cafe downstairs which, unlike some other venues, opened before the gig so you could wait there. So much more fun than standing around in the freezing cold. Even if there own cafe was not to your liking there are loads of other bars in the area as the venue is located right in the heart of Amstelveen. The venue (like most Dutch venues) prefers to use tokens rather than cash so you have to make sure you go along and buy these before going to the bar. Something I found a little irritating was that they twice refused to serve me tap water telling me that as they sold bottled water I had to buy that instead. I tend to drink a lot of water during the shows when I'm photographing to overcome the heat and at €2 per glass I can run up quite a bill.

The show started with the band Cardamon from Utrecht. I found there style a little softer than I would have expected but judge for yourself. You will find links to several of their tracks from their pages. You can see the pictures of their set here .

Delain
Delain Delain
Delain
Delain hit the stage with Frozen and then Silhouette of a Dancer but half way throught Silhouette clearly something was wrong because Charlotte disappeared from the stage. The rest of the band carried on but by the end it became clear that she was not immediately coming back so they appologised saying they she was unwell and they hoped to be back in five minutes. Well after five minutes they made another announcement saying it would be another five minutes.

By this stage I'm sure I was not alone in thinking they would probably cancel but all credit to them, they came back and started again with (quite appropriately) Shattered. There were a few moment initially when she seemed to be a little distracted but very quickly she was back in her stride and they delivered an excellent gig for the rest of the evening, even playing the full set list.

Delain setlist In addition to the full set list we also heard a new track 'Stay Forever'. We were told that this would be on the upcoming new album. Something to look forward to.

Well the gallery of pictures is here . You might also be interested in seeing some of the pictures from the Epica gig in the Patronaat during which Ronald made an appearance. The write up for that gig is just above this one on this page. I also photographed Delain in the Patronaat in early 2007 and you can see that gig further up this page.

Petra has written another review for me so thanks again to her.
"Delain, opgericht door de extoetsenist van Within Temptation, is een relatief jonge band, die in de P60 in Amstelveen de interesse van verschillende leeftijdsgroepen weet op te wekken. De nummers die tijdens dit concert worden gespeeld komen allemaal van het debuutalbum Lucidity en zitten ingenieus in elkaar. Maar de reden dat Charlotte aan het begin niet echt uit de verf komt, blijkt al spoedig, als ze ziek van het podium verdwijnt. Hulde overigens aan de bandleden die het nummer onverstoorbaar zonder vocaliste tot een goed einde brengen. Hoewel nog wat zwakjes vervolgt Charlotte na een minuut of 10 het optreden, wat door het publiek zeer wordt gewaardeerd. De band weet in de loop van de avond een steeds krachtiger en melancholischer sfeer neer te zetten. En met het nummer Stay Forever wordt het nieuwe 2e album aangekondigd, gezien dit prachtige nummer zeker iets om naar uit te kijken. Goede keuze om met een herhaling van the Gathering de avond af te sluiten, want nog eenmaal krijgt Delain het publiek aan het springen." - Petra Koelewijn -

Lords of the backstage, The Waterhole, Amsterdam, 22 March 2008

The Waterhole is a small bar and music venue just off Leidseplein down a little side street from all the main square. It is very much the typical slightly aged looking bar that makes for a great evening out. Furniture by Steptoe and Son, one of the video machines was Frogger, and a Coke vending machine that had to have been from the 50's.

Lords of the backstage are a Marillion tribute band who mostly specialise in Fish era Marillion tracks and that is precisely what we got this time. With the exception of Raingods with Zipos everything played during the almost two and a half hour set was early Marillion.

I'm sure the excellent turnout was helped by the large number of people who would have been in town for the Fish gig just down the road in the Paradiso. See below for more details of that. But actually these guys really are very good in their own right so if you missed this chance to see them and you are a Marillion fan then do make an effort to get to one of their future gigs.

The picture top left was just too good an opportunity to pass up. I only wish I'd thought to bring a copy of Clutching at Straws so we could have really arranged a mock up, but still the bar and the pool table certainly make for the right atmosphere. The bar was a little dark so I resorted to using the flash during the gig so I'm not entirely happy with the results but you can see the gallery here .

Fish, Paradiso, Amsterdam, 22 March 2008

Glyder supporting Fish
With slightly less than an hour between the end of the Lords gig and the doors opening on the Paradiso we just about had time to get something quick to eat at the local Waga Mamas and then get to the doors.

Fish was supported by Glyder who are a traditional rock band from Ireland. I have to admit to being quite impressed by the music and you have to admit that they certainly look the part of a rock band. The guys hung around after the gig so I had a brief moment to have a chat but it was all too short.

Well you can see the gallery of pictures from their set here .

The Fish set was different enough from the last time so that it felt like a different gig. It was great to see the guys in action again and it was especially good to see Frank apparently in good health after his recent heart attack. Fish was sporting a shirt 'Save Planet Rock'. This great radio station is due to close really soon unless a buyer can be found. There is not a lot of time as it is due to close at the end of March 2008, check out the campaign by clicking the link above. 
Fish
Fish is appearing at the Classics in Rock festival very soon (12th April) and then Pinkpop Classic a month later.

But back to this gig. The Paradiso was not actually sold out but to be honest I am not sure quite where they would have put any extra people had they come along. The Paradiso was open on all three levels and there was really not much room to get around.

It was great to hear some of Fish's new work live and the audience were clearly loving it and joined in with their usual enthusiasm.

Well there are few pictures in the gallery here .

Dragons, Patronaat, Haarlem, 23 March 2008

Cloudmachine supporting Dragons
The gig was in the smaller hall of the Patronaat and I'd only ever seen the room once before. That time there were a couple of DJ's doing their thing which involved an incredible beat and incredible volume. 

Cloudmachine, who were the local guys who supported Dragons, are a contrast to this beat. Take a listen to the samples on their myspace (link from their site). Not an entirely unique style (no surprise to find Muse amongst their influences) but very well executed. I really hope these guys can find their way to bigger and better things and I can honestly say I'd happily listen to them again.

Well if you are eager to see the pictures I took of them then take a look here .

"We are Dragons". I'd been told about this British band by a friend who was unable to make it to the gig. Her loss I'd say, but the good news is that they plan to return later in the year so she will have another chance to see and hear them. I did not go alone, a couple of friends came too and although we were in the small room it was still filled with enough people to make a really good size audience.

The only tracks I knew were Lonely Tonight and Roses as these are available on their site but they were enough to convince me that I wanted to see this band (go to their site and click on Exclusives, if you want to listen yourself). The stage was littered decorated with roses which I am assuming is a reference to the song Roses (which you can see here to the right). Something that struck me during the gig is that they are able to reproduce their recorded style live.
Dragons
Anyone who has seen them live will be struck by their stage presence, they come over as slightly scary people, their drummer is especially frantic and puts a huge amount of effort into his work. Off stage they are something quite different. After the show they hung around the merchandising and talking to them gave a totally different impression. A bunch of guys who are really into making music.

I had feared that they would be a band that enjoyed playing in the dark but actually the venue supplied lighting was quite bright enough to allow me to get some reasonable shots and you can see these here .

Hayseed Dixie, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 13 April 2008

Pigmeat supporting Hayseed Dixie
Pigmeat Pigmeat
The gig was in the smaller room of the Melkweg and was, in typical Melkweg style, packed solid. Actually the room is not all that small being a bit like the Boerderij for those that are familiar with that venue. Oddly for a Sunday night gig it did not start until 9pm and it was around 12 before it finished so you certainly were getting a lot of entertainment for the money but for those of us who have a day job too it was a bit of a killer.

Well the support act were a couple of guys from Friesland who call themselves Pigmeat. They are the only band I've seen who appeared to play a telegraph pole with an old can attached. But they were certainly entertaining playing such tracks as song 1, song 2 (no not a cover), song 3 (I think that one was about Herman the unwilling steer). Perhaps someone could get in touch and let me know if they ever supported the Levellers because someone I went with thought they had but if so it was not at any gig I was at. Well you can see a few pictures of them in action here .

So Hayseed Dixie, it all kind of started very informally. One moment there was an empty stage with only a fridge to keep the beer cool (apparently regular fans will see this as a cop out, previous gigs have included a coffin filled with ice and beer to perform the same job, I was told this is something left to the venues own imagination), suddenly there were a bunch of guys you'd easily confuse for the road crew for any other band milling around tuning the instruments, and then they started playing them.

Actually they played them very well. Those of you thinking (like me perhaps) that they were just an AC/DC cover band would be wrong. They not only cover a huge variety of genres but they also perform their own material too. Their own songs usually had an amount of humour in them such as the track dedicated to the more slow witted terrorists such as the ones that failed to blow up Glasgow airport, or the song dedicated to lead singers experiences of France (born to die in France), or well I won't ruin it for anyone who still has to see the guys for the first time.
Hayseed Dixie
Hayseed Dixie Hayseed Dixie Hayseed Dixie

But really for anyone who has not seen them you will certainly need a good tollerance to Dixie music and be prepared to laugh. This is another of those bands that I suspect I'll be making an effort to see again in the future.

As usual I took a load of pictures and you can see them here . While you are here perhaps you'd also like to check out the following You Tube clip of them in action. It gives a taste of what they are like but obviously the beards have grown back since.

Oh and if you were at the gig then I also took a bunch of photos of people who stopped me and asked to be photographed. You might find yourself here . Oh and same to you mate :-)

Mick Pointer and friends, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 17 April 2008

Kramer supporting Mick Pointer
Kramer Kramer Kramer
This was my first trip back to my 'local' venue, the Boerderij, this year so it had to be for something really quite special. The Boerderij has not changed much, although those of you who have not been for a while should know that the stash of gold tokens you have at home will only be valid until summer. So either get down to a gig soon or pop them in an envelope and send them to me :-).

Mick was supported by the band Kramer from Amsterdam. They are very much a prog rock band and well worth checking out. I'd first seen these guys on the same stage supporting It-Bites in late 2006. You can see the pictures of their set here .

Boerderij - 17 April 2008

Script For A Jester's Tear
He Knows You Know
The Web
Garden Party
Chelsea Monday
Forgotten Sons
Charting The Single
Three Boats Down From The Candy
Market Square Heroes
Grendel
Margareta
The gig was billed as a 25th anniversary performance of Marillion's Script for a Jester's Tear. Mick Pointer was a founding member and the drummer for Marillion at the time of the album but the rest of the band were brought in for the occasion from some very well known sources. You know, I had been kind of wary about going to this gig. I really thought that with only one person with a connection to Marillion it could not possibly capture the atmosphere of the original Marillion gig. But Mick has brought together a great bunch of musicians and the results were astounding. Brian was putting his all into delivering a really believable Fish and the rest of the band also brought the music back to life completely.

I had a chance during the gig to look at the rest of the audience (a reasonable sized crowd) and time after time I saw people either with their eyes closed or simply lost in the moment. And after the gig everyone was smiling from ear to ear with nothing negative to say about what they had just seen.
Mick Pointer and guests
Mick Pointer and guests
Mick Pointer
(Arena)
Mick Pointer and guests
Nick Barrett
(Pendragon)
Mick Pointer and guests
Ian Salmon
(Arena)
Mick Pointer and guests
Brian Cummins
(Carpet Crawlers)
Mick Pointer and guests
Mike Varty
(Credo)

For me I think the high point was seeing Brian perform Grendel. And I do mean perform, he did not just stand on stage and sing the words, he acted out the whole song. I'm sure there will be those purists who are going to say it isn't Marillion. Well no, but for me and almost everyone at the show, it did not matter, we were hooked. So if the show is making it's way to a town near you and you happen to enjoy script then I'd urge you to go along.

Well, for those interested, here are the photos .

Vader, Patronaat, Haarlem, 24 April 2008

Inactive Messiah opening for Vader
Inactive Messiah Inactive Messiah
Devian second support for Vader
Devian Devian
Septic Flesh third support for Vader
Septic Flesh Septic Flesh
Well a friend had pursuaded me to go along to this show by one of Death Metals hardest acts. Being really honest it's not a genre that I've followed in any way. Perhaps the nearest I've come to would be some of the Gothic Metal bands.

I was not sure what the line up was supposed to be but in the end we had three supports acts before Vader finally hit the stage and it was around midnight before we left the venue. Given that we saw four acts in the one evening it was quite a suprise to find that the tickets were going for only €13 each. Perhaps because of this there was a reasonable sized crowd who seemed quite relaxed during the support acts, OK there were the occasional few who insisted on trying to start a mosh pit but it never amounted to much.

All that changed during Vader. Most of the floor became a no go area for most people and I certainly kept away from the youthful enthusiasm while holding the cameras.

As I said this isn't my genre so rather than writing anything about the music I'll just let you read the words of the friend who took me along to the gig.

"Heavy Haarlem" een avond vol muzikaal geweld in het Patronaat. Voor de niet kenner was het alsof er een flinke emmer grunt werd omgekieperd en omgeschopt. Deathmetal van dit kaliber is een genre apart, je moet het net als wiskey leren drinken. Vier bands traden op en bij binnenkomst speelde Inactive Messiah+: strak gitaarspel goede gruntzanger, best goed. Devian stond als 2e op de lijst, een Zweedse band waarbij de zanger met theatrale gebaren het publiek plat probeerde te krijgen, dat lukte overigens niet echt. Een grote verrassing was Septic Flesh: grote Grieken, grimmige grunt, ongebruikelijke tempowisselingen en sferische invloeden. Voor mij was deze band niet in een hokje te plaatsen en daarom des te interessanter. Het klapstuk van de avond was Vader, een poolse band die al vanaf 1986 bestaat en daardoor een icoon is in de deathmetal wereld. De lyrics, zoals het heilige "Helleluya God is Dead" zijn gitzwart en hun muziek is pure speed. Meer dan de helft van de zaal storte zich op het slagveld, de blauwe plekken zullen niet van de lucht geweest zijn. Al met al was het een fantastische en opzwepende avond. - Petra Koelewijn
Thanks for that Petra, perhaps I'll take your advice and take some wiskey before the next show ;-). Well there are a number of photographs from the show. You can see the support act galleries here and you can see the Vader gallery here .
Vader
Vader Vader
Vader Vader

Red Flag 77, Cafe de Vinger, Den Haag, 29 April 2008

Support Act
'Go ahead punk, make my day' and well I'll be damned if they didn't. It was a big day (or rather night) in Den Haag because the town goes a little crazy celebrating the eve of Queens day. We arrived to find streets closed off for a big party and a lot of people predominantly wearing orange. I confidently walked through the streets to the venue only to find that where I'd thought the venue was, was actually a different music bar. Luckily I was only one corner off being in the right place and we met up with the people we had come to see and went in.

The venue was quite a small and dim bar with a small stage downstairs and a balcony upstairs. The bar was clearly aimed at the Punk crowd and popular with them. Upstairs members of the band were relaxing before the gig started and we grabbed a table overlooking the stage. The gig did not start until far later than we had thought so it gave us time to get a few drinks in. To be honest I'd never been to a Punk gig before (well OK the Levellers are Punk Folk but it's really not the same).

I never caught the name of the support act. They were a little heavy for me and was beginning to regret my decision to come along. With the poor lighting I was having to resort to using a flash and I really do not like the results. So I was not expecting such a great gig from Red Flag 77 but actually it really was a great gig. Clearly the band were loving it and the crowd too. We had a stage invasion with someone taking over the mic for a while and on another occasion the lead singer was carried off by several members of the audience while he continued to sing.
Red Flag 77
Well Petra has once again written a review for me.
Na een keer de vriend van mijn vriendin Nicole bestookt te hebben met blackmetal, vond hij het tijd voor revanche. Daarom nodigden ze me uit in cafe De Vinger in Den Haag voor een optreden van Red Flag 77, een punkband. Bij binnenkomst was gelijk merkbaar dat het een punkerscafe was, gewoon door het publiek, de entourage en de superrelaxte sfeer. Het optreden van Red Flag 77 was één groot feest. Wat een aanstekelijke band en wat een interactie met het publiek! Op een gegeven moment werd de zanger opgetild door het publiek en mocht de harde kern meezingen in de microfoon. De rauwige zwoelige stem van de zanger in combinatie met de ondertoon van rock en roll, zorgden ervoor dat je gewoon niet stil kon blijven staan. Nick, de complimenten voor je fotografische capriolen vanuit die enigszins veilige plek onder de tafel! - Petra Koelewijn
Well you can see the galleries of pictures for the support here and for Red Flag 77 here . Additionally I took a load of pictures of people in the bar so check out that gallery here .

Gazpacho and It Bites, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 19 July 2008

Gazpacho
Gazpacho Gazpacho Gazpacho
Gazpacho Set List There are probably not that many people visiting this site on a regular basis that do not know Gazpacho. I've photographed them several times, usually supporting Marillion so it is kind of nice to see them at my local venue. Anybody who does not know them would probably look at that set list and think we had been ripped off. I mean four songs and that's it!! Well let me put it this way, before the show I was speaking to the band and asked them if they would be playing anything new. "Yes" came the answer "we will be playing a half hour new song". Well normally their English is perfect but I had to correct this "You mean half and hour of new songs?", "No! The new song is half an hour long!". I should have known better, their last album "Night" was essentially a 50 minute song but broken into separate themes, or to put it another way it was five songs that run together for entire CD duration. Anyway the show started just after 8 as promissed and they finally finished at 9:30 so those four songs lasted 90 minutes. I was left hoping that they will be bringing out a follow up album to Night.

No SmokingGazpachoBoth bands were off to the Lorely Prog Rock festival in Germany stopping off with us in Zoetermeer and then a gig on Saturday before making their appearances on the Sunday. To be honest both bands deserved a bigger crowd than they actually got. The Boerderij really was not all that full but the people who had come along seemed to be enjoying themselves. Who knows why the turnout was so low but I suppose one explanation might have been the recently introduced smoking ban which came into effect in all bars, restaurants, and theatres. Personally I think it is a great move not only because I can go home not smelling of cigarette smoke but also because the clearer air makes the photography much easier. Many were the times that an otherwise excellent shot was ruined by a plume of exhailed smoke. The solution at the Boerderij seemed to involve giving access to the outside terrace during the gig, so anyone unable to hold out for the entire show was able to pop outside for some fresh air. Of course another perfectly reasonable explanation could have been that most of the Prog fans that were likely to have gone to see either band were already in Germany at the festival.

If you are interested in the photos of the Gazpacho set then click here .

It Bites
It Bites It Bites It Bites It Bites It Bites
It bites are about ready to release a new album so were were treated to not only a great line up of their back catalog but also several tracks from the new album. Sadly it was not finished being pressed so it was not possible to get a copy.

Anyway you can see the photos from the It Bites set here .

Hayseed Dixie, Tivoli (de Helling), Utrecht, 14 September 2008

Hayseed Dixie
Hayseed Dixie Hayseed Dixie Hayseed Dixie
Hayseed Dixie Hayseed Dixie
Hayseed DixieI had never been to this venue before and all I knew was that it was smaller than it's sibbling (which is already small). The navigation system did not fail me and I arrived to find no signs of life (I was a little early it has to be admitted) other than a couple of police cars at the end of the road with officers pulling over people who had missed the temporary no entry sign. They filled their quota while I was there and buggered off to nab some other 'criminals'.

The venue is indeed small but roomy enough for the crowd that showed up. The band clearly have something of a following but selling out a Sunday evening gig in an out of the way location was perhaps asking a bit much but still it was by no means empty. Their was no support act this time (last time I saw them it was with the Dutch band pigmeat in support) so around 8:45 Hayseed Dixie hit the stage.

The musical style is really Dixie with a lot of humour thrown in for good measure. And the four guys really do seem able to whip up the crowd into a frenzy. On the humour side I really loved to the song that was essentially their own contract rider listing their requirements. If I remember correctly it was 4 sets of bi-amp monitors, a crate of ale, a crate of lager, and enough ice to keep them cool. They told us about a site where you could read some of the crazy riders that other artists have previously demanded. I could not remember the name of the site but a quick google brought up this one.

Well if I get the chance I'll probably pop along and see them again but sadly that will not be until next year as this was the last 2008 gig as the guys are taking some time out from touring to work on new material and a new album.

The gallery for this gig is available here Hayseed Dixie Gallery.

The Levellers, Paradiso, Amsterdam, 19 November 2008

Levellers set list I've been taking some time off from regular gig photography but on the way to work I was listening to the Levs on the mp3 player and decided I really had to go. This decision was made far easier by knowing that friends were coming along to the show so we met up for dinner and then off to the gig.

The Levellers had two support acts. The first was a solo act, Frank Turner, who took to the stage with his guitar. Actually a friend also appeared briefly to perform a harmonica solo. You can see a few of the pictures of Frank here. Frank Turner Gallery

The second support was a duet called Pigmeat. I've photographed these guys previously when they were supporting Hayseed Dixie just down the road in the Melkweg. I was told by someone in the audience that they have a very school teacher style to their humour, I cannot confirm this myself as everything was in Dutch and far too quick for me. The only song that I think I followed to any degree was about Herman the bull that really, how can I say this, had lost all passion for his work.

Sadly 2009 will see the end of this act as they have decided to call it quits. Still they have had a decent go at it as apparently they have been performing together since the 1980's. During the last gig I bought one of their shirts. It simply bears a drawing of the backend of a pig with the word Pigmeat in big letters. To my suprise nobody was even slightly offended when I wore this on my last day of work with the Dutch Police.

You can see their pictures here Frank Turner Gallery.

A friend, who is also a life long fan of the Levellers, was telling me that she was delighted that they had finally decided to drop 'One Way' from the set list. Not that she does not like the song but it has been a part of the set for so long she has perhaps gown tired of hearing it. For me this is not the case, I love seeing the enthusiasm of the Levellers fans and rarely more so than during this song so I was not dissapointed to see it on the set list. I had not heard the newest album, Letters from the underground, so I bought a copy on my way in trusting that I would not be dissapointed. As the set list contained a large number of tracks from the album I did not have long to wait. I don't normally offer opinions on music but this time I will. The tracks I heard are far more rocky than I've come to expect from the Levellers and, for me, that is not a bad thing. In short I really like the new album and it has been given a few plays at home.

Something you have to give the Levellers credit for is building a good set list. This is, after all, a tour supporting a new album and adding too much new stuff can kind of test the audience. But the Levellers have really nicely mixed old and new so if you are an up to date Levellers fan then it was all good and otherwise you did not have long to wait for something you recognised again.

Something I seem to have forgotten to mention was that this show was being broadcast live via FabChannel and you can still go to that site to watch the parts of the show for Frank Turner and Pigmeat. The Levellers portion of the show is now finally available and a quick viewing confirms that they have captured the spirit of the gig well. For me with my stills camera I found the lighting too dark but on the video you really do not pick up on that and, from what I've seen, it was a great show to watch as well as be at. Fab Channel seem have stopped doing their thing so their videos are no longer being streamed. This is a great shame because they really were doing an excellent service but I guess it just didn't work out.

Finally here is the gallery from the Levellers set Frank Turner Gallery.

Riverside, Paradiso, Amsterdam, 10 December 2008

Phonetics Several people had asked me if I was going to go to Riverside. I first saw them in 2006 at the Arrow Classic Rock and people were even then raving about them. So I decided to go along and see how they had changed in the two years since then. A colleague had a friends who were not able to go and so had spare tickets.

On the way to the gig I ran in to a bunch of people that I normally see on the Prog scene. And once inside the Paradiso there were a whole bunch more. I guess, even if Marillion don't want to admit to being prog, they seem to have a load of fans that hang around Prog bands ;-).

The support act were a French band called Lazuli. They seemed to specialise in playing unusual instruments and doing rather well. They managed to whip up the crowd quite nicely and I really think they appreciated the efforts the guys went to to speak Dutch. They probably didn't see things from my angle, sorry but the secret is out :-). If you want to see a gallery of their pictures then click here Lazuli Gallery.

Riverside set list Riverside were absolutely superb and, despite comparisons to Pink Floyd, really have a style of their own. Well actually I say that but in the middle of one song they broke into something from "Wish you were here", I think it was "Welcome to the machine" but a colleague says it was "Shine on you crazy diamond", I really need to brush up on my Floyd. Another band that they are compared to is Porcupine Tree. Certainly the lead singer has shares Steven Wilson's hair style and it really must be said that the Rapid Eye Movement album really does feel very familiar to anyone who knows Porcupine Tree but at the same time sufficiently different not to sound like a copy.

The guys have promissed that a new album is in the making so I guess we can also expect a supporting tour fairly soon and we can judge the direction they are going in. It was not that long ago that I photographed Porcupime Tree in this venue with similar sized audiences and now they are on their way to selling out the much larger Heineken Music Hall.

The gallery of pictures from the Riverside set is here Riverside Gallery.

Gazpacho, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 27 March 2009

Set List I really cannot believe that this is my first gig of 2009 and yet the year is one quarter over. OK there was quite a lot of music at the Marillion Weekend last weekend but I mean this is my first non convention gig of the year. Talking of the Marillion convention there were a load of people at the gig sporting their Marillion convention T-Shirts so their is clearly still an element of the audience who are also Marillion fans but the guys are no longer relying on Marillion for their fan base and that is perhaps no bad thing. There was no support act for the evening and while the room was not packed they clearly had a decent turnout. At the start of the gig Jan shouted out "who was at last nights gig?" and one person seemed to shout out from the back. I've always thought it odd that when that question is asked at other more established bands gigs the whole audience seems to have followed the band from gig to gig. I suppose it is an indication of the loyalty of the fans but in this case it is an indication that they are attracting a number of new faces.

Once again we are in the land of the Prog band which is why, far from being a rip off, a set list with eight entries actually translates to pretty much two hours music. They played the bulk of their new album, Tick Tock, which I've been listening to since picking up a copy at the gig. I really find it hard to believe that a band that does this in their spare time (well they all hold down day jobs) can produce such consistently great music. Just like Night, Tick Tock has the feel of being one large piece of music.

I had hoped to include a YouTube video or something here so that anyone who is not familiar with them could have some kind of introduction but to be honest all the videos their are a bit ropey. You could try listening to some of the samples on Last FM. You can see the gallery of the pictures I took here Photo Gallery.

Pure Reason Revolution, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, 11 April 2009

I should first mention that this was day two of a two day festival arranged in conjunction with the excellent prog magazine IO Pages. They cover the entire prog spectrum and usually feature some excellent photography, sadly none of it mine :-).

After, the opening act, are a Polish Prog band who are on their second album. Apparently they are the revival/continuation of an earlier band, Awake. They made an early start, 7:30, on a very crowded stage. The huge, statdium class, drum kit dominated the stage with what appeared to be a perspex screen protecting the dummer. My first thought was that this was indeed to protect the drummer from the audience (allowing the lead singer to take the full force of any missiles launched) but I'm guessing that actually this had more to do with accoustics than protection. Because of the lack of space, the singer's microphone would have been directly in the line of fire of sound from the drums as he stood right in front of the kit. Well that's my guess anyway. The photos of the After set can be found here After Photo Gallery.

After After came Quidam. Quidam are another Polish prog band and have been around since 1991. Judging from the audience there were a number of fans who had come along, that or their merchandising were doing really well on the sale of T-Shirts. "I'm a stand-up comedian but I'd sit down if I could. The world just seems to want folk like me to stand." - Liar's Bar - The Beautiful South. The lead singer reminded me of Fish, mainly by his stature, he really did seem to tower over the average band member and most of the audience too. Well the gallery of their pictures is here Quidam Photo Gallery

If Quidam were stand up, stand up commedians of the prog world then Pure Reason Revolution are distinctly the sit down variety, by that I mean they certainly do not follow the expected standards. If you had turned up expecting a standard Prog set then you may have been a little bewildered. However I had seen these guys in action supporting Blackfield some time ago and knew that they had a strong electro style and it was that style that seemed to allow the audience to relax and get into the spirit of things a little. It is always great to see a band that has real enthusiasm for what they do and these guys really do seem to put all their effort into making their music while still looking like they are having fun doing it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgGg-vZyJcE A general haze was being created almost right through the show making it difficult to get good overview shots but some quite nice detail shots were possible. You can see the gallery here PRR Photo Gallery

Cloudmachine, Patronaat, Haarlem, 16 April 2009

Set List Ruud Houweling's Cloudmachine are a five guys that I last saw in the same venue supporting Dragons back in March 2008. Sadly it appears Dragons has vapourised but Cloudmachine have been hard at work producing their new album 'Back on land' and this evening was a presentation of that new CD. It began with the making of video that you can see here followed by the guys performing the set list shown.

After 'Grace' the performance temporarily stopped while Leo Blokhuis told us a little about why he is impressed by Cloudmachine and their consistently high quality work and also how difficult it is to get a break in the music industry. With virtually no radio stations allowing the DJ to dictate the musical content of their own shows it seems it will be an uphill struggle for even the most talented bands to get the ear of the one or two people in a station they need to impress. Indeed, as Leo mentioned, it was a shame that the release of this album could not generate more media interest but I got the impression that the crowd that had gathered for the evening really enjoyed the show as much as I did so hopefully they will be spreading the word.

Finally you can see the gallery of the pictures I took here Photo Gallery. If you want to hear more then either go along to the Cloudmachine site or there is also a track on the site of Leo Blokhuis.

Porcupine Tree, Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, 12 October 2009

I was so delighted to hear that Porcupine Tree were playing the Heineken Music Hall and even more delighted to be allowed to photograph the gig which was part tour for the new album, the Incident. A dilemma that I was facing was that Marillion were playing the same evening in Den Haag on their L=M tour.

The support act was Robert Fripp of King Crimson and had really hoped to get a few pictures of Robert in action but I was told that he really does not like being photographed, apparently since someone used a flash during a show. Naturally I respected his wishes (not that I had a choice given the amount of security present). So I decided to just stand a listen to Robert in action. His music was quite abstract, he started off by recording backing tracks that he then played over in a style that could be compared to whale song. It was a really tranquil style that deserved a better setting and a more attentive audience because by the time Robert's set was half way through the level of babbling from the crowd was kind of drowning out the music. I later found out that Robert sometimes plays the same music in a church with the hall wired for surround. I can imagine that this would be a far better venue.

Well at around 8:40 Porcupine Tree hit the stage. We had been told that we would have ten minutes to photograph the gig and then we would be allowed to return without our camera's to watch the rest of the gig. The ten minutes started with Occam's Razor, the first part of the track The Incident from the new album. I am sure the name is carefully chosen but it is quite an ironic name for the first part of a 55 minute long song. After Occam's Razor, Steve announced that they would be playing all of the new album, then an interval and then some of the older stuff.

As you can see from the pictures here, the lighting was very challenging. There was a lot of muttering backstage amoungst the photographers after the ten minutes were up. You can see the few pictures that I think are OK here Photo Gallery.

I'd love to be able to give you a full report into the gig but I decided to leg it round to the Marillion gig. What I can tell you is that the new album is great and that if this show was anything like the last then the audience probably left grinning from ear to ear. Let's face it Porcupine Tree are doing something right because this gig was a complete sell out in the largest music venue in Amsterdam. The next step up for these guys has to be the Ahoy.

Riverside, Patronaat, Haarlem, 28 October 2009

Riverside were supported by The Pineapple Thief, a great band I last (and first) saw during a Marillion convention about six years ago. They seemed to do an excellent job of getting the crowd into the mood for the show and you can see the pictures here Photo Gallery.

Riverside also gave a great performance although I cannot help but think of Steve Wilson when I see the lead singer and some of the music clearly shares common inspirations. However they really are a superb band in their own right and you really should try to find time to see them if you can.

Increasingly I'm finding myself reporting that the lighting was challenging. I cannot explain why but I have my theories that this has to do with cost savings. A solution from my point of view would simply be to buy one of the newer cameras that can reach extreme ISO levels while retaining better image quality. However, ultimately, graininess is not down to sensor quality but down to the presence or absense of photons and the sensor simply cannot capture what is not there. All the same I've put a couple of galleries together for both The Pineapple Thief and Riverside and you can see the Riverside pictures here Photo Gallery.

Moke, Leiden Station, Leiden, 31 October 2009

Friends of ours told us about this gig. It was planned as being Moke doing a gig on the roof of Leiden station and given that the roof is curved I was curious how they would all hold on while playing their instruments. In the end it turned out that they had erected some scafolding for the guys to play on.

The event was part of the NS Try Out Festival to promote the idea that the station could be a central place for the people of Leiden. Agreed that Leiden does really lack a true square, in the way that most other Dutch cities have, but wedged between the taxi rank, bus station and the train station does not quite seem the place to me.

The Moke set list was quite short but all the same well worth coming to see. I managed to get a few snaps of the event and you can see these here Photo Gallery.

Kontrust, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 11 May 2009

Kontrust were supported by the Dutch band The Resistence Plot who pride themselves on being a live band. They did a good job of opening for Kontrust but I believe the majority of the audience were clearly there for the headline act. You can see some of the pictures of them here Photo Gallery.

Kontrust are an Austrian band that have recently had success with the hit 'Bomba'. They are clearly a band that you either love or hate. I spoke to a photographer who had covered a festival a few days after this show and who simply took sufficient shots to say he was there and then left the pit. Well I personally could not get enough of them. I loved the atmosphere they managed to whip up even if it did mean trying to get photos without a photo pit and something of a mosh pit going on just behind me.

There were several points in the performance that I liked including the use of props, notably the male lead appearing in a wheel chair for one song, and the use of flowers in another. A guest appearance by radio 3fm's Eric Corton during On The Run also went down well and then later they dragged someone from the audience to join in drumming (I have to say the guy did seem to manage to do a good job of keeping up for a random amateur). Oddly enough the photographer friend used these props to slam the band again but to me a performance using props transforms the singing into a kind of play and shows the commitment to the story by the players.

While the show was not a complete sell out the room could certainly not be described as empty. In fact it was really quite tricky getting around. However despite this people were quite happy to let me get past to take some pictures. A disappointment for me was the level of lighting. I know, I keep mentioning this don't I! However this is happening all too often for me and it probably means I need to upgrade the kit if I want to continue to photograph fast moving acts like Kontrust in the smaller venues. The lack of light is the reason for the complete lack of photos of the back line (percussion and drums).

As you can see from the set list, the show went on for a decent amount of time and ended with Bomba. The audience had been calling for this almost from the start so they really exploded into life when the two singers hit the stage in costume to round off the evening. I am certain that most people who attended had a great time and I know that I'd happily go along again. The photos of the Kontrust set are here Photo Gallery.

Transatlantic, 013, Transatlantic, 20 May 2010

I think I may just have had my first true prog experience. For those that do not know the band is comprised of Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), Pete Trewavas (Marillion), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) and Neal Morse (ex-Spock's Beard). Even before the show started I was hearing rumours of the length of the upcoming show. Normally a photopass gets you the first three songs but I was told it would be ten minutes because the first song alone was seventy minutes long.

Another first is a band where the front man is the drummer. To allow for this Mike's kit was arranged at the front right of the stage facing inwards so making it easy for him to really interact with the audience and he certainly did that.

The show started just after 8pm and, seventy minutes later, after the first song was over they took a short break and then continued through till midnight. After the show was apparently over a chunk of the audience left but a larger chunk remained and kept calling from the band to return and they were not dissappointed. The band returned and performed a jam session that they had never performed live before.

Well with a four hour show there was plenty of time to take a few pictures and you can see these here Photo Gallery.
Worden zoals je bedoeld bent.
Take a look at the site of a very good friend of mine. The site is entirely in Dutch but if you are a Dutch speaker then she has some very inspirational words.
Jam Guitars
My brother in law is a partner in a music store in Bristol called Jam Guitars. They specialise in top quality guitars and accessories so if you are in the area then check out their site. In fact, as they do mail order too, why not check out their site anyway. There are some fantastic looking guitars on the site even if you are not in the market for one. If you are looking for something really special they can arrange sessions where you can try before your buy.
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