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
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
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
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
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.
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.
The 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.
After 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
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
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
For 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.
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
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
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'
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.
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 Jackals
who were on their last ever show which was a great shame because they were great
fun, and then the rather more laid back Neeka.
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.
Steve took a bunch more and I'm hoping he will have time to sort his out so you
can see them too.
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 :-).
support act was
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.
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.
It 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
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
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.
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.
What 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 here.
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 here.
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 here.
I bumped into a number of people better known to me as Marillion fans so hi to them.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
This 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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
I 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.
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
At 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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
- What's god supposed to say
- It's right in front of you
- Soleil Sunday
- If the money's right
- 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
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
Well as usual I managed to get in a few shots and you can see these here
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 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.
For 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.
You 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.
Anyone 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
20 April 2007
This 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
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
I 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.
The 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
see 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
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
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.
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.
The 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.
Finally it was time for Moke. We were not dissapointed
although they were a little bit troubled by some technical problems especially initially.
The 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
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
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
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
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
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
If you are interested in more of the photos that I took during the show then click
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Well in another massively fast turnaround here is the gallery of photos from the
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
you are interested in the pictures from the 2006 gig in the same venue then take
a look further up this page.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Name and here
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
P60, Amstelveen, 15 February 2008
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
Cardamon supporting delain
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 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.
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 -
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
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
Paradiso, Amsterdam, 22 March 2008
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 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
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
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 supporting Dragons
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.
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
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.
Pigmeat supporting Hayseed Dixie
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
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.
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
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 :-)
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 :-).
Kramer supporting Mick Pointer
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
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.
Script For A Jester's Tear
He Knows You Know
Charting The Single
Three Boats Down From The Candy
Market Square Heroes
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
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
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
can see the Vader gallery here
'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.
Well Petra has once again written a review
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
Well you can see the galleries of pictures for the support here
Red Flag 77 here
I took a load of pictures of people in the bar so check out that gallery here
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.
Both 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 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
I 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
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
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.
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
You can see their pictures here
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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.
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Well with a four hour show there was plenty of time to take a few pictures and you
can see these here
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.
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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