The Royal Spuds & Heylel, Cab03 Leiden, 22 May 2016


A strange, but bold combination. Ok, it’s quite common that two bands do a co-headliner show on the same evening, but the two bands could not be further away from in terms of their music genres. The Royal Spuds are a folk punk band, while Heylel are a progressive rock band with gothic influences. Punk versus Prog? Wow, that must be a spectacular combination to watch live! The Cab03 itself is a very cozy, intimate location (I know the people who’ve been there know what I mean), and the room was slowly filling up with dedicated fans of both bands. The light effects were far from spectacular and the room was very dark, so taking good pics was a bit difficult for me. Luckily the light was only a small minor point, because the rest of the evening was a fabulous performance of both bands.

The Royal Spuds were the first band to play that evening. Several members use a variety of folk rock instruments like banjo, flute and accordion. The band has a lot of humour as well. They played a brand new track that still had to be released. The lyrics were in Breton, very daring and surprising. After a few tracks the audience became more at ease, more enthusiastic, and some even started to dance! The band was very interactive with the audience, and Micky Silver was even dancing along with his accordion in the crowd. They are very energetic, and I’m sure they will use the complete stage when they have more space. I really want to see this band on a bigger stage someday. A superb live band to watch!


This was the first time touring in the Netherlands for the Portuguese band Heylel, and I hope this band will come to The Netherlands more often in the near future because I really enjoyed their performance. Lead vocalist Ana Batista has a wonderful and powerful voice! Narciso Monteiro uses a lot of splendid guitar effects to create a certain atmosphere with the music. They played several songs from their first album and their EP, but also surprised the audience with two covers! Their version of King Crimson’s I Talk To The Wind was phenomenal, it gave me goosebumps. It was followed by a track from Emerson Lake & Palmer, with only Narciso on acoustic guitar and Ana singing. All keyboard parts and soundscapes were triggered by a laptop, but it was very nicely done. I do have to say that a keyboardist will be a great asset for the band, so I hope they will find one in the near future!


The Royal Spuds are:

Maarten van Vliet – Lead Vocals,  Banjo & Mandolin

Micky Silver – Accordion, Flute & Vocals

Milan Boom – Lead Guitar & Vocals

Robin Janssens – Rhythm Guitar & Vocals

Dave Schrijvers – Bass Guitar

Mark de Jong – Drums


Randy Dandy Oh

Two More Pints

The Mero

Tri Martolod

Follow Me Up To Carlow

Skipping Stones

The Dying Rebel

It’s A Feckin Freakshow

Silver Linings

Drill, Ya Tarriers, Drill


Heylel are:

Ana Batista – Lead Vocals

Narciso Monteiro – Guitars, Backing Vocals & Effects

Filipe Braga – Drums

João Amorim – Bass Guitar





Alter Ego

Watcher Of The Light

An Old Man’s Tale

I Talk To The Wind (King Crimson Cover)

The Sage (Emerson Lake & Palmer Cover)

The Prophet


Paranoid Hysteria

Embrace The Darkness (Instrumental)

Me with members of The Royal Spuds, Heylel and their manager Kathy Keller!


You can also read my review on the website of House of Prog:

You can also read my review on the website of Background Magazine:

I’m also busy making a vlog about this performance, so please keep an eye on the page!

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