Steven Wilson and band were going to perform on North Sea Jazz Festival The Netherlands on the 9th of July, but keyboardist/pianist Adam Holzman had arrived a few days earlier and was actually looking to do a solo performance somewhere in the area. Arne van Os van den Abeelen and Monica Scheepers made it possible that he could do a performance at a Jazz café named De Twee Spieghels in Leiden. I’ve never been to that café before, and have never seen Adam perform solo, so this would be something completely new for me. I did not know what to expect, so I was very curious.
A brand new band/project, established in 2016, doing their first (mini) European tour… That must be something to look out for! The band members Remy Stroomer and Petter Janse are far from unexperienced, they have worked wonderful together a couple of times before in a project named Free Arts Lab, which is also still active. Mäläskä’s debut album Uncle Jim’s Cidney Factory was just released before their tour started, and I had the honour to see them at music pub De Hommel in Vlaardingen. They told me it was going to be an evening completely based on improvisation, which made me very curious!
This would be the first time I would see the band Anima Mundi perform, so I was really curious how the band would play live. I arrived an hour before the gig would start, and the band was still busy with their sound check. Sadly there were big problems during the sound check because of technical difficulties that couldn’t be solved correctly, so there was a big chance that the sound would cause some trouble this evening. Luckily the band members themselves did a wonderful performance, despite the technical problems with the sound.
After a wonderful first edition of Progcity Festival (you can read my review of the first edition here) it was only a matter of time when the second edition would be held. Organizer Gert-Jan van Middelkoop had two bands lined up I’ve never seen perform live before; the Dutch band Profuna Ocean and German band Ashby. I know Profuna Ocean’s music (I reviewed their latest album In Vacuum, you can read the review here), but I never heard any music from Ashby. While Profuna Ocean had played a couple of times before at Musicon, Ashby was playing their first ever gig in The Netherlands.
First of all, my sincere apologies! It took some time before this one was published on the website of Background Magazine, so I had to wait until today. I hope you guys didn’t mind!
This would be the first time I would see John Young as a solo performer on stage. I’ve never seen the band Pendragon live, and I heard from several friends that they are a great band to watch. I had the honour to interview John Young and Nick Barrett right before the gig, and you can listen to the interview here. Pendragon was going to play their album The Masquerade Overture in its entirety, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this album. The venue was completely sold out, which is great news for the band, but sadly no good news for me, because I had to squeeze myself through the audience to take pictures from different angles of the venue. Luckily I managed to get some amazing shots of both John Young and Pendragon that evening.
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.
This was the first time that I would see the band Novatia perform live. I never heard their music before so I didn’t know what to expect that evening. I’ve seen the band Silhouette perform at ProgFrog Festival in October 2015. This was the first time that the band would perform their latest album Beyond The Seventh Wave in its entirety, so this was something to look forward to! I had an interview with Silhouette right before their gig, you can listen to the interview here. Silhouette’s performance was going to be filmed during the whole evening as well. The venue was pretty crowded, a lot of people came to see both bands perform.
This was the first time I would see both opener band LizZard and the Adrian Belew Power Trio live. I never heard the music of LizZard so I was very curious how they would sound like. I know Adrian Belew’s work with King Crimson and have heard some of his solo albums as well. Still, I had no clue what to expect that evening and which music he would play.
The album Bizarro World, which is Robby Valentine’s most recent album, was released back in 2014. This year the album was finally released as a limited edition vinyl album. People who pre-ordered the album were invited to join the official vinyl release party in the P3 at Purmerend. This was the first time I ever went to this venue and to a concert of Robby Valentine, so I was very curious that evening.
First, I would like to apologize because this concert review is a bit shorter than my concert reviews. The most important reason is that I actually was completely caught up in the music of both bands, and because of that I totally forgot to make notes during the gigs.