zaterdag 11 mei 2013

Rogier Pelgrim Live at Paradiso

You can listen to 'Our dear lady of the plains' here.

It was one of those nights. Going to a show of a band I know fairly well, Handsome Poets, and coming home impressed by the support act. All of a sudden a trio stood on stage. Anne Soldaat's much younger brother on guitar, a girl and a keyboard player. For me the click happened at the intro of the second song. A near perfect intro as I expected the fourth chord to be higher than G# (if I counted correctly), which is also the first chord. I had already noticed that this guy can sing. A pleasant voice, going into a higher register easily. The girl harmonised singing lower. To be honest, I hadn't a clue who were playing. Only after the show, while was getting drinks, my girlfriend looked it up.

By that time Rogier Pelgrim and band had utterly convinced me. This guy knows how to write a song, sing it and perform it. It seems to come natural to him and to the audience which was there to see Handsome Poets. In song three part of Paradiso had started to sing along, o.k., to a la-la-la part, but still. After the final song there was a real applause from the front to the back.

Somewhere during the show the singer said that they had won the 'Grote prijs van Nederland' and thus played the Paradiso last year for the final. I'm not surprised. Comparing this support act to Tim Knol's with Johan three and a half year ago, then Rogier Pelgrim is better than Tim was then; better songs and stage presence. Whether he can walk the same path, remains to be seen. Tim Knol was pushed from all sides on radio and tv before his first record was out.

Some of Rogier Pelgrim's songs were too soft for this venue. At least as a support act. Just the guitar was too soft to get over the back benchers, umhh talkers and shouters. Which will change with time if Rogier becomes known better. Mixed louder with an audience exclusively there for him. The mix between the up-tempo and the singer-songwriter songs worked well. Both got my attention and that of most people around me.

Keyboard and backing vocalist William van Barneveld and singer Jannica Woudstra are "the band". Both did a good job fleshing out the songs, but are both timid. The presentation can use an "umph" to make it perfect. For now good is certainly good enough.

Summing up Rogier Pelgrim is a singer-songwriter to watch. I can't wait to hear his songs with a full band, although I do not know whether that is his intention. Someone worth following. In a few weeks more on Rogier Pelgrim when we review his cd. Let me take you back to the start of the show. "One, two, three, four" and piano and singing kicked in. I could hear the guitar as I stood close. The way Rogier Pelgrim just stopped and plugged in with a small joke was endearing. It made me attentive for what was to come.


You can order 'Our lady of the plains' here

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