zaterdag 31 januari 2015

Wallace Vanborn live. Gebr. de Nobel, Leiden 30 January 2015

Not so long ago I had never heard of Wallace Vanborn. Mrs. Wallace Simpson?, yes. Wallace Connection?, yes. Remember 'Daydream'? If there's a comparison between the two Wallace bands, it's this one: they recorded songs to release them on record, but that's all. Unless there's a family connection? Nonkel Sjors played bass in the older Wallace?

Wallace Vanborn is in the rock realm, with overtones in the desert and stoner rock. Not necessarily the loudest playing band I've been to. That honour may go to The Forty-Fives, but perhaps the hardest band from a musical point of view I've attended as main act. (Plant & Page in the 90s?)

Followers of this blog will not be totally surprised by the above statement. There's not a lot of fierce rock to be found on this blog. You may be surprised that I've went to see Wallace Vanborn play. It happened that I read the site of Gebr. de Nobel and thought: 'That may just be an interesting band to go to'. Forgot about it and remembered only yesterday. After one listen on Spotify I knew enough. Enough hints towards Masters of Reality here. Time to take out the old bike and cycle into town.

Wallace Vanborn is a trio. Ian Clement, guitars and voice, Sylvester Vanborm, drums and backing vox and Dries Hoof on bass. Together they cook up a vast storm. A storm that seldom lies down to rest. More like the jetstream than a storm. Drums fill up the undergrowth, the bass makes sure the leaves are in place, so that the guitar can take care of the rest of mother nature. High, low, creepy, crawling and above all the wind that rustles everything. Together the trio fills every hole in the sound, like a trio needs to do. In this storm it is nice to find all the details that are put into the compositions. As there are many. These little stray notes, the changes in mood by changing a finger by a half note. The riffs and the fast chord changes, while the vocal melody at times seems independent from the arrangement under it. Fascinating.

With a new album out, 'The orb we absorb', produced by none other than Chris Goss -no wonder I like the record- Wallace Vanborn has a world to win. The quality is quite obvious and the band is able to produce it all live. In Ian Clement the band has a fine singer. He has a combination of the necessary darkness, that leaves more than enough room for some light and shade, and has a convincing higher register, that was brought forward in a long, epic song. Whatever it is called ('Wasteland'?), this was the best of the evening, simply because the band let in just a little more melody and variation.

What Wallace Vanborn is not, is angry. Although they play music that is associated with anger, these guys seem all but. When the audience is addressed, it's in a friendly way, with a slight form of banter. At one moment they Ian Clement made me think with an unsuspected turn in his introduction to a song. "This song is dedicated to Ghandhi, Jezus, Mohammed, the prophet and Edward Snowden". WTF? And off my brain went.

Not that Snowden can be considered a prophet, but damned he is. That made me imagine what happens if someone got up to day and said "I'm sent by God. I am the prophet". He'll be locked up in a second. Just think how threatening that is to vested interests, because what if it was true? Get rid of the guy. Fast! And that's where Snowden fits into this list perfectly. He's a threat alright.

Just some association because of an intro. If my associations leads to an idea for the lyrics to a new song, be my guest.

Wallace Vanborn played in the small hall of the venue, which was nearly filled. Again the quality of the sound was near perfect. Leiden has a new venue to be proud of and bands like Wallace Vanborn fit perfectly there.

So, summing up. Is the music this band plays my favourite? No, not exactly. Did I have a great time? Oh yes, from the get go.


You can listen to 'Vampires (big drain)' here:

vrijdag 30 januari 2015

Sitcom afterlife. Frontier Ruckus.

Frontier Ruckus is een 'alt-country' band uit East Lansing, Michigan, die in de Verenigde Staten al een tijdje op flink wat sympathie van de critici kan rekenen.
Sitcom Afterlife is al de vierde plaat van de band, maar het is mijn eerste kennismaking met de muziek van Frontier Ruckus. Het is een kennismaking die naar veel meer smaakt, want wat maakt deze Amerikaanse band frisse en leuke muziek.
Sitcom Afterlife bevat ontegenzeggelijk invloeden uit de alt-country, maar sluit hiernaast nadrukkelijk aan op de eigenzinnige Britse indiepop van de jaren 90. Sitcom Afterlife klinkt hierdoor als The La’s, The Housemartins, The Inspiral Carpets of Belle & Sebastian beland in Nashville.
Frontier Ruckus laat aanstekelijke rootspop horen, maar strooit hierbij ook nadrukkelijk met Brits aandoende gitaarloopjes of met zeurende orgeltjes zoals die in de jaren 90 zeer gewild waren. De mix van Amerikaanse traditionele invloeden en Britse eigenzinnige invloeden pakt perfect uit.
Stop Sitcom Afterlife in de cd speler en de zon gaat schijnen. Stop Sitcom Afterlife in de cd speler en je humeur krijgt een bijna ongekende boost. Stop Sitcom Afterlife in de cd speler en je wordt getrakteerd op een vat vol tegenstrijdigheden dat op hetzelfde moment toegankelijk en tegendraads klinkt.
Natuurlijk is Frontier Ruckus niet de eerste band die Amerikaanse rootsmuziek probeert te vernieuwen door het toevoegen van verrassende ingrediënten, maar ik ken geen andere band die dit op dezelfde wijze doet als de band uit Michigan. Heel soms doet het wat denken aan The Counting Crows, heel af en toe ook aan R.E.M., maar deze vergelijkingen slaan de plank een track later weer volledig mis.
Sitcom Afterlife heb ik hierboven al een vat vol tegenstrijdigheden genoemd. Dat hoor je terug in de verrassende combinatie van invloeden, maar ook in de sfeer en emotie die Frontier Ruckus oproept. Sitcom Afterlife is een plaat die de zon laat schijnen, maar het is ook een wat weemoedig klinkende plaat. Het is een plaat waarvoor ooit eens het predicaat bitterzoet lijkt bedacht.
Luister naar de fraaie wijze waarop mannen- en vrouwenstemmen worden gecombineerd. Luister naar de unieke wijze waarop instrumenten uit de traditionele rootsmuziek worden gecombineerd met spartaanse elektronica. Luister naar de unieke wijze waarop een verstild intro kan omslaan in een uptempo refrein waarvan de veters uit je schoenen springen. Sitcom Afterlife van Frontier Ruckus is een plaat vol aangename verrassingen.
Het is ook een plaat vol briljante popliedjes. Popliedjes die je na één keer horen mee kunt zingen, maar ook popliedjes die de fantasie afwisselend aangenaam kietelen of stekelig prikken. Sitcom Afterlife van Frontier Ruckus is een plaat die lak heeft aan hokjes en conventies, maar muziek maakt die uit het hart komt. De ene keer wordt de liefhebber van Amerikaanse rootsmuziek verrast, de volgende keer is de liefhebber van frisse indiepop aan de beurt.
De muziekliefhebber met een open mind en enig geduld is uiteindelijk de grote winnaar. Sitcom Afterlife van Frontier Ruckus behoort wat mij betreft nog net op de valreep tot de aangename verrassingen van het muziekjaar 2014.

Erwin Zijleman

Je kunt hier luisteren naar 'The splendid world':

donderdag 29 januari 2015

An assessment of Oor's 15 tips for 2015, Part 2

What Dutch bands and artists are bound to make it in 2015? Last week we looked at the first 8 of the 15 tips 'Oor' has for 2015. Today WoNo Magazine's Wo. delves into the final 7. 

9. The Mysterons
Some of the bands are so new, that there is nothing to listen to. In the case of The Mysterons there is one song attached to the announcement of their show in Paradiso, Amsterdam, 'Echoes'. Psychedelia is still hip. That much is clear. The Mysterons is a band from Amsterdam, fronted by a lady, Josephine van Schaik. The guitarist, Brian Potts, we run into at a later stage also, with his own band PAUW. Two others, Pyke Pasman and Sonny Groeneveld already have a career in Afrobeat band Jungle by Night. 'Echoes' is a song that mystifies. The tempo changes all through the 4 minutes plus the song, creating an atmosphere of things eastern. It's hard to give a real opinion on the basis of one song, but I certainly like what I am hearing. The pulsing organ of Pasman gives a very authentic 60s sound, but that goes for the whole sound right up to the girlish singing of Van Schaik. 'Echoes' simply tastes like more.

(There's a name conflict here. There's a band with the same name from Brighton.)

10. Palio Superspeed Donkey
Should this band be reviewed here (or mentioned in Oor's list)? We reviewed the EP 'Wateramp' on WoNoBloG in 2013 ( and in a positive way, as you can find out by clicking. After that things turned very quiet on the then extremely young band members. Finished high school first? All that can be found in 2015 is the single 'Obi One'. A song that justifies the tip for 2015. An indie rocker if I ever heard one. Fine guitars, bass and drums, with a snotty vocal lying over the song executing a fine melody. These kids know what it takes to come up with a good song. A lighter version of Traumahelicopter and more fun than the #1 tip, The Afterpartees, as far as I'm concerned. This is just one notch more serious, two better melodies and three in serious fun. Yes, Palio Superspeed Donkey is a band to keep an eye out for this year and far beyond. 'Obi One' should be on the soundtrack of any forth coming 'Star wars' movie or better, all of them from this day onwards. Mr. Lucas, are you free?

11. Rondé
Another band with only one song out, 'Run'. Rondé is a Utrecht band formed at the Herman Brood Academy. The band members come from all over the country. 'Run' is a different song than I heard so far. The song is piano based. From there the song takes off. Rikki Borgelt's voice is very prominent. The drums suggest a folk rock rhythm, so everything from Mister & Mississippi to The Lumineers spring to mind. My first impression is: not original enough, my second I like Ms. Borgelt's voice, the third, the clapping bits are a bit daft. The 4th, I'm willing to give Rondé the benefit of the doubt here. 'Run' is certainly interesting enough to pay attention to, so who knows what will follow?

12. PAUW
And finally, again, a band that has at least an EP out. The morning I'm writing this the band played in Giel Beelen's morning show and made the same impression on me as this EP: these guys can play and have songs that are very worthwhile to spend some time on. PAUW is a trio: Brian Potts, voice and guitar; Rens Ottink, drums and Gerben Bielderman, bass and keyboards (according to Oor, the band's website says different). We leave for 1967 again, 'The piper at the gate of dawn', sitars all over the place and we're at least '2.000 Light years from home'. Despite these references, what presses itself on me is how structured 'Shambhala' is. The sound may be psychedelic, the song as played and the group effort have no traces of it. This was executed by 100% clear heads while conceiving and recording 'Shambhala'. The listener falls straight into 'The abyss', where soundscapes make up the song, before things get together again in a way that reminds me of The Nice. A fat organ brings the song together, before we float off gently down the stream of music PAUW provides. Listening just two songs into 'Pauw', I can't help thinking that these are songs Jacco Gardner would have dreamed to have on his (upcoming) album and forget Tame Impala. PAUW has the songs and can compete with the best of them. The Black Angels, Temples, etc. have a forceful competitor. Kula Shaker reincarnated. 'A siren' is PAUW's piece de resistance. 12 minutes plus (although it's more likely that 'A siren' is one song and one hidden instrumental track with a 'One of these days' bass.) and filled with Indian influences. Close your eyes and you can literally float away on the music filling your room. A musical trip, a fantasy, with elements of 60s film scores. With two songs clocking over 6 minutes and one over 12 that remain interesting? That's just what I mean. They better add a bass player so that they can recreated it all on stage. Wow is the word here. Oh, that rhymes with the band name?! PAUW is from the far east of this country, Enschede.

13. Sevdaliza
And now for something completely different. Sevdaliza sings in a clear voice, very upfront of electronic beats and synths. Sevida Alizadeh, Iranian born from Rotterdam, is a producer/singer who is able to mix her interesting vocals with beats that sit well with me as there is melody all over the place. Her singing reminds me of Sade and even a little of Donna Summer, although Sevdaliza has more power in her voice. On Spotify there is only the track 'Backseat love', the track I've just described. On you Tube there's a video of 'Clean air', a more radical beast to my taste. Not for me. The third song I could find is 'Sirens of the Caspian'. Starting with a French vocal before Sevdaliza starts singing over mysterious soundscapes. This is modern alright to my ears. Again the clear vocal, very prominent in the mix and quiet rightly so. Sevida Alizadeh has a voice worth hearing. Not my music exactly, but certainly alright. There's even a hint of The Future's Dust, so The xx. Not bad at all.

14. Weval
Reading Oor's introduction to Weval I braced myself for the worst. Hearing Weval's opening track, 'Gimme some' of EP 'Easier' I'm thinking, o.k., I can listen to this. The xx is in the home and I'm fine with that. Weval is an Amsterdam duo, older as "band" (2010) and age of the members, than most others discussed here. Weval goes beyond anything I usually listen to, but I find that I can listen to this music without too much problems. Title track 'Easier' even has vocals. Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte create minimal songs with some hints of Kraftwerk of old and slow beats, that could use a little more deep end in some instances.

15. Sue the Night
Yes, sue the bastards! Why not? Another band, this one from Haarlem, that was on Giel's show this week and I haven't even heard all five shows this week. The guy knows just what's trendy, doens't he? But so are we at WoNo Magazine. Again something different. Singer Suus de Groot releases her debut album, 'Mosaic' later today (22 January on writing that was). I have to do with two songs on Spotify. The poppy 'Top of my mind' is sung with a clear voice and has a different than usual drum rhythm. The new single 'The whale' is new wave in sound. Gruppo Sportivo! The Farfisa organ carries the intro to the song in an extremely pleasant way. Suus de Groot has a voice that begs listening to and certainly 'The whale' makes me curious to listen to 'Mosaic' soon.

(The music continues after listening to the two singles. Without having noticed it when looking for the music, 'Mosaic' is on Spotify as a whole. I now understand Oor's comments better. This is not the easiest of music. Sue the Night looks for the darker spots in her music. Music that does not give away its secrets all in one go. Isn't that the start of a relationship in music also?)


woensdag 28 januari 2015

Interview with Maggie Brown's Marcel Hulst

Interview by Wout de Natris

© WoNo Magazine 2015

In 2014 Maggie Brown released its eponymous album which led to quite positive reviews by Erwin Zijleman and Wo. on this blog which ended with a number 3 spot in Wo.'s top 10 for 2014. The next step was simple: let's find out some more about the band and the songs on its beautiful album. Singer/guitarist Marcel Hulst answered our call.

As not all readers may be familiar with the band, how would you like to introduce yourself?

Five guys who share a love for pop music, in the widest sense of the word. Yet, we weren't raised on classical music or jazz, but guitar music from the 80s and 90s. So, that's where most songs take off…

The name of the band is unusual. Who is Maggie Brown? And what was the reason behind choosing this name for the band?

Maggie Brown is the name of a coffee bar in Brooklyn NY, where -according to the New York Times- the worst coffee in NYC is served. I tried, of course, and you might not always believe what's being written in the papers, but this time they were right.  

To start an album with an instrumental is sort of a dangerous choice for a vocal band. Still, you’ve made this choice. Can you tell something of the reasons for this choice?

The song popped up, all of a sudden and once it was there, we said: we've just found our opening song for all our upcoming gigs and the album.  

Influences on the album range, in my opinion, from Pink Floyd to indie bands like e.g. Caesar. Which bands are influences on your album, ‘Maggie Brown’?

Sparklehorse, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, Midlake

In the lyrics the U.S. and England come by regularly. What is the link with these countries?

As far as England concerns: I don't know…the U.S. is the most fascinating country in the world, I think. I go there quite often, and even though it's still considered the land of hope and dreams by many, there's not much to dream of anymore. It's not the most friendly country on the planet, the gap between rich and poor is widening, but people from all over the world still dream of making it there. Yet, the country will always be an inspiring haven for dreamers and artists alike. And each time I set foot on American soil, I feel terribly happy. Bizarre, huh?

As far as songs go, who is responsible for what within Maggie Brown? How does a typical Maggie Brown song come about?

Usually I come up with 80% -90% of a song, and we try to make it sound like Maggie Brown. 
Sometimes a brilliant idea won't even survive the first attempt of turning it into a song. Other moments, a three-chord song pops up and once it's there, we can't remember where it came from.  Sometimes, songwriting is more mind-boggling than witchcraft. 

‘Permanent resident card’ on the one hand seems a song on travelling but on the other about illegal border crossing into the US (which involves travelling also of course). Can you share what the song is about?

I was traveling from Canada to the U.S. border and I was held up at the U.S border, while entering Vermont. We waited for 2 hours, and all bags were checked. We queued up in line, and everyone was interrogated, but two African people were taken aside and addressed as if they were non-U.S. citizens. They were repeatedly asked the same stupid questions all over again, and obviously it had to do with their origin. I objected and was taken aside as well. They told me rules had tightened because a 28-year-old Afro-American had killed someone at that very U.S. border protection office. I told him: "why don't you check all the 28-year-olds?" but he didn't want to answer any of my questions, obviously. A few minutes later, we all had to pay our 6 dollar entrance fee, and one of the Africans paid a 20-dollar note. It was held against the light. I took a 20-dollar note as well, but it wasn't checked. I told them: "You'd better check my note as well…..". She looked up, and said: "is there reason to believe it is counterfeit?". I replied: well, it was issued by an American financial institution, and we all know where the economical crisis came from…". Ten minutes later I was continuing my way to Burlington, with an idea for a song…

‘Queen of England’ seems to be about an unobtainable love (and Elizabeth II was queen around 24). Is the lyric based on a true story, a personal metaphor or is it fantasy?

A personal metaphor.

Can elaborate on that?

'Queen of England' is kind a of dreamlike song about a youthful, naive outlook on the world and the fact that growing up isn't an easy thing to do. It's hard to be more specific. It may sound as if there's a message in a song, which there isn't in this case. I prefer to keep a distance and like it if things are not too specific. I'd rather describe the scenery around a topic; more as if looking at a picture instead of telling a story. 

What does it take for Maggie Brown to let ‘The golden age’ begin?

Well, a booking agent and a record company that has a little faith…(and a marketing budget).

Several lyrics seem more observations. Where does the inspiration come from? And, what comes first, the lyrics or the music?

The music, always the music, and lyrics-wise: it's just hard work. I don't believe that much in inspiration myself, I just have to work very hard for it. I wish I could go to a park, open a notebook, and be inspired and write, but I can't.

Your album is on Spotify and Bandcamp. Are these sustainable models for a starting band? On the other hand, are there alternatives left to get spotted? 

No, Spotify only caters for the U2s, Coldplays and Lady Gagas I think. Not small indie bands. We stopped selling records the very day our music was on Spotify. But we don't want to sound frustrated, and don't want to think too much about sales, just focus on the music. Last week, someone paid 6 euros for 2 latte coffee, but didn't plan on buying the latest War on Drugs record for 15 euros, for "it's on Spotify anyway…" It really made me think.

I do hope this vinyl revival will blossom for indie bands as well, and not just serve pressing plants who 'need to' press a minimum of 500 copies. 

The cover art by Gerhard Richter is beautiful. What is the story behind the cover? How was it “found” and what happened next?

A miracle happened there. I was walking through Cologne (where Richter lives) and saw the Seestück looming up in the distance. I told my friend: that's the perfect cover for our album. He said: "Why don't you write him?" and started laughing. I said: "OK, I will…". A week later I wrote the gallery, and someone replied: you have to mail his personal assistant.

Which I did. A week later, his assistant said: Gerhard Richter is in the US and won't be here any time soon, and usually he rejects these kind of requests. I asked why. She said he's not that much into pop-music and would -anyhow- need to hear a song before agreeing. I send her a song, and asked her to forward it. The song was Alaska. A month later he replied. "Your music is really interesting. You can use one of my paintings as your album cover. Best regards, Gerhard." 

The cover suggests a deeper meaning. The sea, ‘Atlantic’. What made the band go for this specific painting?

The sea - unfortunately- is the only thing that keeps me from walking straight into America. 

Is Maggie Brown a serious hobby or is there the intention to grow?

We want to grow. Not because we're a bunch of naive kids who dream of 'making it into indie music', like a billion others. Besides that, 'making it' is bullshit, especially in Holland. But I feel there's so much more people out there who might love our songs. And of course; our songs need to grow, too. We have to get better, both live and in the studio. But believe me: the 2nd album will be even better. 

Speaking of which: I've just finished my first solo-album, and it's a small step forward.
I'll send you a copy and hopefully you'll dig it!

That gives us something to look forward to. What are your plans with Maggie Brown for 2015?

Recording our 2nd album, starting this weekend. Finding a booking agent. Getting better.  

dinsdag 27 januari 2015

Laundry EP. King Karoshi

It seems like I have found out how Erwin Zijleman finds his Canadians to review. Contact one and they tell you about other singers and bands they like or know. I'm only joking, but a fact is that Natalie Ramsay pointed me to the fantastic 'Cluster funk' by Death Goldbloom and then gave me the tip to also listen to King Karoshi, someone she used to make music with when living in Montreal.

So I checked out Laundry on Bandcamp and found myself liking the music on offer. And again this colourful cover. Much more elementary than 'Fly to home', but certainly in a style that I've encountered a few times in the past weeks.

King Karoshi has four band members: Rémi Denis, lead guitar and back-up vocals; Patrick Dunphy, lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Alexy Guérer, drums and back-up vocals and Antoine Poliquin, bass and back-up vocals. Laundry is the band's first album released in May 2014 and that was about all the info I could find in the quick scan I ran on the Internet. So let's go to the EP itself.

Fans of Britpop and indie will find a lot to their liking on Laundy. King Karoshi has the right sounds and with Patrick Dunphy the right singer. With a slightly rough-edged voice he manages to touch upon the exact right mood for the band's music. The voice even contrasts at certain moments with the music, making it all the more interesting to listen to. From Starsailor and The Rifles to Dutch band Moke, there are references all over the place. The compliment here is that the songs on Laundry add to the catalogue in a fine way, the downside that King Karoshi still needs to find its own voice. That is something which is quite allowed with a first release.

Laundry starts with a clear, light bell sound: ping. The title song slowly builds itself up to a stark Britpop rocker. With a high sounding lead guitar playing the characteristic notes. The prickly riff of 'Tallest pawn' creates an interesting contrast with the opening song showing that King Karoshi has given thought to the sequence of the songs in a successful way. The way the song sweetens in the chorus and bridge section shows that Natalie Ramsay was right: this is an interesting band to check out. Again guitar layers are built up towards the end, creating an impressive sounding song that ends abruptly. I'm digging it.

'Fading now' starts crescendo and mellows out in the tight rhythm of drums, bass and guitar. The song has a less interesting vocal melody though. Not my favourite of the EP. Luckily 'First world problems' brings Laundry back on track. The lead guitar does the right sort of work here and the band sings well together. It all ends with 'So little time'. Another song that makes me look forward to hear more from King Kaloshi in the future. Perhaps the most British of the five songs. Where Morrissey's influence comes through the strongest of all. Dunphy definitely tries to sing like him here. The song is also the most elementary, emptiest sounding of the five. So the singing has to be right and it is. In any other case the floor would have fallen from under Patrick Dunphy's feet; and it doesn't.

In short, a very interesting debut album by King Kaloshi. The band manages to show its influences in the right way. King Kaloshi created new songs that start from, but certainly deserve to stand next to the already existing ones. Songs that are very much worth while listening to. There's also a challenge: to stand just a little bit more apart from the fold. I'm looking forward to hearing just that.


You can listen to and order Laundry here:

maandag 26 januari 2015

Night shade. Lanie Lane

De Australische singer-songwriter Lanie Lane maakte een jaar of drie geleden een hele aardige plaat met muziek die vooral door stokoude rockabilly en spaghetti westerns was geïnspireerd. Ik vond hem destijds net niet goed genoeg voor een plekje op mijn BLOG, maar heb hem vervolgens nog best vaak gedraaid.
Lanie Lane was wat mij betreft een vrouw om in de gaten te houden en wat ben ik blij dat ik dat heb gedaan. Drie jaar na het bij vlagen net iets meer dan aardige To The Horses is Lanie Lane immers terug met een nieuwe plaat, Night Shade, en wat is dat een bijzondere plaat.
Op de cover van de nieuwe plaat heeft Lanie Lane haar wat kitscherige rockabilly outfit van het debuut verruild voor een stemmige en wat serieuzere outfit en ook in muzikaal opzicht blijkt Lanie Lane een ware metamorfose te hebben ondergaan.
Night Shade is een plaat vol prachtig gitaarwerk, dat fraai combineert met de mooie stem van Lanie Lane. De Australische maakte op haar debuut in vocaal opzicht zeker geen onuitwisbare indruk, maar laat op haar tweede plaat een mooi eigen geluid horen.
Waar het debuut van Lanie Lane een buitengewoon lichtvoetige plaat was, is Night Shade, zeker op het eerste gehoor een lastig te doorgronden en nogal zwaar aangezette plaat. De instrumentatie is atmosferisch en donker en wordt vooral ingekleurd door intrigerend gitaarwerk. Dit varieert van mooie heldere gitaarlijnen tot behoorlijk stevige uithalen. Het levert een spannend en dynamisch geluid op, waarin de stem van Lanie Lane uitstekend blijkt te gedijen.
Night Shade is een plaat die mij niet onmiddellijk doet denken aan een andere plaat en dat is een groot goed. Ik was direct geïntrigeerd door het nieuwe geluid van Lanie Lane, dat werkelijk in niets lijkt op het geluid van haar debuut, maar had in eerste instantie eerlijk gezegd ook wel wat moeite om het op de juiste waarde te schatten.
Night Shade bestaat op het eerste gehoor uit ingrediënten die je niet bij elkaar verwacht, maar ze blijken uitstekend bij elkaar te passen. Luister alleen naar het gitaarwerk en je blijft je verbazen over alle mooie wendingen. Luister naar de stem van Lanie Lane en je wordt steeds weer meegesleept. Luister naar alle andere instrumenten en hoor knap deze de vocalen en de gitaren ondersteunen. Luister naar alle ingrediënten bij elkaar en je krijgt muziek voorgeschoteld die de smaakpapillen aangenaam prikkelt en vele keren garant staat voor een smaaksensatie.
Night Shade van Lanie Lane is pas net uit, maar ik weet bijna zeker dat deze plaat in Nederland niets zal gaan doen. Dat is jammer, want dit is nu zo’n plaat die anders is dan alle andere platen en bovendien een plaat die beter is dan veel andere platen. Veel beter zelfs.
Het is een plaat die zomaar jaarlijstjes gehaald zou kunnen hebben als hij niet helemaal aan het eind van het jaar was verschenen. Night Shade heeft hierdoor ook mijn jaarlijstje gemist, maar hij had er zeker niet in misstaan, bijvoorbeeld naast de plaat van Blake Mills die op even unieke wijze prachtig gitaarwerk combineert met een bijzondere stem.
Misschien laat ik Night Shade stiekem liggen voor mijn jaarlijstje van 2015, maar voor het zover is ga ik nog een jaar lang heel veel plezier hebben van deze bijzondere en bloedmooie plaat.

Erwin Zijleman

Je kunt hier naar 'Celeste' luisteren:

zondag 25 januari 2015

Bettie Serveert Live. P60, Amstelveen, 23 januari 2015

Foto: HareD
‘Een try-out voor de incrowd’, zo noemde Carol van Dyk het eerste concert van Bettie Serveert sinds tijden. Waar anders dan in het Amstelveense P60. Dat is overigens een prima zaal met dito voorzieningen en goede akoestiek. De reden voor de afwezigheid is heuglijk: er zijn nieuwe liedjes gemaakt en de Betties zitten al in de studio voor de opnamen van wat hun elfde CD gaat worden. Zij wilden ‘enkele songs uitproberen met publiek’, alvorens de plaat af te maken. Dat wilde ruim 100 man wel meemaken. Althans, het was aangekondigd als een gewoon concert en daar was deze beperkte groep veelal oude getrouwen op afgekomen.

Foto: HareD
Iedereen kreeg (ook) waarvoor zij waren gekomen:  een ruime selectie oude liedjes, een goede doorsnee van het gevarieerde oeuvre dat inmiddels bijna vijfentwintig jaar beslaat. Naast bijvoorbeeld een pakkende uitvoering van The Pharmacy ook veel van debuutcd Palomine. Het titelnummer was de traditionele afsluiter, maar zij speelden ook Kid’s Allright, Tom Boy en een mooie versie van Balentine.  Op zich kon je wel merken dat het min of meer een gelegenheidsoptreden was, omdat de integratie tussen oud en nieuw werk niet helemaal op elkaar was afgestemd. Maar dat deed niets af aan het enthousiasme, energie en plezier dat de band uitstraalde. Drummer Joppe Molenaar is sowieso al een fenomeen, maar de momenten waarop hij en Carol in een soort muzikaal tweegevecht verzeild raakten waren werkelijk te gek.

Foto: HareD
Mijn opgetogenheid over Bettie’s terugkeer naar een podium werd verstrekt door de kwaliteit van het nieuwe werk. Titels werden niet verstrekt, dus ik kan alleen een algemene impressie geven. Wat vooral opviel was het gierende gitaarwerk. Het lijkt erop dat de nieuwe CD harder en zelfs nog energieker gaat worden dan directe voorgangers Oh Mayhem en Pharmacy of Love. Daarbij ging Carol enkele keren tot het uiterste van haar stem, met enorme uithalen. Niet verkeerd. En een aantal van de nummers zijn uitgesproken opgewekt. Ik ben dus reuzenbenieuwd hoe het op CD komt te staan, maar er is alle reden met veel vertrouwen naar de release uit te zien. Een nieuwe tour staat voor het najaar gepland, zo leek de opmerkelijk spraakzame Carol tussen de regels door te suggereren. Een heerlijk vooruitzicht!