vrijdag 1 mei 2015

Guy Forsyth. Q-Bus Leiden, 30-04-2015 with Maximum Overdrive and Bag of Bones

Photo: Wo.
And so the curtain dropped for the Q-Bus, that little hideaway with the nearly always perfect sound in the city of Leiden. The city council decided that with the coming of the new venue Gebr. de Nobel, there was no longer a need for this stage. There is a future though on which more later.

What a final night it was. On the former Queen's Day Hans van Polanen staged Austin, Texas', finest Guy Forsyth. I have seen Forsyth in his younger years play LVC like a storm, in a solo performance in the Q-Bus and now as a middle-aged gentleman who still likes to serve a blazing hot blues stew.

Larger than life. Photo: Wo.
All things Forsyth start with his voice. The Theo van Es potato rasp is there in the right dosage. Or Tom Waits of course. It's easy for him to do an impersonation, but the fun is that he does not need to overdo it. His voice is fabulous for this sort of music. The second feature is his harmonica playing, distorted, howling, pleasing, alluring and seducing, it's all in there. On top of that Guy Forsyth is a fantastic performer, who's large arm movements and facial expressions add to the show. He knows how to tell a story as well. Finally, at that point it was something that I nearly overlooked, had he not grabbed a guitar for two songs: he's a fantastic guitarist, probably better that Dave Hernandez, his guitarist for this tour. The major surprise was kept to the near end of the show. The guy can play a singing saw too. Is there something he can't do?

A 1st (and last?) in Q-Bus? Photo: Wo.
I remember seeing Forsyth playing in Q-Bus before. He played after a support act, that totally impressed me, but I can't remember for the life of me who or what played. I remember thinking how is a guy alone ever going to top this? Forsyth started with a blues holler, footstompin' the time and singing in a way that blew the whole room into silence. What a voice! That voice was there again. So terribly impressive, leaving hardly any memory of the bands playing before. This guy has such a stage presence that it is nearly unimaginable that he's not playing the larger venues in this country and the rest of the world.

All sorts of blues came by. From the sped up Texas blues, to the soft styled T-Bone Walker and even some Frank Sinatra smooth singing blues. Guy Forsyth and band can take on all without a problem. The Q-Bus rocked on its final evening. The audience consisting mainly of middle-aged, greying and/or balding gentlemen had the time of their lives.

Forsyth is touring to his latest cd, "for those who still buy them". 'The pleaser' contains a lot of nice blues tracks worth checking out for sure.

Photo: Wo.
Maximum Overdrive, a Leiden based band that starts its playing with all things Guns 'N' Roses and takes it from there. A cover or two graces its set. The singer has a real voice for punk rock and alternative rock songs. A foghorn should someone ever need one. He's your man! The bass player plays these fantastic runs in the songs that made me forget that there was only one guitarist in the band, where two is more common to fill out the sound in abnds like these. The drummer, great beard!, played in a soft, almost jazzy way, totally at odds with the music. The explanation may be the sound limit the Q-Bus has due to its neighbours. Maximum Overdrive is around for over 20 years and that shows. Very competent at building a party with its music.

Photo: Wo.
Bag of Bones is a band from Den Haag. Jimi Hendrix and jazz-rock style instrumentals are its thing. Although the individual band members are all quite competent on their respective instruments, things never came alive. Endless soloing over marginally interesting themes are just not my thing. 'Born under a bad sign', that fine electric blues song by Albert King and many others, got an extremely strange rendition. The solo half of the time touching on notes that seriously got in the way of the melody of the song. Weird. Sorry, gentlemen of Bag of Bones, songs without lyrics are just not my thing.


You can listen to Guy Forsyth's 'Carried By Six (Pop's Blues)' here:


You can order his cds here:


or listen to 'The Pleaser' here:


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