zaterdag 26 maart 2016

Steve Waitt live. Q-Bus Leiden, 24-03-2016

Photo: Wil Nievaart
Like the tweet from the Q-Bus account tweeted: "Worth Waitting 7 years". Over six years ago Steve Waitt performed at the same venue, solo, making a lasting impression on this writer. After that silence and the musician slowly slipped away from my conscious. His album somewhere among that wall of records, like the buried books in the mythical library imagined by author Carlos Ruiz Zafón. All that came back to life with a single news letter: Steve Waitt and band to perform in Q-Bus. Out came 'Blue Parade' and entered 'Stranger In A Stranger Land', reviewed recently on this blog.

A story on a show by Steve Waitt starts with his voice. Supple, with a hint of roughness, concealed by a layer of honey. Steve Waitt is a great singer, with total mastery over his voice. His singing seems strainless. It sounds so easy. Even at the end of a twenty show tour things, at least from the outside, seem like a piece of cake.

The compositions have been discussed on this blog in the past weeks. 'Blue Planet' received an online re-run. That is not the whole story though. There were so many magical moments in which it all seemed to come together on stage. The four men were able to play with the compositions, making the most of those moments where dynamics within a song can be used to the max. Dropping the volume to come back in with a loud snap on the snare drum, by the appropriately nicknamed drummer "Crash". Waitt playing solo, with the band slowly coming in. Although these are totally normal musical tricks, in a small venue with a totally attentive audience, they work like a dream.

Photo: Wil Nievaart
Steve Waitt's band played immaculately. Guitarist Greg Tuohey created sounds that I don't ever remember coming out of a guitar before. Not unlike Geoffrey Burton with Sophie Hunger. Tuohey has to work harder though, as he is the single guitarist. Released from his role as accompanying musician he played a few blistering solos. At other moments he laid down beautiful atmospherics under the piano of Steve Waitt, using all of the guitar, body, neck, strings and a load of effect pedals.

And here I am, not in general a fan of piano based pop rock, liking Steve Waitt's music not just a little. His mix of classic 70s pop rock, indie/alternative rock and jazzy ballads work really, really well. Not unlike, and here she's mentioned again, Sophie Hunger. A duet between the two artists ought to be only a matter of time.

Superb sound, once again, in the Q-Bus gave the show the finishing touches. A sound so clear is an audience's dream and all a musician can hope for.

Hearing what I have heard this Thursday in Leiden, a bigger audience ought to be a matter of time. The several dozen present were all convinced: this was a great show by a great musician.


You can listen to 'Hey Pretty Baby' here:

or buy on Bolcom

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