maandag 23 april 2018

Record Store Day, Saturday 21 April 2018

All over the world, record stores are celebrating their day: Record Store Day. A day filled with live music in a place where people traditionally come to buy the passive form of music: lps, cds, dvds and the like. On record store day artists come to local stores to play their music live. Having found out that Johan and Tim Knol played in Velvet in Amsterdam, was enough incentive to get up up earlier and take the train to Amsterdam.

The combination of acts was somewhat familiar. The first time I saw Tim Knol live was as support act of Johan, so that must have been in 2009. Now Johan is back at the front after a hiatus of 9 years, while Tim Knol has become a staple musician in The Netherlands who is at a point in his career that he seems able to do what he pleases.

Record Store Day by now is a phenomenon with record companies releasing rarities or extra (expensive) editions of old(er) records, aimed at collectors. Now that are the people who probably were at record stores regularly anyway. Also in the hard years of the 00s. It must be there to draw the people they have lost back to stores. In my surroundings they are not succeeding. Something has changed in the past years. A new generation seems to have discovered record stores, often to buy second records, usually LPs, they must have heard at home when they were a bit younger. I see kids of around twenty looking for The Doors albums and I am a bit jealous of what they are about to find out. That thought is incorrect, I know, because everything is available online nowadays. I never listen to an album anymore in the store to find out whether I want it. I have made that selection at home, often weeks before. For these young adults it will be much the same. Still, I can't help that feeling of them discovering something I have discovered about 40 years ago, when I came home with my The Doors copies.

Photo: Wo.
So my girlfriend and I went to Amsterdam to the Velvet store there and saw Johan setting up its gear. The personnel were youngsters, the audience were mostly between 40 and 60 something. My first Johan show was in 1996 in LVC Leiden and since I have seen at least one show of each tour. The new album, 'Pull Up', is darker but contains such strong songs (read on here:, so we were really looking forward to hearing them live, in such a small, in store, environment.

From the get go with single and album opener 'About Time' Johan convinced. In the new setting with guitarist Robin Berlijn on guitar and Jan Teertstra, of Sunday Sun, on keyboards and both on background vocals, Jacob, Jan and Diets have found a great replacement for the two who did not come back. Both the brighter as the darker songs came by and showed the depth Johan has reached in its new music. If something showed also, it was the pleasure the five men had at playing these songs together. Giving it their all in a clear drive to succeed and reclaim the title of best Dutch indie-pop-rock band. Ever, with Bettie Serveert, the other band with a right claim to that title.

I got home with my, already two week old copy of the LP, signed by all members. A small extra that a day like this can provide.

Some sad news also. I found out talking to Jan Teertstra that Sunday Sun is on indefinite hiatus. Now I'll admit here that I did not like the band's third album, so you did not find a review on these pages. I was sure though that the fourth might have been a good one. Come on, gentlemen, shall we say a new album in 2020? I'm sure it will be a very nice one.

Photo: Wo.
Tim Knol took the stage early, playing "his only acoustic show of the year", and just was his charming self. Conversing with the audience, telling relevant and irrelevant stories, playing a few great songs of his latest album 'Cut The Wire' (read my review here: In an acoustic version they sound different of course, yet very familiar. This setting made clear to me what a fine folk guitarist Knol is. All these little melody bass runs while the rhythm just keeps going. Yes, I was a bit in awe.

'Cut The Wire' is only three months old, yet Tim Knol is already looking ahead and working on a blue grass album and gave us the pleasure of playing a few of the songs he's already written for that album. Something to look out for it seems. As I wrote Knol is in a place that he makes his own choices and not really plans a career (any more). He started out with ravings about the Dutch Neil Young, thank you Matthijs van Nieuwkerk. Tim Knol does seem to like the sort of career Dinosaur Sr. has. Record what you feel like today and take it from there.

Be sure to find me somewhere during the fall tour he announced on stage. I sure like to hear some of the new songs in a band setting. When asking for a request, of course I'd say, 'Sam' was called for, with a direct "no" said loudly behind me from one of the ladies present. No matter what an artist, even one still fairly early on in his career, releases, people always want to hear one or two songs. I am simply stuck for titles these days. They just don't stick, so I never can shout the one I would want to hear.

RSD18 was a success. For a few reasons. Velvet sold several Johan units for sure. People were buying stuff. Hey, even my girlfriend bought a cd for the first time in something like 15 years. More in general I saw people walking with the special RSD18 bag in town, at the train station, in Leiden later that day. Having artist in store is a good asset to the day. Something more attractive to me personally than the special releases, which I do not really care for. I came home with several second hand copies of albums I did not have from the late 60s and early 70s and the new Jack White that was priced very nicely for the day. Watch out for that review soon.


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