zaterdag 12 mei 2018

The pure magic of Soup live. De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, Thursday 10 May 2018

In one of my monthly reviews of Kairos "a meditation on modern music", the radio program on Concertzender, I once wrote about a fantasy of floating on the notes coming out of my speakers. Of feeling the music carry me while being in a trancelike state. That thought became true during the show of Soup, the Norwegian, for lack of a better description, progrock band in De Boerderij. During the extended jam version of 'Sleepers' I saw the whole room being moved by the sound coming from the speakers. Every one around me was clearly tuned in to every beat, every accent, every note played by Soup. We had become one, band and audience, in motion, slowly swaying and hitting the right accents together. Most likely feeling the same emotions. If there ever was something like a collective meditative state during a rock show, this was it.

Followers of this blog have encountered Soup before. The album 'Remedies' was reviewed twice and the band was interviewed recently. You can find it all by searching backwards on the blog. Where before Erlend Aastad Viken was responsible for all of the music, 'Remedies' was created together, with the songs coming together through long jams. This showed on stage. It wasn't hard to spot the little nods and signs signalling the next move or when somewhen missed a cue the band just continued the vibe and changed when all were ready to do so. It takes concentration as well as a comfortable looseness. The band members of Soup have the ability to play and listen to each other to a fault.

What happened in Zoetermeer is that Soup started by playing a more than decent show and becoming better and looser by the song. Right up to until a state of perfection was reached that many bands will find hard to beat. With an amount of stompboxes and bass pedals attached to all guitars and all keyboards alike, that used just right, ought to be able to change the whole world as well and not just the sound of a simple guitar, the greatest delicacy was traded in for sonic storms ravaging ear and mind. Here another forté of Soup is mentioned. The band is able to conjure up different mood sets within songs, let alone a whole show. What is extra noticeable is that not one member of the band is a virtuoso. There are no fantastic solos, ripping everything apart. All that is played is an integral part of the whole, with perhaps a few notes escaping that could be seen as a solo. Soup is a collective, creating a wall of sound or not playing at all if that is what it takes. Viken may be the artistic leader and singer, he does not steal the show. Ørjan Langnes may be the guitarist of Soup for seven years, the bass player's brother filling in on additional guitar, keyboard and background vocals, got a lot of moments to shine as well. I could not tell between them who was a member and who supported for the tour. That says it all, where Soup is concerned I think.

Before and after the show I heard people talk about 'Remedies'. I have never heard so many people say "this is my favourite album of 2017" about the same album at the same time. To my "shame" I have to admit three other albums come before 'Remedies', with Maggie Brown's 'Another Place' in the top spot, but I can totally relate to the feeling of 'Remedies' coming in #1. It is a monument of an album. And that makes it so exciting to know that Soup will start work on a new album not too far away in the future. It also lays a great expectation on the band. Perhaps larger than ever before. But as bass player Jan Tore Megård told me: "We are going to take our time. It will have to be perfect and we cannot afford to have even 10 seconds on the album that do not belong there". So we as fans have to remain behind in eager anticipation.

And for such an elaborate band in sound drummer Espen Berge has the most elementary drum kit imaginable. Perhaps the rest was in the van, as the stage certainly did not allow for much more. It was crammed with gear, but I do not think so. There is no need for a thousand piece kit. It was all exactly right.

Pure magic is what I witnessed coming from the stage from a band that obviously shared the emotions coming from playing together this well and enjoying the adoration and positive feedback coming from the audience. I wish Soup large venues in the future and a multi million dollar contract. Luckily for me I got to see the band in this intimate a setting and being able to shake hands after the show. Thank you, guys, for a unique experience and hope to meet again next time.

(All photo's by) Wo.

You can listen to and buy Soup's albums here:

Here's the link to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about:

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