woensdag 28 november 2018

Sunday at Eight and Out of Skin live, Haarlem Sunday 25 November 2018

Photo Wo.
On a dreary, grey, late November day Wo.'s living room was set ablaze by two young acts. The biggest bass drum to date was carried into the room, a harp was driven in and what not. Even a wine glass was filled, emptied and refilled with water to reach a perfect F#. Sunday at Eight does not have a lot of experience with living room shows. "Yes, the volume can still go down", and people in the audience later proved that the volume could go down and all could be heard. Out of Skin has this experience and used it fully. While the voice of the singer seemed to be able to produce more volume without amplification than the full band did.

Slowly the audience gathered and Sunday at Eight had to get ready to play. It was nice to see the band this close. Having played in the same rehearsal spot in the past, I have seen the band grow and diversify and now also saw it focus more in its new songs. The 45 minute set took us through musical history, but as singer Damiaan said: "the basis is the record collection of my father, with foremost The Beatles". A The Beatles like end chord chimes at the end of nearly every song. (Do coincidences exist? The White Album was playing when the band walked in.) The way the music changes, even within the songs, is something that may not have been noticed by all in the audience but certainly with several connoisseurs. The range of songs Sunday at Eight plays is wide and it excels in each one.

Photo: Wo.
Experiments in latin, ska and ballads all come in through the 60s pop and 70s (piano driven) singer-songwriter songs which form the basis of the band. Intricate guitar lines by lead guitarist Wouter are supported by fine bass playing, including melodies by Bas and inventive drumming by Antonio. The only thing one can hold against the band is that not all is steeped in originality, but having said that three things become very clear: the band loves what it plays, it does so inventively and most songs hold several surprises for the listener. The interaction between band and audience topped things off so nicely. In the final songs the saxophone came out for the ska song and a beautiful ballad. Sunday at Eight had a revelation about living room shows but proved to be able to master subtlety as well.

Photo: Wo.
Out of Skin is a duo based in Rotterdam. They (also) have featured on this blog before. Having a setting no one expects, acoustic guitar and harp, it already sets an expectation. In the circa 30 minute set, not even pins were dropped, perhaps even breaths held in moments of absolute silence. The show was intense and the audience shifted into this mood swing immediately. Up front I would have expected the bands to play in another sequence, but it proved to be perfect. Wouter Mol showed every aspect of his singing voice and the heights he is able to reach. Maartjes harmonies are at times below his pitch. The audience followed his every move. And move he did. Walking outside the kitchen door while singing about goodbyes and walking back in through the living room back door. Climb upon the table for the final notes. One thing is for sure. Out of Skin made a huge impression upon most present. Through its songs and the presentation.

Photo: Wo.
The contrast between the two acts, who know each other for a while, was huge, but together they provided the gathered friends and acquaintances a perfect afternoon. From perfect pop to intense acoustic music, our fifth living room show proved another success thanks to two young and promising acts. More come March.


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