maandag 16 september 2013

Roots in heaven: TMGS, 13 September 2013 Q-Bus

Soundcheck TMGS, photo Wo.
One of the best albums of 2013 and one of the best read articles on this blog (here) in 2013, is 'Rivers and coastlines: the ride', the latest album of Antwerpen based band TMGS (formerly The Moe Green Specials). The mix of pop, surf, desert Tex-Mex and alt.Americana makes for a special ultra melodic delight that I've not heard and experienced many times before. How would this transpose live?

Unfortunately the gig was ill-fated from the start. No soundcheck and a seven piece band is asking for disaster. Still, when in the second song TMGS played, album opener 'Tell everyone', the trumpets kicked in, the Roots of Heaven were reached, as far as I was concerned. Despite the fact that the drums were too loud, the guitars and vocals too soft, not mentioning that something on stage was feedbacking in a horrible way through four or five songs.

Despite all that TMGS showed the too less people in Q-Bus that it makes beautiful music. Great melodies, cascading and flowing in beautiful ways, surprising interludes, harmonies and two guitars that weave notes around each other. On top of that all are warm keyboard sounds as well, with the two trumpets as icing on the cake. A surprising mix of music that has everything on board from The Beatles to Wilco and from surf guitar to Calexico and 'Once upon a time in the west'. There's only one reason that only pictures are shown here from the soundcheck: I forgot to take others due to the power of the music.

TMGS is another band that deserves a much wider audience. However, an important note has to be stated here, there has to be some interaction with the audience. The two trumpet players could play a role in this also. The stage presence could be better, as musically everything is there to stand out.

The band parted with a promise that it could come back soon to do the gig again with a proper
Peter Lodiers, photo Wo.
soundcheck. This seems like the smartest thing to do and then make a real assessment of TMGS live. As far as I was concerned I had heard enough, but that was not the case for some of the people present as the troubles with the sound took out a lot of the energy and interaction, all aimed in the wrong direction and places.

Next time revenge, TMGS. In the mean time I keep playing 'Rivers and coastlines: the ride', which still gives me great pleasure everytime I hear it. The circa a half year since my first listen has not changed anything there. A new classic is born!


You can listen to 'Rivers and coastlines: the ride' here (and then buy it on this website!)

The interview with Kristof Janssens is here.

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