Next things got even stranger. Again one guy, one table, loads of knobs and one electric guitar. "My grandmother lives on a boat, with a horse", or something like that, in Dutch, while trying to play a monotonous riff on the guitar. It sounded so beyond help, that I couldn't stop myself from laughing.The song was stopped. Either the guy was pulling our leg or the electronics went wrong. After that we got beats in different shapes and sizes and a soft singing guy, in English. There were even recognisable melodies in the songs, at times. Who he is? Internet tells me Zeevonk.
Of course I wasn't there for nothing. The music Esben and the Witch played was alright, but through a large part of the show I found myself waiting for that little extra, the spark that would make the show magical. My patience paid out, for from the moment Rachel Davies announced some old songs, that I'd never heard before that moment, things changed. Two guitars instead of guitar-bass and more electronics in the background. As one other audience member called it after the show: "it's like a fairytale". Now let Wikipedia claim that the band named itself after a Danish fairytale with the same name.
My opinion on the sort of music Esben and the Witch plays you find by clicking on the provided link, so there's no use to repeat that here. The intimacy of the music is something worthwhile to commemorate. Despite moments that the band goes all out, the main part of the songs are quite intimate. Up to a level that it is just Rachel Davies singing, with silences in between. As if daring us to speak or make some noise. Twice in all. During the first some less pleasant person just kept talking despite incessant hissing and a direct request to stop, the second time it was just silence. Total enrapture.
Again the QBus surprised me with a band that good on its stage, the superb quality of the sound, but also the emptiness. How is it possible that so little people find their way to this concert in a town as large as Leiden is? On top of that the city council ordered it to close on 1 December. Where will all the practising bands go? No idea.