zaterdag 5 december 2015

Pauw live with Machete Nightclub. Rotown, Rotterdam 3-12-2015

Photo: Wo.
On the day that one artist passed away, Scott Weiland, I had the pleasure to see the rise of a new band with loads of potential, Pauw. At the start of this year Oor tipped 15 acts for 2015, which I decided to test also. Pauw was my favourite from the start. The sold out EP showed great promise, that was fulfilled with the album Macrocosm Microcosm. All can be found on this blog. How does this translate live? My expectations were high.

In that pleasant, nicely sized venue in Rotterdam called Rotown we first were introduced to Machete Nightclub. While the warming up music was still filling my ears, something more eastern came through, but not taking over. A strange experience. Was the show starting or not? Especially as this had happened before, after which people started to work on cables and plugs and whatever at the side of the stage. It did start with five guys on the stage, of which one started to play along tho the eastern melody, which had taken over by now, on eastern sounding percussion.

Photo: Wo.
There was one extremely familiar face behind the drum kit: Marcel Veenendaal of Di-Rect. Then all of a sudden this Chinese

hatted singer stood there, trying to look cool, but not overly convincing. What enfolded was a psych rock experience that knew some fantastic moments, but also needs more work. The deep dark voice of the singer is not always steady. Especially when a little more force is asked and what he sings about? I haven't got a clue. Something with machetes. The way the songs expand are quite nice, with some great guitar work here and there. On other moments just this little more variation would have done a miracle for the song. The response was sort of lukewarm. People listened but were not truly touched. For a support act that means that attention was paid and kept. First battle won. Mind, the band has to make sure that it does not get stuck in the gimmick of its opening numbers. Let me finish with a complement to the whole rhythm section. Between the drums, the tight bass and the frivolous percussion a great foundation is laid for the other three members. And as a tip. Tell the audience who you are next time as I totally missed that cue during the show.

Pauw started with an empty stage also and a make over of Pink Floyd's 'Any Colour You Like'. All the sounds came by in a slightly different form. The light show in the background started as if it had to be swung into life. From this dot flickering on and off, slowly a psychedelic experience unfolded that did not stop until the very last note. Swirling and twirling the whole time.

Photo: Wo.
With a drummer looking like Mick Fleetwood in 1967, taller than the rest of the band, long hair all over the sides of his long face, it was easy to imagine Fleetwood drumming over time and place in London with Fleetwood Mac. We were in Rotterdam in 2015 but the music was from that time long gone. If these boys' parents started a family early, than they weren't even born when this music was over its peak and totally out of fashion. Since a few years psychedelic rock is in fashion again and Pauw is one of the NL frontrunners.

Pauw delivered completely on the promise of its album. It managed to flesh out some of the songs, which made it hard to know when one song ended and another started. Singer Brian Potts helped us there at times by making a short announcement. What makes Pauw interesting to listen to is that most of its songs have a few great melodies within them, riffs that stand out. Both on the keyboards and the guitar. Melodies that remind me in a pleasant way of heroes from long ago like Pink Floyd, Earth & Fire and others, but are innovative enough to have relevance in the here and now. The songs are more than just a trip down memory lane or a study in 60s recording techniques, like e.g. with Jacoo Gardner's first album. Pauw is not that good as the mentioned examples yet, but shows the potential that could lead to greatness. Time will tell. Pauw does rock and invites to move and has a few songs that are total winners.

One tip though. The singing has to be a bit better placed in the mix. It was hard to hear at times.


You can listen to 'Memories' here:

or buy at Bol.Com

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