zondag 22 mei 2016

Elenne May live. Thursday 19 May, Venue Utrecht

Photo: Wo.
Not every new venue is a joy to encounter. Venue is a restaurant with a podium in the back hidden behind a red curtain. The people come to eat and not to listen to music. The starting time on the website was wrong by one and a half hour, which is a long time when you have to wait between eating people. Besides I found, and this was a new experience, the smell of food is not pleasant having just eaten. The beer compensated a little, as did Elenne May, when the band could finally take to the stage.

Celebrating the release of the second EP, 'Stairs Raise Children', reviewed on this blog recently, Elenne May played a 45 minutes set that delivered all I expected on the basis of the two EPs. For those following this blog on a daily basis, know that the difference in music between the 18th and the 19th of May was huge. Still filled with the music of the best popgroup ever, The Beatles, I wandered into Venue to hear a band playing songs that only entered my life in the past months and weeks.

Photo: Wo.
There's one similarity though. The music of Elenne May touched me in a way most music does not. It is more than just enjoying good music. It entered another place in my brain or soul if you prefer, where it settled and stayed. A place where The Beatles are sitting comfortably for the past 50 years. A plsce that is harder to really impress with each year added. A place with music that makes me feel happy, just hearing it. Elenne May may just get a permanent position there as well. That only time will tell.

On stage there was some tension clearly visible in the first songs, but that dropped away as the fun of playing together and feeling comfortable with the songs took over. The harmonies did their work, the rhythm section played its delicate parts and the guitar played all these inventive parts from one note to furious rhythm cum solo parts, filling the spaces within the songs. Over that singer Elenne Klok sang her mysterious tales ("If the rain had memory, surely it would never fall again") with a voice that has its very own, distinct character. The piano, used sparingly added life to those songs. The synthesizer laid some mystery under it all. My only complaint is that the voices could have been mixed a little more forward, but that is all.

Photo: Wo.
I saw Elenne May play a very nice set in which its songs came alive (and The Beatles were pushed back to where they belong). There's no way for me to judge whether a band is a true talent, as that is all subjective. For me this band is. Elenne May has songs with a lot of atmosphere and mystique within them and is able to present them in a convincing way. By playing more live the music will only get better.

The wait has started for the final instalment. September or October. I'm looking forward.


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