woensdag 9 november 2016
I Am Oak live. Patronaat, Saturday 5 November 2016
No need to bring any ear protection I thought and I worried upfront about an audience that would never be silent enough for me to hear and truly enjoy this music. Well, I was wrong on all accounts. Yes, I could have used some ear protection during the show and yes, the audience was enraptured, ready for this show. Something else struck me also. I was really the oldest guy in the room. That changed, perhaps, when the band started to play and some people came down the stairs from the upstairs bar, but before that, easily. So many youngsters and hardly anyone in between. The age group 35-50 that I'd expected to come out for this sort of music was absent mostly.
I Am Oak on stage is a foursome. Thijs Kuiken, the modest, long-haired frontman is accompanied by Stefan Breuer on bass, Robby Wouters on guitar and Tammo Kerbergen on drums. The first two sing the oh so pleasant harmonies. The bass player is responsible for the deadpan public address when there's a silence due to tuning of a guitar. Together they are able to go from the softest whisper to a full out, eardrum splitting rock jam and everything in between.
When the acoustic guitar comes out the volume goes decidedly down. Even to just voice(s) and guitar. The audience followed suit in these most vulnerable moments for I Am Oak. It was even complemented by the band on the amount of silence it produced. A joke or well-meant? I fear for the latter, hope for the first as I Am Oak deserves to be listened to. Why else come to a band like this? (Or to any band for that matter. One can talk everywhere any time but why do so at a gig?) When Kuijken plays his keyboard, guitarist Wouters has some more freedom to present himself. The three configurations in which I Am Oak plays, present a nice diversity in its set.
With the LP 'Ols Songd', reviewed here some years back, in my possession, I went home. A beautiful cover it has, that really comes out on LP. It's signed, "Bedankt! Thijs. Let me reciprocate: "Bedankt, Thijs!" A fine evening it was.
(All photo's by) Wo.
You can listen to and buy I Am Oak's albums here: