Friday, 25 May 2012

Billy Bragg at Paradiso, 23 May 2012

I don’t want to change the world, I’m not looking for a New Amsterdam….

Numerous times I have heard Billy Bragg be described as a political singer song writer. After seeing Billy perform again, I have formed the opinion that he is not a political singer song writer but rather a man with a conscience and genuine desire for a better society. Ok, he does not shy away from giving his opinion, but it is at least an informed opinion based on a lot of real thought, and couple that with passionate emotive songs, and you have one hell of an entertaining show in the making.


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Musical Debate: Can a band be greater than the sum of its parts?

Part II – the debate

Disclaimer - the following argument came out of the Bowerbirds show (see review here) that we recently attended, but has turned into something much bigger. Any examples using the Bowerbirds should not be held against them and the one show of theirs that I have seen, they just happened to spark the debate. And with that, on with the show....

As any proud Greek will tell, it was Aristotle who first came up with the idea that a whole could be greater than the sum of its parts. And while most of us have might not have looked at the study of metaphysics all that closely, we have probably come across similar concepts in high school economics or that intro to philosophy subject that seemed like such a great idea in fist year uni.

But can the same, or at least a similar idea work for music? And more specifically can a band be greater than the sum of its parts when performing live?

Friday, 18 May 2012

Eric Bibb - 27 April 2012, Amstelkerk

Eric Sang the Blues

When you have the opportunity to see a Blues Legend playing in a 17th Century European Church, you have a certain vision of the show in your mind. Let’s just say from the start, that the Amstelkerk was not quite what I was expecting.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Bowerbirds, Paradiso 9 May 2012

Part I – the review

When it rains it pours, or so the saying goes and over the past couple of weeks in Amsterdam this has been true both meteorologically and with the number of good lives bands on offer. However this week and next things have really dried up on the live music scene, although unfortunately the same can’t be said about the weather.

With this in mind we did what had to be done and picked the band that sounded most familiar and took the gamble to get our weekly dose of rock and roll action. Or in this case perhaps folk rock action.

The band was the Bowerbirds, and they were described on their 4 line Wikipedia page as a folk band from North Carolina (which is in the United States, as was thoughtfully clarified by the bands keyboarder during the show). It appeared to be an accurate description, as a 5 piece band took to the small stage at Paradiso with a revolving combination of guitar, keyboard, drums, piano-accordion, violin and cello.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Queens Night - 29 April 2012

Between Queen’s Night and another Ajax championship, this Sunday night was full of people in bars partying hard for the long weekend, however James and I chose to hit up the Melkweg to see some (more) live music. This was also my 4th gig in 5 days and sometimes on the end of that sort of run of gigs you don’t enjoy the shows as much as you might if you have been starved for a few weeks. So I crossed my fingers and waited with baited breath for the arrival of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (JSBE).

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Lemonheads - Tivoli, Utrecht

It's a Shame about Evan

A few months back I raised a question amongst friends that has bothered me for years - ‘is Evan Dando, main man of The Lemonheads, a musical genius or is he the luckiest stoner in music’? The question stirred strong debate but was never resolved, so when it was announced that he would be touring their break through album, It's a Shame about Ray, as part of its 20 year anniversary, a trip down to Utrecht to settle the debate was too good to refuse.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Andrew WK - Bitterzoet, 18 April 2012

"YOU DON’T KNOW ANDREW WK" exclaimed our friend at Mokum Groupie in bewilderment. She boldly declared that we MUST come to see his show and that we should not google or research him at all – just go, and experience, and be blown away!

So we did....