Thursday, 31 October 2013

Charles Bradley - Paradiso Amsterdam, 24 October 2013

No this would not be Gnarles Barkley or Charles Barkley, this would be Charles Bradley, a man who is about to turn 65 and has only now just started to sell out shows. Maybe I have a soft spot for this kind of story, as one of my favorite artists of all time did something similar to Charles, in that his album and touring came to him in his later years. And just as he managed to "make the big time" he was shuffled of this mortal coil. RIP Ted Hawkins.

Monday, 28 October 2013

CHVCHES - Melkweg Amsterdam, 22 October 2013

Every online music magazine and blog I have read in the past few months has had one thing in common. CHVCHES are the next big thing and the hottest ticket in any town they find themselves playing in.

And so it was in Amsterdam when they sold out the small stage at the Melkweg in no time at all and already have a show at the main stage Paradiso lined up for early next year.

Joe Henry and Lisa Hannigan - Highline Ballroom, NYC, 15 June 2012

In New Amsterdam or Old Amsterdam you couldn’t be disappointed with Joe Henry and Lisa Hannigan.

Joe Henry; now that is a performer who I feel I could never do justice with an attempt to describe him.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Mountain Goats, The People’s Palace, Amsterdam 13 October 2013

I wish I was a good enough writer to describe to you what I witnessed last night.

I wish I was articulate enough to tell you about this show by The Mountain Goats and make you feel like you were there. To make you feel what I felt. 

If only I had the words to describe the unique texture and sound of John Darnielle's voice. Or even if I could use words like John does, as he introduced almost every song and made it come to life. It didn't matter if the song was about something as trivial as a computer game or as heartbreaking as the first morning after a break up - he engaged the audience as though it was both important that they understood what they were about to hear and also that they were entertained and amused by his dry wit and somewhat self-depreciating humor.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Jools Holland and the Rhythm And Blues Orchestra – Paradiso, Amsterdam, 13 April 2013.

A whole lot of Rhythm and not many people suffering from the Blues on this night in Paradiso.

What did I know about Jools Holland? Well for starters he was in the band Squeeze (or UK Squeeze for the Aussie readers) and then went on to front a TV show with Paula Yates (The Tube) and then after that his own show “Later….with Jools Holland”. On top of this I knew that he tours reasonably regularly with his band the Rhythm And Blues Orchestra, which has from time to time included some pretty significant players.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Best Kept Secret Festival, Tilburg, 23 June 2013

We walked into the festival "venue" in Tilburg and it started to rain, and I don’t mean just a couple of drops, I mean this was let's build an ark this shit is about to get real kind of rain. What this did do was force us straight into the first tent that presented itself to us. This then allowed us to see the last three quarters of the Black Lips show and they were cranking. They automatically reminded me of why I had wanted to see them play when the band line up for the day was announced.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The National, Forever Cemetery, L.A., 12 August 2013

You know a band has made it when their World Tour is announced and you receive not one, but four invitations to see them across the globe on the one day. In my case I received various requests to see them at shows in L.A., Helsinki, Amsterdam and London and I settled on the L.A. gig.

The first thought that I had when I knew that I was heading to L.A. was that I needed to get to a live gig in this town, I mean there is such a rich music history here that I needed to at least see one show there. I also wanted to see something at the famous Greek Theater or the Hollywood Bowl but alas this was not to be this trip. But where I did get to see a band was at a venue that I think my have been as infornatly spectacular and that was the Forever Cemetery.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Clash of the Amsterdam Titans - Rudeboy (& the Phantom Four) Vs Def P (& Beatbusters), Melkweg Amsterdam, 22 December 2012

Two legends in Dutch Music history collide.

How is my Dutch? Well the answer is rubbish, then what was my expectation for an evening of Dutch music icons? strangely pretty high. I will prefis the following description of the show with the fact that this is purely my interpretation of what occurred on the evening and no facts have been researched whatsoever regarding names of performers etc.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Avett Brothers. Tivoli Utrecht, 22 August 2013

An evening of ballads of love. And maybe half a one of hate.

Last time I got to see the Avett Brothers play in Amsterdam was at the Paradiso following the release of their previous album “I and Love and You”. The show was amazing (see JV’s Top 5 Shows of 2011) and they nailed every one of the songs, however the energy from the band wasn’t always evident.