Wednesday 29 December 2010

Explosive Album Presentation Triggerfinger

When Triggerfinger announced a while ago that they would play Paradiso to present their new album 'All This Dancin' Around' I immediately bought tickets. I've seen the "loudest band in Antwerp" a few times before and can't get enough of them. They always live up to their reputation of being the best live band in the Benelux. By the time December neared they had already sold out two nights in the Amsterdam rock temple and seem to sell out every other venue in Belgium and The Netherlands.

Triggerfinger at Paradiso Amsterdam, December 22 2010 (Ronald Says 9 out of 10)

All three members of the band are lined up on the stage showing that all of them are just as important. This is not just image but also the truth. Ruben Block is the charismatic front man with his recognizable voice and screaming guitar solos. Mario Goossens is the strong active drummer with solid and pounding grooves, that's so characteristic for their sound. 'Monsieur' Paul van Bruystegem is the big and quiet steady rock that holds it all together.

When they enter the stage singer Block is looking into the crowd with his piercing and prying eyes. He knows what's coming and that he will have the crowd at his feet before this night is over. The band kicks off and the rock 'n roll train starts running full force. And it doesn't stop anymore until the end. Triggerfinger is playing the crowd with irresistible energy. Block is moaning, howling and teasing while his guitar roars. Goossens is showing off his chops, stands up behind his kit now and then to fire up the crowd and is beating his drums like there's no tomorrow. Monsieur Paul's bass notes keep pushing the train forward while the relaxed giant is looking around approvingly.

Of course they play some songs of the new album which prove to work very well in a live show. Although the record came out in November it's striking to see how many people already know the words to all of them. Songs like title track 'All This Dancin' Around' and 'Cherry' have already become Triggerfinger classics. By this time the venue has reached boiling point and a small pit has formed in front of the stage. Sweaty bodies keep jumping to the irresistible grooves. By the end of the encore the crowd has climaxed into one satisfying orgasm.

Triggerfinger prove once more they are here to stay. With such a live act and great new album they are ready to take on the world. My last concert of the year sure closed 2010 with a bang.

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Wednesday 22 December 2010

De Dijk Keeps Out The Cold

Halfway December means Dutch band De Dijk is playing Paradiso. Like every year we go there with around 10 people to have a good time. And to forget about the cold and snow. Their cooperation with soul singer Solomon Burke ended in tragedy a few months ago but De Dijk are always good for a great time.

De Dijk in Paradiso Amsterdam, December 17 2010 (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)

Of course because I'm at their show every year I know I don't have to expect any surprises. Maybe they will perform a song they rarely play live but that's it. On the other hand you know this band will never let you down, good times guaranteed. And this time was nothing different so I can make this a short review. Just read my reviews of previous years over here and here. The band played tight, enjoyed themselves a lot and looked cheery on stage like they always do. You just got to experience it yourself to know what I mean. Same place and time next year. Enjoy the pictures.

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Tuesday 14 December 2010

Perfect Silence by Cage Against The Machine

Cage Against The Machine - 4'33" (Ronald Says 10 out of 10)
Last year Rage Against The Machine prevented yet another X Factor UK winner from taking the top spot in the music charts at Christmas. This spot is a highly desirable spot for artists but the yearly X Factor circus downgraded it to a joke. This year there's the Cage Against The Machine initiative to take the top spot instead of this year's X Factor winner. They managed to get many popular artists to join and recorded John Cage's 4'33" which is a three-movement composition consisting of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed instead of the instruments playing.

The Cage Against The Machine version is just as brilliant. Every time I listen to it it sounds different and I discover new sounds. It's just an impressive composition and one can only wonder how Cage was able to write it. Credit also to the artists taking part since they manage to capture the essence of the piece. A must buy for every music lover. All income will go to charity.

Buy 4'33" on iTunes

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Wednesday 8 December 2010

Bryan Ferry's Latest Far From Olympic

Bryan Ferry - Olympia (Ronald Says 5 out of 10)
The old timer and former front man of Roxy Music may have dropped off many people's radar but he is still making albums. His latest one came out over a month ago. His recognizable smooth pop sound hasn't changed and his elegant vocals stay sensuous all the way. But the album doesn't convince. Of course you can't expect experimental outrageous tracks but somehow the album doesn't lift off. After a while it starts to feel a bit thin and Ferry's vocals start to get on your nerves. A bit more spice and adventure couldn't hurt.

Listen to 'Olympia' on Spotify

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Wednesday 1 December 2010

Good Vibes with El Pino & The Volunteers

Around the time Dutch band Johan announced they were going to call it quits a year ago their drummer Jeroen Kleijn joined El Pino & The Volunteers. Being a big fan of Johan and Kleijn's drum playing I checked out this band and liked it right away. Their last album is full of beautiful songs and well produced. Their folk/americana music should please many people especially with the increased interest for this genre in the past year fronted by bands like Grizzly Bear and Mumford & Sons. Although I'm not a fan of this genre something in this band's music really works for me. But somehow El Pino remain a relative unknown band to my surprise that are still playing the smaller venues like Bitterzoet this time.

El Pino & The Volunteers at Bitterzoet Amsterdam, November 27 2010 (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
When we enter the club it is still pretty empty. Fortunately it slowly starts to fill up during the support act. When it's time for the main band the place has filled up for around three quarters. But it's a place with a lot of character and most people look like they are real El Pino fans so it has turned into a nice atmosphere. The band members take the stage and start to play their delicate melodies. The stage is quite small and the lighting is pretty basic so keyboard player Job Roggeveen and especially drummer Jeroen Kleijn are hidden in the back and in the dark for most of the show.

The songs of El Pino are full of harmonies and all have a sensitive touch. The band puts down layers of great sounding melodies. Guitar player Tjirk Deurloo knows how to fill in just enough guitar to give it that characteristic americana sound while David Pino's vocals add just enough emotion without sounding too sentimental. And of course bass player Mark van der Waarde and Deurloo's tasteful harmonies are the finishing touch. The beginning of the show the band seems a bit detached especially because in front of the stage there's an empty space. But David Pino asks everyone to come closer and loosens up during the show. He's always interacting with the crowd and is definitely in control of the band.

They don't play a very long set but everyone's listening and watching attentively due to the variation in tempo in the their set. There's even room for a bit of dancing now and then. Inspired by the dark and cold weather outside they start their encore with a Christmas song. A few more songs follow before it's time to get back in the cold. But all warmed up by the music that won't be a problem. This band really deserves to be a lot bigger than they are now. Check them out when you get the chance.

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