Saturday 15 December 2012

The Horse Company and Phantom Limb Warm Up Club Ziggo

The Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam can hold over 15,000 people. Attached to it is a small stage called Club Ziggo where a lot is happening as well. It is mostly used for special show cases, where the entrance is free when you can get on the guest list. When The Horse Company and Phantom Limb were announced, I made sure I was on it.

The Horse Company at Club Ziggo Amsterdam, December 9 2012
These guys from the town Zwolle in The Netherlands took me by surprise this year. They released a great album Calypso, which turned out to be their third. Somehow they flew below my radar for the past years, so I took this chance to check them out for the first time.

Club Ziggo feels like a cold place lacking atmosphere. The Horse Company know how to turn this around with their warm rock songs. The focused musicians are calmly playing their skilful songs, that sound just as good as on their record. It's a blend of Americana, pop, rock and country. Some songs start tiny but slowly grow into grooving rock songs. I'm definitely going to get me their first two albums as well and keep a close eye on this band.

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Phantom Limb at Club Ziggo Amsterdam, December 9 2012
The English band made a huge impression on Lowlands this year, where they were filling in for a cancellation at the last minute. Not the least because of singer Yolanda Quartey's strong voice. Although their music, soul mixed with country and gospel, isn't quite my taste it was a treat to see them again. And they would even play two sets: an acoustic and an electric set.

In the acoustic set, the band is laying down the perfect foundation for Quartey to excel. Her voice is really impressive, so strong with a lot of depth. The electric set shows that the band have a lot to add. They make the music breath and offer just enough counterweight to their singer to nicely balance the sound. Once again I'm impressed with this band and even though it may not exactly be my cup of tea I feel the urge to buy their CD that Quartey is happy to sign for me.

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It has been a very good night on a bit of a bleak location. That's too bad since the initiative is a great way to watch bands from up close and for them to present themselves. So I'm definitely in for a next time.

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