Monday 10 November 2014

Navarone Are Pure Rock Pleasure

In The Netherlands a few cities claim to be "rock city" of our country, because they host a fine selection of rock bands. I think every city has a valid point, since indeed all of them spawned a few original and exciting bands. Nijmegen is certainly one that seems to have fertile ground where rock bands are able to develop into quality groups. Navarone definitely is one of them, one that was able to knock me off my feet the first time I heard them a few years back. Earlier this year they released their second album Vim and Vigor where you can hear they are developing into a unique band with an amazing sound and creative songs. Time to see them play again.

Navarone at W2 's-Hertogenbosch, November 7 2014

When you have friends living throughout the country that can appreciate live music just as much as yourself, it enables you to see more bands that may not be visiting your home town or anywhere near, at least not on dates that you're able to go. And of course it's a great excuse to visit your friends and enjoy a night out. This time I headed to the lovely city of 's-Hertogenbosch to watch Navarone play the very nice W2 stage. We are greeted by two lovely ladies that hand us a token to a free Jack Daniel's and coke. Not a bad way to start this evening.

It's not a sold out show tonight, but the small venue has filled up nicely. It does enable us to easily move forward to the front of the stage by the time the band is about to start their show. It doesn't take long for them to impress me once again. Of course they are great musicians, that play a very tight set. Drums, guitars, bass, every individual is able to handle his instrument well and singer Merijn van Haren's mighty voice with astonishing belts are simply wonderful. But the one thing that makes them even better is the pure joy that they are displaying while playing. It's obvious there's only one place they want to be and only one thing they like to do, and that's playing live on stage. The members are looking so pleased and excited, exchanging smiles, admiring each other's playing and totally are in the moment. Immediately they make that electrifying connection with the crowd that is needed for a good live show.

Of course it helps that songs like 'The Red Queen Effect', 'December' and 'Indigo Blue' with its Zeppelin like grooves and sound, are very good rock songs that recall the seventies. The music has lots of dynamics, with almost acoustic parts that are followed by walls of heavy rock grooves. So every ingredient is in there to make a rocker's heart beat faster. They also play entirely unplugged for a short moment, including the vocals where they ask the crowd to be quiet. And guess what? Not a sound to be heard while the band is playing, something that unfortunately is becoming very rare during concerts. Van Haren once more shows what an extraordinary singer he is when they play a cover version of Moby's 'In This World', which you can watch below. This is a band to be proud of and it would surprise me if Navarone won't be one of the front runners of our country's rock scene in the years to come. Maybe we're slowly growing into "rock country" of Europe? Go check them out, since seeing is believing.

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