Monday 24 October 2016

On Stage: The Kills @ Paradiso

Less than half a year ago The Kills visited our country about a month before they released their latest album Ash & Ice. There we heard many new songs for the first time. Also Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince were now backed up with a live drummer and brought a keyboard player as well. It resulted in a more lively show although the new songs still needed to sink in. Now they return to a sold out Paradiso.

The Kills at Paradiso Amsterdam, October 21 2016

The duo opens with a new song 'Heart of a Dog' from Ash & Ice and the first part of the set has a few more. Halfway they switch to older work, leaning heavily on Blood Pressures and Midnight Boom. The new album sounds a bit more laid back, but with older work in between, the show is dynamic enough not to lose its grip on the audience. On the contrary, the band is very tight and of course Hince and Mosshart are a delight to watch.

Mosshart is a sexy and sultry rock diva on stage, walking around and taking on hot rock poses while looking at people in a seductive way. Hince takes his moments in the spot light to show his guitar skills although the shredding part is reduced because of a nasty hand injury. It doesn't lose any of the energy in his playing and the chemistry between him and Mosshart is still impressive. Freed from playing many electronic parts, they both can now enjoy more time at the front of the stage and the two can interact more.

The two additional musicians are kept in the background and don't get an introduction. It is clear that The Kills are still a duo and maybe that's for the better. These artists are such a good team, that probably any change to it would not add anything to their golden formula. In the encore Mosshart plays 'That Love' all by herself acoustically before the rest of the band returns. Now the new songs are also a solid addition to their catalog and not completely new to most of the fans, The Kills show they are an incredible rock duo, a perfect combination of two musicians that have no problems wrapping Paradiso around their finger.

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01. Heart of a Dog
02. U.R.A. Fever
03. Kissy Kissy
04. Hard Habit to Break
05. Impossible Tracks
06. Black Balloon
07. Doing It to Death
08. Baby Says
09. Dead Road 7
10. Tape Song
11. Echo Home
12. Cheap and Cheerful
13. Whirling Eye
14. Pots and Pans
15. Monkey 23
16. That Love
17. The Last Goodbye
18. Siberian Nights
19. Love Is a Deserter
20. Sour Cherry

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Tuesday 18 October 2016

On Stage: Mozes and the Firstborn @ Bitterzoet

After the release of their first self titled record, young Dutch rock band Mozes and the Firstborn started living their dream of being in a rock band and touring the world. The band played many shows, but also experienced the flip side of it when it all became too much for them. They tried recording a second record in a real studio, with a real producer, but were not happy with the result and tossed it away. After getting it all together again they recorded new songs by themselves and are now touring in support of the record it resulted in, Great Pile Of Nothing.

Mozes and the Firstborn at Bitterzoet Amsterdam, October 16 2016

It's hard to believe these guys were in such a bad place when you saw them play in the past. The foursome always seem to be happy on stage, monkeying around and simply having a blast. Fortunately tonight this is not different and it makes visiting their shows a real treat. The first record had happy-go-lucky up tempo garage rock tunes that would make any one lose their mind over.

The new one is more of a power pop record, with mid tempo songs that offer more depth and reflection. This could result in a performance where the band has to hold back but this is not the case at all. It actually makes their set more balanced, adding more dynamics to the music. Songs like 'Power Ranger' and 'Crybaby' are worthy additions to their catalogue and already fan favourites. It doesn't take long for a few lads to form a small pit in front and everyone is at least bopping their head. That slacker nineties feel of their music still remains in the new songs, which is exactly what makes it so enjoyable.

It's good to see that Mozes and the Firstborn have overcome their troubles and are full of energy again. Singer Melle Dielesen still is the jolly front man, staring through his hair into the crowd with a twinkle in his eyes and a grin on his face. Tall bass player Corto Blommaert is rocking his bass besides him, blond drummer Raven Aartsen with his ever changing hair style is pounding his drums in the back and guitar player Ernst-Jan van Doorn is in his own world shredding his guitar. It's hard not to love young bands like this, who are living the dream of making music and playing in a rock band. Hopefully the dream won't turn into a nightmare again for these guys. since it would be great to have them around for a long time.

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Sunday 2 October 2016

On Stage: John Coffey @ Paradiso

It came as a total surprise when Dutch rockers John Coffey announced they were going to call it quits. The band was doing really well and also getting lots of attention abroad. No real specific reasons were given, but life on the road simply ain't easy and bands like this aren't exactly making tons of money either. Before leaving us they would do one final tour and their last show was at Paradiso.

John Coffey at Paradiso Amsterdam, September 30 2016

This night sold out in no time and you can feel a buzz in the air. Everyone here tonight knows it will be the last time we can party with this unique rock band. We arrive at the venue when Black Peaks have just taken the stage for their support slot and I like what I hear. The heavy hard core songs are tight and go down well with the main hall that's already quite full. By the time the main act is about to take off, the hall is packed and everyone is eager to see their heroes one last time.

It's not just the heavy rock songs that make a John Coffey show so special. It's the energetic performance of the band and their positive attitude that do the trick and that reflects on the crowd. These guys will always give it all and put a smile on everyone's face where ever they play. Needless to say tonight both the band and their fans give it all they've got for one last time. From the beginning to the end the floor turns into a giant pit with people jumping, dancing, stage diving and crowd surfing everywhere you can see. It's as if people are partying like it's the last night on earth.

The band isn't wasting a lot of time and singer David Achter De Molen says they wanted to play only party songs tonight and don't want to spend a lot of time talking about this being the last show. It's hard to believe that we won't be hearing songs like 'Broke Neck' and 'Heart Of A traitor' live on stage from these guys any more. The last time I saw John Coffey play here, I was amazed by the energy from the crowd and how crazy they went. That was nothing compared to tonight where people are bouncing off the walls.

This is exactly what this band is all about, what they do to people. They radiate energy and positive vibes and people simply go mental. It's great to see everyone tearing down this place and partying their asses off. But sadly there has to be an end to it all as well and after fan favourite 'Romans' it's really time to say goodbye to these wonderful five guys who have given us so much joy. They are hugging on stage while tears are flowing off stage when people realize this was it. John Coffey were like a comet in the Dutch music scene, one that was shining bright and full of fire. Tonight they went out with a loud bang, the only way they knew. I thank this band from the bottom of my heart for all the good times and every time I will be spinning their records, I will think back of all those wonderful moments.

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01. Intro

02. Needles

03. Dirt & Stones

04. Featherless Redheads

05. Relief

06. Dear Thomas Schell

 07. No House For Thee

08. Son

09. Bright Companions

 10. Wreckage and Scars

11. Nails On The Blackboard

12. The Well

13. Me vs. I

14. Broke Neck

15. Redrum

16. Oh, Oh, Calamity

17. Jean Trompette

18. Heart of a Traitor

 19. It's Beginning to Change

 20. Guerilla Radio (Rage Against the Machine cover)

21. Breed(Nirvana cover, with Black Peaks)

22. Eagle Chasing Flies


23. Romans

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