Friday 4 November 2016

On Stage: Warhaus @ Bitterzoet

At the Into The Great Wide Open Festival in September, Balthazar members performed with the different solo projects they started. It was interesting to see and hear how the separate projects were kind of a dissection of Balthazar's sound. Maarten Devoldere started Warhaus, a project he had been working on for years, recording songs at home and on the road. Now his main band is going on hiatus the time is right to release an album and hit the clubs.

Warhaus at Bitterzoet Amsterdam, November 2 2016

That album We Fucked A Flame Into Being came out a few weeks ago and its style is dark and sultry. At Into The Great Wide Open we already saw how good this is live on stage too, but there his girl friend Soldier's Heart Sylvie Kreusch was missing. But this time fortunately Kreusch, who sings the backing vocals on most of the songs, is joining them on stage. With her "femme fatale" appearance and sensual dancing she makes the songs even more sexy and hot and her vocals are vital for the songs.

The setting is perfect for the mostly slow songs that at the same time have a summer's night vibe to it, when you feel it's cooling down, but the heat is not gone. Bitterzoet is a dark club tonight and with this music it takes you back to a fifties jazz club, except the smoke is missing. Devoldere proves to be a very creative musician, the way the songs build up, layer by layer, skilfully backed up by Faces On TV's Jasper Maekelberg on guitar and Balthazar drummer Michiel Balcaen. He's using loops as foundation of some songs, and throws in a few blows on a trumpet now and then. It gives the songs a kind of lovely awkward feel and causes them to crawl under your skin.

When he's singing his low and relaxed voice give the songs a dark edge, in the same way Nick Cave can do this. It's just too bad some people really can't keep their mouth shut and have to keep on chatting, something that already goes by the name of "the Dutch disease". It's very annoying for everyone and disrespectful to the musicians. Fortunately Warhaus doesn't pay any attention to it and keeps the mood and atmosphere of their music alive. I'm looking forward to more music from this talented bunch of people.

All Pictures

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