Wednesday 27 February 2019

On Stage: Excelsior Supporters Day

The Excelsior Recordings record label always had a fine nose for interesting and quality bands. I like their mentality and a lot of the music they released and that's why I became a supporter of the label a couple of years ago. Now they are organizing the first Excelsior Supporters Day with a lot of music and performances by some of their most successful bands.

Excelsior Supporters Day at Paradiso Tolhuistuin Amsterdam, February 24 2019


By the time we arrive at the venue, the first of these bands is ready for their performance. Moss is one of the crown jewels of the label and has come a long way. They never made things easy for themselves but always stayed true to their own believes. Record by record they got better until they found their perfect form, resulting in the last album Strike. On stage they have found this form as well, looking comfortable and focused.

They try out a few new songs today and it almost seems as if you're in their practice studio, since these songs have not been rehearsed endlessly for live performances. Drummer Finn Kruyning asks what tempo a song is in and in another song they try to figure out where to start. This is a band that is not afraid to show this to an audience that has collectively embraced this band. I am looking forward to that new album they are working on a lot.

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The day continues with performances by Bewilder's Maurits Westerik, Awkard I (Djurre de Haan) and Bertolf(Lentink). It makes sense putting these artists on stage one after another, where Westerik and Awkward I perform solo on acoustic guitar. Bertolf brought his band and on top of that, Jelle Paulusma joins them for one song as well. It is the Excelsior way to encourage these collaborations and let artists discover their musical direction and spectrum, let them experiment and support them to explore joint projects.


The day comes to an end with one of the most successful bands on the label and without a doubt one of their most popular ones. Johan is one of my favourite bands and I am not alone in this. The beautiful songs with lovely melodies are so well done, it's no denying they are one of the best bands in the low lands. They had a very successful year releasing a new LP Pull Up and touring every stage and festival out there. It never gets old hearing these beautiful tunes where the newest songs already feel familiar between the classics.

This band simply is a delight to watch, who simply never are able to sound bad. This music is of such high quality that every single song sounds like a hit. Even when the band makes tiny mistakes it doesn't affect them or the music in the slightest bit. It results in a few smiles between members, but the band keeps going strong. What a great way to end this day.

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There's kind of a jolly atmosphere in here today, as if we're all part of this family, even though not every one is a supporter and it was also possible to simply buy a ticket. That is maybe the best compliment for this record label though, that they managed to make everybody feel part of a big family, both fans and artists. I hope this turns into an annual event.

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