Tuesday 26 February 2019

On Stage: Navarone @ De Helling

Dutch rock band Navarone entered the TV music talent competition The Voice of Holland this year. I was already aware of their unmistakable talent for a long time of course. They made it to the finals where they lost in the end, but were able to convince many people of how a good a rock band they are.

Navarone at De Helling Utrecht, February 23 2019

As a result the planned shows for their current tour around the smaller venues are now selling out fast. Tonight the cozy venue in Utrecht is a full house as well. The band looks eager to play, even though they are tired from playing the finals and partying big afterwards only yesterday. Singer Merijn van Haren has a lot to tell and is very chatty in between songs. It is clear they enjoyed their adventure a lot and hopefully it can get them to the next level.

The current tour is in support of their new record Salvo and many songs of that album make it onto the set tonight. Those songs are more accessible to a greater audience, but at the same time they may even be heavier than ever. Some of them like 'Cerberus' or 'Mind's Eye' draw inspiration from heavy nineties grunge bands like Soundgarden. It is no coincidence that Navarone are honouring that band in a tour that is running parallel to this one, playing only Soundgarden songs with guest singers next to van Haren.

As if van Haren himself isn't able to do Chris Cornell any justice all by himself. His voice never fails to impress. Even after a short night with heavy partying his throat is not letting him down. His mighty howl is impressive as ever, while the rest of the band backs him up with big solid grooves. Guitarist Kees Lewiszong is adding Pink Floyd like melodies to some of the songs, pays a little tribute to Hendrix in one of his riffs and can make his guitar scream whenever he wants. It's these things together with an incredible amount of energy that lifts the songs up even more in a live show.

The Voice of Holland fellow contestant Sanne de Winter joins the band on stage for a rematch of their battle in the show, singing Otis Redding's classic (and made famous by Aretha Franklin) 'Respect'. De Winter is a fine singer, but she simply gets blown away by Navarone and van Haren. It shows what an incredible band this is which deserves a much bigger crowd. Hopefully this TV show adventure can bring that and they can move on to larger venues. See you there guys!

All Pictures

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