Sunday, 14 June 2020

On Stage: Tim Knol @ De Nieuwe KHL

Three months without live music is very rare to me. I'd have to go way back to find a period with such a long drought. Fortunately now things are slowly opening up again, although I'm afraid it will still be a long time before theatres and venues are back to normal and we can watch artists on stage the way we used to. Dutch singer Tim Knol is one of those artists that always went his own way and who has always been in control of his own career. He's one of the first artists to start performing again and who is trying to make the best out of it.

Tim Knol at De Nieuwe KHL Amsterdam, June 10 2020

Of course it isn't a concert the way we are used to. It's a small place with an even smaller audience. In total 30 people are seated mostly as pairs at tables and Knol is by himself on the small stage. It creates a nice atmosphere though and it feels like an intimate performance. It is a good setting for Knol who is used to playing solo and knows how to entertain a crowd like this.

He has built a versatile catalogue with his solo albums, but also with his garage rock project The Miseries and more recently the blue grass album with Blue Grass Boogiemen. He was supposed to go on tour with that last band. Knol uses this versatility with great effect and mixes in some cover songs as well. After being in a bad place for a while, he decided it was time for a change and worked hard for this, lost a lot of weight and is now in great shape. It suits him and his voice is more clear and powerful than ever. His guitar skills are getting more impressive every time I see him, which he proves by playing a lightning fast blue grass song.

Many of his own songs are somewhat melancholic or sad and he jokes that he will start playing more uplifting songs later on, which he does. He's great with these little chats in between songs that usually have a funny twist and bring a relaxed vibe. It also closes the distance between the audience and him, which is wonderful nowadays when keeping distance is so important now. It's exactly what makes live music so good. That interaction between an artist and the audience and the way they can connect.

I can't be more happy and thrilled that I'm able to experience live music again, even thought it is a only a tiny step. I certainly hope more steps can follow soon and these artists who need this so bad can start performing again to make a decent living. I'm really glad Tim Knol was the one who played for us at this first concert, since he's exactly one of those artists who need these kind of performances so bad. Go support these artists and venues, especially now they are going through such a hard time. Go see them when they are performing, buy a couple of drinks, buy their music and merchandise. Hopefully most of them will be able to survive this crisis. I certainly will be attending concerts whenever I can. I can't wait for the next one!

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Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Corona Lockdown Festival featured live sessions: Dansende Beren

Belgium website Dansende Beren is streaming live sessions daily starting at 20.30 CEST. Previous live streams are available in their archive. Check it out!

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Thursday, 2 April 2020

Corona Lockdown Festival featured artist: Ryley Walker

The very fine musician Ryley Walker played an acoustic concert at his home. So sit back and enjoy this amazing artist.

Ryley Walker - Home Concert

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Monday, 30 March 2020

Corona Lockdown Festival featured festival: Montreux Jazz Festival

The legendary Montreux Jazz Festival has opened its archives and made available 50 concerts to stream. Go over here to open the archive and enjoy.

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Saturday, 28 March 2020

Corona Lockdown Festival featured artist: Radiohead

In 2017 Radiohead closed the Best Kept Secret festival with an amazing show that will go down in history as one of the best moments of the festival. I was there and it was simply magical. Now you can relive that full show over here: Radiohead - Live at Best Kept Secret Festival 2017 Read more!

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Corona Lockdown Festival featured artist: James Blake

The one and only James Blake played a solo piano concert at his house which is still available to watch. So go ahead an enjoy his private concert:

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Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Corona Lockdown Festival featured venue: Bimhuis

Not an artist, but a venue today. Famous Amsterdam jazz venue Bimhuis hosts all the jazz greats out there and more. They are sometimes broadcasting live streams on their website and some of these are still available to watch. So if you're into jazz and are desperate to get your groove on, check it out at Read more!

Corona Lockdown Festival featured artist: 2 Many Djs

The DeWaele brothers have always pleased me with their great music, first with Soulwax, later with 2 Many DJs. Now they have blessed us with a crazy intro mix, a full hour long. Don't miss out on the amazing visuals starring album covers and more. Enjoy!

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Monday, 23 March 2020

Corona Lockdown Festival featured artist: Father John Misty

This time it is not a video but a Bandcamp link to a Father John Misty live album Off-Key In Hamburg. That in itself is already enough reason to go check it out, but he's donating all proceeds from Off-Key In Hamburg to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. So go grab it and donate! Read more!

Friday, 20 March 2020

Corona Lockdown Festival featured artist: TORRES

Today's featured artist TORRES was touring Europe when many European countries were going in lockdown and restricted air travel. She had to cancel her tour and had a lot of trouble getting herself and her band and crew home. I hope she's safe and sound at home at the moment. Go check out her music. Here's a live performance I found on YouTube. Enjoy!

TORRES at New Sounds In-Studio, January 29 2020

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Thursday, 19 March 2020

Corona Lockdown Festival featured artists: DeWolff and The Grand East

The first featured artists of the Corona Lockdown Festival are Dutch rock band DeWolff and The Grand East. Both bands played at an empty Muziekgieterij Maastricht and live streamed the event. They were one of the first bands to do so. Check out both shows below and donate if you can!

M-PX presents: DeWolff & The Grand East at Muziekgieterij, Maastricht

Donate HERE (donation page owned by the bands and not affiliated to this site in any way).

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Corona Lockdown Festival 2020

So we all have to stay at home, concert venues had to close their doors and festivals are getting cancelled. For artists this means they are missing out on a lot of income, not to mention contact with their fans. For avid concert visitors like me it means missing out on all those wonderful shows. Let's try to get these together in this Corona Lockdown Festival. I will list concert videos down here so you can get your daily doses of live music. Especially recordings or live streams from artists playing concerts from home. Help the artists by donating money to them and buying their music and merchandise, especially the bands and artists that are struggling now. If there are ways of donating I will links to those pages here as well. Let me know if you have any concerts to list here.

Hook me up on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or by leaving a comment below. Let's beat this damned virus and keep the music alive! See below for the line-up and concerts so far.

Corona Lockdown Festival line-up:

Dansende Beren - Daily Sessions (Featured live sessions Tuesday April 7)

Belgium website Dansende Beren is streaming live sessions daily starting at 20.30 CEST.

Ryley Walker - Home concert (Featured artist Wednesday April 1st)

Montreux Jazz Festival - Stream 50 concerts (Featured festival Monday March 30

Stream 50 Montreux Jazz festival concerts for free.

Radiohead - Live at Best Kept Secret Festival 2017 (Featured artist Friday March 27)

Stream their full festival show.

James Blake (Featured artist Thursday March 26)

Bimhuis - Bimhuis TV (Featured venue Wednesday March 25)

Amsterdam jazz venue is live streaming previous concert broadcasts at Bimhuis TV.

Brendan Benson - Boy In A Bubble (Daily live songs)

Brendan Benson will be performing old and new songs daily on his Instagram.

Christine and the Queens - Daily performance

Christine and the Queens will be performing daily on her Instagram with special guests and more.

2 Many DJs - RSWX Presents Introversy (Featured artist Tuesday March 24)

The DeWaele brothers have posted a full hour 2 Many DJs set on their facebook page, enjoy!

Father John Misty - Off-Key In Hamburg (Featured artist Monday March 23)

Go over to the Bandcamp page to download the album. All proceeds from Off-Key In Hamburg will be donated to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Frank Turner: Show 2000: Live at Nottingham Rock City

Oh Sees - Rehearsal for next album

TORRES (Featured artist Friday March 20 2020)

Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie) streaming live every day at LiveFromHome

Drop Kick Murphys

Third Man Records daily shows

M-PX presents: DeWolff & The Grand East at Muziekgieterij, Maastricht (Featured artists Thursday March 19 2020)

Donate HERE (donation page owned by the bands and not affiliated to this site in any way).

Chris Martin

John Legend

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Sunday, 8 March 2020

On Stage: The Homesick @ Paradiso

A few years back we got to know post punk trio The Homesick who released a stunning debut album Youth Hunt. It didn't take long for them to get noticed across the borders and even got signed by the illustrious Sub Pop label. In January they dropped their first Sub Pop release The Big Exercise which showed a very different sound. Stripped off the rough post punk elements this album leaves a friendly fuzzy pop sound full of harmonies and psychedelica. It is beautiful, but how would this go down live on stage?

The Homesick at Paradiso Amsterdam, March 5 2020

As if it wasn't clear enough from their new record that things have become less wild, both bass player Jaap van der Velde and guitarist Elias Elgersma are seated at the front with their drummer Erik Woudwijk at the back. They will not get up for the whole set, even though some people are asking them to stand. It has a nice touch though, seeing them sitting like this, emphasising this new more mellow direction. The stage at the small hall in Paradiso is quite low though, so it is hard to see them when you're not standing at the front.

The three young men have their new sound completely figured out and it sounds amazing live as well. They have some electronica to help them out in the parts where things like keys are added. This is a band who are able to harmonise the vocals together with their instruments. No longer will you hear wild eruptions but soft ringing guitars and gentle drum rolls. They manage to mould it all together into a lovely fuzzy sound. Repeating elements are emphasised with staccato drum grooves where the harmonising vocals from both van de Velde and Elgersma are swimming in lots of reverb.

The trio can steer their music into any direction, keeping it small and quiet, then slowly letting it swell into something bigger without ever really letting it roar or explode. This unique band proves they understand the elements of music that allow you to make things interesting. It makes their songs exciting and little works of art. The lighter pop sound suits them well and we should treasure a group as talented as The Homesick.

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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

On Stage: Mikal Cronin @ Bitterzoet

It only makes sense that rocker Ty Segall chooses to have musicians like Mikal Cronin in his band. The versatile multi instrumentalist has many talents and makes great music as a solo artist as well. He recently released his fourth solo album Seeker and is now touring in support of it.

Mikal Cronin at Bitterzoet Amsterdam, February 21 2020

Shannon Lay is tonight’s support act who I recently saw play with Cronin in Ty Segall’s band and earlier with punk rockers FEELS. Solo she’s taking it a lot more slow, with quiet ballads. She has a lovely voice and together with a clear fingerpicking guitar sound the room goes quiet. Something that will change when Mikal Cronin takes the stage.

Cronin's new songs are nicely varying and some of them have a wonderful Tom Petty feel. I love this sound and on stage Cronin adds some lively energy. He may not be the greatest singer, but he makes up for that with great guitar skills and song writing. Different from his work with Segall, Cronin’s songs are lighter and have more of a pop feel. This is what makes his music so attractive.

Most of the songs are quite compact and together with the rhythm section, the only other two members, go through them very smoothly. These two add a lot of groove to the fuzzy rock music that make them perfect to rock out to. The crowd is a bit hesitant tonight though and doesn't exactly go wild. To be fair there isn't a lot of time to get warmed up though since after just over half an hour the three leave the stage and return very quickly for one more song. With hardly forty-five minutes of stage time, the set is really short, but totally worth it nevertheless.

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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

On Stage: Brothers Of A Feather @ THT

The American rock band The Black Crowes always knew turbulent times. It went through numerous line-up changes and had several break ups. The core of the band are the Robinson brothers, whose relationship is not easy. Whenever the two don't get along, the band goes through a rough period. In 2015 the group disbanded due to an argument between the brothers. Last year the duo suddenly announced their reconciliation and a 2020 The Black Crowes tour with a whole new backing band to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their successful debut album Shake Your Moneymaker. Now the two brothers are sharing the stage for an acoustic tour as "Brothers of a Feather".

Brothers Of A Feather at Paradiso Noord Tolhuistuin Amsterdam, February 15 2020

Singer Chris Robinson states that not many people expected the brothers to appear on stage together so soon. Indeed I wasn't expecting it either, especially a show with just the two of them. I'm happy though to see the brothers are getting along again and are playing together, since they make great music and are always getting the best out of each other. Chris is the outgoing front man and singer, chatting to the crowd, while Rich is the more quiet one.

You can tell they have been making music together all of their lives and complete each other. Rich's groovy rhythm guitar is the base for every song and he sometimes adds harmonies to Chris' vocals. The two cut through The Black Crowes' catalogue with lovely versions of big hits like 'Jealous Again', 'Twice As Hard' and 'Remedy'. Also some deeper cuts like 'Nonfiction' and 'Good Friday' are on the setlist. Every song sounds amazing like this, stripped down to their bare core. Chris' powerful voice sounds wonderful with only a single acoustic guitar backing him.

Unfortunately there is quite a lot of chatting going on and Chris asks everyone to shut up. It's very sad that one of the musicians on stage has to ask people to be quiet. Fortunately it does have effect and the chatting dies out. Towards the end the back to back tracks 'Soul Singing' and 'She Talks To Angels' are absolutely gorgeous. The duo returns for an encore playing the only song that is not a The Black Crowes song, Ry Cooder's 'Boomer Song'. This was an incredible night, with the two brothers truly having fun at playing together again. I'm looking forward to this fall a lot when The Black Crowes return to Amsterdam.

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01. Jealous Again
02. Twice as Hard
03. Wiser Time
04. Thorn in My Pride
05. Good Friday
06. Cursed Diamond
07. Hotel Illness
08. Whoa Mule
09. Nonfiction
10. Soul Singing
11. She Talks to Angels
12. Remedy
13. Boomer's Story (Ry Cooder cover)

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Friday, 14 February 2020

On Stage: Ryley Walker @ THT

No too long ago Ryley Walker visited Amsterdam with his band to promote his latest record Deafman Glance. Not long after that he posted on social media he wasn't doing so well and needed professional help. He went away for a while but fortunately was able to overcome his demons and is now doing an acoustic tour all by himself.

Ryley Walker at Paradiso Tolhuistuin Amsterdam, February 12 2020

The musician certainly looks in better shape tonight than the last time. He has lost weight and seems to be in a much better place. He is cheerful on stage, chatting with the crowd, smiling and laughing a lot. Walker is a great entertainer and has no trouble pleasing the crowd tonight. In between songs he has short funny anecdotes and is cracking lots of jokes. It results in a relaxed atmosphere where Walker is the radiant centre piece.

He is an amazing song writer that is able to compose gorgeous tracks both musically and lyrically. In this acoustic setting this is even more clear and his music is perfect for it. Many songs have lovely guitar intros, intermezzos and solos where Walker is showing his impressive guitar skills. I love the way he builds up his songs around breezy finger picking parts, giving his music a light touch. With his pleasant voice tracks like 'Pimrose Green' and 'The Roundabout' wrap themselves around you. It truly is music to lose yourself and wallow in.

There are also a couple of covers tonight, John Martyn's 'Over The Hill' and Tim Hardin's 'If I Were A Carpenter'. You can leave it to Walker to do them truly justice and make them fit into his own catalogue perfectly. He is a gifted musician and I love his music. It's good to see he's doing well and hopefully he will be back soon to treat us to his lovely songs and maybe some new music too.

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Tuesday, 11 February 2020

On Stage: Supergrass @ Paradiso

When Blur and Oasis were fighting for Britpop domination halfway the nineties, there was a whole bunch of bands trying to ride the waves they were making. One of the most fun bands to come from that were Supergrass who made uplifting songs with a lot of refreshing energy. It was a real shame they called it a day ten years ago. Fortunately they have reunited again and are playing my hometown a visit.

Supergrass at Paradiso Amsterdam, February 8 2020

According to the band they will not be making new music but will only play live for a while. I'm not sure this means they are doing it for money or for reliving their glory years. I don't really care since I finally get to see this band play, that I never got to see before (at least not that I can recall). Most of the nights the band is kicking off with 'In It For The Money', showing plenty tongue in cheek. However drummer Danny Goffey is ill (maybe partied too hard on his birthday the day before?), so they cut their set a bit shorter, by only one song though.

The band is taking their time to warm up and build up their set. The first couple of songs are a bit hesitant and the crowd also has to warm up. 'Moving' however breaks the ice and the crowd and the band really connect for the first time. After that it only gets better and the quartet bring the nineties back to life with their amazing songs.

Since this group has plenty of catchy well written songs, full of hooks, wonderful melodies and rocking choruses. Even a song like 'Late In The Day' that is halfway the set, which starts like a ballad, will eventually turn into a swinging pop song. The crowd is now totally into it and the best is yet to come. The band saved their biggest hits 'til the end and 'Grace', 'Alright', 'Pumping On Your Stereo', 'Sun Hits The Sky' and 'Lenny' follow back to back leading into a delightful climax until the band leaves the stage.

They return for two more songs and close the night with a rough version of 'Strange Ones' that tells the story of tonight. The story of a band that knows how to write a great song and makes it sound even better live on stage. So maybe they won't write any more of these songs, but hopefully they will keep playing the ones from their current catalogue for a while.

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01. I’d Like to Know
02. Diamond Hoo Ha Man
03. Mary
04. Moving
05. Time
06. Sitting Up Straight
07. Mansize Rooster
08. St. Petersburg
09. Late in the Day
10. Richard III
11. Going Out
12. Low C
13. Lose It
14. She's So Loose
15. Grace
16. Alright
17. Pumping on Your Stereo
18. Sun Hits the Sky
19. Lenny
20. Caught by the Fuzz
21. Strange Ones

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Saturday, 18 January 2020

On Stage: Inhaler @ Melkweg

There has been a lot of buzz around Dublin rock band Inhaler starting last year. 'Honest Face' went down well and at the moment 'Ice Cream Sundae' is doing the same. But of course it's impossible not to mention singer Elijah Hewson is the son of Paul Hewson who is in a rock band as well. Doesn't ring a bell? That's because his dad goes by the name “Bono”, yes that band.

Inhaler at Melkweg Amsterdam, January 16 2020

That probably draws a few extra people to their concerts and tonight Melkweg's "Oude Zaal" that can hold up about 700 people has sold out weeks ago. I already listened to their music a few times before this concert was announced and like some of their catchy songs. It made me curious about their live shows and to be honest I wanted to see what Elijah Hewson was really all about as well.

First Amsterdam band Queen's Pleasure are working up a sweat warming up the crowd, and doing a great job by the way. You hardly can't get more British and the band is borrowing from a couple of Britpop eras. I like it a lot and am going to keep an eye and an ear out for these guys.

With a lot of drama, while the Dub Side Of The Moon version of Pink Floyd's 'Breathe' is playing, Inhaler takes the stage. So far the band only has released a couple of songs and a four song EP on vinyl. I try to watch them unbiased, without comparing them to U2. That turns out to be hard because their sound is close to the famous band from their hometown. Still if you forget about that for a bit, you can see this band is looking and sounding very professional. They have a big sound, that could easily grow them into big festival stages and large venues. The band plays tight and looks very comfortable and convincing.

Not all songs may be equally great but there's plenty to go with for them. 'Ice Cream Sundae' is halfway the set and is greeted with loud cheers. All combined this is a good show for such a young and new band. But it is simply impossible to stay away from Bono and U2. When you close your eyes you simply hear them echoing through Inhaler's music. Hewson's voice also is very close to Bono's especially in the higher registers. When you open your eyes but squint a bit, you think you're even looking at a young Bono. Hewson has very similar looks but even moves a bit like his famous dad.

One question remains: will this be a blessing or a curse for them? That is hard to say, since it's too early to tell. However the band has enough quality, although they need more songs that sound better overall. It could go either way, but it if they get it all right, they could stand on their own and don't need to stand on the shoulders of one of the biggest rock bands ever. 'Honest Face' that closes the set is proof this band has enough potential for that.

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01. We Have To Move On
02. It Won't Always Be Like This
03. When I'm With You
04. A Night on the Floor
05. Ice Cream Sundae
06. Falling In
07. My King Will Be Kind
08. Cheer Up Baby
09. There's No Other Place
10. My Honest Face

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