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Heavy Lazy Sunday Afternoon @ Dynamo
Written by Ton Dekkers   
Saturday, 21 June 2014

Heavy Lazy Sunday Afternoon @ Dynamo
Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Sunday 27 April 2014
Ton Dekkers & Hans Kraaijeveld (Rockportaal)

 


Ex Libris

 

This time a concert with a little history. By visiting gigs, doing reviews and interviews for Sonic Cathedral you meet a lot of musicians. Often it becomes more than just a contact. You experience their passion for their music and see the struggle for getting known and finding gigs to play. When you have the possibility to organize a gig for your friends it feels good. That is the idea behind Heavy Lazy Sunday Afternoon, a concert with friends on a Sunday Afternoon. The version on 27 April in Dynamo was already the 2nd version. The name is introduced by Joop de Rooij (ex-Magion) when Magion played at the first edition. Writing a concert report from a gig you organize doesn’t feel good. Therefor I asked fellow critics Hans Kraaijeveld (report below) and Wendy Steenmans (photos) from Rockportaal to help me. Thank you for that.


A Sunday afternoon in the basement of Dynamo. The basement of Dynamo... that brings back memories from the days when the old building was still there... Down those stairs, through the folding doors, the DJ behind chicken wire, a dark cave. Those four columns with a roaring speaker at each one and the middle of the floor a few guys head banging... Times change. The basement of the building's current Dynamo venue has been updated quite recently, with a nice little stage and the essentials for a concert. Tonight we have been invited by our fellow photographer and critic Ton Dekkers to come to Dynamo in the basement for three bands. Beyond God , Kowai and Ex Libris. We also have a quick interview with Dianne van Giersbergen (no, she’s not related... ). This will also be available on Rockportaal very soon.

 

Beyond God 

 

We make our way inside after the interview for Beyond God. Everything is quite small. The little stage, the audience and the space itself. What is not small is the band’s musical performance. We are just in time to see the last song of the set “Passion”. The music sounds good and is very well organized. There has been a recent live addition of a cello, which sounds quite nice live and fits harmoniously into the music. The beautifully dressed singer and the band unfortunately leave to stage to make way for Kowai.

 

Kowai 

 

Kowai comes on stage accompanied by impressive intro music, flowing over into the first song. In the first minute, there are some problems with the microphone of the grunter. These however are quickly resolved by the time the second chorus is played and the combination works excellent. The key player also seems to have a good singing voice. The amount of audience is still only minimal, but the band doesn’t let that be a problem. The duet pieces in the song are worth listening to, the voices fit together quite nicely. The band welcomes everyone to "Eindhovuh the gekstuh"! The singer also lets us know that there will be a substitute on guitar, being the sound guy! This guy is also blond, but different in some way... To give the singer some rest after the first bit of violence the band plays the song “Inhale”. In “Man's Downfall” the grunts are noteworthy. They sound nice, but the facial expressions of the relevant guitarist aren’t there yet. At least, it looks like someone who is focused on playing his guitar, but isn’t throwing his heart and soul into what he’s grunting. Not that there’s really anything to complain about, both guitar and grunt sound great!

 

Kowai 

 

Moments later, Jos is congratulated for his 61st birthday... Jos ? Or was it Ton? The singer says this with a smile, she’s better off singing, than continuing to talk… Next up is the song called “Undisgraced”. This song has some real potential. It has a good structure, the chorus is catchy and well put. It's exactly right. The last song of the set is announced together with the fact that this is the last time they will play, the band has no merch at all and is looking for a new singer! Just kidding of course... When the last sentences of “Ice Cold Sun” sound, they are very appropriate: This is how it ends . With a well-deserved applause from the audience the band leaves the stage.

Up next is Ex Libris. The sound check starts off pretty hilarious. The guitarist plays some short riffs and there is also a bit of drumming to be heard. With a laugh and a smirk, the two walk off the stage: So, this is it, time for beer! Moments later and luckily for us, they do start with the first title song of the new album Medea. It’s pretty obvious that this is a completely separate style in the female fronted gothic metal world (if you like to think in boxes). The music is pretty progressive, played very diligently and is further enhanced by the varied voice of Dianne. Her voice is pretty impressive and together with the band she searches for the more extreme sides to her voice. In the other band she sings in, Xandria, this happens a lot less. “Love Is Thy Sin” of their first album Amygdala is the second song of the set. This is a bit less impressive but equally tight in performance. I’m having a hard time comparing the music to anything. The basis is a form of symphonic metal, but in a very progressive way. It sort of reminds me of something like Textures at times, but without the polyrhythms. In addition, the opera influences and soft atmospheric intervals make this really special indeed.

 

Ex Libris 

 

In a short interlude, Dianne sings Happy Birthday for Ton, in the style of Marilyn Monroe when she did that for J.F. Kennedy. Ton also get a warm applause from the audience, for organizing the afternoon, but also for his birthday.

Before the next song is played, Dianne requests some cooperation from the crowd. She asks if we want to answer with a hearty “Hey!” after she sings “We Sail”. The audience obliges, but since there are not that many people present in the room it’s not really impressive. The next song “My Dream I Dream” is my current favourite song of the new album. The number is (apart from a few bars) played completely in 5/4 size. The song starts very quiet with only the keys together with Dianne’s voice. Slowly it is expanded with the drums and guitar, after which the vocals really make an impact. Fortunately for Dianne, she gets some rest in ”Song of Discord”. There a short part in the song where there’s nothing to sing, which she uses to get off the stage and just stand with the crowd looking at the band playing. What really sets the band apart and what becomes increasingly apparent is how much fun the band members seem to have making their music. They grin and laugh constantly, take turns goofing off while playing and this also makes it seem there’s no effort involved in playing or singing. This couldn’t be further from the truth as there is nothing simple about the music being played.

 

Ex Libris 

 

No one on the room seems to like the fact that the last song is announced, but fortunately for us this is not a short song. The last song is “From Birth to Bloodshed”, in which all the strengths of the band are displayed once again. At the end the band makes a bow and with this, the evening comes to an end. Well, almost. There is plenty of opportunity to talk to all the bands and their members, as well as a great many photo opportunities.

The bands playing here tonight don’t play the big stages which is logical, as they all reside in a musical niche. This is most true for Ex Libris, but to some extent also for the other bands. This is obviously a conscious choice, but it’s a sad thing that there aren’t more people to enjoy the musical talents that we have seen here tonight. I for one cannot wait for the next time my ears get such a splendid musical treat.

 

Ex Libris 

 

***

Beyond God is:
Ferry Guns (drums)
Cynthia Knoch (vocals)
Anna Ágnes Nagy (cello)
Twan Smolders (guitar)
Lukasz Kubaszak (bass)

Photos Wendy
Photos Ton
 

Set List: (New songs except (1) from the EP Dark Light)
Destination Darkness (1)
Sail away upon a cloud
Send a child
Memories (1)
Prince Creep
Sonambula
Ghost ship
Passion (1)

Kowai is:
Laura van Nes (vocals)
Arjen Bosma (guitar)
Bertran Zwijnenburg (guitar – today replaced by René Bijlsma)
Ruben Marrenga (keys)
Rik Beerthuizen (bass)
Joost Lobbes (drums)

Photos Wendy
Photos Ton

Set List: (All from recent released album Dissonance except the new song “Inhale”)
Yield
In Retrospect
Fallen Behind
The Promise
Inhale
Pride
Man's Downfall
Earth Below
Undisgraced
Ice Cold Sun

Ex Libris is:
Dianne van Giersbergen (vocals)
Peter den Bakker (bass)
Paul van den Broek (guitar)
Eelco van der Meer (drums)
Koen Stam (keys)

Photos Wendy
Photos Ton

Set List:
Medea
Love is thy Sin
On the Oceans Command
My Dream I Dream
Song of Discord
Destined
A Mother's Lament
From Birth to Bloodshed

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