Friday, 18th December 2009
Patronaat, Haarlem, The Netherlands
Almost thirty years after breaking up Alquin announced a reunion.
Not for just a reunion concert but for the whole deal, making albums and touring again.
In 2005 they released a new album called Blue Planet.
I did not know the band, they broke up when I was two years old, but through reviews on prog sites I came in contact with this album and I liked what I heard.
I listened to some older albums but I must say that these recordings can not completely stand the test of time.
First time I saw them was at Symforce II.
They played a lot of new material from their latest album at that time and they sure impressed me.
I did not hear old material because it was time to see another band, the hard reality of a festival.
Last thing I heard were a couple drunk young people who came to see Opeth but who were evidently impressed by these old guys.
Biggest reason for me to go to this concert is their latest album Sailors & Sinners.
For me this is one of the best albums of 2009.
The concert started like I expected, just like on the Symforce II festival they start with the first songs from the latest album, this time being Sailors & Sinners.
Then it was time for some older stuff and a song from Blue Planet.
The first part of the concert was closed with the title track of the new album, a fourteen minute song, love it.
It is still amazing how Alquin manages to create a sound of their own.
Especially the saxophone playing of Ronald Ottenhoff gives the music a unique twist but also the organ and keyboard sounds from Dick Franssen are significant.
Guitar player Ferdinand Bakker still rocks but biggest example of an old rocker is drummer Job Tarenskeen who played shirtless and was wearing a tight leathers pair of pants.
Singer Michel van Dijk and bass player Walter Latuperissa are both kings in making difficult stuff seem so easy, they sing/play so relaxed you get the feeling anyone can do this untill you try it yourself.
Then a small break for the old people to get a drink or go to the toilet.
The average age of the audience was a lot higher than normal but some young people were also amongst the spectators.
Still a lot of jokes about prostates wile queuing for the toilet.
The second part of the show was a bit more miscellaneous.
Some new songs, a song from Blue planet and some old stuff.
Live the old songs do not sound outdated at all.
There was more room for improvisation in those songs and they sure made use of that.
These guys are excellent musicians that after years of playing together know how to play together.
When singer Michel van Dijk was not singing he was always holding some percussion instruments (or searching for the pick of the guitar player).
They were smiling all the time and reached out to some friends in the audience.
Biggest laugh was at the drummer when he caught his finger between his drum sticks when he tried to countdown for the start of a song.
The encore started with a free jam session called Central Station Hustle.
All got a solo spot and a big round of applause.
For some reason I hoped they did not play Wheelchair Groupie.
I do not like it when bands who have a huge repertoire of great songs always have to play that one hit single for old time sake.
When the time was there I did not mind nor did anyone else in the audience.
Great sing-a-long and there were enough people to divide them in left, right and balcony.
and so ended a great evening.
Everything was perfect, the sound was very good (no earplugs needed this time), the venue was pretty crowded and the music was great.
I can advice everybody to go and see these guys, you will not be disappointed.
I hope these guys will be playing for many years to come, I will sure go and see them again.
Soft Eyed Woman
Sailors & Sinners
Return To The Blue Planet
Fool In The Mirror
Not In A Million Years
Behind The Tree
New Guinea Sunrise
Central Station Hustle
Alquin Official Website
DPRP's Review of Alquin's "Sailors & Sinners"