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Friday, 23rd October 2009
Hedon, Zwolle, The Netherlands

Article and photos By Menno von Brucken Fock

Iona are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and the Dutch fans were given a real treat with two concerts in Zwolle and Zoetermeer. Unlike Clannad, Iona have never sought the big success but rather went for the atmosphere of devoted fans in a warm and friendly environment. Of course Iona is much more 'into the lord' as well and has been playing live at Christian gatherings frequently. Long time member Troy Donockly is no longer with Iona but the band found an excellent replacement in the very experienced musician Martin Nolan, whose sense of humor caught the audience immediately.


Dressed as ordinary people, just pulled away from their own living room, the band presented itself as a bunch of very happy musicians, enjoying each other's company and wanting to share their happiness and craftsmanship with each and everyone in the audience. This atmosphere of homely warmth and intimacy became an inspiration for both band and crowd because the responses were overwhelming. Joanna Hogg's voice stood the test of time and she went through all the songs with an ease that astonished every visitor: songs like Revelation came out so powerful one couldn't help to be amazed in sheer enchantment. Not many guitarists can play what Bainbridge presented that night and he proved to be a very established keyboardist as well.


Possibly due to their new member of the band, there were a lot of folk influences and at some point the concert was almost beginning to transcend into one big joyful folkloristic event. The electric violin of countryman Frank van Essen was a worthy contribution to the music and Phil Barker's bass playing was impeccable as ever. The two very long sets were the best I've seen from Iona and their previous concerts were highly acclaimed too! All and all it was a very memorable night and although I've seen many concerts, there were just a few with such a great atmosphere and such an open, warm and enthusiastic attitude of all members of the band. At the end of the show the band kept coming back because of the never ending demand for more from the audience, so it slipped my mind what the band really played as encores.... forgive me! If IONA is playing like this because of the Lord, I will certainly consider to attend more gospel concerts: WOW, what a GREAT evening this was!


Opening Improvisation
The Island
A Million Stars
Divine Presence
The Ancient Wells
Acoustic Reels

Goodman's Slip Jig Set
Taimse Im Chodladh
Edge Of The World
Let Your Glory Fall
A Dhia Ghleigil
Heaven's Bright Sun

Irish Day
Bi-Se I Mo Shuil Part 2
Air From France
Murlough Bay/Flight Of The Wild Goose

Iona Official Website
Iona Myspace



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