Also Eden, Silhouette, Maschine
Sunday, 6th May 2012
De Kade, Zaandam, The Netherlands
Article By Edwin Roosjen
and photos by Paul Johnson
If not for this concert review by Alison Henderson I would never have noticed this concert.
I always check the venues nearby to see if anything of interest is playing but De Kade closed last summer so it was completely of my radar.
When processing Alison's review I found out De Kade was open for business again.
I checked again and again, but indeed it was open at the same location, so why not attend an evening of progressive rock in the venue I thought I would never be seen in again.
The entrance was changed and upon entering I realized the gig took place in the smaller hall of the venue.
After a chat with the barman I found out they only got the funding for the small hall and the large one is no longer in use.
They still organize bigger concerts but then they rent the local gym.
Why the long intro for De Kade?
It was completely out of my mind so probably more people have forgotten about this venue.
The turn up this evening sure made me believe that many more forgot about De Kade .
Not a big crown this evening, at most 40-50 people, including bandmembers, roadies, etc.
At one point I had a "Spinal tap" moment, there were more people on stage than in front of the stage.
Must say that a whole lot of people were breaking up when others were building a new stage and a lot went out for a smoke.
An evening of progressive rock with three bands was enough for me to take the trip to Zaandam.
I must tell you I stepped in rather unbiased.
I read the concert review by Alison, I knew my DPRP-colleague Erik Laan was playing in Silhouette
and that the guitar player for The Tangent played in Maschine.
I did listen to some songs on youtube and on a promo from the Record Company but that was it.
All music was rather new to me and that did not happen for a long time.
When I stepped in I was a bit late and Maschine already started.
Well, that is what I thought.
They were doing their sound check, half way during the first song they suddenly stopped and announced that the gig would start after a short break.
Maschine is a band of young people who are all very skilled.
I only new the guitar player by name because he is from The Tangent but that was all my knowledge beforehand.
At the venue I was told they started out as Concrete Lake but changed their name to Maschine.
As concrete Lake also no album or concert crossed my path so this concert was my first contact with this band.
When they started playing they immediately blew me away.
Skilful musicians and though they were young they knew when to push the barrier and when to hold back for the sake of the music.
The music was much more progressive metal than I thought it would be.
Maschine is not a Dream Theater clone but it is sure technical stuff with lots of time changes.
The other two bands this evening are more neo-progressive so for some it could have been too much metal but I saw many people nodding their head to the music.
Luke Machin was really flying.
Only 23 years old and already playing that good, awesome.
His fingerpicking style is great.
I followed each band member for a moment and all of them blew me away.
At first it looked as if keyboard player Georgia Lewis was just playing some background chords but one moment later
her fingers flew over the keys from high to low and back again.
After the first song they tried to interact with the crowd but the main problem was that there was not really any crowd.
As stated before there were not many people who turned up for an evening of prog.
What then happens is that those people usually end up leaning to a wall or a bar.
Georgia Lewis asked all to step forward and many of the people present responded and stepped forward.
Two funny guys stepped up until they were right in front of Georgia Lewis.
The mood changed from a bit awkward to cosy.
Maschine showed they were happy to play in Zaandam no matter how many people were there.
Great to see how a young band like that knows how to entertain people.
Eyes Pt 1 & 2
Silhouette stepped up second, a real change of scenery.
Though Maschine had some good songs they impressed me most by their technical abilities.
Silhouette played old fashion neo-progressive rock.
They depend more on the songs themselves and less on technical trickery.
They already have two albums released, A-maze and Moods, and this year their new album Across the Rubicon will be released.
The release party will be on the 30th of June at De Boerderij in Zoetermeer.
They played three songs from this forthcoming album, Anybody, Empty Places and Movie.
Compared to the songs they played from their previous album it sounds like a nice continuation of their style.
The music brought me back to the times of Marillion, IQ, Pendragon and also dutch band For Absent Friends.
The sound was OK but a bit too loud for me but I get that a lot lately so it could be just me.
The first half I had to wear earplugs and that did not do good for the music.
Later on I was standing more at the back of the venue and the sound was better and I could deal with the volume without earplugs.
De Kade is a small venue and with not many people in there it is probably hard to get the sound perfect.
Besides the music also the bandmembers were a big change from Maschine.
The bassplayer was more than twice the age of Maschine's bassplayer.
Gerrit-Jan Bloemink played his bass steady as a rock with much melodie, the way I like it in neo-prog.
Keyboard player Erik Laan and singer/guitar player Brian de Graeve also played in a classic neo-prog style.
Melodic, great solos, changes, etc.
Brian de Graeve tried to spice up the appearance by wearing a shine piar of blue pants.
I am really not into fashion but yikes, next time wear black.
I know it is a safe dull color that everybody wears but there is a good reason fot that, as a rocker you never look silly in a black pants.
So not a flashy band but the odd one out was the drummer, he likes (and also looks like) animal from the muppets.
A small animal hand puppet (from a well known supermarket) was placed in front of the drumkit,
during the concert he wore an animal shirt and after the gig he wore a different animal shirt.
The music of Silhouette is not metal enough to go really wild but during a heavy part he was really rocking.
"ANIMAL LOVE DRUMS HAHAHAHAHA!!!"
Drummer Jos Uffing also did vocals, he sang with a theatrical voice and chanted them like an opera singer while leaning over his drumkit.
Not really standard neo-prog and he sure gives the band some flair.
A good performance by a band that I need to check out more.
This kind of music is never at it's best the first time you hear it.
This concert really made me want to grab my old Marillion, Fish, For Absent Friends, etc.
Immediately after the performance while starting to disconnect all the instruments the song coming from the speakers was
Vigil from fish. Nice to see all those people carrying stuff and loudly singing that song.
Searching For Her
Last up was Also Eden.
Again I did not really know what to expect, the only one I recognized was vocalist Rich Harding.
A long long time ago when I was going to a Fish concert I heard about a Marillion cover band playing in a bar close by.
Lords Of The Backstage play Marillion music from the Fish era and Rich Harding is also the vocalist for that band.
It is a Dutch band but Rich Harding also sings for them.
I think he kind of lives between the UK and the Netherlands, he spoke Dutch with a slight accent and he had to search for the words but
you could hear he lived some time in the Netherlands.
He is some character, he sings his music with a lot of passion.
His voice, his movement and in his facial expressions are all glued to the music.
And he can sure sing, he sounds a lot like Fish but I think these days Rich has the better voice.
I heard Rich had a motorcycle accident a couple of years ago and you could see that in his movement on stage.
Could to see you back on the stage Rich!!!!
Also Eden plays neo-progressive rock just like Silhouette and with Rich sounding like Fish it could be another Marillion clone but that was not the case.
Though all the elements were present they sounded pretty contemporary.
Just like Pendragon made the step to a more heavy kind of music Also Eden sounded pretty in the same way, modern yet familiar, even if you do not know the songs.
All songs were new to me but where the music of Silhouette needs some time to settle the songs from Also Eden can be digested faster.
Drummer Lee Nicholas is a real hard hitter and gave the sound a hard rock feel to it.
Guitar player Simon Rogers played some great melodic solos and tied the rest together with heavy chords.
He had some trouble with his guitar so a couple of times Rich had to stretch his story so Simon could get his guitar in tune.
Simon stated "don't pay attention to me" while one of his bandmembers replied "Get on with it".
While Simon was busy with his guitar Rich had to stretch his story about the Dutch government, or better, the lack of a government.
The way he talked about politics you could hear he is a free spirit who lives for his music.
Keep it up Rich!
Keyboard player Ian Hodson did not have many keys in front of him but that was hardly noticeable.
While playing a solo or just background there was a Very full keyboard sound all over.
Bassplayer Steve Dunn did the same for Also Eden as Gerrit-Jan Bloemink did for Silhouette.
Play melodic lines and not draw too much attention otherwise.
The strength of Also Eden was the sum of all parts.
The sound was a real unity, it was louder than Silhouette but the balance was much better.
I heard bits and pieces of influences but above all I heard a very compact band.
Already my mind was set on giving some of my neo-prog CD's a new spin, Vigil from Fish would be the first,
but because of this concert I will be keeping an eye on Also Eden.
Hopefully a new album will come soon.
Setlist Also Eden
Think Of The Children 1
The Greater Game
Also Eden Official Website
Also Eden Myspace
Silhouette Official Website
Maschine official website
Maschine Facebook page