Concert Review Archive

 
Night Of The Progs 2014

Gran Turismo Veloce, Traumhaus, Collage, Long Distance Calling, IQ, Transatlantic, Synaesthesia, A Liquid Landscape, Clepsydra, Dream The Electric Sleep, Bigelf, Anathema, Marillion

Friday - Saturday, 18th - 19th July 2014
Loreley, Germany

Article By Gert Hulshof
And Photos By Dave Baird

Running 8 consecutive years 2014 Loreley Freilicht Buhne is hosting festival NOTP. The year of the young meet the old, the new meet the established, the weird and eccentric. The daft, the beautiful, east meeting west, a culture clash extraordinaire.

What makes me write this, well read on and find out? As each year the festival has a campsite where you can stay the night in your tent, or you can park in the Parking lot and sleep in your car, like your reporter did. OK I have a van and can have a bed in the back, and for what I heard around me I was lucky, the nights at the campsite were cold. I arrived a day early, but not as early as I wanted. Why you may ask well Muse was programmed to perform and it was a good chance to see them too. That was not happening though, German traffic spoiled that.

 

The ninth edition of NOTP started one night before this year. On Thursdaynight a concert was due by the Alan Parsons Live Project, that is how the APP is called when on the road. The APP would be playing a greatest hits set. The setting being the "freilicht buhne" at the loreley couldn't be better. But before Alan Parsons Project a pre show was scheduled by German-French band Eclipse-Sol air.

I can honestly say I had never heard of seen or heard any of the music by this German outfit or is it a multi national band. their singer being a Frenchman I believe. So I was in for a treat or... I have left the second option out on purpose. I really enjoyed the show the band put on. They un-mistakenly belong in the progressive rock scene. The starter they treated the audience at Loreley with had elements of Marillion, Queensryche the theatrical performances of early '70s Alice Cooper shows. It all suits their music very well, the 7 piece group 3 woman and 4 man brought a show of little over an hour entertaining from start to finish. At the end of this magical show I stood there, thinking to myself how on earth could I have missed this, do I live in such an obscure part of the world that the music of Eclipse-solair could not reach me. I don't think so, but yet I have completely missed out on the music of this band and their music that stand as a rock, As does their performance. Energetic, powerful full of emotion A real treat indeed, have not heard their albums but sure will check them out.

After a wait of about 45 minutes, Alan Parsons Project took the stage. The band was scheduled to play some sort of greatest hits. The back catalogue of Alan Parsons is absolutely loaded with hits, so what would the audience get to see and hear. The show APP put on was not as lively as the support act had done, but I did not expect that to be so. It was Steady, high level, great musicians and of course the man himself, behind the keyboards and on guitar. sometimes even vocals. Alan Parsons had surrounded himself with a good and solid band. and brought a show that can be remembered. for me personally the highlight was a complete version of the Turn of a Friendly card, beautiful. Stunning and at the best possible venue for a song as beautiful. A great show indeed. I do not have a setlist of this show but am certain of the next songs, Eye in the Sky, Mama gamma, Old and Wise, Don't Answer me, The Turn of A friendly card and more.

A beautiful evening with good music and great atmosphere, splendid audience.

 

Saturday, 18th July 2014

Gran Turismo Veloce

Kicking off the Ninth edition of NOTP were Italians Gran Turismo Veloce in red outfits in compliance with the car brands that go for the Gran Turismo Veloce or high speed. I personally did not know the band very well before this performance at the Freilicht Buhne. Beside all the technical problems for the bass player at the start of the show, I have seen nor heard any really bad playing or so, In real Italian style, the boys played us a set of great songs, that these guys up to date have only one album out is a real shame. this is true Italian style prog not only musically strong but visually as well.

Gran Turismo Veloce

An absolute smashing start of what may well be one of the most colourful NOTP's yet. The joy of playing clearly shows off sheer joy even at this early hour on friday. A false start but splendid performance. In good European song festival nature 12 points to Italy and Gran Turismo Veloce.

Setlist Gran Turismo Veloce
Quantocàmia
Sorgente sonora
Misera Venere
Misera Venere (Reprise)
Alice In Wonderland
Puss In Boots
Little Red Riding Hood
(Unknown)
(New Song)
Il Gigante Egoista
Slideshow Gran Turismo Veloce

 

Traumhaus

Meantime the temperature was rising. In the sun it was already blazing hot, the audience was seeking coolness in the shadows, the next act was preparing to hit the stage. Traumhaus yet another not too well known band for me. I heard them before and found them to be a new Anyone's Daughter really. Lengthy songs dreamy Neo progressive.

Traumhaus

The Dreamy part was less dreamy in the live environment at Loreley at times I would even call it heavy. The luscious melodies from the albums came across very good and were performed with great joy and enthousiasm by the band. their overall performance musically was very good, some addition to the show is necessary to also give the audience more to look at, its now more a listening session no visual effects. their entire setlist was just three songs.

Setlist Traumhaus
Das Vermächtnis
Hinaus
Das Geheimnis, Teil 2
Slideshow Traumhaus

 

Collage

Next we travel to Poland for a band that seemingly has started a new life. Collage, in my research the last Collage album I could find was released in 1996 so 18 years ago, I've known the music since, but have never ever seen them perfom live, so a first time Collage live for me. That Collage are a bunch of great musicians I knew, a new singer starting fresh or... well I was hoping to see a wonderful performance. I must say their singer really tries to put on a show, the band wasn't pinned down either, besides great music in neo-prog style, we did get to see a show. Not all of Collage's material is in English some of their songs have been written in Polish, so again we heard another language.

Collage

Three times lucky I'd say, this is how international prog is. music is the glueing factor. Meantime the temperature was way above 30 degrees the shady spot on the site taken, People thirsty and beer flowing like the water in the river below. What a beautiful festival weather.

Setlist Collage
Heroes Cry
Ja i Ty
One of Their Kind
Safe
Basnie
The Blues
Eight Kisses
Moonshine
God
Slideshow Collage

 

Long Distance Calling

Wow three bands on, super weather, great atmosphere bringing us back home to the second German band Long Distance Calling. Many people might say what is a Post-rock band doing at a Prog festival. Apart from being post-rock, Long Distance Calling play full instrumentals, That is another thing at festivals, Does the instrumental song add up and bring enough to entertain the audience. I belief so but then again I am a little biased here as a true fan of the music.

Long Distance Calling

I was there for really excited to see Long Distance calling in the line up. and was really looking forward to their performance. With all the Neoprog before the band brought the festival something different. Each year at least one band from a lesser known area of Rock should be at the NOTP, Long Distance Calling are a highly acclaimed band in their part of the genre, the show they did at NOTP surely lived up to their name and fame. Well done guys.

Setlist Long Distance Calling
Nucleus
Black Paper Planes
Ductus
Keyboard Air
The Figrin D'an Boogie
Into the Black Wide Open
Invisible Giants
NH 0550
Timebends
Arecibo (Long Distance Calling)
Metulsky Curse Revisited
Slideshow Long Distance Calling

 

IQ

A band that has had the priveledge of multiple performances at NOTP was up next IQ, with their new album just released an almost must for the Neo-prog masters from England. As they had been at Loreley before one might expect that they new how to really entertain an audience at a venue like Loreley. They really really had a false start this time, You could see Peter Nichols singing but he could not be heard. A more terrible start could not have happened once the sound was there, it was obvious Nicholls voice did not sound very well.

IQ

Usually an IQ show is full of bombastic elements not this time, It was more a show of we need to promote our album so here we are no enthusiasm nothing a bit of a tame show not IQ like. Surely this could have been the weather, with temperatures of over 35 degrees All day, as expected the new album came by but also favourites of older albums Not a bad show all in all but I had surely expected a bit better from a band as popular in progland as IQ is.

Setlist IQ
From the Outside In
The Darkest Hour
The Road of Bones
Frequency
Without Walls
The Wake
Leap of Faith
Until the End
The Seventh House
Slideshow IQ

 

Transatlantic

During the IQ show, may be even earlier, the crowd was getting bigger, no real surprise as the main course for this friday was Transatlantic. With a short delay, due to technical problems, the concert finally did start. That the problems still existed was clear but never mind that it was a good start and the audience realy wanted to hear something. SMPT and L for the show did kick off with a long track, time enough to solve problems. That the guys have it still and know how to entertain is without doubt.

Transatlantic

The complete show was very tight and left little room for additional play. the tricks Portnoy did with both Leonard and Morse didn't go all to good sometimes they needed more than one go but hey its an element of show. Musically things were okay and the band enjoyed playing at Loreley. A show with Transatlantic ussualy takes about three hours, that time was not available now so a lot of the songs were shortened or made into medleys a shame really but it also meant hearing and seeing a Transatlantic carreer event. And as usual with the main act they got to play an encores, at 5 to midnite the show ended. the audience went to the campsite, parking or just home, for most of us a long hot day. trying to catch a little sleep for day 2.

Setlist Transatlantic
Into the Blue
Shine
Whirlwind Medley
Overture
(abridged, Intro and Whirlwind)
Rose Colored Glasses
Evermore
Is It Really Happening?
Dancing With Eternal Glory
(abridged, Whirlwind Reprise only)
We All Need Some Light
Black as the Sky

All of the Above
(abridged, Full Moon Rising, October Winds)
Stranger in Your Soul
Slideshow Transatlantic

 

Sunday, 19th July 2014

Synaesthesia

Day 2 saw Synaesthesia kick off a young band from England, highly acclaimed for their musical talents. especially their keyboard player/mainman man is praised highly for his talent as a musician as well as composer. They have released their debut album in 2014 so expectations are high when you get to play at NOTP the same year. I can say they bring good music at times spun out a little too much, but as a whole they stand their ground. Mostly symphonic keyboard dominated, but with excellent guitar play too.

Synaesthesia

That this band is young and need to learn a lot is normal. but kicking off day two of the festival is hard even if you are experienced, they have done a good job, not surprisingly good but just steady and that says quite a lot for a young band. The temperature was already going past 30 degrees celcius again, meaning a second very hot day to go.

Setlist Synaesthesia
Noumenon
Sacrifice
Epiphany
Good Riddance
Cloudburst
Time, Tension & Intervention
Technology Killed The Kids
Technology Killed The Kids, Part II
Life's What You Make Of It
Slideshow Synaesthesia

 

A Liquid Landscape

Next up another young band, from the Netherlands this time. For these boys more or less the same thing applies were it not that they brought their new album with them to NOTP and therefore had two albums. They are young and very different from Synaethesia, their music more eclectic. of a different structure, I am talking about A Liquid Landscape, if you did not know yet. That the festival is visited by a lot of Dutch progfans is obvious, A liquid Landscape was loudly applauded to and cheered.

A Liquid Landscape

The band was thrilled to play NOTP like all others before them and showed great musicianship as well. Showmanship will come later that is something they need more. The audience was already fighting for the shade during the concert because temperature was rising again. Never minding this A liquid Landscape was a joy to see, and listen for your reporter anyway. Their second album has been released in the meantime, produced by Bruce Soord, like they told us.

Setlist A Liquid Landscape
Nightingale Express
Open Wounds
The Unreachable
Drifting Star
A Brief Moment Of Future
The Largest Fire
Hurled Into The Sun
Paige
Secret Isle
Slideshow A Liquid Landscape

 

Dream the Electric Sheep

Coming from the other side of the Globe are the next band Dream the Electric Sheep. Now these guys I do not know at all, Musically I now place them where I would have done Long Distance Calling if they had vocals. Dream the Electric Sheep bring a postrock sounding flavoured music with touches of Psychedelia which I think were not really suited for the attending audience today.

Dream the Electric Sheep

On their album which I had listened on the way to NOTP I found the music more exiting then at the concert. I blame this to the hour and the heat at the festival. that these guys know how to make good music is without a doubt. That a great deal of the audience did not know them was noticeable by the responses. In a different setting DTES will most likely show what they are really capable of I will not hesitate to visit a concert to enjoy the music to the fullest. As I belief the true magic was lacking at NOTP.

Setlist Dream the Electric Sheep
Heretics
Elizabeth
Utopic
I Know What You Are
Fist to Face
How Long We Wait
Ashes Fall
Listen to Me
This Is This
Slideshow Dream the Electric Sheep

 

Clepsydra

Going on with our European Journey we end up in Switzerland, with Clepsydra. Like Collage on friday a band busy with a comeback. The last studio effort by Clepsydra dates back to 2001 shortly after the band was disbanded, not to appear again until next year, Clepsydra makes symphonic prog rock a la suisse. The music is highly keyboards dominated and suits well in a NEOprog environament. Not knowing too much of their music I was in for a surprise really. but I did not get surprised at all, I saw a band capable of making great music, playing very well, a bit static but musically good, a solid performance and really fitting the NOTP this year.

Clepsydra

As we have seen bands from all around the globe some new some old. Great atmosphere like every year. The temperature could have been a little less for a better festival. Clearly everyone was suffering from this scorching heat all day. Resulting in less attention to the gigs of lesser known bands, which is a shame. Clepsydra gave us a good performance certainly worth listening to their music.

Setlist Clepsydra
The Missing Spark
Alone
4107
Tuesday Night
No Place for Flowers
Travel Of Dream
Prisoner's Victory / The Last Grain
Moonshine On Heights
End of Tuesday
Slideshow Clepsydra

 

Big Elf

Yeah in my book it said next up BIG ELF , but there was no big elf, instead there was Brian Cummins one man show, which he started as being A Big Elf. Now this was the surprise of the festival. Not because of who was playing no, the organizers had found Brian willing to step in at the last minute. After John Wesleys cancellation Big Elf also had notified the organizers they were not able to come. So here goes the Brian Cummins, show of hands solo playing songs by Peter Gabriel.

Big Elf

For those that don't know Brian Cummins plays in a band called the Carpet Crawlers tributing Genesis. He can sing in a voice and tone similar to that of Peter Gabriel. So we are now left with the one man show of Brain Cummins, and I must say I really enjoyed this improv. He is an entertainer extraordinare, Continuing the points of the european Prog jury ehm out of the league entirely. Thanks for the wonderful intermezzo improv show Brian amazing I can't say anything else.

Setlist Big Elf
Here Comes the Flood (Peter Gabriel cover) Red Rain (Peter Gabriel cover) Washing of the Water (Peter Gabriel cover) Come Talk to Me (Peter Gabriel cover) San Jacinto (Peter Gabriel cover) Carpet Crawlers (Genesis cover) Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel cover) Games Without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel cover) Grendel (Marillion cover) (Just the first strophe) Mercy Street (Peter Gabriel cover) Biko (Peter Gabriel cover) In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel cover)
Slideshow Big Elf

 

Anathema

This was a laugh and a tear and a wonderful hour of sheer entertainment. Still two bands on our schedule with Anathema as first to come. Anathema of course have been performing at NOTP before and know what to expect. After the Brian Cummins show they really had to make an effort again, more sounds on the stage as such. Anathema's fanbase is steadily growing over the years, most likely due to the nifty way of arranging the music. along with the always great and entertaining livesows. This time no different.

Anathema

From the first note until the last one played anatheme had the audience in a firm grip not to let go. The band had put together a great festival mix of older and newer songs and a first performance of the song Anathema with the entire band, A straight forward show nicely warming up ah well, musically that is for the last band, Guess........

Setlist Anathema
Untouchable, Part 1
Untouchable, Part 2
Thin Air
The Lost Song, Part 3
Anathema
(First time ever with the whole band)
The Storm Before the Calm
A Simple Mistake
Closer
A Natural Disaster
Distant Satellites
Fragile Dreams
Slideshow Anathema

 

Marillion

Yes Marillion are back again this year with a compilation show. their last album has been a while, and a new one long overdue. Paul Hogarth really had it going today, jumping up and down running around the stage like a madman. Even running from the stage into the audience at that point he should have been trailed by the spotlight but instead ran into the darkness all together. Leaving the remark to the operator "it seemed such a great idea at the time" to follow me. Later on the remote for the mic got stuck a roadie running around after Hogarth trying to fix.

Marillion

Despite all these things the show was good with a great playing band, not to loud just a great show and great ending to a great festival. Marillion as closing act for the festival always seems a good idea, like with the Transatlantic concert on friday. people could purchase tickets for just the Marillion show, and this of course happened big time. Marillion were on a roll and the audience clearly enjoyed every minute up to the encore. just before midnight all was quiet again, lots of after talking, walking to the parking lot or the campsite walking(climbing) down the stairs to the village. Cars leaving people talking.

Setlist Marillion
Gaza
Easter
Beautiful
Power
You're Gone
Sugar Mice
Fantastic Place
Man of a Thousand Faces
No One Can
Sounds That Can't Be Made
Cover My Eyes (Pain and Heaven)
Kayleigh
Lavender
Heart of Lothian

Neverland
Slideshow Marillion

 

Until we meet again next year. I am already exited to see what the organisation will do and put together for the 10th anniversary of the festival. As it appears that will be a three day festival again with highlights and new bands all mixed together. Topping NOTP IX in consistency will be difficult, of all the NOTP editions I have visited NOTP IX was the most consistent festival. A minor flaw being two bands that cancelled but the organisation has done a terrific job with Brian Cummins as "joker", as did the man himself. Splendid job guys hats off on such short notice.

Well all I can say now and leave you all with, I had a terrific time and enjoyed myself, a little less heat would have been better. The review you just read took a while, due to personal health reasons, nonetheless I hope To See you all next year in good Health, at the 10th NIGHT OF THE PROGS at Loreley, st Goarshausen.

 


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