Mostly Autumn
December 16th 2004, 013, Tilburg, The Netherlands
December 18th 2004, De Kade, Zaandam, The Netherlands

By Nick Gielkens and Joris Donkel


December 16th, 013, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Mostly Autumn played in 'The Bat Cave', the small hall of 013. Novastar was playing in the big hall, MA should play there next year and I think they must be able to get a full house there too. About the abilities of this band I'm convinced that they'll play in football stadiums... one day.
When you've visit MA 7 times in the LowLands, it's always good to see the same faces and friends again. But there were many new visitors and that is a good sign.

A few minutes past 09:00 hours Ian started with a Floydian intro and indeed the first tunes of Echoes revererated through the hall. A classic Pink Floyd song that was performed excellent, pictures of the Pompeij-video flashed in my head... Liam the second guitarist took over some nice guitar loops and sequences.
Wish You Were Here was sung by the whole 350 people in the hall I believe... followed up by a really good version of Comfortably Numb with another compliment for Liam; he did the vocals parts with Bryan. Think Liam was for a longtime the underrated second guitarist of this band, but he showed, again, that he isn't.
So the Floydian set was a nice intro from the band to start with their own songs. Do they need this Pink Floyd set to prove what they can? No absolutely not, some of their own songs are equal to the high standard Pink Floyd has achieved in the last 40 years. One of the highlights was the next song; Distant Train from their last album. During the V-shows they had a round projection-screen with stylish pictures and movies. It was a shame that the record-company didn't make this possible for the LowLands tour.

Finally it was time for Heather to step into the stage and a warm applause did welcome her. And indeed a nice hairstyle ;-) Angela was standing a bit to far at the back, but she was wonderful on her flute.
A lot of the Passengers album was played, Bryan tried to explain how mysterious the songs were, but it all became more mysteriously. Of course the highlights of the first two albums were set down, sometimes in slightly different setup as we're used too; nice!

A few lines of a Fleedwood Mac's song Rhiannon were the intro of one of their own songs and was real surprising (Heather is a big fan of Fleedwood Mac).
Hanneke announced that there was time to rock and the band did ROCK. Of course there was time to celebrate with a Celtic song; At the Inn.

Andy was standing on the back, normally he walks arround the stage and does some back-rubbing with Heather. But his un-usseal riffs were there and that is more important. Andrew, just a few months in this band, did a fantastic job behind his drum-kit. It seemed he was in the band for years, but probably his brother Ian, the magicien with his tricky solo's and tasty keyboards, raised him with MA-stuff.
Of course Heroes Never Die was a moment of reflection ("The ways the ins and outs of heaven still elude us to the end The tears, the sun and rain, I feel them on my face and on my skin We loved you then, we love you still and don't you know...Heroes never die"...).
Heart Life was a new song and if that is the standard of the upcomming album Storms Over Still Water then that new album becomes a stomper.

When it is X-mas time they have the tradition to play a X-mas song, this time no Father X-mas of Keith Emmerson, but surprisingly The Pogues/Kirsty Macoll's Fairytale of New York. Heather and Bryan in well performed funny duet, yes they form a good couple. There was time for jokes and some teasing and that was fun to watch.

The show ended with Mother Nature, the epic of epics with a resprise of the tunes of Echoes ... excellent version, the best I ever heard!
The sound in 013 was very excellent, crystal sounds, great venue for Quality Music. A big applause for the sound engineer as well! This Lowland tour has proved that the band has grown again during the past year. A special remark I want to make about Heather's voice and performance: she dares to use her voice to the max now, with a wider and more powerful range and her friendly charisma has reached the level of a symphatetic leadsinger with that kind of friendly Brittish humor and ability to interact and flirt with the audience (and Bryan).
Think the 350 visitors had a wonderful time and MA has some new fans...

December 18th, De Kade, Zaandam, The Netherlands

There are 3 main reasons for going to a concert:
1. You know 1 or more CD's of the artist(s)
2. You heard/read very enthusiastic comments and reviews about the artist(s)
3. The artist(s) are legendary and you feel you should see them live at least once
But in this case all these reasons didn't apply for me, so for my very first concert review I'll bring you a brief report of my very first impressions of Mostly Autumn, a group I never had heard before.
First of all you surely want to know what moved me to go to this concert in the first place?

Well, I knew that they had a good reputation in the prog circuit, were influenced by Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac and folk music and their name itself already sounded promising enough, so I decided to check them out.
After I had bought the tickets I learned that on special request of the fans they would be their own support act with a special Pink Floyd tribute. Of course this was even more reason to become curious about this group and to look forward to the concert.
When the day came my wife was unfortunately suffering some physical pains and knowing there are no proper sitting places in De Kade she had to cancel at the last moment.
So, sadly alone and considerably delayed I went to Zaandam where I heard the last notes of a familiar Floyd tune (sorry I forgot which one, you'll understand my thoughts were also with my suffering wife) when I came in. After that they played Comfortably numb in a great and Floyd-worthy way! Lead singer Heather Findlay was not on stage yet during this Floyd session.
Then they took a short break to prepare for the main show.

The nice thing about a room like De Kade is that it's pretty small, so you're always quite near the stage and considering the small attendance, although I must say the room was pretty well filled, it was still possible for me to move up to the more front rows.
A smaller room often gives a more intimate feeling and afterwards I learned that it was perfectly fitting for the music of Mostly Autumn; I think they won't be so much at their place in a much bigger room.

Then the main show kicked off and my eyes were very pleased with the sight of the delightful Heather Findlay; a slim, typical English looking girl.
With in total 7 persons on stage it was quite crowded and didn't leave room for much extensive movements, so most band members just stayed put or twirled around their own axis and Heather made just some theatrical movements with her hands, a tambourine with ribbons and a scarf.
Apart from singer Heather, the band consisted of a guitar player/singer, keyboard player, another girl playing flute and keys (not simultaneously of course), another guitarist, a bass player and a drummer. Sorry I don't know their names, but for everyone familiar with this band this is redundant information and for everyone else probably not so interesting.

Not knowing any song played I just let it all come over me and from that I give you my general impressions of this band and concert.
It's very clear that they resort under the folk section of the progressive music, several folk elements came along during the concert.
The sound was quite good, just as the atmosphere; there was a bit of a "we're among us" feeling that flowed through the band and crowd and that very well fitted with the music.
The fact that the band was in good contact with the audience became very evident when a guy from the front audience became unwell (too much beer?) and stumbled to the back of the room.
Both Heather and the guitar player noticed that and after finishing the current song they asked if everything was O.K. with the guy.
To give him the rest and opportunity to recuperate they then suggested intercalating a short break which gesture was much appreciated by the crowd.

The music was much to my liking and I instantly bought 2 CD's of them at their merchandise stand, that was by the way run by a beautiful and friendly girl!
Most songs had a standard intro, often quiet with a flute, then building up to a full sound, but the endings were often somewhat abrupt.
Heather has a nice soft, typical folk, voice, not the finest around, but surely pleasant to hear and suitable for the music they play.
The male singer/guitar player though is not so blessed with a good singing voice and should, to my opinion, limit his singing to the harmony parts and pass on singing solo.
I personally enjoyed the instrumental bits the best, either the (extended?) middle section of some songs or even better the few fully instrumental songs.
The real traditional folk songs played also with several kind of flutes and hand drum proved to be a real audience pleaser as the up tempo rhythm and Irish tunes brought on a true party mood!

One of the highlights of the evening was a great, more lengthy song, called, as I found out later, Evergreen.
The song dedicated to the deceased father of the guitarist, Heroes Never Die, was also very impressive.
For the encore they started surprisingly with a duet between Heather and the guitarist performing the famous and very appropriate Pogues song Fairytale of New York, originally sung by Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan. They ended their fine and very entertaining show with Mother Nature, a very moving and powerful song which was one of the other highlights of the evening.
Sorry I can't provide a full setlist, but whatever it was they played, it was mostly very enjoyable!
All in all I can say my first encounter with Mostly Autumn was a very pleasant one; I even forgot for a short while all about my suffering wife and fully digested the music. With the CD's I've bought I can now start to further explore their music.
They will be on tour again soon (click here for more info), so try to catch them if you can!


Band:

Bryan Josh - guitars and vocals
Heather Findlay - vocals, whistles, percussion, bodran, guitars
Liam Davidson - guitars and vocals
Andy Smith - bass
Angela Goldthorpe - Flute, Low & High whistles, recorders and backing vocals
Ian Jennings - keyboard and backing vocals
Andrew Jennings - drums

Setlist:
(Song order varied on the different nights of the Dutch Tour)

Echoes
Wish You Were Here
Comfortably Numb

The Return Of The King
Caught In A Fold
The Dark Before The Dawn
Something In Between
Another Life
Close My Eyes
Shrinking Violet
The Last Climb
The Simple Ways
Distant Train
Answer The Question
Evergreen
Half The Mountain
Heroes Never Die
The Spirit Of Autumn Past, part 2
Out Of The Inn
Shindig
Never The Rainbow
Passengers

Heart Life
The Fairy Tale Of New York
Merry Christmas Everybody (Zoetermeer only)
Mother Nature
Echoes Reprise
The Christmas We Get We Deserve (Zoetermeer only)

 

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