Pros and Cons, October 11th 1997
Live in The Hague, The Netherlands

By Ed Sander


At the time I write this it's Saturday 12th of October 1997 somewhere in the afternoon. I've got a splitting headache, even though I didn't have a drop of alcohol last night. It must have been that stage smoke they used with the Pros and Cons concert yesterday.

Yep, me and some friends of the Echoes Mailing List went down to The Hague to see Pink Floyd cover band Pros and Cons (formerly Pink Project) play live.
Although the doors were opened at 9 o'clock the performance itself started long after 10 o'clock. The venue was quite small, with a bar, small 'dance floor' with tables and chairs (quite cosy) and a small stage where the risk of knocking instruments over was quite large.

The show started with - could it ever have been different - Shine On You Crazy Diamond. It was immediately noticeable that lead guitarist little-black-barret Danny was quite a talent. I especially liked the fact that he sometimes gave his own interpretations to solos instead of copying Dave Gilmour's solos note for note.
The end of the song had the sax solo played by checkered- trousered Lilian. Unfortunately it didn't really work. I found her improvised solos later in the show a lot better.

After a short introdution keyboard player Jan-Willem grabbed the microphone for a performance of What Do You Want From Me. Unfortunately, his keyboard playing was a lot better then his singing. However, I did like your his headbanging and swaying stage presence. ;-)

A large chunck of Roger Water's solo album Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking followed. Here it became very obvious that bassist/lead singer Peter has a voice not unlike Roger's own (meant both positively and negatively). It also proved that he's got his own opinion about the lyrics, especially with Running Shoes and the 'Lets go out to Dagger' start of Sexual Revolution. He really should study the lyrics.
Sexual Revolution was also a song which wasn't really suited for Peter's voice; he had to struggle to make something of it. Highlight of the Pros and Cons part was the title song, which was performed very well.

The first set was closed with one of the highlights of the concert: a beautiful extended version of The Gunners Dream. Fantastic !!

The second set started with Have a Cigar> (all guitar players knib bling away on cigars). This was perhaps the biggest let down of the show. It didn't work at all, perhaps especially because of Jan-Willem's vocals.

A large part of the Animals album followed. First there was the Snowy White solo-less Pigs on the Wing 1. This was followed by very good versions of Dogs and Pigs. Both songs featured sax solos during the quite parts (which I enjoyed very much). Pigs was played very fast and had an extended ending.

The encores followed. First one was Learning to Fly/Terminal Frost/Learning to Fly. I loved the idea of the combination of these two songs. Unfortunately the cross-over didn't really work because JW had to 'Run Like Hell' to his keyboard to be on time to play the opening of Terminal Frost. In my opinion, of all tracks sung by JW his vocals worked best on LtF, although others had a different opinion.

The set was closed with High Hopes, with vocals by second guitarist Edwin. I quite liked the performance of the song, 'though others thought differently. However, I would have chosen a more up-tempo song to close the set.

Unfortunately the band didn't have their inflateable pig and slide show with them of Friday. I suppose the small size of the venue was the reason for this.

All in all it was a very enjoyable evening, well worth the total 4 hour drive (therefore completely alchohol-less). Highlights were The Gunners Dream and the songs from Animals. I especially like the way the band takes some of the songs and give their own interpretation to them (like with the sax solos on Dogs and Pigs and the combination of Ltf/TF). I think they should take this even further. Maybe they could even give one of the three female background singers a try at one of the lead vocals. Now that would be really inventive!

Best musicians were guitarist Danny and drummer Gerben who played all parts perfectly and full of dynamics. Things the band should really work on: vocals, lyrics, stage presence and timing of some songs.

Conclusion: 7 out of ten, taking into account that this is a covers band.

Setlist:

Shine On You Crazy Diamond
What Do You Want From Me
Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking
[Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad
Running Shoes
Arabs With knives and West German Skies
For the First Time Today - Part 2
Sexual Revolution
The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (part 10)
Every Strangers Eyes
The Moment of Clarity]

The Gunners Dream (extended)

Have a Cigar
Pigs on the Wing (part 1)
Dogs (with Sax Solo)
Pigs (with Sax Solo)

Learning to Fly/Terminal Frost/Learning to Fly
High Hopes

 

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