Porcupine Tree - April 18th, 1998
De Nieuwe Pul, Uden, The Netherlands

By Ed Sander


It's always nice to go to a concert in De Nieuwe Pul because it means that I listen to some fine music and consume large quantities of beer because at the same time; I live right around the corner and don't have to drive home.

Use of Ashes was the support act. I've seen them a couple of times before and had not been impressed at all. This time wasn't different. It's just not my cup of tea; two guys playing lots of samples and making a lot of senseless noise.

At 11.25pm an intro tape started and the Tree stepped on stage. Steve Wilson had replaced his long hair for a short a short hairdo and spectacles.
The band opened the set with a long new song called Even Less. This rather heavy track sounded like a cross between the Up the Downstairs and Signify albums and definitely had a Porcupine Tree sound. I'm already looking forward to the new album.

Steve announced the next song with:"That was a song from the album to come, this is a song from Christmas past". Delicious versions of the two parts of Waiting followed. Chris Maitland is a great drummer and does some amazing things on the percussion. Colin Edwin, the bass player, had a smile that never left his face during the concert. He really seems to be enjoying himself (and he has all the right to). Richard Barbieri was looking very serious behind his keyboards and Steve was really 'living' the music.

Sleep of no Dreaming is a nice tune but as with the live album Coma Divine I would have preferred a different track from Signify.
The heavy Up The Downstairs was followed by two new songs, the short This is no Rehearsal and the instrumental Ambulance Chasing.

An incredible remake of The Moon Touches Your Shoulder flowed into Always Never.
"And now for a bit of this ...", said Steve and the heavy extended version of Signify came down on the audience. The set was closed with a shortened version of the epic Voyage 34, which sounded much better than the original.

After an hour and a quarter the band left the stage, but they came back soon for some encores. First we got the strong rendition of Dislocated Day which had a break of a couple of seconds of silence at the end before continuing in a ripping climax. The second encore was the live favorite Radioactive Toy.

The band came back one more time to play an ass-kicking version of Not Beautiful Anymore. Then it was 1.10am and it was over.

It was kind of a short concert (little more than 100 minutes) but the ticket price wasn't high so I can live with that. I would have loved to hear more though.

I can confirm what other people have been saying: the band is even better live than on the CDs. It's amazing what an incredible sound these guys make and they prove without a doubt that you don't need a band of more than 10 persons to create a sound with lots of depth and dynamics.
Earlier that week I had been on a couple of rollercoasters in a Dutch amusement park. The concert of Porcupine Tree produced even more adrenaline than those rides. And that's basically what the Tree is like; it's a rollercoaster ride. One moment you're floating on quiet, peacefull bits of keyboard and percussion, and then suddenly the grunge guitar sound hits you straight in the face. If you like changes in tempo and rhythm, the Tree is were it's at.

It's been a long time since I woke up with pain in the neck because I've done to much headbanging the night before. This morning the feeling was there .... a dubious souvenir of a fantastic concert.

When's the next one ?

For more information about Porcupine Tree, check out the Linton Samuel Dawson Page.


Setlist:

Intro
Even Less
Waiting Phase One
Waiting Phase Two
Sleep of no Dreaming
Up the Downstairs
This is no Rehearsal
Ambulance Chasing
The Moon Touches Your Shoulder/Always Never
Signify
Voyage 34

Dislocated Day
Radioactive Toy

Not Beautiful Anymore

 

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