26 May 2010

Maria Roepaan

Two pictures of the recent Beequeen live show at Maria Roepaan in the nearby town of Ottersum. And what a lovely day it was! Not only is Maria Roepaan a beautiful location (in fact, it's an old monastry), it was also gorgeous weather and quite a few friends took the efford to travel to Ottersum to see us perform, which was much appreciated. We had actually rehearsed for this show quite a bit - it featured some older songs (Sad Sheep, The Honeythief), some newer (Port Out Starboard Home, Patience), some borrowed (Jane's It's A Fine Day) and none blue. Beequeen was on first and played a 45 minute set that wasn't exactly free of mistakes, but full enough of good notes, minor chords and fine vocal work by Olga. In short, a very rewarding set. Shame about the mistakes in Patience, but you can't win them all! In the end, we were all quite pleased with our performance. Also performing that day at Maria Roepaan was Stahlkwartett, who played Bach and Bjork on four home-made-of-metal-sheets-then-bowed instruments. Slow bow - very impressive! Third on the list was Use of Ashes, who perhaps struggled on stage, but put on a good show nevertheless. The atmosphere they manage to create is always highly tense yet fragile. Final performance was by Frans de Waard, Roel Meelkop and a host of others in the specially designed soundlab in the basement of Maria Roepaan. They played a good improvised set using both laptops as acoustic gadgets. In all, a great day with good friends and amazing music. The whole Beequeen concert can be downloaded for nada via our Music For The Head Ballet site. Two brief films of It's A Fine Day and The Honeythief, made by Miranda, can be found on YouTube. Someone stated we looked like a band from Twin Peaks. I quite like that description! The next Beequeen show is planned after the summer in the Lux Theatre in Nijmegen. A date is yet to be set. The evening will be with Legendary Pink Dots and Use of Ashes. Hopefully it will be as special as our day in Maria Roepaan. Thanks to Huub for organizing the lot!

17 May 2010

One step beyond!

The first single I ever bought was Tarzan's Nuts by Madness. This was in 1980, now 30 years ago. I actually wanted to buy Embarrassment, but once in the shop, couldn't remember the title of the single. It was just as well, as the b-side to Tarzan was the wonderful Nightboat To Cairo. I still have that single in my collection. The first album I bought was also by Madness; it was their second album called Absolutely. I was so much of an ├╝ber-fan in 1980, that I even joined the fanclub. Strangely enough, this folded the day I joined. Coincidentally the same happened when I joined the Adam and the Ants and Alice Cooper fanclub. Folded the day I joined. Strange. Anyways, ska was a wonderfully upbeat way to spend a downbeat decade. I loved The Specials, The Beat, The Selecter and Bad Manners, but most of all Madness. They were so utterly zany British. I loved that. Oddly enough I never saw them live in the 80's. To correct that awful omission in my live career, I bought a ticket for their show last weekend in Amsterdam. And what fun we had! I was right up front, in the middle of this uncontrolled mob, jumping, dancing and singing and pushing and shoving like hell. I've got the bruises to show for it! They played a lot of older tunes as well as some ditties from their latest venture The Liberty Of Norton Filgate. The boys clearly enjoyed themselves on the stage as well; they were slightly older, balder and fatter (like most of the audience), but having a lot of fun. All images I took at the concert are blurred due to the dancing, but this one, taken from a distance, is quite nice. The following day, the "day after", I played all my Madness albums again. Always a sign of a wonderful evening.