Saturday, December 09, 2006

Show Review: I'm From Barcelona @ De Helling

The I'm From Barcelona show of last night was much anticipated at FTC Headquarters. Before the show I was already certain that this was going to be quite the experience...and it was.

Moss (from Amsterdam) had the pleasure of opening for these crazy Swedes and they did it well. No matter the style of music, it's always nice to see good musicians at work and that was definitely the case at hand. I expect to hear more from this solid indierock/pop band that will release their debut album through Exelsior in a few months.
The main dish: I'm from Barcelona! I was afraid that the band would show up at minimal strength, but from the number of microphones on stage it was obvious that they were with plenty: I counted 20 Swedes. They played a festival in France the night before and after a 12 hour busdrive they were anxious to play. From the Barcelona intro (Freddy Mercury style) until the last song, this band was all over the place. My expectations were high, but actually I enjoyed myself so much more than expected.

First let me try to paint a picture of the setting: a dozen instruments (ukulele, tuba, flute, xylophone, keyboards etc.), bubble blowing and so many people on stage that you don't know where to look. They seem to perform with only one goal: giving the audience as good a time as they're having themselves. Their enthusiasm is so contagious that in no time you find yourself participating with handclaps, hip shaking, headbopping, handwaving, almost dancing (I'm not a dancer) and smiling...lots of smiles. In fact...I don't believe the grin lost my face during the show, which went by much too fast (time flies when you're...exactly).
Though I wished they played more songs, I liked what they did with the ones they did play, adding elements, slowing and speeding them up and stretching them out. They added the chorus of Madonna's 'Like a Prayer' at the end of 'Rec and Play' and played a new song that was inspired by the fascinating though akward documentary Grizzly Man. After telling the audience that the bubble making machine was broken and some people started chanting "We want Bubbles", singer Emanuel Lundgren created a new song ("We want Bubbles") on the spot. Another example of his improve skills was replacing the "damn!" in the song 'Oversleeping' with the Dutch translation "verdomme".

This band should be added to your must see list. Sure, it might be a little to happy for your taste, but I guarantee that you have a great time. It was a shame that so few people decided to come to this party (I don't believe attendance reached more than a 100), but in the end everyone was standing as close to the stage as possible, smiling and dancing. Not a soul left the building dissappointed and for one evening the world seemed a happy place (Ok, I can't believe I've just said that...).

I don't just had to be there I guess! By the way, I found this awesome acoustic video (thanx to LaBlogotheque) which you might like.

Video: I'm From Barcelona - We're From Barcelona

[photography from the band's website, NOT from last night's show...]

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Finally Friday Video's Part XIII

No introduction necessary...classic song/video!

Video: The Proclaimers - 500 miles

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Show Review: The Long Blondes @ Rotown

It might have been a good idea to buy tickets in advance, because there was already a long line standing outside of Rotown when we got there. Luckily we were in time to still get in.

De Nieuwe Vrolijkheid, invited by the Long Blondes themselves had the honours to open for a sold out crowd. This young artpop band from The Hague didn't impress me. It's great that they try to be original, but last night their act lacked the personality to pull it off. Technical difficulties and weak vocals (couldn't tell whether this was the band or the sound guy) didn't help them either.

Up next: The Long Blondes. If you haven't heard their single 'Once and Never Again', you haven't been paying attention (at least not to this blog hehe). The first thing I noticed was the personality of singer and born performer Kate Jackson. She grabs your attention without asking for it and she can sing...boy can she sing!!! I can't remember when I was this awe struck by the voice of a female singer at a show. Every note was full on and with so much conviction; she truly held nothing back. The played boredom of the (female) guitarist en bassist seems to suggest: it's all about Kate, never mind us. But in this case, it's the tightness of the band that provides the opportunity to shine for Kate Jackson.

Now I have to admit that my likeness to this bands is limited to certain songs. This is the kind of band I skip certain songs of. Their set last night was enough to keep my interest, not to short and not too long. The Long Blondes are fun live!

Video: The Long Blondes - Weekend Without Makeup

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Chips Ahoy!

Quite busy this week...not much time to post...just wanted you to see the Hold Steady's video to Chips Ahoy! Great song/video by this a-typical but oh so hard rocking band. They have a new album out called 'Boys and Girls in America', which is as awesome as their previous one 'Seperation Sunday'.

Video: The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Love is All

I'm aware that a lot of bands I've talked about in this blog are Scandinavian. I'd like to state that this is not on purpose. It's just that this region is filled with so many great bands that George W Bush would probably refer to it as the axis of evilly good music that is a threat to the US indie scene (of course if he had good musical taste, which is more than doubtful. That's a good thing though cause if he did, he might invade Scandinavia to stop this bands from being better than their American counterparts...).
Sorry for drifting off...let me introduce you to Love is All from Sweden. I highly recommend their critically acclaimed debut 'Nine Times That Same Song' if you like pop songs with a little punk chaos added to it. This is catchy but weird, danceable but rocking. I like their old school sound, which remind me of X-ray Spex at times, although the singer's voice alone might account for this. Looking forward to their Amsterdam show december 14th!

Video: Busy Doing Nothing

Love is All - Talk Talk Talk
Love is All - Spinning and Scratching

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