Last weekend, music center 'De Bijloke' opened it's new season with "Côté Jardin", a free festival. The perfect reason to spend an afternoon in Ghent.
The "Côté Jardin" festival listed 6 bands or ensembles, including two that I absolutely wanted to catch: Hardscore (at 18:00 h) and Flat Earth Society (at 20:30 h).
Frank Nuyts' Hardscore was formed in 1989 and at the time, besides the original compositions, they performed a number of Frank Zappa pieces from time to time as well. Around 2001, after releasing four albums, the project was put on hold. There just weren't enough opportunities to perform this music on stage.
But that's all history now. It's May 2014 and Hardscore is back.
On request of 'De Bijloke'.
As an octet.
It was good to see Hardscore in concert again. Frank Nuyts' Hardscore compositions always have this typical drive, supported by lots of percussion, zappa-esque twists (and crazy stories).
This was great. I hope to see them in concert in again real soon. It would be a pity if this would turn out to be a one-time event.
Most memorable was Frank Nuyts' marimba solo during the second half of the show. Amazing!
Flat Earth Society was scheduled to perform their latest program, "Terms Of Embarrassment", Peter Vermeersch's hommage to Frank Zappa.
Originally conceived to be performed at the "Arf Arf Arf" festival in Antwerp last March, FES is now touring witch "Terms Of Embarrassment".
Fun? You bet.
FES headmaster Peter Vermeersch has written a number of new compositions, but FES is also bringing a number of Zappa-penned compositions to the stage. Next to the excellent original material, one can enjoy FES' take on 'Take Your Clothes Off', 'City Of Tiny Lites', Zappa's never released 'Solitude' and Pierre Vervloesem's Zappa-mash-up 'Random Riffs'.
(Here's more info on 'Solitude' : http://globalia.net/donlope/fz/songs/Solitude.html)
This was the third time that I saw FES performing "Terms Of Embarrassment". The first time was at 'De Singel'. A fabulous concert (and a premiere if you're not counting the try-out in Holland one week earlier) for a hall of Zappa Freaks.
The second time was in Eindhoven, at the 'Nat Lab'. I had never been to 'Nat Lab' before and it was a revelation. A relatively small room, twelve or so seats in a row, fifteen rows high (?) and a perfect sound. What a difference with 'De Singel'. I could hear every instrument, every nuance, and (!!) the guitars (Pierre Vervloesem and Mauro Pawlowski) were up in front in the mix. What a joy.
So the Bijloke gig was number three. The atmosphere was perfect. Friends around me, sunset, and, again, a mesmerizing performance.
As far as I could tell, the setlist didn't include 'Broadway Boogie Woogie' this time, but 'The Previous Song' was performed as sort of an extended version.
(thanks to Philippe for the pictures)
Stefaan Blancke: trombone
Benjamin Boutreur: alto sax, recorder
Berlinde Deman: tuba & vocals
Bart Maris: trumpet
Michel Mast: tenor sax
Marc Meeuwissen: trombone
Mauro Pawlowski: guitar & vocals
Kristof Roseeuw: double bass
Peter Vandenberghe: keyboards, piano
Luc Van Lieshout: trumpet
Bruno Vansina: baritone sax
Teun Verbruggen: drums, percussion
Peter Vermeersch: clarinet
Pierre Vervloesem: guitar
Wim Willaert: accordeon, keyboards, dancing
Tom Wouters: clarinet, vibes, vocals
Me Standard, You Poor, Chrimatistikology, Take Your Clothes Off, The Previous Song, Random Riffs, City Of Tiny Lites, Solitude, Monkey Wrench, Abracadabra, Ahmad & Juan
Flat Earth Society is going to the USA and Canada in a little while. Try to catch them!
Later this year, the ensemble will continue their "Terms Of Embarrassment" tour in Belgium and The Netherlands. I'm pretty sure that I will see them again somewhere.