Wednesday, August 27, 2014


The Aranis ensemble performed at the first day of the Zappanale Festival.
Scheduled between The Grandsheiks (playing the music of Frank Zappa) and the one and only Magic Band (with John 'Drumbo' French, Denny 'Feelers Reebo' Walley and Mark 'Rockette Morton' Boston !!) doing the music of Captain Beefheart, Aranis took the mystery stage around 20:30 h.

I had to support my fellow compatriots, so I made sure that I was there before the concert started.

picture by Javier
  • Liesbeth Lambrecht: viola
  • Marjolein Cools: accordion
  • Stijn Denys: guitar
  • Pierre Chevalier: piano
  • Joris Vanvinckenroye: double bass
  • Jana Arns: flute, vocals
Aranis played a very impressive set. They brought pieces from their latest album "Made In Belgium" and from their forthcoming album "MIB II" that both focus on Belgian composers.

The complete concert featured 12 fine compositions. Unfortunately, I didn't catch all the titles, but the setlist looked a bit like this:

  • Hit (Jan Kuijken)
  • Skip (Peter Vermeersch)
  • Le Feu (Wouter Vandenabeele)
  • Nonchalance (Jan Kuijken)
  • Tolles Pferd (Koen Van Roy)
  • Zappa Improvisation (Pierre Chevalier) using various Frank Zappa themes
  • Bulgarian Flying Spirit Dances 2 (Daniel Denis)
  • Lever In Plakjes (Joris Vanvinckenroye)
  • Pasta Presto (Joris Vanvinckenroye)  
'Skip' by Flat Earth Society chief Peter Vermeersch was the second piece of the set. It's one of the pieces that will be on the next Aranis album. I don't think it will include Jana's rap about the feedback in the monitor, but it sounded great and it makes me look forward to the new album. If I'm not mistaken, Pierre Vervloesem is a guest on tthis new album as well.
Pierre Chevalier's solo piano Zappa improvisation was perfect for the occasion and served as a fine intro for (Univers Zero's) Daniel Denis' 'Bulgarian Flying Spirit Dances 2'.
The concert ended with two compositions by Joris Vanvinckenroye, Aranis' double bass player and resident composer: 'Lever In Plakjes' and 'Pasta Presto'.

I loved it.
It was mesmerising.

At a festival, there's two easy ways to tell if the audience likes the performance. If they like it, they're quiet. If they're fascinated, they'll rush to the CD shop as soon as the gig is finished.

In Aranis's case, the audience looked hypnotised when the compositions got performed but burst into applause after each piece. As for the CD's, I bought the titles that were missing in my collection and I wasn't the only one.
A highlight.

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