Flamborough Head

October 16, 2010 - Starsound Studio's, Utrecht (NL)

In April 2009 I visited a small progressive rock festival at the Starsound Studio's in Utrecht (see review) organized by Dutch prog band Flamborough Head. In spite of the fact that only few people showed up, they recently organized the same kind of mini-festival again. Watching this fine band perform was a good reason to drive to Utrecht, but the performances of Yesterdays (Romania) and Mindgames (Belgium) were a good excuse to write a review about this progressive rock festival. Both bands had become friends with Flamborough Head after they had visit the northern part of The Netherlands to perform at the legendary Progfarm Festival. This annual festival attracts visitors from different countries, but even this small festival proved that progressive rock has no borders. There were spectators from Germany and even a man from Japan.

Flamborough Head

Together with some thirty natives they saw Flamborough Head perform first. The band showed that people who didn't attend this festival missed something special. With the new guitarist Gert Polkerman, the band has become a very strong live unit. His style of guitar playing is perhaps less melodic than that of former guitarist Eddie Mulder, but instead we can enjoy a more aggressive guitar sound on stage. However, a very enjoyable sound with no traces of prog metal at all. The band performed some new songs as well. We could already enjoy Canto and The Trapper on the latest edition of the Progfarm Festival (see review), but Lost In Time / Right There For A Moment was completely new. The new pieces showed that Flamborough Head didn't step backwards after Mr. Mulder left the band. The new compositions are still of a high level, sounding very melodic. The band still performs songs from their first line-up that recorded Unspoken Whisper (1998) and Defining The Legacy (2000). Margriet Boomsma did a great job in forgetting their former lead singer Siebe Rein SchaafSchoolyard Fantasy and Garden Of Dreams brought back a lot of good memories. I also noticed that Mr. Polkerman enjoyed playing those old guitar parts. He often played them with a big smile on his face. For me, the highlight of this fine performance was Looking For John Maddock, the 20-minute long title track of the band's latest release. This epic piece containing different moods and changes was splendidly performed with a leading role for keyboardist Edo Spanninga.


Next on stage were Yesterdays from Hungary and Romania. The musicians used a piece of music written by George Martin for The Beatles-movie Yellow Submarine to introduce them on stage. The first song Forog A Tánc was performed a bit uncertain, but after a couple of songs they became in their element and the show continued quite smoothly. I noticed that only two musicians had also participated in the line-up that played in 2006 at the Progfarm Festival. Zsolt Enyedi (keyboards) and Ákos Bogáti-Bokor (guitars, vocals), were also responsible for the progressive rock elements in the sound of the band. Drummer Domokos Csergö had returned after recording the band's debut album Holdfénykert (Moonlit Garden). Unfortunately, only a couple of tracks of this album were performed, but thank god, at least they picked out the best song. Seven, introduced as Eleven, got an excellent live rendition that I enjoyed very much. The remainder of the concert contained only new songs. Eight of these songs will appear on their forthcoming second album. From time to time these songs sounded rather strong, especially the fine instrumental passages were of a high level and the contribution of flute player Gábor Kecskeméti was a real treat. Some of the new songs contained some jazz or jazz rock elements. The way Linda Horváth - the band's new female lead singer - sings showed that she might have a jazzy background. It was her first concert with the band, but this fragile young woman wasn't afraid to show her vocal talents to the audience. She sang the new piece 33 very well. This piece of music was written for Paradiso, the next Colossus/Musea-release. The audience wanted the band to do an encore. After the encore Tükör their time was up, but they can look back at a well-performed concert.


That also applied for Mindgames. Thanks to Flambourough Head our Belgian friends returned on a Dutch stage. So they could finally play songs from their highly acclaimed new album MMX. They began with the opening piece of MMX. The Source showed that we had missed something special since 2004. This progressive rock band can be considered as being one of the best from Belgium. Even the keyboardist of Yesterdays was very impressed by the sound of the band, especially the sounds of Tom Truyers. During the intro of The Static he played some impressive church organ samples on his keyboards. His colleague of Yesterdays moved behind Truyers to have a close look to learn how he managed to get such excellent sounds out of his instruments. However, I think singer Bart Schram was the most impressive musician. His vocal performances almost sounded the same as on the three studio albums. Sometimes you might get the idea that his voice came from a tape. The way he supported the lyrics with some theatrical acts looked very professional as well.
Click to enlarge
When I gave him a compliment after the show he just smiled and shrugged his shoulders. Unfortunately, he had left 'the king's act' in his home country. If you liked the acts of Peter Gabriel in Genesis you must have seen his royal act in the song Royal In Jeopardy. He acts very seriously while playing the king throwing money to the audience, but the song was left out of the set. Instead we could listen to more songs from MMX, like the epic pieces Travels and The Pendulum. I was very curious to learn how Tom Truyers would play the rather weird, but beautiful keyboard solo during the middle-section of Travels. Well, he just did it in a perfect way. Mindgames also deserved an encore and the few people left in the audience made enough noise to get them back on stage. Their last song was Both Sides Of The Show, a beautiful epic piece that finished an excellent performance. Hopefully this wasn't the last MMX-show in The Netherlands...

Too bad, that only a few people visited the Starsound Studio in Utrecht to witness three wonderful live acts. The prize to see the shows couldn't have been the problem. Maybe some other concerts held during the same weekend could have been the reason for prog heads to show little interest. Anyway, as far as I'm concerned Flamborough Head may organize such triple live shows again. I had a good time just like all the other people who joined me in witnessing some outstanding progressive rock bands.

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Flamborough Head:

Schoolyard Fantasy
Canto / By The Bank Of The River
The Trapper
Looking For John Maddock
Lost In Time / Right There For A Moment
Garden Of Dreams

Pictures Flamborough Head by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Flamborough Head:

(left to right)
Edo Spanninga:
Marcel Derix:
bass guitar
Margriet Boomsma:
lead vocals, recorders, flute, acoustic guitar
Koen Roozen:
drums, percussion
Gert Polkerman:
lead guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals

Setlist Yesterdays

Forog A Tánc
Éjszaka A Városban
Ne Félj

Pictures Yesterdays by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Yesterdays:

(left to right)
Gábor Kecskeméti:
Zoltán Kolumbán:
bass guitar
Zsolt Enyedi:
Linda Horváth:
lead vocals
Domokos Csergö:
Ákos Bogáti-Bokor:
vocals, acoustic and electric guitars

Setlist Mindgames:

The Source
Glory Of The Night
The Statue
Outside The Gloom
Beggars Breakfast
Destination Sky
The Pendulum

Pictures Mindgames by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Mindgames:

(left to right)
Tom Truyers:
Benny Petak:
drums, electronic percussion
Bart Schram:
lead vocals, acoustic 12 string guitar
Rudy Vander Veken:
electric guitars, acoustic six string guitar
Maximilian von Wüllerstorff:
bass guitar

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