Progfarm 2010

November 6, 2010 - De Harmsdobbe, Bakkeveen (NL)

The Dutch instrumental band Toyz had the honour to open the 14th edition of the annual Progfarm Festival at Bakkeveen, in the northern part of The Netherlands. However, their performance was premature because they were substitutes in case a band wouldn't be able to perform. Well, it never happened before that a band had to cancel their invitation, but this time it happened to German outfit Toxic Smile. Their guitarist Uwe Reinholz broke his hand and doctors ordered him to take a rest for at least a fortnight. Bad luck, indeed, because now they were unable to promote their brand new album I'm Your Saviour to an international audience. Hopefully they are luckier next year for they changed places with Toyz, their substitutes.
Flyer, click to enlarge


Toyz hails from the city of Delft and was founded in the spring of 1996. I was lucky to see them once before during a fine performance at the Bospop Festival (Weert) with a newly recruited female singer. However, soon after this gig they broke up, got together again and split up again in 2002. Early 2004 a couple of former band members decided to start Toyz afresh. This time it worked out very well as people could see and hear at the Progfarm Festival. Most people were very impressed by the musicianship of this rather unknown band, especially pieces as Remember and Tides had a big impact. The keyboard parts of Arjan van Gog and the steady groove from the rhythm section created a fine atmosphere on which virtuoso guitarist Peter van Heijningen could do his musical tricks. Sometimes he sounded like Andy Latimer or David Gilmour which provided the songs with a progressive rock flavour. But his style of playing also revealed that he learned a lot of the likes as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. This way the music got harder-edged. A good example was Face The Mirror. The keyboards mostly had a supportive role, but got occasionally a leading role as well, like the nice piano intro on Intersection or some tasteful synth solos on a couple of other songs which we can enjoy on the new album released in 2011. All together the band could look back at a very successful and surprising performance.


That was definitely not the case with Silhouette, another band from The Netherlands. They recorded a rather strong second album with Moods (see review), but they seem to have problems to perform their music properly on a live stage. During my first live encounter with Silhouette at the Starsound Studio in Utrecht (see review) they already made a rather unstable impression, but I had good hopes that they would grow music wise if they could play more often. About a year later I saw them again being a support act for Martigan in Germany (see review). I had the impression that they'd grown and got rid of stage fright. So I was really looking forward to see them a third time. I was quite sure everything would fall in place this time, but unfortunately reality sometimes differs from one's expectations. The opening tune Far Away didn't reveal a band being able to give an excellent performance. The second track Concert Hangover indicated that Silhouette was going to perform a concert with ups and downs. However, the keyboards and the lead vocals of Erik Laan were certainly not to blame. Both his voice and the keyboards sounded very well, whilst his fellow musicians sounded rather poor from time to time. The drums performed by Jos Uffing weren't sounding good enough throughout the whole set. However, unlike previous concerts I had no problems with his lead vocals this time. From behind his drums he succeeded in singing properly. In many songs the bass guitar of Gerrit-Jan Bloemink sounded not only too loud, but very similar and without any variety! He certainly has to try different bass lines or use some bass pedals and other effects to make his playing more professional. Unfortunately guitarist
Aldo Adema
Brian de Graeve
couldn't always manage to make his voice sound more up front. He kept too much in the shadow of the music performed. Besides he sometimes had difficulties with playing a descent guitar solo. It just sounded too thin and not aggressive enough. Fortunately guest guitarist Aldo Adema (ex-Seven Day Hunt, ex-Egdon Heath) lifted the music to a higher level while playing his parts on Moods and Another Bed Time Story. The latter belonged to one of the better performed songs which also applied for the final tune Searching For Her. This piece was played rather well and showed they can play properly after all. Hopefully Silhouette will learn from this concert and my remarks! I certainly hope they will. It might make them stronger for the future so they'll get a live sound similar to their second album.

Flamborough Head

The hosts and hostess of the festival always enter the Progfarm-stage as third in a row. This year wasn't different and Flamborough Head performed a solid set as expected by the audience. The set list was slightly
Eddy Mulder (left) & Gert Polkerman
different from the concert I saw a couple of weeks earlier in Utrecht (see review). The main reason for the change was the guest performance of Eddie Mulder, their previous guitar player who left the band to join forces with Leap Day. He left before they released their latest album Looking For John Maddock. However, that doesn't mean that he's no longer friends with the members of Flamborough Head. He still volunteered his services for organizing the festival. Therefore his playing on the acoustic guitar during an acoustic version of Captive Of Fate wasn't strange at all. It was good to see him on stage together with his successor Gert Polkerman. They both played acoustic guitar and sang harmony vocals. This song certainly was one of the highlights of FH's wonderful performance. As usual lately, they started with Schoolyard Fantasy followed by Canto. During the latter, lead singer and flutist Margriet Boomsma had some problems with one of her flutes. The valves didn't work properly because she had left the flute in the band's rehearsal room way too long. She believed that the audience had noticed some missing notes and therefore she wanted to explain what had happened. However, Koen Roozen started his drum parts for The Trapper much too soon which made Margriet speechless. Before starting an excellent version of the title track of their latest album she could tell her story. The band ended their set with a new piece: Lost In Time / Right Here For A Moment. I heard this song for the second time and it really started to grow on me. Hopefully the band will record it for the new album. After they had finished, the band members felt they performed a good concert. The stress of organizing the festival doesn't effect their playing any longer.

Sunchild / Karfagen

How often can you witness a progressive rock band from the Ukraine on a Dutch stage? Well, I guess this will hardly occur, but this year Progfarm had programmed Antony Kalugin, one of the musical masterminds from this country. Together with five musicians and a female singer they performed the music Kalugin had written for the albums he recorded with Sunchild, Karfagen and Hoggwash. Some of them came by plane but Antony, his lovely wife and a couple of other musicians made the journey by car. On their way to The Netherlands they suffered a lot of rain and a five-hour delay when crossing the Polish borders. Nevertheless, they managed to get here in time to show their talents to the Progfarm-audience. And the audience really loved them! While the seven musicians played a collection of songs from the aforementioned bands they got a warm response that inspired the musicians to give the best possible performance. With only one keyboard Antony was ready to kick ass. He controlled the performance by giving directions to the other musicians like ticking their excellent bayan - a kind of accordion - and harmonica player Sergii Kovalev on the shoulder when he had to play because he was blind! The musicians started with a song taken from Karfagen's latest album Solitary Sandpiper Journey. Kingfisher & Dragonfly was a great introduction to perform several tracks from the first two Sunchild-albums. We could enjoy songs as Astoria and Rain Drops, but also Train Blues / Midnight Train on which the harmonica imitated the sound of a running train. After this Karfagen's music was placed on the stage including A Winter's Tale, one of my favourite pieces. Despite the lack of the excellent Moog-solo from the original album this piece sounded perfect. Mr. Kalugin played excellent with a lot of passion and emotion. During Close To Heaven singer Viktoria Osmanchko and guitarist Roman Gorielov got a well deserved solo spot. This short piece performed on the acoustic guitar was also the encore. Initially, they didn't want to play it because they were afraid that they would steal time of the next band to play. Fortunately, the organizers could persuade them to do one final song before ending their excellent concert. This gig not only contained the wonderful music written by Antony Kalugin, but also elements of the original Ukrainian folk music. This musical melting pot was apparently appreciated by most of the spectators, because shortly after they left the stage all CD's but one were sold out...


The final band to perform had the difficult task to keep the attention of the audience after the excellent performance of the Ukrainian musicians. However, the band members from the Norwegian band D'AccorD seemed to have no problems at all with that task. They performed music inspired by a number of bands. In the songs taken from their debut album, I could easily recognize bands like Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and King Crimson. D'AccorD began with Play By The Hall Rules. Arstein Tislevoll succeeded in getting the same kind of Mellotron-sound from his Nord-synthesizer that I love so much on the album. We could enjoy the same sound while performing a great tribute to King Crimson by playing an excellent version of 21st Schizoid Man and Starless. The man who stole the show on stage was lead singer Daniel Maage. Even with a sore throat he was capable to sing his vocal lines with a lot of passion and emotion. Bravo! Also his organ, flute and guitar playing were very strong. However, the perfect guitar solos were done by Stig Are Sund. Some people in the audience couldn't appreciate this kind of progressive rock with elements taken from blues and hard rock. However, in my opinion the band can look back at a well-performed gig and return home knowing that they played at the best progressive rock festival of The Netherlands.

Again, that's the only thing I can say about the Progfarm Festival. Sadly it wasn't sold out this year, but it doesn't prevent me from saying my famous last words: it still remains the best progressive rock festival of The Netherlands!

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Toyz:

Tears Of Joy
Face The Mirror
Shifting Gear
Thermal Wind
Far Away
Dream On
No Way Out
TG Rock On Wood
Beat Of Life?

Pictures Toyz by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Toyz:

(left to right)
Arjan van Gog:
Peter van Heijningen:
Robert van Kooij:
Jeroen Boldrik:
bass guitar

Setlist Silhouette:

Far Away
Concert Hangover
Where Are You Now
Another Bedtime Story
Long Distance
Unreal Meeting
The Answers
Searching For Her

Pictures Silhouette (by Arthur Haggenburg)

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Silhouette:

(left to right)
Gerrit-Jan Bloemink:
bass guitar
Erik Laan:
keyboards, vocals
Brian de Graeve:
guitar, vocals
Jos Uffing:
drums, vocals
Aldo Adema (guest):
guitar on Moods & Another Bedtime Story

Setlist Flamborough Head:

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

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
Eddie Mulder (guest):
acoustic guitar, backing vocals on Captive Of Fate
Koen Roozen:
drums, percussion
Gert Polkerman:
lead guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals

Setlist Sunchild/Karfagen:

Kingfisher & Dragonfly
Rain Drops
The Great Me
Shall We Run
Train Blues
Midnight Train
Ode To A New Life
A Winter Tale
Close To Heaven
The Last Card
Day Of Destiny

Close To Heaven

Pictures Sunchild/Karfagen (by Arthur Haggenburg)

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Sunchild/Karfagen:

(left to right)
Sergii Kovalov:
bayan, harmonica, backing vocals
Antony Kalugin:
keyboard, recorder, lead and backing vocals
Oleg Prokhorov:
bass guitar
Viktoria Osmanchko:
lead and background vocals
Andrii Kobylianskyi:
electric guitars
Roman Gorielov:
acoustic guitar
Sergiy Balalayev (in front):

Setlist D'AccorD:

Play By The Hall Rules
New Song
Time To Play
21st Schizoid Man
This Is The One
Capitale Venditio

Pictures D'AccorD (by Arthur Haggenburg)

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up D'AccorD:

(left to right)
Arstein Tislevoll:
Martin Sjoen:
bass guitar
Daniel Maage:
lead vocals, electric guitar, flute, organ
Bjarte Rossehaug:
Stig Are Sund:
lead guitar

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