P=Progrock Festival

Penny's Twisted Flavour - Sky Architect - The Dust Connection - Day Six

December 12, 2010 - De Lakei, Helmond (NL)

The organization of the P=Progrock Festival is one of the great things Mr. Hans Teunissen initiated. He got all my credits and respect for this initiative. The line-up of this festival consisted of four young bands from The Netherlands all playing their own interpretation of progressive music. This way they got a chance to show themselves to a wider audience and to show that we've got lots of talented musicians in the Dutch progressive rock scene. Having reviewed the latest albums of three of these bands, I really was looking forward to see them perform on a live stage.

Penny's Twisted Flavour

The opening act of the festival was Penny's Twisted Flavour doing an instrumental set, because their
vocalist had left the band only two weeks before the festival. However, they managed to perform a medley of some of their songs plus the two instrumental pieces from their debut album Sketches (see review). They told me they have plans with a new vocalist, so let's wait what the next album will have in store for us. I was very impressed by the way PTF performed the instrumental versions. I think Penny's Twist should be nominated as the best instrumental piece of the year! What a great performance! To be honest, I didn't miss a vocalist at all during this outstanding set. PTF really rocked the house down. Hats off for the band and especially for the fast fingers of guitarist Mark Bogert!

For the second act the audience had to wait about thirty minutes. This time was adequately filled by DJ Freek Wolf (Arrow Symfo Mania) who provided us with some nice progressive music.

Sky Architect

In the studio Sky Architect recorded a cover of The Flower Kings in order to be released on a Flower Kings tribute album. Before the show I asked singer and guitarist Tom Luchies whether they were playing that song. However, he told me this song is too complicated for them to play live that day..! I was quite surprised by his answer because in my opinion the songs of Sky Architect are complicated as well: long, speedy, with many changes of mood and instrumentally of a high quality. The reason was probably that they didn't rehearse this piece properly. However, their performance was very tight with a lot of influences of King Crimson and Frank Zappa. You need to listen to their music more often to discover its beauty. The band played three songs from their debut album Excavations Of The Mind (see review) and a great impression of a song they recorded for the new album to be released next year. On stage Sky Architect are very concentrated, but you can feel the nice atmosphere they're creating. Both guitarist Wabe Wieringa and Tom Luchies played fantastic; the difference in the approach of guitar playing makes this band all the more interesting. Keyboardist Rik Honk played some wonderful solos that fit in perfectly to the atmosphere of the set.

We had to wait another thirty minutes for the next band to perform. In-between Martijn and Ellis Loschelder (Sympho Shop) brought a selection of their favourite music.

The Dust Connection

The musical style of The Dust Connection can be described best as power or prog metal with a vocalist who can easily compete with Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson. The band ascertained to be the heaviest band that Sunday. Their powerful progressive metal surely made many heads banging. I think the strength of Dust Connection is the combination of heavy playing and melodic and soulful guitar solos. This, together with an outstanding stage performance, really kicked ass. Drummer Robert Spanninks hit the drums real hard; he almost crashed them! What a power and enthusiasm he had in his playing! You could take note that he wasn't playing on his own drum set... All band members had a lot of fun playing together on stage.

Pending the final band of the evening, DJ Jos Heymans (SymphoZone) played progressive records.

Day Six

The final act was Day Six whose members live in the neighbourhood of the venue. The set list consisted of pieces of the new album The Grand Design (2010, see review) and their debut album Eternal Dignity that was released in 2003. The band performed with two additional female background vocalists, who contributed to several songs. The first thing that will strike you while watching a gig of Day Six is the energy of guitarist and vocalist Robbie van Stiphout. He's just running around the stage while playing his guitar, grimacing to the audience and then running back to the microphone just to be back in time to sing his parts. You can't even hear that he has been jumping around like a maniac: his voice stays in tune, a nice melodic voice that really grabs you. Day Six combines melodic vocals with fiery guitars over layers of fine keyboards. The band has some fantastic instrumentalists, a terrific drummer and the way the bass doubles the guitar in several passages is stunning. Keyboard solos form a great contrast to the riffing guitar; a real treat to see this band play live. It's obvious that Van Stiphout belongs on a stage; that's the place where he feels at home.

I think the P=Progrock Festival was a success. The four Dutch bands did their utmost and the audience got what they came for and even more. In a way I feel sorry for all prog heads who didn't attend this festival. They really missed something special. I hope it will have a second edition next year. It's an excellent opportunity for new talent to showcase themselves to a live audience. By bringing together four completely different musical styles, there was something for everyone concerning progressive rock music. Maybe people discovered new bands; maybe they want to listen to more music from them. After all that's what it's all about...

Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Penny's Twisted Flavour:

Penny's Twist
   Dying Dream
   What We've Become
Back Home

Pictures Penny's Twisted Flavour by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up

(left to right)
Harmen Kieboom:
Wendy Heuvelmans:
Mark Bogert:
Matthijs Kieboom:

Setlist Sky Architect:

Deep Chasm
Fantasy Drift
The Grey Legend
Excavations Of The Mind

Pictures Sky Architect by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Sky Architect:

(left to right)
Rik van Honk:
keyboards, backing vocals
Wabe Wieringa:
Tom Luchies:
lead vocals, guitar
Guus Van Mierlo:
Christiaan Bruin:
drums, backing vocals

Setlist The Dust Connection:

Nine Days
Grand Final
The House
New God

Pictures The Dust Connection by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up

(left to right)
Sander Heerings:
Martijn Balsters:
guitar, vocals
Jorg Kurten:
Jeroen Voogd:
lead vocals
Robert Spannings:

Setlist Day Six:

In The End
Massive Glacial Wall
Castel Gandolfo
Day VI
Fergus Falls
7th Sign
Age Of Technology

Pictures Day Six by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Day Six:

(left to right)
Daan Liebregts:
Linda Kessel:
backing vocals
Loes van Stratum:
backing vocals
Dolf van Heugten:
keyboards, backing vocals
Robbie Van Stiphout:
lead vocals, guitar
Nick Verstappen:

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