I’ve been rather spoiled when it comes to good music, recently. 
Last weekend saw the usual group of Thijs, Hester and myself joined by Leonoor, Dania and Hester’s boyfriend heading off to Almere once more for one of the Celt-N-Folk events. The sound was a bit off for most of the evening which was a shame but says nothing about the musicians involved and their skill, combined with an energetic (to say the least!) crowd made for a delightful evening.
First up was Sowulo. It was quite funny to watch Leonoor during this set as she looked around her like a rabbit caught in headlights at times. However, luckily, this was apparently because she was “fascinated” both by the band and the general atmosphere. And, of course, atmosphere is something that Sowulo do incredibly well. Their set doesn’t play through as a group of songs but rather as a singular progressive entity which encompasses all the senses. Dania and Leonoor were thoroughly impressed with one song which was accompanied by a storm complete with thunder, lightening, and wind (thanks to some conveniently placed fans). It was pretty impressive.
We then relocated to the small stage and sat on the floor to listen to Tipsy Gypsy who plays, to quote his facebook, “ambient ethnic world fusion” using multiple instruments, the most predominant being handpans in various forms. I think Thijs was the only one who had heard Tipsy Gypsy before and I have a feeling that was only because he googled prior to the event (I’m sure he’ll correct me if not). Anyway, we were all rather pleasantly surprised, to say the least. It’s quite amazing how one gentleman can sit on stage and create such intricate layered sounds that hold an audience entranced but he managed it. I would hazard a guess that this was Dania’s favourite part of the evening if her cry of “that was so cool!” when asked about it later was anything to go by! Certainly, we were all left wanting to hear more and, if we’re completely honest, wanting to have a go!
Back to the main stage for Rastaban who I’ve not seen since last year’s Castlefest but who always manage to deliver a high energy set. They played a mixture of older and newer tunes and, performed a rather rounded set. Add to this the fact that they’re a group of really talented people with a “crazy awesome violinist”, to quote Thijs directly, and you can be sure that you’re going to watch something quite special each time you see them, even if external conditions aren’t quite favourable. I’m sure I’ve said this before but Rastaban manage to transfer energy to the audience via their stage performance and, if anything, this is their greatest talent. It was means that there was the opportunity for some rather vigorous dancing – although, personally, I stuck to my usual bobbing along – despite the heat in the venue which was quite intense. Indeed, Dania and Leonoor had to withdraw from the front, in search of cooler areas (and ice-cream) before the end of the set.

In fact, it was only Hester and Christiaan who braved the small room for Robert den Hartigh with the rest of us choosing to sit out in the main hall where it seemed a bit cooler and where we could kinda hear, partially. I believe the music went down well with Hester, at least, because, unless I’m mistaken, she decided to purchase one of his CDs. I can’t really comment for myself. I’ve heard Robert den Hartigh from a distance and partially a few times now and keep meaning to catch one of his sets properly. One day!

Finally it was time for Cesair and they really did go down well with everyone, no surprise. Both Dania and Leonoor said that their set was “really fun” and agreed that they would like to see the band again. I even think they kinda danced along a little bit. You know, as much as they do! 

When I asked Dania if my plans to convert her to this kind of music had finally worked she replied with her trade mark “I’m not sure” which simply means I’ll have to arrange for her to go to another show with me to continue the process 😉

This post was finished quite a while after seeing the show hence why it gets a bit more rushed towards the end – I cannot remember vividly enough to write properly and did not take enough notes straight after the event.

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