Spoiled for good music

This installment of “I’m going to way too many shows and should probably actually work towards my upcoming finals instead” features La Horde, Rastaban, and Cesair who performed at P60 in Amstelveen last weekend. I actually started writing this post the day after and had intended to get it up that day but there was a bit of a delay with the images and I got behind and you know how things go. I’m now speed writing because I’ve told myself that if I get two essays drafted today I can go to both days of the Midwinter Fair this weekend as opposed to just one. Blog writing is taking away from precious essay writing time, don’t you know!

Anyway, away from discussion of my procrastination and onto the main topic of this post!

As you can probably guess, if you know the bands mentioned, Saturday night was thoroughly enjoyable! I mean, that is a pretty awesome line up, all in all. I was joined for the evening by Heleen and Dania and I owe them both thanks for being awesomely helpful as well as great company. This was my first time at P60 and, I’m going to be completely honest, it was pretty inaccessible for me with the whole vision problem issue. Lots of stairs and confusing lighting meant it was pretty hard to get around and without Dania I would have struggled to get in and out of the venue. There’s got to have been a lift but I’m still to proud/shy to ask unless I have no other choice. My other friend-come-helper, Heleen (as well as being another pair of eyes) ended up being my photographer for the evening as I’ve managed to break both my camera and my phone – don’t ask.So, despite not managing to paint anything in advance I will get to scrapbook the evening and can include photos in this post hurrah! As you may have guessed from this, all photographs are hers and are great quality for phone camera photos, in my opinion anyway!

Now, enough of my rambling on and onto the show itself.

The first act of the evening were La Horde who were such fun. I’ve seen them a couple of times now at Castlefest but this was my first time seeing them play a normal (and inside) show. They came on to Sinterklaas music – well, it is that time of year – and it was quite amusing for me to hear how many people started to sing along. As Heleen said, it’s “instinctual” to do so but I think it’s really interesting that I don’t think I can find an equivalent where that would happen, unprompted, in England. The whole audience wouldn’t start to sing along with “The Holly and the Ivy”, for example! They also managed to get quite some audience participation with relatively frequent cries translating to “Where is the party?” to which the audience, quite naturally replied, “Here is the party!”. Yep, I spoke (or shouted) Dutch in public, I know. What a shock!

Dania was, in her own words, a bit confused by La Horde but I think she got into them in the end and also really enjoyed their set. I mean, what could possibly be confusing about a bunch of guys who look somewhat pirate like playing a mixture of folk songs and re-imagined 90s music?

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Second up were Rastaban who’ve had a bit of a break recently and who I’ve therefore not seen this year. Far too long if you ask me! They were just as awesome as I remember so all good in that regard! Stefan broke a string during “Čaje šukarije”(if I remember correctly) and the new one didn’t want to go on… New strings can be little blighters, I tell you! To quote Heleen that moment “just seems to illustrate the enthusiasm all the more”. I actually really like it when things don’t quite go to plan during live shows, as sadistic as that sounds – it’s not meant to be! That little variation, the human moments really bring the music to life and make for a one off experience. Oh and after that was resolved they launched basically straight into “La Gavotte” which never gets old, I swear!

I’m really looking forward to the Winter Castlefest where I will get to see them with Aimee once more. We first saw Rastaban at our first Castlefest together and she loved them. In fact, I think they might have been one of the few bands she bought a CD from on the spot despite never having heard of them before. Either way it will be great to somewhat “relive” that moment of oh so many moons ago!

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Following Rastaban were Cesair who I have seen a fair bit over the past years but who, again, are yet to disappoint. This was the first show I’ve seen them since Fieke’s departure. When Monique discussed her absence Dania asked me “who died?” Which had us a bit giggly. That, ladies and gentlemen, of what happens when you’re quite good at understanding Dutch but not fluent (I spent ages trying to understand how lettuce fit into the tagline “sla je vleugels uit” the other day so…) Although they were down a hurdy-gurdy/accordion/hammered dulcimer they gained a few extra instruments with guest appearances from Rastaban’s Luca and Sowulo’s Faber. The different arrangements worked really well, it’s got to be said.

As for the show itself, it was amazing. I’m running out of ways to describe Cesair without becoming intensely repetitive. In the words of Heleen, it was “epic”. But I’ll let Dania have the last word:

“I liked the lights… And of course, like, the songs too but the lights were really cool”

Now back to the darn essays!

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