Saturday, 4th October 2008
The Boerderij, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands
The Boerderij was sold out for Pendragon. Nick Barrett and his friends are celebrating the 30th anniversary of this neo-prog band from the UK. Another factor is the release of the new album Pure, another mile-stone in the history of Pendragon. First on stage was Martin Orford. Completely alone he performed songs from IQ and from his solo albums. His keyboard playing was supported by lot's of taped music. He did the singing himself so it was a static performance. Nonetheless the audience was listening attentive. All liked his version of a part of IQ's The Last Human Gateway, though strange to hear the voice of Martin Orford instead of Peter Nicholls. He ended with the song End Game, he introduced the song with an explanation about why he was leaving the music industry. In his own words he said he could not deal with the influence of internet on the music business. His performance was memorable and it's a sad goodbye to a great musician.
Pendragon played an already won home-match, from the moment they walked on the stage The Boerderij belonged to Pendragon. Surprisingly The walls Of Babylon was chosen as the opener for this night, he was saving the new songs for later. The second one was even more surprising, Circus from The Jewel came out very strong.
Mainly due to the new drummer Scott Higham, he is a real hard-hitter and gives Pendragon a much heavier sound. He is also very entertaining with his constant smile and his powerful way of drumming. A Man Of Nomadic Traits was introduced with a story about Nick loosing the tip of his little finger. He was referring to outdoor sports but the mentioning of climbing and skiing in The Netherlands made a lot of people laugh. Some nice footage on the screen behind the band, my favourite song from Not Of This world sounded really great. After The Wishing Well it was time for a new song. The song Eraserhead showed a heavier side of Pendragon, raw but still very recognizable Pendragon. It's always a bit of a tense moment when hearing new songs for the first time but I was pleasantly surprised. Pendragon played three songs from the new album but with so many classic epics in the setlist the main part of the show existed of old favourites. The new album sounds a lot darker and Nostradamus (Stargazer) was a very pleasant change after Eraserhead.
Learning Curve, Breaking The Spell and The Shadow continued the mood of the evening, all classic songs and liked very much by the audience. The Freak Show was again a twist to the darker side of Pendragon. This new song, just like Eraserhead, really surprised me in a positive manner. The new sound is much more powerful and contemporary and will fuel Pendragon's flame. The Voyager was again a good choice and the first part of the set was closed with It's Only Me,
another song from the new album that sounds a bit like the music from Blackfield.
Of course Zoetermeer wouldn't let Nick Barrett leave without an encore. Master Of Illusion gave the crowd another boost of energy which made them decide that one encore just wouldn't do. After a short pause Pendragon returned and played the very mellow 2 AM, during this song Nick Barrett was among the audience for the whole of the song. He stepped on the stage for a final bow but the crowd made it clear that this was not enough also. Nick nodded a signal to the others whom immediately knew the game was still on. Paintbox was the perfect last song, I cannot get enough of Peter Gee when he is on for his bass part. It took a while before it was quiet in Sugarlake city (which is the literal translation of Zoetermeer), Pendragon showed they are still around and kicking hard. Go see them if you have the opportunity!!!!
The Walls Of Babylon
A Man Of Nomadic Traits
The Wishing Well
Breaking The Spell
The Freak Show
It's Only Me
Master Of Illusion
Pendragon Official Website
Pendragon MySpace Page