Concert Review Archive

 

Prog Fest 2010

Prog Fest

Sunday, 12th December 2010
Lakei, Helmond, The Netherlands

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

Article and live photography by André de Boer

Why did I find myself at this festival in the Lakei venue? There are three main reasons. First there was an internet DJ who regularly spins some Day Six tracks that caught my attention. Then there was this friend that was kind enough to lend me his copy of the Dust Connection's album Trails. And finally there was a review on DPRP which proclaimed Day Six as the best performance at ProgPower Europe 2010.

This festival in one word was fun. The line-up featured a very fine collection of four relatively-new Dutch progressive metal bands. That is exactly what I'm fond of, the constant renewal and innovation in the more metallic or eclectic areas of progressive music. Think Seven Day Hunt. So what did Helmond have to offer?


Penny's Twisted Flavour

The set started off with Penny's Twisted Flavour. It is always nice to watch a band live, fresh and without prejudice. Gazpacho totally blew me away like that some years ago. PTF did not manage to do that but it still turned out to be an absolutely enjoyable instrumental set. Instrumental? Yes, their singer suddenly left the band just a week before. The good spirit this band demonstrated on stage did not give the impression that they were bothered though. The band has a very solid sound, some skilled guitar playing by Mark Bogert and Matthijs Kieboom and nice keys by Wendy Heuvelman. They understand that in the long run, instrumental-only can get dull. And they informed me that they have started looking for a new singer. So if you are one, don't hesitate and don't miss this chance to get around with these talented PTF members.

Penny's Twisted Flavour

Set List Penny's Twisted Flavour
Penny's twist
Medley: Dying dream, What we've become, Inside
Motion
Back Home

Sky Architect

Sky Architect

Next on stage were Sky Architect a band that includes Christiaan Bruin on drums, better known as Chris, who released his solo CD Making Sense earlier this year. This band hails from my very own place of birth, Rotterdam, and they were different. That's meant to be a big compliment. Because this is not the average progressive rock band. Alongside some songs from their album Excavations of the Mind, the band also threw in a long track called Fantasy Drift. This belongs to a new album that is expected to be released in June next year. The various songs they played proved to be surprisingly complicated, and it was this element of their show that was truly intriguing. Everything was very well performed too. The singer could do a bit better however, and all of them seemed somewhat glued to the floor. But importantly, musically this a group of guys who dare to go their own way. I think that's what progressive means.

Sky Architect

Set List Sky Architect
Deep Chasm part I, II, III and IV
Fantasy Drift
The Grey Legend + (final part of) the Breach
Excavations of the Mind

The Dust Connection

The Dust Connection

Third up was the Dust Connection. This was one of the bands I went to Helmond for. Yes, I know. This will probably not go for 'the most revealing' prize of the day. But these guys really made me smile. This is a rather new band but obviously with a solid background. Their music is a quite complex, and then again very straightforward variety of metal prog. Musically they are very solid, with the strong voice of singer Jeroen Voogd. Martijn Balsters was responsible for some outstanding work on his Setius GTM 7 and Jorg Kurten for the heavy basses. Except for two songs, they presented material from their recent album Trails, including my three most favourite tracks. You understand: I rest my case. I'm sold.

The Dust Connection

Set List The Dust Connection
Orbit
Nine Days Wonder
Trails/Garden of Remembrance
Prayer
The Grand Final
Path
Clouds
The House That Doesn't Exist
New God

Day Six

Clearly most of the audience was waiting for the final act. Let me just call them the headliner of this festival. And they deserve this title. Man what a power. Certainly live, their compositions featuring sometimes bombastic lyrics and sound, remind me of another Dutch guy, Arjen Lucassen. The lively performance, craftsmanship and songs really were a true gift to everyone's ears. Except for the lovely and nervous female backing singers that is. Sorry girls, you will just have to practise a lot more. Fortunately the attention was constantly drawn by Robbie van Stiphout, whose fantastic voice along with his brusque and rapid way of playing the guitar did it all, together with his similar way of moving around the stage. Nick Verstappen on bass did not get himself disturbed by that and went on calmly. Drummer Daan Liebregts seemed to have a good time, as did Dolf van Heugten on keys. A great experience. A magnificent show.

Day Six

Now, if you do have regrets that you missed the Day Six show, you have the opportunity to see them at the Fused Festival in the Forest of Dean (UK) in April, along with Vandenplas, Haken and Threshold amongst others.

Set List Day Six
In the End (intro)
Massive Glacial Wall
Castel Gandolfo
Day VI
Inside
Fergus Falls
7th Sign
Age of Technology

Conclusion....

This festival deserved a bigger crowd, and the crowd deserved better food. It was a truly nice Sunday out. Thanks to this new bright generation of prog musicians performing and thanks to our host in the Lakei venue as well.

Links

Penny's Twisted Flavour - Official Website

Sky Architect - Official Website

The Dust Connection - Official Website

Day Six - Official Website

 


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