AUTUMN & STREAM OF PASSION
Thursday 30th September 2010
P60 in Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Words by Andy Read
Live Photographs by Mark Holmes
With both bands playing for exactly an hour, both having released two albums and both putting in equally strong performances, I'm going to call this concert a co-headliner. It was certainly a very attractive package and enough to warrant a wee detour across the country en route from the UK to the ProgPower Europe Festival.
The P60 is a friendly little venue on the outskirts of the capital and despite the Thursday workday night schedule, there was a healthy crowd of around 150 people.
This Dutch band has become one of my favourite female-fronted rock bands, thanks to two albums (My New Time and Altitude) that have enjoyed enduring rotation on my play lists. Definitely not a band to be classified among the beauty and the beast or gothic combinations which have flooded the market in recent years. Autumn are not really rock, not really metal, not really progressive. They are a mature and tasty amalgam of all three.
Only drummer Jan Grijpstra and guitarist Jens van der Valk remain from the original line-up. Yet with vocalist Marjan Welman having been in place for two years now, the band appears to have settled into a steady groove.
Marjan has a powerful yet delicate voice that copes impressively with the varying dynamics of the band's compositions. This was perfectly showcased with an opening combination of the subdued, near acoustic Synchro-Minds, followed by the high-tempo groove of the catchy Paradise Nox.
Strengthened by the twin guitars of the two van der Valk guitarists, the band injects a much rawer energy into their live show, something rather missing from their more polished discs. Welman is developing into a strong front woman, head banging centre stage and throwing cheeky glances into the crowd. She just needs to maintain that full performance throughout the whole show.
However the band's strength lies within its multi-layered compositions and songs such as Satellites, Skydancer, The Heart Demands and the roller coaster set closer Altitude ensured Autumn did not disappoint.
STREAM OF PASSION
This was always going to be a rather unusual show as the band had asked their fan base to vote on songs via the website with the promise of a set made up of the most popular tunes.
Apparently When You Hurt Me The Most was the most requested song from the fan poll and was given a warm reception from the crowd. Personal favourites were Wherever You Are with its beautiful melody and intense riffing and the equally addictive Art of Loss. The cover of Radiohead's Street Spirit was a showcase for Marcela?s voice, whilst Nostalgia brought a change of tone with her singing in her native tongue.
I saw the band deliver a hugely impressive set at last year's Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium. Then, the emphasis was on the detail and craft of the songs in a very stylish show. The P60 showed a much heavier Stream of Passion; at times the band looking and sounding like a straightforward, female-fronted metal band.
Personally I favoured the more sophisticated approach as more fitting to Marcela's pure voice and stage persona. It also seemed to offer a clear way of setting the band apart from the field.
However this is a band that has already evolved nicely from its beginning as an Arjen Lucassen-led side project. I have a feeling that further evolution is inevitable.
The Heart Demands
Forget To Remember
Cascade (For a Day)
Stream of Passion
When You Hurt Me The Most
Out In The Real World
Wherever You Are
Burn My Pain
Games We Play
The Art Of Loss
Autumn - Official Website
Stream of Passion - Official Website
Mark Holmes - Metal Discovery Website