It's always nice to go to a concert in De Nieuwe Pul because it
means that I listen to some fine music and consume large quantities
of beer because at the same time; I live right around the
corner and don't have to drive home.
Use of Ashes was the support act. I've seen them a couple of times
before and had not been impressed at all. This time wasn't different.
It's just not my cup of tea; two guys playing lots of samples and
making a lot of senseless noise.
At 11.25pm an intro tape started and the Tree stepped on stage. Steve
Wilson had replaced his long hair for a short a short hairdo and
The band opened the set with a long new song called Even Less.
This rather heavy track sounded like a cross between the Up the
Downstairs and Signify albums and definitely had a Porcupine
Tree sound. I'm already looking forward to the new album.
Steve announced the next song with:"That was a song from the album to
come, this is a song from Christmas past". Delicious versions of the
two parts of Waiting followed. Chris Maitland is a great drummer
and does some amazing things on the percussion. Colin Edwin, the bass
player, had a smile that never left his face during the concert. He
really seems to be enjoying himself (and he has all the right to).
Richard Barbieri was looking very serious behind his keyboards and
Steve was really 'living' the music.
Sleep of no Dreaming is a nice tune but as with the live album
Coma Divine I would have preferred a different track from
The heavy Up The Downstairs was followed by two new songs, the
short This is no Rehearsal and the instrumental Ambulance
An incredible remake of The Moon Touches Your Shoulder flowed
into Always Never.
"And now for a bit of this ...", said Steve and the heavy extended
version of Signify came down on the audience. The set was closed
with a shortened version of the epic Voyage 34, which sounded
much better than the original.
After an hour and a quarter the band left the stage, but they came back
soon for some encores. First we got the strong rendition of Dislocated
Day which had a break of a couple of seconds of silence at the end
before continuing in a ripping climax. The second encore was the live
favorite Radioactive Toy.
The band came back one more time to play an ass-kicking version of
Not Beautiful Anymore. Then it was 1.10am and it was over.
It was kind of a short concert (little more than 100 minutes) but
the ticket price wasn't high so I can live with that. I would have loved
to hear more though.
I can confirm what other people have been saying: the band is even better
live than on the CDs. It's amazing what an incredible sound these guys
make and they prove without a doubt that you don't need a band of more
than 10 persons to create a sound with lots of depth and dynamics.
Earlier that week I had been on a couple of rollercoasters in a Dutch
amusement park. The concert of Porcupine Tree produced even more adrenaline
than those rides. And that's basically what the Tree is like; it's a
rollercoaster ride. One moment you're floating on quiet, peacefull bits
of keyboard and percussion, and then suddenly the grunge guitar sound
hits you straight in the face. If you like changes in tempo and rhythm,
the Tree is were it's at.
It's been a long time since I woke up with pain in the neck because I've
done to much headbanging the night before. This morning the feeling was
there .... a dubious souvenir of a fantastic concert.
When's the next one ?
For more information about Porcupine Tree, check out the
Linton Samuel Dawson