dinsdag, januari 08, 2008

The first "Coming Up..." concert

On friday, 4 january 2008, it was time for the first of many "Coming Up For Air"-concerts. It was also the first day that -at the venue- the new album was for sale, so nobody really knew what to expect.

Kayak immediately tried to 'rock our socks off', with 3 new songs in the first 20 minutes. It is still very hard to judge the material (at the time of writing, I still have not heard the album completely...), but the new stuff seemed to have quite a heavy basis. And that would mean that Kayak has not chosen to copy anything they did in the past. Some of the new songs -at first impression- could almost be compared to bands like Arena or the Dutch gothrockers Within Temptation. And Cindy's voice really suited this kind of music! Edward, as usual, was the master of the softer songs.

I was not too impressed by the sound and the stage presentation in the first half. It was a typical "premiere", and everybody just tried to play as faultless as possible. Indeed, not many mistakes were made, but the whole thing looked and sounded a little 'stiff'. But I guess that's nothing more than logic.

After the break, the sound was better (at least, from where I sat), and the band seemed to loosen up more. Almost every song was accompanied by video images. Very often, this worked more than OK. Sometimes, I found myself looking at the screen constantly and almost forgetting that there was a band playing 'live' at the same time. And on other moments, it was strange to see Bert Heerink, Max Werner or other ex-members in large pictures, whilst hearing Edward, Cindy or Rob singing...

From the new album, I think 9 songs were played. The 'oldies' in the show were not very surprising: Ruthless Queen, Starlight Dancer, Only You And I Know, some songs from Merlin and Nostradamus, and a medley of the very early singles. But it was certainly good to hear 'first-timers' like Sad To Say Farewell and Where Do We Go From Here.

I hope to be able to give a better review after I have got used to the new songs. In the meantime, here are some pictures, and a positive review from a regional paper. The headline says: "Kayak steamrolls into the new year". The author was very impressed by the heavier new stuff, and also liked the 1973/74 material. He was not too keen on the 'bombastic, orchestral and ballet' stuff from Merlin and Nostradamus...

The pictures were taken by my good friend Max Demont from Switzerland, who traveled 900 kilometers (and back) to see 2 Kayak shows. More of his pictures can be seen at: http://www.rire-sous-cape.ch/counting-out-time/kayak.htm