Category: Live shows

Bubbles and beachy tunes: Girls at Melkweg

Safe and sound, yet sizzling – that is the bubble of Amsterdam. Living here is more often than not, at least among expats, referred to with that b-word. Last night, however, I got carried into another bubble – one cotton-like Californian bubble.

Girls, hailing from San Fransisco, played at a jammed Oude Zaal at Melkweg. Luckily at Melkweg, as initially they were booked for OT301; the venue that, despite its charisma, would have left too many music-enthousiasts outside in the cold. Inside Melkweg, the set performed by Girls was anything but cold. Including tracks from all their three records, they delivered quite an experience: it isn’t too often that I catch myself in such a smooth, careless swing like last night. Having matured remarkably in their overall stage-presence since last seeing them, in August 2010 at Flow, Girls now owned their act and audience in their charmingly cool manner.

On another note, however, quite a nasty needle threatened my own little bubble. As one could expect, a bigger stage brought about it a bigger audience, along with a bigger chance for people having “a conversation” (read:yelling at each other) right behind my ears during the first notes of ‘Vomit‘. Oh well, luckily I was drawn into the soothing tunes faster than I could spell silence.

All in all, Girls did succeed to exceed my expectations for the night. Being more beach-poppy live than on record, their show delivered a well-needed break from darkness and certainly left me smiling.

 

Trying out the keyboard

Subbacultcha, the Amsterdam-based “Unruly Music Magazine”, treated their friends last Friday not only with with some smooth pumpkin soup but also with a chance to sway along with the tunes provided by Wise Blood.

In the intimate setting of the Subbacultcha-headquarters, Chris Laufman opened his European tour with a brief appearance in front of the 50 head of audience. The audience, consisting of creators and contributors of the magazine and their friends alike, got an acoustic taste of the mashed-up songs of mr. Laufman. He may have surprised, and certainly amused, the viewers with his opening line on his unfamiliarity with the keyboard. Despite the fact that it was his first time of playing one, he definitely made up a groovy couple of songs out of it. Ending with his interpretation of Billie Jean – “let’s see what we can find from this keyboard” – he catered a guaranteed smile to everyone’s lips.

With his nonchalant but humorous take on performing, and his stronger-than-strong voice, Wise Blood gained at least one more follower from me. After his last EP “These Wings” (2011), I am most certainly looking forward to a full-length release from this category-crossing artist.

Viba = guaranteed.