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IQ, Boerderij, Zoetermeer, Holland, 14th May 2004, Colos Saal, Aschaffenburg, Germany, 15th May 2004

IQ - Peter NichollsThe first two shows on IQ’s Dark Matter tour or Dark Mattour, were very different in contrast and performance. Kicking off in the European leg, IQ’s favourite Dutch venue, it must be said was a little nervous, but nevertheless pleasant show.  Presenting the new material from the new album, the crowd were entertained to the five songs in the set.  Opening with Sacred Sound after the classical style keyboard intro music, Martin Orford hit the opening bars on synth, and the whole band came into flow.  It is usual for IQ to open the show with a new track from the latest album, but as true to life, It All Stops Here got both crowds bouncing up and down and joining Peter Nicholls on vocals.

The German show was the classier of the two witnessed, though in a smaller venue than Zoetermeer, I felt the crowd was more in touch with the band. The fresh ‘virgin’ songs were well received, as you would expect with the large fan-base of IQ, and the new album was on sale on the tour, so many could play it on the way home, or in our case the four-hour-plus journey into Aschaffenburg!

Back to the set list, two new ones were next in You Never Will and Red Dust Shadow.  Jumping back to the Menel years, Common Ground made a welcome return to the set, followed by another new one, Born Brilliant.  The new material was growing more on me, and in years to come I am sure will go down in the IQ back catalogue as classics.

IQ - Mike HolmesIQ - Peter NichollsFailsafe complete with the trademark dark cloak and dark glasses, and of course the three screens behind drummer Paul Cook and Martin Orford’s keyboard zoo, flashed the Subterranea film.  Next from The Wake, the old favourite The Outer Limits got both crowds clapping the air with glee, and for me a highlight of the German show.

Next a stool appeared for guitarist Mike Holmes to perch upon to play acoustic guitar, and Peter Nicholls warned us all ‘this is a long one!’

Harvest Of Souls from the new CD was performed well on both nights, and again the crowd was ecstatic when the near twenty-five minute song ended. Many people said it is the Suppers Ready of the two thousands (or noughties), and I’m sure a future stage set closer.

IQLeap Of Faith from Ever, and Headlong followed, and set-ender The Seventh House brought silence to the crowds with the emotions and moods within the song as the screens set the mood with War images, but as it deserves to be in any IQ show.

Awake And Nervous was the first encore, this got everyone going singing and clapping again. The tame version of the middle section of The Last Human Gateway was played next, and the band said goodnight.

IQ - Mike HolmesHowever, in both shows, they returned again to play The Wake, but in Holland Peter said bassist John Jowitt was in the shower backstage.  John appeared armed with his bass and a white towel around his lower body.  For legal reasons we cannot show you a picture of when the towel fell off, because we feel this a family site and we can’t put it on the site for that reason only.

That was the end of the Dutch show, but we got two bonus encores in Mama Mia and Subterranea at the German show.

Well, two shows of two hour plus sets, and the UK dates start in October in Bury, where we will be present as usual, but if you venture out to see IQ, bring a spare towel with you!

Danny Mayo


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