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Plackband And Fula, Herringthorpe, Rotherham UK 14th February 2004

Well, things to do on February 14th, be romantic or be romantic and take the lady to a gig!  The two bands above happened to be performing on this night, so we went along.

Support act Fula were minus a drummer, and this time round Plackband had a frontman. Now, Fula played a nice compact set - very All About Eve sounding in places - and vocalist Zoe Stafford had a very nice soothing voice that glided along in the set of nine songs. The keyboard sounds were excellent, very haunting on certain numbers, and a Theramin was played in the opening number, titled The Human Theramin.

Behind Cold Eyes was a pleasant song, nice sounds all around that lifted the crowd, and for me Zoe’s vocals were just right.  Keys man Rob Gould has many ideas and a fine talented player too, and check out the web site at the foot of the page for more info on this fine outfit.

Dutch band Plackband returned to our shores after a stunning performance minus a frontman back in May 2003.  New frontman Karel Messemaker was a member of a project group that released a album back in the mid nineties with the name November, which featured Ronald Brautigam and Michel Van Wassem on guitar and keys respectively.  Now a member of Plackband, Karel’s vocals remind you of a certain Peter Gabriel, and just for show, we had Red Rain and The Carpet Crawl, which were performed very well!

Opening with The Battle, the band stormed away into this quite lengthy number, the keys and guitar just flow through this, and it is a classic song by all accounts.  Mixing the set with some November songs such as Clowns Overture and Lion Eyes, the band looked like they were enjoying themselves, and a fairly average sized crowd were applauding with great ease after each song.  A gentle song called Pillow with just keys and vocals was a moving highlight for me, but opening number The Battle, and Hunchback also stood out for me personally.  Blue Flashes is to be on a forthcoming new album, and bassist Albert De Keijzer and drummer Tom Van Der Meulen held the back rhythm very well, and by the sound of this, we could be in for a good album.

It was nice to see Plackband again, great musicians and great songs make them a useful package, and a date is penned for England again, and lets hope more people make the effort to see them.

Danny Mayo




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