VENLO, HOLLAND, March 4 2004

John Heilker reports:

This gig was at Venlo,a place near the German border. The organisation told us that the fans came from all kinds of places in Holland ,Germany and Belgium. Venlo is in the very South of Holland. For us a two hours drive (200 km). The concert was held at Perron 55,doors opening at 20:00 hrs and the band started playing at 21:00 hrs. The poster announced Kevin as a former member of Soft Machine and The Wilde Flowers. Perron 55 is a well known place for groups to appear. It has a nice stage and enough room for about 200 guests,and a bar at the back . On that thursday evening (March 4th) there were about 200 fans. Actually I'm not sure if they were all fans,because I asked myself the question: "Why aren't they listening"? It was a noisy happening in spite of the fact that Kevin asked them to be quiet. And it really was disturbing,all those talking people.It seems that they don't come for the music but just to socialize.


The band begins to play the beginning chords of Feeling this way,then Kevin appears (seems to have lost some weight) and it looks like he's really ' in the mood ' . It satisfies him that so many people showed up. They sound quite solid,the group is becoming more and more homogeneous. Someone told me that he had seen them 3 years ago with a complete different band. "This one is much better"!!! , but I knew they're the same guys,but playing much tighter than before.

The Playlist: 1) Feeling this way 2) Too old to die young 3) Mr. Cool 4) When your parents go to sleep 5) There goes Johnny 6) Blaming it all on love (long time no hear) 7) Lady Rachel (the best version I've heard for a long time and Kevin & Alain were playing heavenly; I could even hear some Jimi Hendrix influences once in a while!).


After the break (Kevin, now without his coat on) he starts off with your favourite (need I say more, Martin).The crowd begins to talk louder (after a couple of beers) and something seems to have happened with the sound desk,the sound-engineer(he doesn't deserve that title) went haywire .When they come to song six Kevin asks the crowd to be quiet.He starts 'Whatevershebringswesing' and thats where it goes wrong. Kevin gets irritated (so do some of us) and stops in the middle of the song.He concludes that he can't play the 'slow' songs and continues with 'Beware of the dog' . He also skips 'May I' and ends the concert with Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes and you can tell that Kevin doesn't like it at all.It's a surprise that he's back for an encore He plays the 'singalong' : 'Big Bamboo' (all together now) and during the second encore(!) some other ' hillbilly ' tune (I don't know the title and I don't WANT to know it). By now he has the attitude : If you can't win 'em join 'em. And finally he leaves the stage muttering things I luckily couldn't understand.

Playlist: 1) Super Salesman 2) Star 3) See you later 4) Didn't feel lonely.... 5) Everybody's sometime and.... 6) Whatever She Brings We Sing (only half of it) 7) Beware of the dog 8) Shouting in a Bucket Blues 9) Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes 10) Big Bamboo 11) ????? B??? S??? ???

The playlist also mentions (without playing them): Don't depend on you - May I - Caribbean Moon

As you can see,no new songs. The highlight of the evening was LADY RACHEL (psychedelic) and especially the second-half sounded poor because of the sound-engineer (an amateur). Altogether I feel sorry for Kevin,because I could tell he was willing to give a nice concert,but the crowd didn't let him.The fist half was OK,but no happy end.You can tell that the band is getting used to each other and have improved a lot.Kevin's singing and guitar-playing are splendid (you can see he's working hard!).

Don't you worry,we had a nice evening and it's always nice to see familiar faces in the crowd.

WAWS thanks John for this report