On March 27, the Norwegian prog band Gazpacho appeared in Cultuurpodium De Boerderij in Zoetermeer for a headline show. Although the balcony was closed, the main hall was filled pretty well, so not bad at all for a relatively unknown act. The set up on the stage was straight forward, no fancy extra’s, just the instruments and the impressive lighting facilities from the venue. Equally plain and simple, the six five guys in the band showed up in quite ordinary clothes but they obviously were fully concentrated on the music. The band played an extensive set, starting the show with Desert Flight, The Walk and the title track from their latest album Tick Tock.
Extraordinary atmosphere characterizes this group of musicians, because everything they do is supporting melodies sung by lead vocalist Jan Henrik Ohme. His remarkable voices comes close to Steve Hogarth (Marillion) when he is singing softly at his utmost emotional concentration. No showing off by the instrumentalists, not even by violinist-guitarist Mikael Krømer. He stood in the spotlights more than once but never changed his concentrated and modest way of playing. One of the most special songs must have been the title track of their 2004 release When Earth Lets Go, they never performed this song live until this evening! Then the album Night was played except for the song Valerie’s Friend Sometimes it felt like this band should have been playing at a fireplace in front of people sitting down.
The crowd was fully enchanted by the beautiful music and no screams, shouts or just gibberish could be heard, not even during the utmost ambient and acoustic passages. The album Tick Tock, being an absolute winner was played in its integrity, so a better choice couldn’t have been made. As encores there was Snowman, the opening track from When Earth Lets Go, followed by the superb Tick Tock track Winter Is Never. Another encore on demand of all the fans present, concluding this first show of Gazpacho tour through Europe, was Bravo, the title track of the eponymous album.
Gazpacho are on the verge of international recognition and were living proof of their unusual place in the music scene by rendering this delightful performance. It’s wonderful that atmospheric music without too much display of individual craftsmanship is still possible these days!
Jan Henrik Ohme: vocals, Thomas Andersen: piano, keyboards, programming, Jon-Arne Vilbo: guitars, Mikael Krømer: violin, guitar, Kristian Olav Torp: bass,
Robert Risberget Johansen: drums, percussion
Desert Flight (Tick Tock), The Walk (Tick Tock), Tick Tock (Tick Tock), When Earth Lets Go (When Earth Lets Go), Dream Of Stone (Night), Chequered Light Buildings (Night), Upside Down (Night), Massive Illusion (Night).
Snowman (When earth Lets Go), Winter Is Never (Tick Tock), Bravo (Bravo).