UK Tour 2006

several venues 22/24/25-2-2006


I should have been here sooner writing this, but I had a nightmare 10 hour drive home to Cardiff from Jan’s gig in Glasgow including a two hour stop to see Wales soundly beaten by the Irish, a strange twist of fate considering that I spent the weekend with my very good friends from Ireland (and Scotland and England too).

Meeting point of Akkernutters

The drive home was followed by three days of coughing, sneezing and generally sleeping but at last I feel sufficiently recovered to write my note of thanks for the tour. I think my illness was something to do with coming down off the red bull and coffee cocktails!

Jan and the band always deliver superlative performances when they visit the UK and 2006 was no exception. It never ceases to amaze me how each gig has it’s own different colour and texture dependent on the surroundings and the audience.

Guest bass player Serge

My first night was at the Robin Hood, a favourite venue of mine. Here we all stand up at the front and watch the band at very close quarters. I just love the interaction between the band members and audience. Our small ‘lobby’ at the front succeeded in getting Coen to sing the high parts in ‘Sylvia’ and I have the photographs to prove it!

keyboard player Coen singing

Kendal by contrast was a ‘sitting down’ gig, just as enjoyable but more relaxed in its pace. I hope the band enjoyed their drive up through the gorgeously sunny Lake District the next day. It was just beautiful up there.

Despite Lloyd’s errant Sat Nav and Jim Higgins directions we did actually make it to Glasgow and the gig, by contrast, was a rocker. A standing crowd at very close proximity to the band ensured a lot of fun and banter. One guy standing next to me seemed close to coronary arrest when he heard the introduction to Tommy! Ah well, what a way to go!

drummer Marijn

As for the music, it was great to hear ‘Fromage à Trois’ as the set opener. A beautiful melody. The songs from ‘CU’ all were enjoyable with (for me) ‘Slow Man’ being the highlight with ‘Kloenk’ and ‘Broken String’ not far behind. The old ‘war crimes’ were as enjoyable as always, especially at the Robin where Jan played ‘Hocus Pocus’ as well as I have ever heard.

maestro Jan himself

It was nice to see the return of the ‘Tiger Stripe’ Les Paul Personal to these shores. I think it was 1974 when I first saw Jan play this guitar live. The new Langcaster was a bit of a beast too, lovely sound, especially on the ‘violin’ section of ‘Slow Man’ (hairs on the back of the neck stuff).

Anyway, I’ve written enough. It was good to meet up with the usual suspects Jonny, Sandy, Chris (Abandon Sheep), Sal, Lloyd, Olivia, Charlie, Jim (the Higgins), Deepinder, and Martin. Jon Ellington also made an appearance on the Ferry.

Thanks to Jan, Coen, Marijn and Serge for the terrific music. Thanks to Neil for the ‘Pedigree’ and the terrific sound. It was also a pleasure to meet Hilary.

Photo's (taken at the Robin) + review: Leigh Woolford