Beardfish & Karmakanic
March 19, 2010 - CC The Mortel, Ittervoort (NL)
For several years now a nice, small festival has been organised in the south of Holland, Rock Ittervoort. The man who organised all this, Domien Parren, has managed to get a lot of very interesting bands to play, including the likes of Arena, Riverside, Sylvan and Pendragon. This year, two excellent bands from Sweden were invited to play: Beardfish and Karmakanic.
Beardfish is a relatively new and young band, but very talented, as they were invited by Mike Portnoy himself to join in the Progressive Nation tour of 2009. Unfortunately due to problems at the record label it didn’t happen. Karmakanic is known as the other band of Jonas Reingold, who is also a part of The Flower Kings. Noteworthy is the fact that this was the only show in the Netherlands for both bands!
BeardfishThe youngsters from Beardfish opened the evening. I was not familiar with their music, so I was prepared to be surprised. Well, that turned out to be an understatement! The band blew me away! They had so much energy in their playing, and had such a great interaction with the audience…it was fantastic! Singer, keyboard player and second guitarist Rikard Sjöblom acted as the host and talked a lot, injecting a lot of humour! He gave some nice background information on the songs they played.
It was impressive to see him play his keyboards, including some great vintage synths. He really is that good! And then he stood and picked up a guitar and played just as well! And in the songs where Sjöblom played guitar you didn’t miss the keys.
Although the band is quite young, they already have an impressive back catalogue to play from. They played a lot from Sleeping in Traffic Pt. 1 en Pt. 2 and their latest release, Destined Solitaire. The music of Beardfish is quite catchy, and at times almost danceable. The coolest thing on stage during their show was bass player Robert Hansen, who actually danced throughout the show! He moved around so smoothly it was fantastic to see. A closer look revealed he was moving around in his socks! Guitarist David Zackrisson and drummer Magnus Östgren played excellently, but were a bit more static.
All together their performance was so amazing, I really want to see them again.
KarmakanicAfter a short break, Karmakanic was up. As these are experienced musicians, expectations were a bit high for me. I had been listening to Wheel of Life on the drive to the venue, so I was looking forward to the band. As always, Jonas Reingold is quite a character to see: always with his hat on and a smile on his face.
When they came on stage, for some reason I thought of them not as a band, but more a collection of musicians. The guitarist for the evening was none other than Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings, Transtalantic, Agents of Mercy), who shared more than one band with Reingold! It was awesome to see him perform for the first time, for me. Keyboard player Lalle Larsson turned out to be equally impressive!
The setlist was compiled from all three albums, although I really did miss the title track from Who’s the Boss in the Factory!! Still, they played very well, and it was evident they were skilled musicians. Unfortunately they had to deal with some technical issues, which resulted in small pauses between the songs. Given that Beardfish had put on such an energetic show, this was a bit of an anti-climax, unfortunately.
Also the light during Karmakanic was terrible! Both Stolt and Larsson were almost in the dark during the entirety of the show. Singer Göran Edman was great, as was the rest of the band and in the end they got such an ovation, the band returned for an encore, sung by Nad Sylvan who had been in the background during the show.
The highlight of their performance was the touching Eternally, where Reingold explained that the song was about his parents who had died in a car accident in 2008. Too bad a lot of people were talking during that song (and others as well), so much so that Roine Stolt asked them to be quiet.
All together it was a really great event, with great bands and fantastic music. I’m really happy I had the opportunity to be there. It was not as busy as previous years, so I hope for next year’s show more people will turn up, not only to enjoy great music, but also to support this great festival, that in the coming years we may enjoy another event.
Text & pictures by Marcel Haster (edited by Paul Watson)