The Barstool Philosophers
& Amikdla

November 20, 2016 - 't Blok, Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel (NL)


Most lovers of progressive rock are unaware of the music made by the Dutch act The Barstool Philosophers. That is probably a shame, because on the bands two albums Sparrows (2009, see review), and on this year's released very strong second album Crossing Over (see review) there is a lot to enjoy music-wise! Therefore, I was very curious to see how they performed their sometimes complex music in front of an audience. When they were booked for a concert at 't Blok in Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel I didn't hesitate for a moment. I had to see them! However, before they could show their musical tricks the support act Amikdla would climb to the stage to warm up the crowd.  

Amikdla

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JoŽl van Dam
Amikdla is not just a rock group with a difficult name to pronounce but also the music made by the four musicians, who all live near Amsterdam, and is not easy to pigeonhole. They label their schizophrenic sound as an interesting mix of progressive and alternative rock, mainly influenced by bands like A Perfect Circle, Karnivool, Tool and Tesseract. Well I soon found out that their music had hardly any connections with the music the people of Progfrog stand for. The only song which came close to our beloved genre was The Stand. This couldn't be said about their single Unfold.
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Chinouk de Haan
It was just like the main part of the band's repertoire too simple in structure and consisted mainly of mediocre guitar tunes which hardly contained any guitar solos. Too bad guitarist Jasper Schilder only did one solo which was done with an injured hand since one of his fingers was inflamed. But it didn't prevent him to come up with a rather melodic guitar solo which I certainly enjoyed. A nice gimmick on the stage were the fluorescent strings of female bassist Chinouk de Haan. I guess the band's music is OK for the people who enjoy the music of the bands that inspired them but for those who are into progressive rock their music is not adventurous enough.
 

The Barstool Philosophers

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Peter van Asselt and Bas Hoebink (r)
From a different calibre were the headliners of this pleasant afternoon show. They came all the way from the Eastern parts of the Netherlands to kick ass. Their 90 minute long show contained songs taken from both studio albums plus a selection of compositions which should be recorded for an album later to be released in 2017. Those new
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Ivo Poelman
tunes could be heard right from the start. Although they were completely new to me, I loved them right away. Again, they contained a lot of groove and heavy guitar parts done by Ivo Poelman. Moreover, they included modern keyboard sounds provided by Renť Kroon and excellent rhythm parts done by the duo Bas Hoebink (bass) and Martin Kuipers (drums). But it was above all new lead singer Peter van Asselt who showed to be an excellent vocalist with a lot of 'soul' in his voice. The new tunes were written with his voice in mind and therefore were easier for him to sing than the songs taken from their debut. On that album, the vocals were done by Leon Brouwer who left in 2011. Some of the songs on the band's second album already included vocals from van Asselt, but also others whom participated. Two of the three songs on which his vocals could be heard were also on the setlist during this performance. On My Way To You and the well deserved encore 'Till We Meet Again. Not much else is left to tell you about this amazing performance. Those who were in the audience during their show had a splendid time. The usual snacks were presented and in front of them they could enjoy the music of one of the finest bands in the Netherlands! Hopefully I can see them again in the not too distance future!

Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)

Setlist The Barstool Philosophers:


Yards To Nothing
Highschool Life
Slaves
Homeboy
Atelier
Away from Here
Lies
Endless Seasons
141
Sirens
On My Way To You
Opportunity. Knox
Jobstoppers
Encore:
'Till We Meet Again


Pictures The Barstool Philosophers
by Arthur Haggenburg

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Click on the picture to enlarge.

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Line up The Barstool Philosophers:

(left to right)
Martin Kuipers:
drums
Ivo Poelman:
guitars
Peter van Asselt:
vocals
Bas Hoebink:
bass
Renť Kroon:
keyboards
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Setlist Amikdla:


60 Wonder
The Tribe
The Stand
Unfold
Mutate
Passover
Inertia
Escape
Ascetic




Pictures Amikdla by Arthur Haggenburg

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Click on the picture to enlarge.

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Line up Amikdla:

(left to right)
Jasper Schilder:
guitar
Wouter Ouwehand:
drums
JoŽl van Dam:
vocals
Chinouk de Haan:
bass
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