Northern Prog Festival

Nem-Q, Leap Day, Nice Beaver, Il Castello Di Atlante and JunXion

November 18, 2017 - De Uthof, Siegerswoude (NL)


In 2011 the legendary Progfram festival was held for the very last time (see review). For 15 long years the people of Flamborough Head gave the people of the northern parts of the Netherlands a chance to see several progressive rock acts on a stage. But also people from the other parts of our country and even from abroad witnessed this annual event. The festival was always held on the first Saturday in November In 2013 members of the band Leap Day decided to organise the same type of annual festival in the same region. Most of the time also held on the first Saterday in November. The 2017 edition was for them an anniversary edition. Because for the fifth time in a row they succeeded in coming up with a rather entertaining festival. Of course our team was present to tell you all about the ins and outs.
 

Nem-Q

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Paul Sieben
Nem-Q comes from the Southern parts of the Netherlands and has been in existence for more than 10 years. During this period they released three albums. Their latest release Fault Lines (2017) is their best album on which the band tries to get the best parts from Pain Of Salvation and Dream Theater mixed with their own style. During their one hour performance they made a good impression. It was obvious that the largest part
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Nem-Q on stage
of their setlist were songs from their latest album. Main roles were for lead singer Paul Sieben and keyboard player Dennis Renders. Sieben has a great voice and his guitar solos were very tastefully done. Renders occasionally made sure the band moved into progressive rock territories with his majestic keyboard chords and fine solos. The other three members made sure they got all the space to shine on their instruments. All in all the band can look at a rather strong performance and gained some new fans.

 

Leap Day

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Jos Harteveld
Next year the organisers of this cosy festival will have their 10th anniversary and will celebrate it with a special CD release. They might even come up with a brand new studio album if everything goes as planned. But that's for later. First they had to entertain the people who came all the way to see them. Well according to what I witnessed
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Koen Roozen
they certainly succeeded. They played really tight and as always came up with a set of songs which was different from the last time they played. Something which I always like. Therefore some older songs such as Eyes Wide Open and Awaking The Muse could be enjoyed again. But as always the band gave us an inside as to what to expect on their next studio album. This time around even two brand new pieces of music were done. Like Icarus and Autumn. Both having the typical melodic Leap Day sound. So the new album is once again something to look forward to. As for the songs performed I can only be positive. I will not go into details but believe me it was difficult to stand still while I heard them. Once again the six musicians on stage proved that the band belongs to the best live acts in the Netherlands.
 

Nice Beaver

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Erik Groeneweg
The next band on stage is the third one in a row coming from the Netherlands. Between 2002 and 2004 they released two albums On Dry Land and Oregon. During this period they hit the Dutch stages several times and I saw them many times. They were an amazing live band then and therefore I regretted that they got lost somehow. Many times I asked the bands bass player Peter Stel why they didn't perform at this festival. After all he is in Leap Day, the bassist as well. With a new album The Time It Takes (see review) released in 2015 it probably only would be a matter of time until they were on the bill of NPF as well. And indeed two years later I finally could see this great band back in action. Expectations certainly did ran high for me personally. In my memory, this band could get you by the throat right from the start of a concert. And indeed they did it again after several years absence. Of course the main part of the set consisted of songs taken from their latest effort. To be honest the only oldie they performed was Culley On Bleecker Street taken from their debut. Furthermore
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Hans Gerritse
an amazing new piece with the title Home - Something's Going On could be enjoyed. But the rest was only from their third album. Did I care? Yes and no! No, because songs such as River So Wide, Waiting For The Bell To Toll and Timeline are a real treat for your ears. Yes, because oldies such as Where The River Runs and Two Brides For Two Brothers are excellent progressive rock tunes which you don't want to miss played live. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the awesome guitar parts done by Hans Gerritse. His style of playing is often compared to the way Andy Latimer plays his parts in Camel. But also the fine keyboard parts of lead singer Erik Groeneweg are pretty marvellous from time to time. Respect most of all to new drummer Matty de Wijs, who played his second gig with the band and did it with flying colours. The earlier mentioned Stel also needs no introduction. His parts are of a very high standard just like in his other band. Too bad he had some equipment problems and therefore they had to skip Space Cadet from the setlist. But even without this piece of music the band impressed me all the way with their excellent performed songs.
 

Il Castello Di Atlante

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Aldo Bergamini
The only band not coming from the Netherlands on the fifth edition of the Northern Prog Festival are from Italy. I had seen Il Castello Di Atlante already in 2009 on the earlier mentioned Progfram festival (see review) at the time they were on the same bill as the host of the festival. Three of the original members who played during that performance started with the band in 1974. The excellent bassist Dino Fiore, guitarist and vocalist Aldo Bergamini and last but not least entertainer, drummer, keyboard player and singer Paolo Ferrarotti. The original musicians now in their 60s, got some excellent help from the three youngsters in the band. Namely Andrea Bertino on violin, Davide Cristofoli on main keyboards and Mattia Garimanno on drums.
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Andrea Bertino
Together they pulled off an impressive show. A show which started with four songs taken from their debut Sono Io Il Signore Delle Terre A Nord (1992). Followed by two compositions taken from their latest effort Arx Atlantis (2014). An album which celebrated the bands 40th anniversary. After that the time was already up
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Paolo Ferrarotti tries to speak some Dutch
for the band. Only one other piece from their debut, Non C' Tempo, was done before a sort of encore followed. But before Logora Spiaggia was done Paolo stepped into the crowd to let them sing-a -long with the lyrics. He even tried to speak some Dutch from a piece of paper and got help from somebody in the crowd. All in all it was again a very entertaining performance from the band just like eight years ago. A special mention goes out to Andrea Bertino for his marvellous playing on the violin throughout the entire concert. Ferrarotti went on his knees when he was introduced to the audience. But then again a show of hands is also in place for the rest of the band for travelling all the way from Italy to set the house on fire in our small country. Bravissimo!
 

JunXion

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Maarten Jung and Julian Haerkens (r)
The final act of the event was for me a totally unknown band. According to their Facebook page JunXion is an epic modern day '70s progressive rock band, founded in 2010. The band combines various styles, such as symphonic metal, fusion, electronics and ambient, with unexpected twists. The sound of the 4-man core is enriched by selected guest artists to reinforce the stories being told. For instance a jazz saxophone, or gospel, pop or classical vocals, can contribute to expound cultural and social problems, politics, science, and rabbits. There you go! This year they released their debut Inevitable RED. A concept album concerning the rise and fall of a dictatorial regime. To my surprise they performed it completely. But before they started the whole concept a strong instrumental piece of music could be enjoyed. With the help of the audience they got the right beat and a strong fusion type of tune could be enjoyed. The strong melodic guitar parts of Maarten Jung and the excellent keyboard parts of Martijn Hak made the track very adventuress. But I guess the song could not have been so strong
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Quirine Bruynen
without the help of the excellent rhythm section. Containing drummer Roel Trommelen and bass player Julian Haerkens. After Polyalphabetical Substitution Cipher was done Haerkens continued hosting the show in the English language. After all the audience came from all over the world. Moreover he introduced the two female singers Quirine Bruynen and all the way from Belgium Lois De Souter. They were brought in to make the concept of the story more understandable. After a perfect rendition of the complete Inevitable RED album three more not yet released compositions were done. The crowd loved them all the way and therefore they were asked back for a final encore. A track which was known to most of the spectators, because it comes from one of the most famous progressive rock artists in the current prog scene. Namely Steven Wilson. Too bad they didn't do a complete version of Luminol. A song taken from Wilson's best album ever made. Titled The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) (2013, see review). The band can certainly look back at an excellent performance. As for myself I certainly want to see them more often because they are the future of Dutch progressive rock without doubt.

Finally I have to thank the people who made it possible that our team could witness the fifth edition of this amazing event. They know who they are and they already mentioned that on Saturday November 3, 2018 another edition of the festival will take place. A headliner is already booked, but will reveal it next year. So until the next time!

Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)


Live video
recordings

   Henri & Roel Strik

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Confusion (6:29)


Setlist Nem-Q:


Desaturate
Perpetual Motion
Inner Struggle
Confusion
Comfort Zone
Misguided
Oracle
Bipolar
Vanity
Fault Lines



Pictures Nem-Q by Arthur Haggenburg

>>> Click here to view all pics on one page.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

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Line up Nem-Q:

(left to right)
Mark Reijven:
guitar
Twan Bakker:
drums
Paul Sieben:
guitar and lead vocals
Dennis Renders:
keyboards and vocals
Maarten Meeuws:
bass
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Live video
recordings

   Henri & Roel Strik

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Eyes Wide Open (8:39)


Setlist Leap Day:


Haemus
Changing Directions
Eyes Wide Open
Like Icarus
Home At Last
Autumn
Awaking The Muse
Deucalion
Gods Of War




Pictures Leap Day by Arthur Haggenburg

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Click on the picture to enlarge.

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Line up Leap Day:

(left to right)
Peter Stel:
bass guitar
Gert van Engelenburg:
keyboards and backing vocals
Derk Evert Waalkens:
keyboards and backing vocals
Eddie Mulder:
electric guitar and backing vocals
Koen Roozen:
drums and percussion
Jos Harteveld:
lead vocals and acoustic guitar
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Live video
recordings

   Henri & Roel Strik

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Time It Takes (6:55)


Setlist Nice Beaver:


River So Wide
In Close Proximity
Culley On Bleecker Street
Rainbow's End
Timeline
The Time It Takes
Home - Something's Going On
Sound Behind Sound
Waiting For The Bell To Toll




Pictures Nice Beaver by Arthur Haggenburg

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Click on the picture to enlarge.

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Line up Nice Beaver:

(left to right)
Matty de Wijs:
drums
Peter Stel:
bass
Hans Gerritse:
guitar and vocals
Erik Groeneweg:
vocals and keyboards
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Live video
recordings

   Henri & Roel Strik

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Il Vecchio Giovane (9:11)


Setlist Il Castello Di Atlante:


Tirando Le Somme
La Foresta Dietro Il Mulino Di Johan
Il Saggio
Semplice....Ma Non Troppo
Non Ho Mai Imparato
Il Vecchio Giovane
Non C' Tempo
Encore:
Logora Spiaggia




Pictures Il Castello Di Atlante
by Arthur Haggenburg

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Click on the picture to enlarge.

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Line up Il Castello Di Atlante:

(left to right)
Andrea Bertino:
violin
Davide Cristofoli:
keyboards and vocals
Dino Fiore:
bass
Paolo Ferrarotti:
keyboards, drums and vocals
Aldo Bergamini:
guitar, voice
Mattia Garimanno:
drums
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Live video
recordings

   Henri & Roel Strik

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Live At NPF (13:39)


Setlist JunXion:


Polyalphabetical Substitution Cipher
Inevitable RED:
- Epiclogue
- The Silence Given (Part 1)
- My Kin
- The Silence Given (Part 2)
- Diary
- Proglogue
- Inevitable Red
- New Light
The Puckish Titbit Runner
Epiphany
Compulsion to Psychogenesis
Encore:
Luminol




Pictures JunXion by Arthur Haggenburg

>>> Click here to view all pics on one page.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

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Line up JunXion:

(left to right)
Maarten Jung:
guitar
Roel Trommelen:
drums and elektronica
Julian Haerkens:
bass
Quirine Bruynen:
vocals
Lois De Souter:
vocals
Martijn Hak:
keyboards
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