Jadis & Shadowland

February 20, 2010 - De Boerderij, Zoetermeer (NL)

Seventeen years ago two progressive rock bands from the UK decided to do a double headliner tour. They called it the “Lurv Ambassadors Tour”. Unfortunately I never did see any of those shows. Those two bands Jadis and Shadowland wanted to relive the past so announced the LURV AMBASSADORS TOUR 2010 which would bring them to countries such as Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. The only Dutch show was held at the Boerderij in Zoetermeer. Last year Shadowland also visited this venue for their comeback tour. Too bad that I could not attend this concert because the flu was at that time my worst enemy.

So it was again with some elements of illness entering my body a couple of days before this special event, but this time I beat it! The band that had the task to warm up the crowd had not done any concerts in the last three years. So I was very curious to see how Jadis would perform after their long absence. With Martin Orford (keys) and John Jowitt (bass) in their line up the band had done some excellent concerts in the past. But both had left the band several years ago and others musicians had the difficult task to pick where Orford and Jowitt had left off, and  to forget about those brilliant musicians. One of them even came originally from Rome in Italy. But I have to admit that Giulio Risi made a strong impression behind his keyboards. Better as the silent one on the bass guitar. Andy Marlow just did his thing and nothing more.

After some Dutch words (Goeden avond/Good evening) lead singer and guitarist Gary Chandler promised the crowd that they were going to do hear bits of all the albums released, yet I had the impression that most of the songs came from their latest album, Photoplay. Certainly not one of their best albums ever. The song that was written before anybody knew anything about mobile phones was certainly one of the first highlights. Follow Me To Salzburg dates from the bands very early days and is still a very strong piece that should have been on their best album ever, More Than Meets The Eye. The tracks taken from that album should also be mentioned as the other highlights of the bands live performance. Songs such as Sleepwalk, G.13 and The Beginning And The End were welcomed with a lot of cheering, and certainly made a lot of hearts beat faster. The whole concert lasted 80 minutes and was not bad at all, but I certainly believe I could have seen a better band when this show was done at the end of the new Lurv Amabassadors Tour instead of at the start.

The other band, Shadowland,  sounded very strong right from the start when they opened with The Hunger. It certainly makes a difference if a band had been on the road before in the same line up one year earlier playing the same kind of songs. People also told me that front man Clive Nolan was less shy as on the other tour in which he sometimes stood with his back to the crowd. I did not see him doing that during the Boerderij gig. His vocals were also very strong and very confident as he confided with us by sharing little anecdotes and short stories in between the songs. Such as the impressive story about a girl who he felt in love with during his time at school. She told him that thinking costs a 1000 pounds! A kiss on the cheek was all that he got before she jumped and killed herself a few days later. This girl got the name Alice and that’s what the track Trough The Looking Glass is all about. Another track (Dreams Of The Ferryman) deals about a nightmare that has returned to him over the last 20 years. But sometimes he did not even remember what a song is all about when he wrote it. This happened to him with the track The Seventh Year. Mr Nolan almost forgot to play a certain song from the setlist that was not even written on a piece of paper at all! After Jigsaw he remembered that they had forgotten to do The Kruhulick Syndrome so they went on and played it.

Also enjoyable were also the stories about Mark Westwood’s theory of serial killers, and Shadowland in 3D. The band has right from the start always had cautionary tales in mind, as Clive explained. Good examples are the tracks Half Moon Street and the encore Ring Of Roses. The last song also had a nice anecdote of the time when they drove from Germany to a venue in the Netherlands. Sleeping pills provided by their bass player at the time (Ian Salmon) made them very sleepy. A couple of Jack Daniels bottles were the only cure to stay awake. But it turned out that they got very drunk on stage and Ring Of Roses lasted a bit longer as usual. You might ask yourself how well was the music performed? Well, they were more than okay, I can tell you. Even under those sorts of conditions they were still consummate musicians. Most of all the beautiful guitar solos done by Karl Groom on songs such as The Seventh Year and Through The Looking Glass were breathtaking. The keyboards played by Mike Varty sounded also brilliant. This man is a very talented musician and Clive must be very lucky to have him on board. The bass parts done by Mark Westwood were very sober and never really got a leading role in the music. Drummer Nick Harradence had the opportunity of a sort of solo spot on Half Moon Street and played his parts throughout the set rather strong without making any mistakes, insofar as I could hear. The 100 minutes of music done by Shadowland were certainly a real treat for my ears. This performance again showed that a band led by Clive Nolan only gets on stage when everything is done in a very professional way. It was obvious that Shadowland impressed me more than Jadis did, but I was very glad that I could see them once more after such a long time.

Henri Strik (edited by Paul Watson)

Setlist Shadowland:

Set 1:
The Hunger
The Whistleblower
Through The Looking Glass
The Seventh Year
The Kruhulick Syndrome
The Edge Of Night
Half Moon Street
Dreams Of The Ferryman

Ring of Roses

Pictures Shadowland by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Shadowland:

(left to right)
Mike Varty:
Keyboards & backing vocals
Mark Westwood:
Clive Nolan:
Piano & lead vocals
Nick Harradence:
Karl Groom:
Guitars & backing vocals

Setlist Jadis:

There's A Light
Where In The World
Asleep In My Hands
Follow Me To Salzburg
What Goes Around
Daylight Fades
Standing Still
Each And Everyday
This Changing Face
Beginning And The End

Pictures Jadis by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Jadis:

(left to right)
Andy Marlow:
Bass & backing vocals
Steve Christey:
Gary Chandler:
Guitars & lead vocals
Giulio Risi:

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