Threshold & Casual Silence

July 8, 2011 - De Pul, Uden (NL)

Just in the act of preparations for their forthcoming album, the British prog metal band Threshold took a pause in order to give a few concerts in England and on the Continent. The highlight of this short tour surely was the performance at the Lorelei Festival in Germany. However, a day earlier Threshold were kind enough to visit venue De Pul in Uden to catch up with friends and having a good time, but basically to give a concert. Before reviewing this gig I had to pay attention to Casual Silence, who gave their final concert as a support-act for Threshold.

Casual Silence

After a great farewell gig for their fans a week earlier (see review) they now gave an already booked pre-show for Threshold. Although the official split-up already took place they took this last opportunity to promote their new album Vertical Horizon (see review). With a number of major festivals like Lorelei, Bospop and even North Sea Jazz in the same weekend people had to make choices. Therefore it's fair to say that people showing up in Uden mostly came to see Threshold. Although the audience reacted a bit half-hearted towards Casual Silence, the band did a
Mark (left) and Rob (background Igor & Ernst)
great job and played some well-known songs from the past like Lambrusco Evening and Lost In Life (see review) and of course songs from their final album like The Other Side, The Chance and the majestic title track. Rob Laarhoven's voice was as good as ever and the combination of the melodic guitar work of Ernst Le Cocq d'Armandville and the heavy riffs of Mark van Dijk still have a special kind of chemistry. Also the duels between the keyboards of Henry Meeuws and the guitar of Le Cocq d'Armandville were a real treat for the eyes and ears. Despite the audience mainly came to see Threshold, Casual Silence gave all they got. You could tell by the always funny drumming of Igor Koopmans and the jumping around the stage by Le Cocq d'Armandville that they still enjoy playing live. I really enjoyed the show, but it's a shame that only a few fans came to witness their very last show, but then again, I think all these fans were present a week earlier. It was a bit sad to listen to the final notes, but deep inside I know this isn't the absolute end of one of the best Dutch progressive rock bands. It's just a pity they're no longer able to promote Vertical Horizon, for it's a great album. After the show I talked to bass player Eric Smits for a moment. He felt empty inside; it's still hard to realize that after eighteen years of playing together he no longer has to attend the band's rehearsals...


After a short break most fans gathered in front of the stage to watch Threshold. Even before they started, vocalist Damian Wilson was pointing and waving at people in the audience. This immediately gave the feeling of being part of one big family and it certainly shows how Threshold connects to their fans. For people who saw Threshold before it's a common fact, but for those who have never seen the band - shame on you - their singer is a very charismatic person. There's no second vocalist like Damian Wilson. He's always talking in between the songs, he has direct contact with the fans in the audience and in the
Pete (left) and Steve
middle of a guitar solo you can even find him amidst the public. He did it all again in Uden: walking through the public clapping, shaking hands with old friends and climbing up the fence of the balcony. The audience loved it all, at least I did. However, Threshold are more than this amazing vocalist. Guitarist Karl Groom has a unique guitar sound which was the reason why I bought my first Threshold-album in the first place. Since then I haven't missed one. Groome's playing in combination with the driven keyboards of Richard West has always been the basic of numerous great songs. It's a unique combination as well. Guitarist Pete Morten was running around the stage to play these great riffs and it was amusing to see how both guitarists played on the necks of each other's guitars while strumming their own strings. The Threshold-show comprised a nice variation of old and newer songs and the audience got plenty of chances to sing along with their favourite ones. Falling Away and This Is Your Life must have caused some sore throats, for the audience sang along as loud as they could! An acoustic intermezzo gave them time to catch a second breath. Then the band continued, nice and heavy. It was great to see these guys giving a great performance with bassist Steve Anderson lining up with the guitarists playing perfectly together. And last but not least Johanne James, a drummer who's funny and powerful at the same time. He creates the heavy pounding, but still remains in contact with the audience. So far every Threshold gig I saw was something special, mostly because of the interaction with the audience. I'm glad having seen them again; I can hardly wait for the next album and live shows. For me, Threshold is one of the best bands ever and I hope they will soon find their way to Uden again!

Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Casual Silence:

The Other Side
The Chance
Vertical Horizon
Lambrusco Evening
Foolish Plane
Lost In Life
My Fifth Season

Pictures Casual Silence by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Casual Silence:

Rob Laarhoven:
Ernst Le Cocq

guitar, vocals
Mark van Dijk:
Henry Meeuws:

bass, vocals
Igor Koopmans:

Setlist Threshold:

The Ravages Of Time
Long Way Home
The Destruction Of Words
Sanity’s End
Falling Away
Ground Control (Acoustic)
The Art Of reason
This Is Your Life
Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams
Mission Profile

One Degree Down
Light And Space

Pictures Threshold by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Threshold:

(left to right)
Pete Morten:
guitars, backing vocals
Johanne James:
Richard West:
keyboards, backing vocals
Damian Wilson:
Steve Anderson:
bass guitar
Karl Groom:
guitars, backing vocals

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