Birthday Party Leap Day
special guest: M!ndgames

March 24, 2012 De Uthof, Siegerswoude (NL)

In the beginning of 2008 a group of musicians wanted to start a new progressive rock band. On the 29th of February they decided to go for it and they called the band Leap Day after this special day. In 2012 they could celebrate their 'first' birthday and they wanted to organize a special event. Although the band made good progress with their second album Skylge's Lair (2011, see review), it was too early to target for a new release. So they organized a special gig in a nice venue in a very small village near Bakkeveen, a place we all know as Progfarm City. They made it a double concert by inviting their Belgium friends of M!ndgames.


Bart Schram
Recently M!ndgames had to find a replacement for their guitarist Rudy Vander Veken who decided to emigrate to Portugal. So I was a bit afraid that I couldn't enjoy this gig as much as the previous ones. Luckily I was totally wrong! Matvi'Billy' Bilis took over the guitar parts and although he has no progressive rock background he was doing a great job during his first gig. I've seen the band playing several times now and each time they were able to impress me. During the latest concert they focused on the album MMX (2010, see review), supplemented by some songs from earlier releases. However, my personal favourite is Royalty In Jeopardy from the second album Actors In A Play (2006). When they perform this song singer Bart Schram is always dressed as a king making a nice show around it. Unfortunately they didn't perform this piece, but Schram came up with a new act. Dressed in a jacket and wearing sunglasses and a hat, he merely stole the show by reading the Belgium newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen on stage (see picture) in an expressive way. By doing so he attracted all attention from the audience while the other members of the band were focused on the music. Therefore their appearance was a bit static, but I also noticed that the band is still growing. With every gig I saw, they sounded a bit more mature. However, the next thing to learn is having a plan for contingencies in case of (technical) troubles. This time Tom Truyers had problems to load new music in one of his keyboards. The silence of several minutes that followed could have been easily filled by a song performed on the acoustic guitar. Or even a drum or a bass solo, or whatever. Just anything to keep the audience entertained. However, no one in the audience blamed them for that since they witnessed a very enjoyable performance.

Leap Day

After a short break the birthday band started with the song Half Mens Half Machine written in Dutch for the Progwereld-project ProgNL (see review). This song is now available in three languages: Dutch, English and Frisian. Immediately after this, Leap Day treated us to a couple of brand new songs: Heamus,
Jos Harteveld
which is part of a new concept album, and March Under The Symbol. Since the latter doesn't fit in this new double concept album, it will probably appear on one of the subsequent albums. These songs certainly raised my expectations for those next releases. I noticed that the guitar playing of Eddy Mulder was very attractive during these new tunes. Not copying the previous style, but still very recognizable. This is what we like to hear! The two keyboard players supplemented each other perfectly. Derk Evert Waalkens mainly played the many keyboard layers while Gert van Engelenburg performed the fantastic solos. But then again they easily switched their duties. Of course we could enjoy the strong bass lines done by Peter Stel and the stunning drum parts of Koen Roozen as well. After three tracks of their latest album Skylge's Lair again two new songs were presented: Phaeton and Hurricane. The latter started in a remarkable way. Without the support of any musical instrument lead singer Jos Harteveld began with a powerful and screaming solo. He showed real guts, almost frightening the ladies in the audience! During the rest of the gig I could enjoy tracks from their debut album Awaken The Muse (2009, see review) with the encore Little Green Men as a worthy closure. It had been a very enjoyable evening partly due to sound engineer Dammes and his team for realizing an excellent sound. I'm really looking forward to the new album!

Arthur Haggenburg (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist M!ndgames:

The Source
Glory Of Night
Dramatis Persona
Outside The Gloom
Beggars Breakfast
Destination Sky
Both Sides Of The Show

Pictures M!ndgames by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up M!ndgames:

(left to right)
Bart Schram:
lead vocals, acoustic 12-string guitar
Tom Truyers:
Matvi Bilis:
electric guitar
Benny Petak:
drums, electronic percussion
Maximilian von Wüllerstorff:
bass guitar

Setlist Leap Day:

Half Mens Half Machine
March Under The Symbol*
Home At Last
The Messenger
When Leaves Fall
What Would You Do
Secret Gardener
Little Green Men

* = not yet released

Pictures Leap Day by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Leap Day:

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

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