Flamborough Head &
Moon Safari

21-Sep-2012 - Lakei Helmond (NL)

During the final edition of the Dutch annual Progfarm Festival (see review) in November 2011, Flamborough Head and Moon Safari shared the same stage for the first time. Within a year they did it for the second time at Lakei in Helmond. So you could say this was a meeting of old friends. Both bands had a good reason to perform a live show. Flamborough Head could try out some new material for their forthcoming studio album, while Moon Safari had the chance to promote their EP Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteå Serenade, which was released recently (see review).

Flamborough Head

Margriet Boomsma
This Dutch progressive rock band from the northern part of The Netherlands got one hour to show why they were asked to open for their Swedish friends. Well, they seized at the opportunity with both hands and performed an outstanding set that included three new songs and two old live favourites. They kicked off with The Trapper, one of the 'new' pieces. It was easy to hear that they had played this song already many times before. However, it hasn't been recorded yet. During The Trapper some musicians of Moon Safari watched the band in front of the stage. It seemed they liked the music a lot just like the people in the audience who had especially come to see Moon Safari. I guess they must have been impressed after they heard the title track of the band's latest album Looking For John Maddock (2009) since this is an outstanding epic piece that contains various musical parts; sometimes mellow; at other times more up-tempo. This epic was followed by two new tracks. I'll Take The Blame and Lost In Time showed that the musicians had been busy since their latest album. Again they
Edo Spanninga

had added a some new influences in their music as I noticed while listening to these songs like the slapping on the bass guitar by Marcel Derix; the piano playing in the vein of Rick Davies (Supertramp) by Edo Spanninga and the flute playing by lead singer Margriet Boomsma that sounded quite similar to that of Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and Thijs van Leer (Focus). I loved it all just like their final song Garden Of Dreams which is a real blast from the past. This rather long piece is a track from their second album Defining The Legacy (2000). At the time lead singer and keyboard player Siebe-Rein Schaaf still joined the band. Unfortunately this was the last piece they could perform because their time was up. The audience could be satisfied for they had witnessed a high-level performance.

Moon Safari

The show that the six musicians from Moon Safari presented was of an even higher level. They already have recorded three albums, so they have a lot of songs to choose from. I guess they wouldn't play the same songs as they did during their latest
Petter Sandström and Pontus Åkesson (R)
visit to our country in November 2011. Therefore fantastic pieces like Yasgur's Farm, The World's Best Dreamers, Moonwalk and Other Half Of The Sky weren't performed. Instead they played more material from their debut A Doorway To Summer (2005) like Dance Across The Ocean and A Sun Of Your Own. Fortunately they also played Heartland, my all-time favourite Moon Safari song that above all showed how influential bands like Yes and The Flower Kings must have been. The band also provided some comic relief when bass player Johan Westerlund introduced his fellow band members in a rather strange but funny way. He got all kinds of nicknames for them. He introduced keyboard player Simon Äkesson as 'Slim Snakes' and he called drummer Tobias Lundgrun 'Carl L. Landmine'. He renamed singer and acoustic guitar player Petter Sandström 'Mick Frisbee', who immediately used his hat as a frisbee caught by guitarist 'Piff Williams', whose real name is Pontus Åkesson.

This gimmick was a nice introduction to New York City Summergirl. After this song it was time for the Lover's End Suite, a 22-minute piece of music that features the songs Lover's End, part I and
Moon Safari singing 'Constant Bloom'
A Kid Called Panic
. I had expected that the third and new part of Lover's End would have been included as well, but they chose to play this new epic track with a short break after the Lover's End Suite. It was the last song of the regular set. Although I never heard this third part before, it impressed me all the way through; a real 25-minute musical roller coaster holding several different moods. After this piece nobody expected the band to return for an encore. However, they intended to do only a vocal version of Constant Bloom, but after somebody had shouted Doorway, this song was done as well. Petter Sandström said that they had 'no other choice than to perform the long version' of this brilliant track from their debut. It was played in the best possible way with all the excellent instrumental parts and the difficult harmony vocals. Just like the rest of the performed material it was sometimes as if they were miming along with the original album track. Everything was done so brilliantly that it was hard to believe that the music was played live on stage. So I can only give a big compliment to this band that again showed to belong to the best live bands in the progressive rock scene!

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Flamborough Head:

The Trapper
Looking For John Maddock
I'll Take The Blame
Lost In Time
Garden Of Dreams

Pictures Flamborough Head by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Flamborough Head:

(left to right)
Marcel Derix:
bass guitar
Edo Spanninga:
Margriet Boomsma:
lead vocals, recorders, flute, acoustic guitar
Koen Roozen:
drums, percussion
Gert Polkerman:
lead guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals

Setlist Moon Safari:

Dance Across The Ocean
A Sun Of Your Own
New York City Summergirl
Lover's End Suite:
    i. Lover's End Part I
    ii. A Kid Called Panic
Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteå Serenade
Constant Bloom

Pictures Moon Safari by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Moon Safari:

(left to right)
Pontus Åkesson:
electric guitar, backing vocals
Petter Sandström:
acoustic guitar, lead and backing vocals
Sebastian Äkesson:
keyboard, backing vocals
Simon Äkesson:
main keyboards, lead and backing vocals
Tobias Lundgrun:
drums, backing vocals
Johan Westerlund:
bass, backing vocals

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