Rock Ittervoort:
Silhouette, Martigan,
Knight Area & Landmarq

April 19, 2013, C.C. De Mortel, Ittervoort (NL)

In 2007 the first edition of Rock Ittervoort took place in the southern part of the Netherlands. The festival has grown into an annual prog rock experience. During the six previous editions two or at most three bands were performing for an international audience. For this seventh edition no less than four acts were booked. Well, who could ask for more! However, there was only one point the organization hadn't taken in consideration. Not only the festival, but also the first band started too late which meant that the headliners could only finish their performance after midnight. But that's the only negative remark I have concerning the organization. Everything else was well organized with plenty of food and drink. You could even get a rest in the specially made canteen.


The Dutch band Silhouette started the event. In recent years this band could be seen quite often live on stage. In the past they supported bands like RPWL (see review),
Brian de Graeve and Bart Laan (r)
Enorm's Marathon (see review), but also Martigan (see review) and Landmarq (see review), two bands that performed on this festival as well. Unfortunately one could never be sure whether Silhouette succeeded in performing an adequate show doing justice to their excellent studio recordings. This time they must have practised a lot lately since this live show sounded rather accurately and quite similar to the previous show as a support act for Landmarq during their comeback tour in the Netherlands. I think one of the reasons why these two performances sounded better is the fact that Bart Laan, son of keyboardist Erik Laan, played some additional guitar parts. However, this was his last gig with the band due to school duties, but Silhouette found in Daniel van der Weijde a replacement for future shows to come! Just like last performance the set list of this gig was similar to the previous concert in February. In my opinion this concert was good enough to leave the audience with a positive feeling.


Mario Koch
As far as I'm concerned Martigan's show was one musical highlight, a show that would be difficult to exceed by the headliners. It was a bit disappointing that the band played a rather short version of Boatman's Vision,  one of their best epic pieces. However, this ten-minute version was long enough to astonish the people in the audience and in particular those who hadn't seen them before! It was also long enough to enjoy the lyrical guitar solos by Björn Bisch, to determine that Oliver Rebhan is a keyboard virtuoso, to hear that Alex Bisch is a very talented drummer, who sounds as if he has four arms, and long enough to notice that Kai Marckwordt
Kai Marckwordt
isn't a real entertainer, but still a great singer.

I would also like to make a special mention for the two new compositions Princess and The Peer. These two songs proved that Martigan are still able to write superb progressive rock tunes. Unfortunately we can't enjoy these songs on a brand new album shortly. They simply can't find the time to record their music, so we have to wait a bit longer for the follow-up of Visions. I hope they will cross the Dutch border more often than they did hitherto, because I can't get enough of their fabulous music!

Knight Area

Peter Vink
After six years the Dutch band Knight Area returned to Ittervoort for their second performance. In 2007 they opened the festival before the Polish band Riverside. However, over the years Knight Area's line-up has changed. In the meantime Rinie Huigen (guitars, backing vocals), Mark Vermeule (guitars), Gijs Koopman (bass, Moog Taurus pedals) and Joop Klazinga (keyboards) have left the band. Guitarist Mark Bogert joined in 2012 and recently the 64-years old bassist Peter Vink (ex- Q65, Finch and Ayreon) came to reinforce the band; he made a very good stage debut during the band's performance at this festival. He acted sometimes like a cow that just changed the stable for the green grass in the meadow after a cold winter. He jumped around with his tongue hanging out of his mouth making funny faces to the other band members and to the audience. Apparently he wasn't aware of the fact that his bass sounded a bit too loud in the final mix, while the guitarist could sometimes hardly be heard. Well, I guess he didn't know this as well because he acted as if he had been in the band for years!

The guitar playing of Mark Bogert had improved a lot since his first performance with Knight Area at the iO Pages Festival (2012, see review). This time he didn't seem nervous at all − but he certainly was − because just before the band was ready to play Mortal Brow, their usual encore, he asked his girlfriend to join him on stage. For all the people in the audience it was quite a surprise that
Mark 'Highlander' Smit
he asked her to marry him by saying that he couldn't find more people to witness his proposal! It was a nice and cute gesture but eventually the music performed by the band was all that mattered.

Their performance was without doubt of a level that we may expect from a band as Knight Area. They professionally finished the songs on the set list that were mainly from the band's latest album Nine Paths (2011, see review). Keyboardist Gerben Klazinga said that Dreamweaver, one of the older pieces was also performed in 2007 during their first Rock Ittervoort gig. The instrumental piece Pride And Joy belonged to the highlights of this concert. However, a visual highlight could be experienced whilst playing a strong version of The Balance during which lead singer Mark Smit entered the stage dressed like a figure from one of the Highlander movies. The purple spotlight on his leather coat made it all look rather creepy. It was obvious that the audience liked Knight Area's strong performance because for the first time this evening they all stepped forward to the stage. Their loud cheering and clapping must have given the musicians an adrenalin boost; they rewarded them with a marvellous show.


Tracy Hitchings
In February the headliners already gave some live performances in the Netherlands. Therefore it was hardly a surprise that Landmarq played exactly the same songs, all taken from Entertaining Angels (2012, see review), their latest album. Well, it was certainly no punishment to listen to all those wonderful compositions again. The band members were in great shape and performed in the best possible way, maybe even better than during their concerts in February. This time I even found it difficult to mention real highlights. However, in hindsight I consider the solo piano piece Stormbrewing by keyboard player Mike Varty and the epics Thunderstruck and Calm Before The Storm to be the ultimate highlights. Especially because these epic pieces contain fantastic solo parts played both on the keyboards and the guitar.

During this concert I became strongly aware of the fact that Uwe D'Rose (electric guitars) and Mike Varty (keyboards) play their melodic musical parts beautifully of course knowing that they got a steady
Mike Varty
rhythm section behind them. Steve Gee is a great bass player on the five and six-string bass, and the young Daniel Martin surprised the audience with his excellent and tight drumming. Landmarq made sure that they couldn't only entertain angels, but also an international audience consisting of many visitors from countries like Germany, Belgium and even Chile. Lead singer Tracy Hitchings deserves a special mention. Besides being a great vocalist, 'the queen of prog' also thanked the people in the audience who stayed during their nocturnal performance. This must have felt good to all those people who could hardly stand on their feet after watching four excellent bands. Also the announcement of more Dutch gigs in October this year was much appreciated. Hopefully they will consider playing some songs from the band's interesting back catalogue as well. I would like to hear progressive rock beauties like Lighthouse, Summer Madness and The Overlook from their highly acclaimed album Science Of Coincidence (1998)!

The seventh edition of Rock Ittervoort was again a major success for the participating bands and for those who attended the fantastic live shows. Unfortunately the event wasn't sold out this time while this line-up certainly deserved it. Hopefully this doesn't prevent the organization from arranging another strong edition next year. My compliments to all those volunteers who made it possible to watch a number of great prog rock bands in the southern part of the Netherlands!

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Landmarq:

Mountains Of Anglia
Turbulence (Paradigm Shift)
Personal Universe
Glowing (Part 1: Friends)
Glowing (Part 2: Lovers)
Prayer (Coming Home)
Walking On Eggshells
Calm Before The Storm
I. Strange But Beautiful
II. Spiderman
III. From The Abyss

Entertaining Angels

Pictures Landmarq by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Landmarq:

(left to right)
Mike Varty:
keyboards and backing vocals
Uwe D'Rose:
Tracy Hitchings:
lead vocals
Daniel Martin:
Steve Gee:
bass guitars, bass pedals and backing vocals

Setlist Knight Area:

Ever Since You Killed Me
Please Come Home
Angel's Call
The Balance
Pride And Joy
Dark Souls

Mortal Brow

Pictures Knight Area by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Knight Area:

(left to right)
Pieter van Hoorn:
drums, backing vocals
Gerben Klazinga:
keyboards, backing vocals
Peter Vink:
bass, bass pedals
Mark Smit:
lead vocals, portable keyboard
Mark Bogert:

Setlist Martigan:

Boatman's Vision (short version)
Touch In Time
The Peer
The Pride

Pictures Martigan by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Martigan:

(left to right)
Björn Bisch:
Oliver Rebhan:
keyboards and backing vocals
Kai Marckwordt:
guitar, lead and backing vocals
Mario Koch:
Alex Bisch:
drums and backing vocals

Setlist Silhouette:

Far Away
Empty Places
Don't Stop This Movie
When Snow's Falling Down

Pictures Silhouette by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Silhouette:

(left to right)
Brian de Graeve:
vocals, electric and acoustic guitars
Erik Laan:
vocals, keyboards
Bart Laan (guest):
electric guitar
Jos Uffing:
drums, vocals
Gerrit-Jan Bloemink:

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