Retrospective & Starsabout
October 13, 2019 - 't Blok, Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel (NL)
In 2018 I met the Polish band Retrospective at the Night Of The Prog festival in Germany. At that time I didn't know their music, so it was my first encounter. I was pleasantly surprised by the energy with which this band was playing. In the meantime I listened to their music more often and recently even added a new record called Latent Avidity. My conclusion was that I wanted to see them playing live! Well, the Progfrog team made it possible by inviting them to the venue 't Blok in Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel. Together with the supporting act Starsabout.
The music is quite guitar oriented. Besides Tomasz Kryjan also singer Piotr Trypus plays the guitars. Although Marcin Wasiluk has a keyboard he is seldom using it. He is enhancing the guitar parts with electric and acoustic guitars and even a mandolin. The singer sings in an emotional and sensitive way, which fits this kind of music well. Sergiusz Pruszyński is hitting the drums in a functional way, however a bit monotonous.
They call their style 'dreamrock' and that is what it is. Very enjoyable when you are prepared to submerge yourself in the sounds, but quite frustrating when you are waiting for something more energetic to happen.
The band's stage performance is decent, but a bit dull. The artists are focusing on playing their parts and there is little interaction between them. Maybe this is what this kind of music needs, you should focus on the music without being distracted by show elements.
Between the songs there are long pauses where nothing happens, which doesn't give a professional impression. And then I'm not referring to the full stop that they needed to solve a technical problem.
They ended their performance with an older song which was a bit more up tempo. It's not clear to me which musical direction the band will choose for the future. I hope they will surprise me.
Their music is energetic and catchy. Their vocalist Jakub Roszak is an excellent singer and is moving/dancing quite expressively.
The band has already made 4 studio albums, from 2008 onwards. The last one, Latent Avidity, was released this year. As expected most songs on this album were played, but also several of previous albums.
The band has also two guitarists: Maciej Klimek and Darek Kazimierczak, who joined recently. He is a good addition to the team. Although there is a risk that two guitar players will result in guitar oriented music, however this is not the case. Female keyboardist Beata Łagoda plays an important role. Not only because of her fine playing but she also pleases the audience with her singing. She has a strong and crystal clear voice. One of the highlights of the gig was a duet with Jakub. It pleased me to see how enthusiastic they were.
The performance was more mature compared to their gig at the Night Of The Prog 2018.
The average age of the artists is mid 30. It pleased me to see that the younger generation is picking up the glove in this genre.
My conclusion is that we had a memorable Sunday afternoon. I would like to thank the Progfrog team for getting these bands to the Netherlands and the excellent organization of this gig.
Arthur Haggenburg (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
Longing For Home
Black Rain Love
Cry Me No Tears
Starsabout by Arthur Haggenburg
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Line up Starsabout:(left to right)
keyboards, guitars, mandoline
In The Middle Of The Forest
Stop For A While
The Seed Has Been Sown
Look In The Mirror
Heaven Is Here
Ocean Of Little Thoughts
What Will Be Next
The End Of Their World
Retrospective by Arthur Haggenburg
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Line up Retrospective:(left to right)
keys and lead vocals
electric and acoustic guitars
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