June 16, 2024 - De Pul, Uden (NL)

Me and the band Karnataka and especially their band leader Ian Jones have a long history. It goes back to 2000 when they released their second album The Storm. It was also the year when they crossed the Channel for the first time to do a concert in the Netherlands. Being the support act for Porcupine Tree. Of course I was there to welcome them at the 013 in Tilburg and do an interview as well. Many years have passed since that wonderful first meeting. Many concerts have been done in the Netherlands as well. Nowadays as a headliner because during the years they certainly made a name in our country. Therefore it wasn't so strange they included three concerts in the Netherlands for their Requiem For A Dream UK/European Tour 2024. Of course Background Magazine wouldn't miss this opportunity to see them again after they released their masterpiece Requiem For A Dream last year (2023, see review). And of course it was a great way to celebrate my 24 years of knowing this band and their leader.

It was the fourth time they climbed the stage at the Pul in Uden and it was already seven years ago that I witnessed them at this great venue. And just like the last time, but in a different line up this time around, the band was again at the top of their game. Every time band leader and bassist Jones manages to create a band that is amazing on their albums as well as during a concert. The band was really on fire during the two sets and encore.

After an impressive keyboard part the band started their first set with the short instrumental Karnataka. Taken from the their third album Delicate Flame of Desire (2003). It was directly followed by Road To Cairo taken from Secrets Of Angels (2015, see review). It was the only track taken from this album during the whole concert. Forbidden Dreams was originally also included on the setlist but later on skipped. During the performance of Road To Cairo new female singer Sertari proved right from the start what an amazing vocalist she is. She easily managed to copy the vocals of her predecessor Hayley Griffiths. Also during Strange Behaviour (another song from Delicate Flame Of Desire) she had no problems doing the parts which were on the studio version done by Rachel Jones.
Ian Jones (►more pics)
The rest of the first set was dominated by compositions taken from the band's latest studio album. The fans could enjoy All Around The World, Sacrifice, Don't Forget My Name and Forgiven. All got excellent renditions. Guitar player Luke Machin (Cyan, The Tangent, Machine) and keyboard player Rob Wilsher (Multi Story) showed during those pieces what wonderful musicians they are on their instruments. Most of all during Forgiven (the closing song of the first set) they shone all the way.

The second set only included three songs. First The Gathering Light from the album of the same name released in 2010. Secondly Heaven Can Wait, the opening tune from the earlier mentioned second album. And last but not least Requiem For A Dream. The twenty five minutes long epic title track from their latest release. I guess it's not a surprise that they again come up with great live versions of those titles. Most of all the epic piece were just awesomely done and gave me shivers down my spine several times. Bravo to all of the musicians on stage for playing this long piece of music without any mistakes. Most of all Machin and Wilsher shone again by playing impressive solos. And also the vocals of Sertari were again outstanding and it was great seeing her rhythmically tapping her microphone against her breast and making the sound of a heartbeat. The last heartbeats of our planet!

Luke Machin (►more pics)
After two excellent sets the crowd of course wanted more and demanded an encore. The band didn't disappoint them and came back to do an incredible version of Forsaken. My personal musical highlight taken from the earlier mentioned The Gathering Light (see review) album. The band pulled out all the stops for the last time leaving the audience breathless when they left the stage. Most of all singer Sertari, guitarist Luke Machin and drummer Jack Summerfield shone during this excellent live version. As for myself I couldn't control myself anymore when I saw Summerfield playing his amazing parts and started copying his parts. Strangely enough he was aware of this strange Dutch man and enjoyed my strange behaviour. After the show he personally gave me his drum sticks which he used to play his amazing parts. Yes that's how you treat your fans my friends.

All I can say is thanks to this wonderful band for doing a great performance every time I witness them. Hopefully they return next year for my 25th anniversary for knowing this amazing band. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

Setlist Karnataka:

Set 1
Road To Cairo
All Around the World
Strange Behaviour
Don't Forget My Name
Set 2
The Gathering Light
Heaven Can Wait
Requiem For A Dream

Pictures Karnataka by Arthur Haggenburg

>>> Click here to view all pics on one page.

Click on the picture to enlarge.


Line up Karnataka:

(left to right)
Luke Machin:
Rob Wilsher:
lead vocals
Ian Jones:
bass and bass pedals
Jack Summerfield:

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