Salmon, Primitive Instinct, Flamborough Head, Parallel or 90 Degrees, Karnataka

"ProgFarm Festival 2001, November 3rd, De Harmsdobbe, Bakkeveen, The Netherlands"

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Salmon, Primitive Instinct, Flamborough Head, Parallel or 90 Degrees, Karnataka
"ProgFarm Festival 2001, November 3rd, De Harmsdobbe, Bakkeveen, The Netherlands"
2001,

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Summary

Another year, another progfarm festival in Bakkeveen/Netherlands, which is the only festival which is guarded by the terrible gate keeper, known from MONTY PYTHON's version of the "Legend of the holy grail":


Because of the long car drive from Munich the the north of the Netherlands I missed the first band of the afternoon, SALMON, a dutch band from Utrecht. To those woo are unfamiliar with SALMON I'll describe their music from listening to their CD. SALMON play melodic neoprogressive rock with groovy instrumental parts, sensitive melodic chords and the slight use of disharmonies. The big strength of this band are multi-vocals parts and the soft use of piano. The heart of their CD "Decade reference" is the 21 minute epic A second life with heart and soul, a longtrack full of variety and highly sensitive and emotional progressive tunes. Although "Decade reference" not a spectacular album it shows, that SALMON are a very promising young band who (hopefully) will continue to play music, because songs like Houses on the voorde banks (sounds like a mixture of new MARILLION and early TORI AMOS), AVoid or the stunning The observer (soft IQ'ish) deserve much more attention. Check them out if you can !


The second band of the afternoon/evening was PRIMITIVE INSTINCT from the U.K. I've not listened to their music before and so I was quite surprised as I found out that they are not a die hard progressive rock band, but more a band out of the alternative, soft-psychedelic rock area. All songs were nicely composed and performed very atmospherically. If you like the soft end of PORCUPINE TREE, you'll should definetely check out PRIMITIVE INSTINCT, espeically if you have the chance to listen to their song Praying for the rain which was a real highlight of that afternoon.


Now it was the turn of FLAMBOROUGH HEAD, the organizers of this beautiful festival. FLAMBOROUGH HEAD's new line-up features Margriet Boomsma (Edo Spanninga's wife) on female vocals and Eddie Mulder on guitars, leading to a markable change in the sound of this dutch band. The new guitar player adds a much more intense prog, slide and funk touch to the music of FLAMBOROUGH HEAD, but taking away a bit of the raw and heavy sound of Andre Ceints guitar playing. Margrit replaces Siebe on the vocals and additionally brings in atmospheric flute playing. Siebe's vocals were unusual, but unique and had a great range of dynamics. Margrit's nice and atmospheric voice adds a much more soft touch to the music, replacing "dramatic" singing with "sensitive" singing. Overall FLAMBOROUGH HEAD's music has become more acoustic, softer and more atmospheric, fortunately without losing to much of their prog stamp. As I have some kind of a metal revival these days I had some difficulties with the more soft and atmnospheric sound, but songs like the epic Garden of dreams, House of cards, One for the crow and Old shoes (great instrumental parts !) did not suffer at all ... and so FLAMBOROUGH HEAD got the biggest applause of the evening so far ... well deserved !

Next were PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES, the freakin' powerprog wizards from the U.K. They delivered the grooviest and most dynamic gig of that night with crunchy 70ies organ/riff combinations, great guitarplaying in all kinds of styles, 2 keyboards (one for the freakin matter, one for the atmospheric part), poundering and dynamic bassplaying and skillfull drumming. Instrumentally PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES are highly entertaining and great fun to see live ... but ... the vocals pulled the music down, due to their lack of melody, precision and variety. This band needs one thing to get perfect, new vocal lines and a dedicated singer. Nethertheless the crowd enjoyed the great drive of their music and saw the most progressive and dynamic gig so far on that eve.

Because to some talks with prog maniacs and because I had to drive back to our - a bit far away hotel in Groningen - and was not able to listen the main act of this year's ProgFarm festival, KARNATAKA, so I will shortly review their latest album "The storm" instead:
KARNATAKA were founded in 1996. In the year 2000 they recorded their acclaimed album "The storm".


Summary: PROGFARM 2001 was not that great as PROGFARM 2000 (MOSTLY AUTUMN and SYLVAN), but one thing is for sure: PROGFARM remains a nice festival worth to visit. Next year I'll drive to the Netherlands one day earlier, because driving from Munich directly to Progfarm on the same day makes too damn tired .... shit ... I'm getting too old for that stuff ;-) ... so see ya next year and ... beware of dutch killer rabbits ! 6 points

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© 10/2002 Markus Weis
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