maandag 13 oktober 2014

Awakenings All-Dayer

On the road.
Two and a half years after my debut at the Awakenings Festival, I was being asked to perform here again. This time as part of the All-Dayer. Which is the final edition of the season.
On the four evenings of this festival earlier this year, three acts entered the stage. The All-Dayer (as you might expect) is spread over the whole day. Offering three acts in the afternoon, and three in the evening.
In 2012 I performed solo, and because I am involved into Free Arts Lab at this moment, I decided to perform with Jeroen Hagen and Petter Janse at this edition, when I was being invited.

Arriving at Dover.
Friday, October 10th early in the morning we loaded our van with all equipment and headed to Calais to take the ferry to Dover. Before midnight we arrived at our hotel in Derby, and before going to sleep we had a drink at a local bar in the centre of Derby.
Saturday, October 11th, right after breakfast, we drove to Paget High School in Burton upon Trent where we unloaded our van and enjoyed the concerts throughout the day, which started around 13:00.
Six concerts varying in length in between 40 and 70 minutes, with intervals of 15 minutes in between each of them.

John Sherwood opened this third edition of the Awakenings All-Dayer with his musical creations which could be categorized somewhere in between ambient and minimal. A nice ambient start, and later on sequencers. Unfortunately it lacked any progress within the tracks and musically and performance-wise it couldn't catch me.

The set by Jah Buddha (aka Bob Hedger) mainly consisted of strong and driven Berlin School sequencing, and from time to time typical solos. Excellent layering of sequences, great and well chosen sounds and very interesting progress during his set. Absolutely recommended and highly enjoyable for the ears.

Ion, a three-piece formation, headlined the afternoon session. Starting their set with soothing ambient, blended with elements of dreamy new age. After this, an uptempo track, more ambience and then another energetic and exotic eastern-influenced track featuring a belly dancer. Continued by a cheezy English folk song  featuring (out of tune) flute and violin. The following uptempo tracks luckily did forget its precedor.
Although the band's presentation was chaotic, they delivered a nice set. Accompanied with from time to time nice visuals.

Soundcheck.
Then a long break followed in which we setup our equipment and did our soundcheck.

Ashok Prema continued the programme at 19:00. Because we had to change clothes I missed a large part of it. The part I heard contained nice music, with a lot of Hindi influences. The trio played their tracks without intermissions in between, so it was a nice constant listen. Very melodic, clear themes and well chosen and characteristic sounds. Only the two younger keyboard players could have played slightly more accurate and convincing.

Free Arts Lab. (c) Phil Booth.
20:00 it was time for us.
Our second Free Arts Lab performance in this formation, and although we did a satisfying try-out last week, we were very excited to learn how our music was going to be received by the audience. As well sound- as performance-wise.
We were a bit overwhelmed by all positive vibes and reactions of the audience. Still I have some points of attention for our performance and setup, but I think the audience didn't notice most of that. We left the stage very satisfied.

Directly after our show, I was honoured to get officially accepted as part of the Awakenings-family, and was very surprised to receive a delicious birthday-cake. Complete with lighted candles. Thanks a lot!

Then it was time for Audiometria, who came over all the way from Tenerife to debut at Awakenings.
A couple of months ago Radio Massacre International should have headlined the festival, but due to health reasons of bandmember Gary, the Canary Island duo was invited in place.
Miguel and Javi performed a typical traditional electronic music set. With a lot of power sequencing.
Intermissed with some ambient pieces layered with virtuoso piano solos. It is always a pleasure to notice that there are schooled musicians around who are capable of doing just that little bit more. Really nice!
And then again... Deep and powerful sequencing which definitely should appeal everyone who is into electronic music. Excellent headliner!

My synthesizers setup.
My second Awakenings experience was again a very positive one. Musically seen there was offered a varied programme. The number of visitors was ok (somewhere in between 30 and 40), but could have been slightly higher. In any case it again was an absolute pleasure to perform at this event and venue.

The day after, we headed back home.

Rest to thank the organisation and crew (Phil Booth, Jez Creek and Dave Buxton), volunteer girls from the catering and all people who were present this day and/or supported by buying a virtual ticket.

The coming time we will focus on Free Arts Lab's future plans and activities. To be continued...

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