I was so very disappointed with last year’s Popronde, since I only managed to see one performance in “the main stage” LVC. But now I learnt my lesson. If you want to see nice performances, i.e. performances that does not require the latest mainstream music trends that is oh-so-boring anyway, then you really should NOT go to LVC.
This year, I had more time to do a bit of ‘research’ on the bands I would like to see. Instead of just going to neighbouring pubs (neighbour in literal sense, since they are only few footsteps away), I went to a club where it was famous for some performances of great-but-humble bands, Qbus.
The club was close to Maarten’s place, who at that evening unfortunately couldn’t join my evening walk against the strong winds to see the some of the nicest Dutch bands I had ever seen since the first time I set foot on this so-called orange country.
Anyway, the first band I saw in that club was Bird on the Wire, which somehow reminded me of Esben and the Witch – not for the similarity in music, but in formation. Well kind of. There were only three of them in the band – and they sometimes played different instruments (glockenspiel, and switching from guitar to organ/keyboard or eh whatever it is called).
Their music was nice, actually, despite when both the main vocalist and guitarist started to sing, their voices didn’t really blend harmoniously.
Bird on the Wire
The second band I saw was The Cosmic Carnival, although I only managed to see two or three songs from them because I had to run to De Bonte Koe to see Groningen band Roos. In my personal point of view, The Cosmic Carnival sounded like a mix of psychedelic rock-n-roll with a twist of hippie folk (I’m actually just making up my own genre here). They had six members, of which three of them sang (and played instruments at the same time), and they sang really nicely. Their music was catchy as well.
The Cosmic Carnival
But anyway, I had to run. Roos played only 15 minutes after The Cosmic Carnival started their performance, so I rushed myself to De Bonte Koe, around 10 minutes walk from Qbus.
When I arrived, luckily Roos had not yet started performing, because or else I would be squashed in the middle of the audience jam packing in the small bar. That was my first time going to De Bonte Koe, and I was really amazed by their interior. It felt like I entered an old-fashioned, classics and super-gezellig bar.
I squeezed myself to the front row, since there was no stage so there was no chance of me to see a glimpse of the band if I had stood somewhere in the middle.
And their performance was, BRILLIANT. I normally don’t like jazz (for some personal reasons), but this one was more of like the soulpop jazz which reminded me of Swing Out Sisters and Lisa Stansfield in a more relaxed, easy-listening way.
They received really warm applause from the audience, and I think that one day they will be the next Dutch music stars – but ‘stars’ in Caro Emerald sense, not Jan Smit.
After Roos’s performance (which was absolutely mesmerising), I walked home and saw a glimpse of a performance of an unknown band in a bar near the Hooglandse Kerk. Then I dropped by at LVC, which of course, was the ‘hippest’ place in Leiden, so they had the sort of ‘hippest’ sort of music. I think it was Soul Sister Dance Revolution that I saw performing at LVC, and they were not that nice. Well uhm, in my point of view, which of course not really ‘hip’. Haha.
more photos (mostly black-and-white ones of roos) are here