Tag: concert review

Orit Shimoni sings to your soul

Ee, Friesland. A nice sunny evening at the Frisian countryside in the Netherlands. A small group of people gather around at Dreamprojectstudios to listen to Orit Shimoni and (support act) Marleen Adema from Leeuwarden.

Shimoni, a Canadian-Israeli singer-songwriter has been on the road, “living from a suitcase”, for ten years now. Her songs reflect this life on the road, her views on life, her personal experiences. From her website:

Previously a teacher and academic, Israeli/Canadian Orit (pronounced O’reet) became a full-time touring solo artist after releasing two, highly acclaimed albums in Montreal. She moved to Berlin to write and record her third album, and after that decided to live out of a suitcase so she could pursue touring and recording with her entire focus.

I found Shimoni’s music trough a mutual Facebook-friend, Richard Wagenaar from The Next Gig. And when I heard Orit’s music online I thought “Well, as soon as she’s in the area, I want to hear her live!”. So, when we noticed she was playing in Ee, there was no doubt I wanted to go there!

MARLEEN ADEMA
Before Orit Shimoni got on stage there was a performance of Marleen Adema from Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. Marleen has been living in Wales for many years and that’s pretty obvious. Some of her songs were inspired by living there, building friendships and experiencing the country. It also clearly shows in how she writes songs as far as the lyrics are concerned. Most Dutch singer-songwriters sing “Neder-Engels” as we call it; songs that sound like translations from Dutch to English and often badly pronounced. This most certainly ain’t the case with Marleen’s songs! She sang a hand full of entertaining songs while playing guitar. The guitar playing is a little rudimentary but efficient.

The most funny song she did was a song build out of song titles of other songs. And not just a series of song titles, it did make sense. So funny and creative writing here. One of the most touching songs was a song about how, after years, a relationship can end even though you were once ‘lost’ in the person and now, at the end ‘lost’ again.

Marleen introduced most songs by painting a little picture, in words, of how she ended up writing it. She sings them in a sincere way and with a good vocal performance. I haven’t been able to find a website for Marleen’s music, sorry about that. But she’s got a Youtube channel over here.

(click on pictures to enlarge)

ORIT SHIMONI
Even though I did hear music of Orit Shimoni on Youtube I didn’t know exactly what to expect live of course. So, my daughter Judith and I went to Ee with some expectations but were totally blown away by her perfomance!

Orit Shimoni performed songs from her albums (there are 9 available at the moment at her website) and a new one written only a few months ago. She’s not only an amazing singer and great guitar player but above all a very good lyricist. Wants to make you think (and succeeds in this) about what she has to tell in her songs. Sometimes in a soft voice, poetic. But often also powerful and straight forward. Deep lyrics that come straight from the soul. From her soul, to the soul of the listener.

This morning, when I got up, first thing I did –even before making myself a cup of coffee!– I put on the CD I bought. On it, there are a few songs she sang live also. The album was recorded and produced by Martin van de Vrugt, a Dutch musician who also playes several instruments on the album.

One of the songs, “Smarter than Me”, was inspired by his wife and also performed yesterday. Just as Marleen did Orit introduced a lot of songs by telling about them. In fact, I think she almost spends almost as much time talking about the songs, events, people and so on that inspired her or teached her ‘lessons about life’ as performing them. And that’s okay! Because she’s a good story-teller! Anyway – if there’s one thing I suggest you should do today: get the album. Order it at the website (hard copy) or download it from BandCamp.

There’s of course a lot I could tell about the songs, about the performance and so on. But I suggest you listen for yourself.

I hope she’ll keep on doing what she’s doing and we will be able to see and hear her again one day. I do believe she deserves a lot bigger audience, btw. I mean, .. if acts like Mumford and Sons, Bob Dylan and so on play for a sold out Ziggo Dome or Heineken Music Hall,.. why is she still performing for such small audiences? In my opinion, she’s at the same level as bands like that!

(click on pictures to enlarge)

 

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Nadia Reid in Concert, Vessel11, Rotterdam

English review**

Is it worth driving almost 2.5 hours to Rotterdam. Spending a full tank of gas on it. Paying a whopping parking rate and driving back even longer (because of the fog), for a concert that lasted a little longer than an hour by Nadia Reid?

The singer-songwriter from New Zealand is currently touring Europe to promote her upcoming album (available online in March, see this link). She’s doing concerts at venues in the UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland.

I found her music, by accident, online at Soundcloud last year. Just like I found the music of Samantha Fish, David Philips, Aldous Harding and many others on Facebook, SoundCloud and Youtube. It’s the ultimate way to find new, fresh, real music.

The show was held at Vessel11, a boat in Rotterdam (see pictures). A very nice venue though it was a little too crowded in my opinion. Probably one of the smallest venues I’ve ever visited. Acoustics of the concert-location are great though. Perfect for singer-songwriters. And it’s the perfect place for smaller gigs of course.

Nadia seemed to be a little tired and that’s no surprise. She’s having a tight schedule but despite of this she gave a great vocal delivery of a selection of older and new songs. These songs are all original songs and written from a personal perspective on the things she’s gone trough.

Self-discovery doesn’t come easy. It’s usually a rite of passage to get burned before the wounds can heal and often takes a new perspective to truly understand yourself. 18 months and 10,000kms travelled since many needles first dropped on her debut LP Listen To Formation Look For The Signs, it’s safe to say with her second album Preservation, Nadia Reid now knows herself extremely well. (Press release)

Nadia’s work is released trough Spunk Records (http://www.spunk.com.au/artists/), the same company that distributes the music of Aldous Harding, also from New Zealand. Recently I’ve read in an interview with Harding that Nadia Reid and she were even roommates for some time. What are the odds finding two singer-songwriters on SoundCloud from New Zealand you both like so much and to find out they even had shared housing? So anyway — back on topic. The concert.

To my surprise she didn’t need to win over the audience. I had the impression most people already had seen or heard her before or, just like me, were following her on the Internet. Some around me even knew the words to many songs and softly sang along. All songs were received very well. Even a country’ish song that made my daughter (who joined me) not “that’s a little like the music you can hear on Spongebob”.. (no offence!). She was referring to the rhythm and guitar playing with over the top reverb. Creating that “Hawaiian feel”. I can’t remember the title of the song but it was the only one that didn’t really work for me.

In between songs Nadia told a little about the songs, what triggered her to write them. Mentioned her concert last year at Vlieland, shared a few personal things. I didn’t know what to expect from the live performance apart from the videos I’ve seen online. Songs that were played included Preservation, The Arrow and the Aim (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04s8ch7). The encore song was the one that got me hooked to her music. It was the first I’ve ever heard and I was happy she played it live: Holy Low (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwjnTp54qL0).

So — to get back to the question: was it worth the long drive to Rotterdam (and back), effort and money to go see Nadia Reid live? In one word: absolutely! I’m very glad I had the opportunity to hear and see her live and decided to go! My daughter was also impressed and we agreed that Nadia Reid is one hell of a talented songwriter and performer. Can’t wait to see her again, hopefully with a full band and perhaps in front of a far bigger crowd. She deserves it big time!


** This review is in English so my friends and the artists, in case they read it, can (hopefully) understand what I’m talking about.

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