Am I one of these people who will moan when their favourite band gets this big they will be playing bigger venues? I have to admit I sort of am but not because I don't want the band to be successful and wouldn't want to share this with the rest of the world but simply because I love the smaller venues. Kaiser Chiefs in the 850 capacity Melkweg was much better than Kaiser Chiefs in the 5,000 capacity HMH (and this was not just because their songs had gone drastically down the drain ever since). These smaller venues are real. I just love them. Two of my top 3 gigs of this year have taken place in such a small venue, the little stage of the Paradiso in Amsterdam. And to honour just that, here's my top 3 of my favourite gigs from that very stage, Paradiso - kleine zaal.
3) Ernst Jansz (October 2010)
It was more the whole experience that made it. All seated with some honourable Dutch musicians in the audience, Jansz was playing Bob Dylan songs in Dutch, talked about Dylan songs, showed Dylan pictures. I don't even like Dylan! It was still amazing. Ernst Jansz means more to me than words can say. After the show, where we were all treated on cake and champagne, I tried to tell him anyway. The hug and kiss (on the cheek) I got in return are priceless. That combined with the great musician, singer and story teller he is made this unforgettable.
2) Quasi (May 2010)
Not knowing what to expect from this band they really blew me away. This is how God intended rock n roll to be. For me this show was also some kind of turning point. It was my definite goodbye from general frustration about 'nme-indie', isn't there anything else? Sure there is. And Quasi are the King and Queens of that. Ever since this gig I never felt too old for any show any longer. And let it be said that Janet Weiss and Sam Coomes are two of the most genuine and kindest musicians I've ever met.
1) The Cribs (September 2007)
If the microphone stand of Gary Jarman falls down straight into the plastic cup with beer of his brother Ryan you just know the stage is small. The Cribs (then still a 3-piece) are notoriously known for their raw and energy filled shows, this was no exception, far from it. Sweat literally dripped from them on us. And from us on them. The venue was boiling. Everyone was hyped. There was serious crowd surfing. It was amazing. One of the best gigs I've seen? Definitely. Best live band too.
All pictures on this post are made by me.