Leiden, Holland -I was really excited to get the news by e-mail that Cranes were doing a gig in Holland. I called my best friend, who's also a true Cranes lover, and we would go to Leiden with his girlfriend's car (including his girlfriend of course!). We live in the south of the Netherlands, so we did a one hour drive to Leiden, enjoying The Cure on the radio while the sun was setting. Of course we didn't play Cranes in the car, cause that would partially spoil our excitement.
Although we've never been to the LVC before, miraculously we had no trouble finding the club. We entered while the support act was already playing, but we didn't pay much attention to them as we were here for only one thing: CRANES !!! We sat down and I smoked a little pot. While I was doing that, I thought I was going delirious: a perfect look-alike of Robert Smith came strolling along!! Very funny !
Immediately after the support act finished, I posted myself at a good spot right in front of the stage, where I would have lots of great photo opportunities. After about 30 minutes, the lights went out and all Cranes came on stage with the first tunes of my absolute favourite Cranes song, "Cloudless", ringing in my ears. What a joy to start of with such a beautiful, touching song.
I was very impressed with the sound and lighting, especially after waiting for over 2 years since the last time I saw Cranes live in 1997 in Eindhoven. There was a nice relaxed atmosphere, like we were watching close friends perform with their band. LVC is a lot smaller than the Effenaar in Eindhoven, which makes it a lot more intimate (and very warm inside...!).
After "Reverie", they played my second favorite song, "Adoration". Too bad someone screwed up a bridge towards the end of the song, which caused Alison to completely lost track at that point. I think the keyboard player did it ! After playing "Breeze", I noticed an unfamiliar title in the setlist (which I could view from my position). It was one of three brand new songs called "Here Comes the Day". The second new song had no title yet, but was called "Slide Song", which Jim played some beautiful slide-guitar on. Very nice songs and very promising for the forthcoming album ! They reminded me of the Forever album.
Meanwhile the band was sweating buckets on the small stage under the hot lights. Somebody in the audience noticed Alison wiping the sweat off her forehead and called out: "Hot, isn't it?''(stating the obvious!). "Yes, it is!" Alison replied with a smile. Alison interacted a bit more with the audience than usual tonight. Usually she appears to be very shy. The only thing she sometimes said during the last gig in Eindhoven was a very timid "thank you" in between songs.
After "To Be", Cranes played the third new song of the evening, "Future Song" (working title). Another very beautiful song! The first copy of the new album will be mine as soon as it comes available! Towards the end of the set, another very popular live song, "Lilies" really got the crowd going. In the middle of the song, some guy in the audience shouted very loudly in a low and raw voice "Where am I?". Normally this would be very annoying, but the Cranes themselves thought it was pretty funny, judging from their smiling faces.
They finished the regular set with "Paris and Rome". Immediately all fans started shouting "Starblood" for an encore, but they had to wait. First up was an encore with "E.G.Shining" (which I didn't know, although I'm pretty sure that I've got ALL Cranes records so far), followed by "Far Away", and the apocalyptic "Adrift". Great finish !! Still the fans didn't have enough after this first encore, so another one followed. First up was "Tangled Up", and then at last, the fans got what they wanted: "Starblood"! New drummer John did an excellent job. Way better than Manu who lost track and started turning around the rhythm, thus screwing up the song completely. And then to think of the fact that John only had a few weeks to get to know all the songs ! He must be a true fan !
It was all over too soon, and I was rudely awaken from the dream by my friends who wanted to leave A.S.A.P. because of work next morning. Thus, I missed the chance to meet the Cranes as they mingled with the audience after the gig. Well, better luck next time on this one, as they will hopefully come to Eindhoven again in the foreseeable future........
Hope to see you soon again ! Marco
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