Photos 1 - 13 copyright © Martijn de Vrieze 2002
Photos 14, 15 copyright © Sabine Bevers 2002
More photos available at mandylion.nl
October 12th, 2002
Review by Sabine Bevers
Amsterdam, Holland - It was great to go back to De Melkweg in Amsterdam to see Cranes once again. The place was packed, I was told by one of the Melkweg people that the venue was sold out, and yes there was a big crowd, but I wonder if this was really the case. In the press Cranes were again described as a "gothic doom-pop" band. There were lots of Dutch fans, many had seen Cranes during their last big tour in '97 and decided that it was time to come back, and many people from Belgium and the UK had travelled to Holland just for the show. People were curious to see the "new" members of the band, Jon Callender (drums) and Ben Baxter (bass), and to hear the new songs live. There was no support act, but no one seemed to mind. Some people did mind the eighties throwback tracks that were played before the show however. The stage looked lovely with the "randomly" placed giant lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling.
From the first song they played (Cloudless) it was clear that this was going to be a night to remember. The sound was truly brilliant and the atmosphere was great, both on the stage and in the audience. You could tell that most people were waiting to hear their old favourites again, but the new songs were warmly welcomed as well. Ali chatted in between songs, there were smiles all around, even when Jim "lost" his guitar plug at a certain point. But (fag in hand) that was sorted quickly. Jon (excellent drummer!) announced to Paddy the "lights man" that he was definitely going to hit one of the huge lightbulbs hanging just a tad bit too close to him during one of the songs, and Ben jumped up with a bit of tape to stick the bulb up a bit higher (photo). "Waste not want not". Wise words from Mr Callender. The lights looked great though, and the old sparkling disco ball just in front of the stage and the smoke only added to the effect. Everyone seemed happy to be back in Holland and the performance was recorded.
Oddly enough the audience were hidden in thick smoke in between every song, which became hilarious at a certain point. People were complaining to each other about their contact lenses and some wanted their sunglasses to be able to still look at the stage whenever a bright green spot was shining in their eyes. The guys and girl did two encores and said goodbye to a happy audience, wanting them to come back again soon.
Setlist..cloudless, fragile, to be, everywhere, future song, submarine, flute song, sunrise, shining road (big big hurrah), loved, lilies (more hurrah's and more shouting for "starblood", jewel, far away and adrift.) It was funny to see a guy nick a setlist off the stage after one encore, only to put it back quickly with a flushed face when they came back to do a couple more songs.
Cranes had to pack up their gear almost impossibly quickly, as there was another gig on the same stage a while later. The stage was crammed with people running back and forth, and Jon proudly announced that this had been the quickest packing up he'd ever done. Not very nice though after having played for hours. Alison went off to the merchandise stand to sign stuff and talk to people (so remember, buy a cool shirt and an album and get it signed!).
After all that we all sang for Paul, who'd almost forgotten his own birthday, and enjoyed having drinks and a lovely chocolate birthday cake. Jim did some magic tricks (pub style) and, at Ali's request, explained the "levitation" trick. Ben volunteered and was mysteriously levitated by two chairs. It was pure magic. The Dutch funk band playing in the background (they took the stage shortly after the Cranes show) seemed quite mysterious as well. No one knew who they were, and Ben (a "totally whack" reporter) and Jon (filming) went off for a bit of "rock band" filming after Jon had decided that the dressing room, and sticking a camera in our faces, wasn't eventful and "rockband-ish a la Led zeppelin" enough. The funk band were sporting a huge old Hammond organ and were greeted by a huge audience. Other mysterious questions that were or weren't answered? "Where's the bottle opener, there should be one around to open that wine?" "Why can you only find moonboot-like footwear if the only thing you want is a decent pair of cool trainers?" "Is this cheese Edam?" And "why doesn't a coin stop a can of beer from spilling after you've thrown it about a bit?"
After writing down the directions for their way back to the hotel (in the end the followed a taxi driver from hell) it was time for me to take off. It was a great night and it was really nice to meet Ben and Jon and to see everyone again. Before I left I knew that I was going to forgo my plan to not travel to Tilburg the next day. I should have known better really.
Review by Sabine Bevers
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