Welcome to this Moondog Jr. page. It's not meant to be a homepage, it's a page that was added to the unofficial dEUS homepage because Moondog Jr. is the band of dEUS bass-player Stef Kamil Carlens. The band already existed when dEUS was founded, but didn't get much public attention until dEUS got successful. Anyway, now they've got a record deal with Island resulting in a new album, a single and a tour. And a page at this dEUS site ;-) Have fun!
Before you get an answer to this, you should know that the name of Moondog Jr. was different before they signed at Island. Their first name was SKC Moondog. I know almost nothing about this period, and don't think they released anything in this period.
Then their name became A Beatband. A Beatband released one album/EP. It's called Jintro Travels The World In A Skirt, and has the line "5 songs of wrath" on the cover. As you might have guessed from this, it has five songs:
All words and music are by Stef Kamil Carlens, and all arrangements by A Beatband. It's really unclear who A Beatband are because the line-up changes with about every song. Among the people who participate are Klaas Janszoons and Jules de Borgher who later joined Stef again in dEUS. This cd might be hard to find, but if you really go looking for it in Antwerp, Gent or Brussels there's a good change you'll find it (I did). A Beatband has also done a radio session and played some live concerts which have been taped.
After this episode their name changes to Moondog Jr., and they sign a record deal at Island. This results in the release of the TV Song single, and the Everyday I Wear A Greasy Black Feather On My Hat album. The single has four songs:
A sticker on the front of the single states "dEUS bassist Stef Kamil Carlens, in conjunction with a collection of long time-friends and collaborators has produced and EP & forthcoming LP of laid back, smokey beauty. Sample this debut 4-tracker before delving into the forthcoming album: 'Everyday I Wear A Greasy Black Feather On My Hat'". When this single was released they also played a short session at Most Wanted, where they performed TV Song and Moondog. Earlier they had already done a session for VPRO radio. About two weeks after the single the album was released. This proved to be even better than the single would have you expect. It has the following songs:
This is a great album and all reviews have been extremely positive so if you haven't got it yet, check it out NOW!
By now, the second single of this album has been released. It consists of the following songs:
Another great 4-tracker. Jintro & The Great Luna is a different version from the one on the album. This one comes really close to the way they play it live.
There are also quite a lot of radio sessions circulating. I've been gathering info about this but it is a bit confusing. Anyway, a short list is over here:
More coming soon...
It's hard to believe if you've heard them on record, but they're even better live. And they're on tour right now! Check out Belgian Rock On-Line for info and go see them. While this tour is on the road I'll have reviews on this page for as many of their shows as possible. If you're going to see them please write something about it to put on this page. Address: email@example.com
As you'll see a lot of these reviews have been written by Paul van Gorp. He's the maintainer of an excellent Moondog Jr. Homepage.
Reviews of the August 27th '95 show at the Campingflight To Lowlands Paradise festival.
Review of the October 21st '95 show in Charleroi
Review of the October 24th '95 show as a support act for Morphine in Nighttown, Rotterdam
Review of the October 27th '95 show at the Para, Breda
Review of the October 31st '95 show at the Botanique, Brussels
Review of the November 18th '95 show at Rotown, Rotterdam
Review of the January 25th '96 show at the Effenaar, Eindhoven
Review of the January 27th '96 show at Tivoli, Utrecht
Review of the March 29th '96 show at the Noorderligt, Tilburg
This sections can be browsed like this, or you can use the menu at the How are they live? section. dEUS reviews can be found at dEUS review section.
I had to leave the rather interesting performance of Yo La Tengo early to be in time for my first show of Moondog Jr. in the Delta-tent (a circustent). I had waited for this moment a long time. I got interested in this band early this year, when they did a session at the Villa 65 radio show. At that time the band was still called SKC Moondog & A Beatband, and I got to know them primarily because of the direct link with dEUS. Apart from guitar player/vocalist Stef, Moondog Jr. consists of a saxofone player (bariton and tenor), a stand up-bass player, a drummer and a multimusician, who played organ, guitar and something which resembled a harmonica. This ensemble produces a unique sort of jazzy music, that is hard to describe precisely. You should listen to the music yourself.
All my high expectations were fulfilled (more than that), because 50 minutes later I was fully impressed. Very quiet and in a haze, I left the tent after the almost tearjerking gig. With respect to musical and emotional qualities, this was the highlight of the festival. Carlens, who seemed to be influenced by God knows what, once again turned out to be a musical genius, not only because of his fabulous and flexible bass- and guitarplaying, but also because of his raw characteristic vocal capabilities, by which he touches the innermost part of your soul directly.
The Moondog Jr.-concert was introduced by Willem Venema (the director of Mojo/Double You Concerts, the organising agency of this festival), who announced that this concerned a premiere. I think he meant that this would be the first Moondog-show in Holland (I know the band did some earlier performances in Belgium). He also told that the debut album would be released on October 16; this date was already noted several weeks in my agenda. Another interesting date is April 24 or May 24 next year, because Moondog Jr. will be support act at the Morphine-show in Rotterdam. I think this is a mistake and this should be October 24, because Morphine will be playing Holland in that period (amongst others in Eindhoven on the 26th).
(Later addition: indeed it should be October 26.)
The performance itself consisted of merely unknown (at least to me) songs. One of the few familiar songs was the impressive and moody TV Song. Unfortunately the beautiful Ice Guitars was not played. During TV Song Stef's great guitar playing abilities became apparent again (cf. the Rotterdam show several months earlier, where he took over Rudy's guitar when he left the stage), because the lower and middle strings of his guitar snapped at once; Stef played on as if nothing happened, although I got the impression that the song did not make it to the end.
The atmosphere in the tent was great; there was an almost complete silence during the entire show. I think everyone was very impressed by the moody sounds.
Moondog Jr. also performed during the special VPRO TV broadcast later on that sunday afternoon. Stef was interviewed and they played two songs, the second of which was TV Song.
Right now, I'm looking forward to their album and the upcoming performances in Holland; I'm almost certain I will attend several of them.
Paul van Gorp (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Moondogs played in the smallest tent, Delta, which is a converted small circus tent. Unfortunately there were no guest appearances: the keyboard player didn't play along with dEUS, and i didn't see any dEUS members on stage or in the audience at this show. It was announced that the release for the Moondog Jr. album is .. October. I thought it was 16 or something... I recognized only two songs they played so I guess most of the rest will be on the album. Those songs were the stunning 'Ragdoll Blues' from A Beatband's album and Stef's TV Song which dEUS played at their acoustic '2 Meter Sessie'. TV Song went wrong though, with Steff snapping two (2!) strings and skipping a verse. The band was really good. They started of realy jazz like, moving slowly to pop until they reached TV Song and then going back to jazz. The songs were really great, and if even just half of them is gonna be on the album, I can advise everyone to get it. Stef was very emotional, totally being one with the music (and probably stoned out of his mind). Another announcement was that in April 96 there's a double gig planned in Nighttown: Morphine/Moondog Jr. I'm sure it was April, but maybe i'm wrong anyway 'cos that's still a long time, and strange to start announcing already. The music rocked ( or is that swinged in jazz? ;-) ) in a big way, and will probably be strong enough to survive without being labelled 'dEUS & offspring'.
** Note: Double Nighttown gig is of course October '95 and not April '96. ***
Jorg Schellekens (email@example.com)
Hi, Before of everything, let me introduce myself to you. My name is Stefano (and as a matter of facts my foreign friends call me Stef), i'm 17 and i'm an italian boy living in Belgium since 1986. I grow up being very interested in music and now i'm really into the "alternative". I have a quite good experience of concert if you compare it to my age (about 40/50). I'm really into dEUS. I live in Overijse a small village out of Brussels and on saturday 21st I moved up to Charleroi to see my favourite band of the moment: the side project of Stef from dEUS: Moondog Jr. It was set in a small ballroom which was quite sold out. By the time I went to the concert I din't really know their Cd "Every day I wear a grasy black feather on my Hat", so I guess I can't tell you the set list. But I can assure you but they played almost all the songs from the Cd. A great moment was when Stef (which plays so fuckin' well the guitar, I was amazed) played Shall I let yhis good man in all alone and then the band jammed into an amazing song: the TV song. I can really tell that that piece is so good live. I think it's much more more better.
They also played very cool songs such as Moondance, Moondog, Ice guitars, The ricochet and a strip down version of Jintro & the great luna much more faster in a blusy way. I've been so impressioned by that concert that I've been telling me for a intere week that that of going to Charleroi with my my gilfriend had as been such a good idea.
This show seemed very promising beforehand. One of the reasons for this was Morphine's concert last year in the Effenaar in Eindhoven. This is still one of my all time favourite concerts. If you add Moondog Jr. as support act, then we are really in business, so a decision was quickly made to make a trip to Rotterdam this evening.
Because one is obliged to buy a membership card in Nighttown, we arrived a little late to see the start of the Moondog-performance. But because it would start at 21.00h, we only missed a few seconds. If I'm honest, I must say that I was more looking forward to see the support act than headliners Morphine, partly because of the briljant debut album by Stef's second band.
The first song was a musical intro, the title of which is not known to me. This brings me directly to the setlist:
Love Is A Heavy Brick
Jo's Wine Song
This set leaded to approximately one hour of pure ecstasy. Rather quickly I noticed the different character of this show, compared to Moondog's breathtaking performance at the Lowlands festival. In Walibi everything sounded very quiet and modest, and here I was surprised by a wall of sound. Not that Moondog's sound has become more powerful, but the high volume coming from the loudspeakers resulted in a somewhat less refined overall sound.
It was no big surprise that Morphine's saxophone player Dana Colley came on stage during Moondog's show. He participated in the song Moondog. He is no stranger to being on one stage with Stef, taking into account his appearance at dEUS' gig at the Pukkelpop festival in '94.
Although TV Song was played in much the same way as on the album and as during former acoustic sessions, this beautiful song was unfortunately 'violated' by the loud volume in the rather small concert hall.
Ice Guitars sounded totally different from the album version and the aforementioned (acoustic) session versions. On Everyday I Wear A Greasy Black Feather it is full of diversity: at certain moments it is very calm, and at other moments it sounds very energetic because of the powerful drums. In contrast with this, this live version was done in one tempo, which made a slightly less convincing impression on me.
Through a smooth bridge, Ice Guitars passed into an other song. This sounded very familiar to me, so I think it is a cover, but I was not able to recognize it exactly.
After the nice song Love Is A Heavy Brick, also Jo's Wine Song was done. This surprised me a bit, because I expected that this song would not turn up during live shows. I don't know why I think this; maybe it has something to do with the somewhat electric atmosphere of this song.
The last song of the show was the first song on the album, Love 609. I think this is not the best choice, because in my opinion Ice Guitars, when it is stretched for several minutes, would be a perfect end.
It may be clear that I was very content with this support act. I even dare to state that this was the best support act I experencied in my entire concert career. Nevertheless, I think that Moondog's Lowlands-performance was even better.
At the end of Morphine's regular gig, they came back on stage, accompanied by the five members of Moondog. Together they performed You Look Like Rain. During this, Stef was creating ping sounds with some small toy instrument and Benjamin Boutreur joined Dana in his saxophone playing. Not realy surprising, but this collaboration put a nice end to a great evening.
Paul van Gorp (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This was the first time I visited the Para concert hall in Breda. When I entered the building, I was surprised by the size of it; I thought the Basement in Rotterdam was small, but this is even much smaller. In fact, it is about half as big, i.e.\ approximately 13 meters wide and 5 meters deep. The stage itself is about 10 by 3 meters. There is no room for a 'backstage' area. Instead of this, a small area is kept free at the side of the stage. I think there is room for about 125 persons, and a few of them can take place on a small balcony.
Apart from the emergency exit, there is not a real side entrance, so at about 21.35h the four members of Mad Dog Loose entered the stage from the audience. I didn't know this Belgium group previous to this show, so I didn't know what to expect from it. At first I spotted some resemblance with the Pixies, but as the performance progressed, I noticed more and more that it really came close to the original dEUS sound. This impression was created by the singer; regularly I was thinking I was listening to Tom Barman's singing. Even the singer's posture showed many similarities to that of dEUS' frontman.
The dEUS resemblance was strengthened by the addition of the violin. This instrument was played rather frequently by the drummer. He alternately played drums and violion, not leaving his position behind the drumkit.
Maybe because of the dEUS resemblance, I really enjoyed Mad Dog Loose. Not many times have I seen such a promising support act. Earlier in the week, I had seen an even better one. That's not very strange, because then it concerned Moondog Jr., the headliners of this evening. Mad Dog Loose played for about 50 minutes, after which the stage was prepared for Moondog Jr.
Saxophone player Benjamin seemed very eager to play, because he appeared on stage about half an hour before the start to tune his saxophones and prepare the organ (and chair) for TV song.
At 23.05h five persons (Stef at the left, and the rest at the other side of the room) wormed their way through the audience to the stage. After they had entered the stage, Moondog started in the same way as in Rotterdam with a short and moderate instrumental song, which progressed into a new (?) song, which I think is called Take It As A combination.
The setlist of this show is as follows (titles between quotes are only guesses; these words or lines appeared several times in the concerning song):
'Take It As A Combination'
Shall I Let This Good Man In
Everyday I Wear A Greasy Black Feather On My Hat
'Jacky' (or something like that. I think it is a Tom Jones cover.)
Jo's Wine Song
Jintro & The Great Luna
As can be seen from the setlist, many new or unknown (at least to me) songs were done.
Bombo was played in much the same way as on the album. One of the very few not so very impressive songs of this album followed Bombo, but this live version of Shall I Let This Good Man In was very ok.
The next song was announced as Everyday I Wear A Greasy Black Feather On My Hat. Very strange that this title track is not included on the album. It is a rather quiet song and it would fit perfectly between the other songs.
Before Moondog, Stef said that this song was about reading comic strips before going to sleep. Hm...
After Moondance, a series of three briljant songs formed a first climax of the show. The trilogy started with Ice Guitars. In Rotterdam, I was not really impressed by it, but here it was done very different, much more in correspondence with the album version. It started in a moderate way, but when the drums were added, it quickly turned into a steady rocking song.
After this, Benjamin took the organ-like instrument, so it was clear that the beautiful TV Song would follow. Stef and Benjamin were really taken up in this song, because they both did it with their eyes closed all the time. In fact, they reached that very concentrated state more than once during the concert, and the same goes for the other members.
Strange computer sounds, created in Tom's synthesizer, were the intro for Cachita. This song is full of suspence and Stef's whispering tone and the continuous addition of the instruments succeeded in bringing this suspence across to the audience.
In the next few minutes, a rendition of a cover, which I think is originally done by Tom Jones, followed. I think the song is called Jacky or something like that, and Moondog really paced through it. They seemed to enjoy it in this up tempo way, because several smiles could be seen. I could have misheared, but I think Stef mentioned Jacques Brel's name after the song, and indeed it sounded like this song could have been written originally by this Frenchman; it sounded a lot like Paris Reveille (sp?).
The first lines of Jo's Wine Song were omitted, so it started right away with the 'marry marry, won't you marry'-part.
It was a bit difficult to recognize the next song, Jintro & The Great Luna, because this live version was very different from the one on the album. Stef was not only backed up by Tom's keyboard, but all the others joined in. This resulted in an overwhelming rendition, whereas this song is very restrained on the album.
After Ricochet, Moondog again played the song which I think is a cover, because, like in Rotterdam, it still sounded very familiar to me. I can't exactly place it, but it is a great song anyway.
After another new and rather short song (Hello?), the first part of the concert was finished off with Love 609. I still think this is not the best choice; it is too bombastic and the end is too sudden to be a successful closing. After Love 609, Aarich (drums), Tomas (upright bass), Tom (keyboards and guitar), and Benjamin (sax and organ) left the stage for the small 'backstage' area and Stef jumped into the audience and lingered for a few seconds in the left front corner of the room.
After a short while they all came back on stage, where Stef announced a little game. In the first few minutes of the show, he had worn a fez-like hat, which he had soon laid aside. Now he would throw this in the audience, and the person who would catch it, could exchange it for a t-shirt at the t-shirt stand. Very funnily he threw it right in the hands of Tom, but then Stef closed his eyes and threw it somewhere in the audience.
After this game another unknown song followed. It started off rather slowly, and in the first part of this song, the word 'soft' could be heard several times. It soon passed into a more rapid part, which sounded totally different. In this second part, the lyrics featured the words 'blind' and 'raindog' frequently, so this song is probably called 'Raindog'.
After another short break Tom and Stef re-entered the stage and the two of them performed a very fragile song (Guilty?) until 0.30h, at which time the show unfortunately ended. The five members left the small room in the same way as they came in, i.e.\ through the parting audience.
I am not exaggerating if I say that this is one of the best concerts, if not THE best concert I have ever experienced. All five members of the band were clearly full of enthousiasm and they were very driven during the entire show. For example, Stef did his characteristic dance steps a few times. Their frequent smiles made clear that they themselves also enjoyed this great performance. Not bad: I did have a great and fantastic evening, which I will remember for a long long time, for only fl. 10,- ;).
Paul van Gorp (email@example.com)
My girlfriend and i went at the Botanique a bit earlier for having something to eat, and that's where the night began. A few minutes after we sat at our table Stef and the rest of the band arrived and went just one or two tables behind us for having dinner. Of course when they came into the cafeteria some stupid girls always looking for some shit ran at him asking his autograph.
At 8.30 we went into the concert hall which was really really small and was completely sold out. Ten minutes after the first band of the night came in. It was a belgian band and i think their name was Junniper Boots. They were really good and sounded a lot like dEUS. They infact covered "morticichair". After it, another band came: Stephen Duncan. He was ok. All his songs were ode to alcool......
Then Moondog came up to the stage at about 10.30 with Stef announcin' that Bernardo Fernandez was at the mixing table (you know, i think he's also a friend of dEUS, which features in WCS and My Sister = My Clock) and they kicke off with Shall i let this good man in, whith sound problem. Ah, i forgot, the concert hall was so small that there was no room for the piano! So they played with something like a synthesizer, which had problems with the amplifier. Even though they could noy ear themself plaiyng the went on with the show. After came Moondance, with Stef showing us his tatoos jumpin' while he was playin his guitar......Moondog, Cachita, Bombo, Ice Guitars, Ricochet, Love is a heavy Brick, Jintro & the Great Luna (once again the fast version, which is excellent!), a couple of other song that i didn't take note because i couldn't remember the title (sorry 'bout that) and the one and only TV Song. They said bye bye just like in Charleroi, but after not more than 2 min. came back plaiyng a tipically belgian song (that what he said) which i didn't know and finished their gig with Love 609. That was a really cool show even if i prefered the one Charleroi, in Bxl there were too many persons and we had definitly no room. Maria my girlfrien sat on the stage just next of Benjamin, but i hat to stay for the entire gig (+ - 80 min) on my two feet. It was the last time that i was going to see Moondog live for a long time, because of dEUS goin' into studio soon, but i'm very happy that i had the chance to see them twice.
Well, that's it, i did all what i could do for the set list, but they don't use one, so i had to write the songs down on a little paper that i had with me. The order is correct, but probably a song or two are missing. I'll try my best next time.
The show was announced to start at 22.00h, but it actually began at 23.00h. By that time, Rotown was fully packed. Rotown is just an ordinary cafe with a small stage. I estimate that it can hold about 300 people. Because the room is relatively long and narrow, the stage is only fully visible for the very front part of the audience. The view is even more delimited by 3 pillars in the middle. So, IMHO Rotown is not very suitable for 'large' concerts like this one, because it was completely sold out this evening.
When the equipment was installed and checked, the show again started with an instrumental intro. It was the same tune that opened their shows in Rotterdam (october 27 as Morphine's support act) and in Breda (october 27).
This intro smoothly traversed into the song, which title I formerly thought was 'Take it as a combination'. It is actually called 'Spike's Smiths' for all lost goods' and is on Moondog's debut EP 'Jintro travels the world in a skirt'.
The entire setlist is as follows (the quoted song titles are guesses):
? (instrumental) Spike's Smihs' for all lost goods Moondog Love is a heavy brick Shall I let this good man in Everyday I wear a greasy black feather on my hat Moondance Ice guitars TV song Bombo The ricochet ? Ragdoll Blues Jintro & the great luna Cachita 'Hello' 'Guilty' 'Queen girl' ------------ Jo's wine song Jacky
During 'Love is a heave brick' Stef was disturbed by some woman's loud laughter. He stopped the beautiful ballad at once, and threw a devastating glance at her during a short while. I'm sure this person didn't feel very great during these embarrassing moments :) Fortunately this was only an incident, and Stef didn't get pissed off again further on. On the contrary, he seemed to enjoy himself, as did the other members of the band.
'Moondance' was just perfect and almost funny, with lots of monkeylike screams by Stef and Tom, who was wearing a colourfull Peruvian hat with sideflaps.
I was not very satisfatied with the rather tame rendition of 'Ice guitars'. I like the album's rocking version much more than this more acoustic oriented one.
During 'TV song', Stef was backed up not only by Benjamin on the piano/organ, but also by Tom's Fender Rhodes. I've listened to this ballad many many times now, but I'm still not fed up with it; it is even getting better every time.
This was the first time I heard 'Ragdoll Blues', which is also included on the 'Jintro travels the world in a skirt' album. Until now, I've not been able to track down this record, but after hearing 'Spike's Smiths's for all lost goods' and 'Ragdoll blues', I'm even more eager on laying my hands on this EP. Prior to 'Ragdoll blues' the familiar sounding song, which I still think is a cover, was done.
'Jintro & the great luna' was characterized by a peculiar start: I saw Stef strolling to the back of the stage. Being assisted by a piano or a tape recorder, I could hear him practise the first verse of the song. Hereafter, he got back to the front and the band performed a great rendition, which again was very different (much busier) from the album version.
Before 'Cachita' commenced, all the lights near the stage were totally dimmed. This created the perfect ambiance for this minimal song. As more instruments and sounds were added, the lights were turned back on again, just before the song's climax.
'Queen girl', which I also had never heard before, was the last song of the normal set. But after a few minutes, Aarich, Tomas, Benjamin, Tom and Stef reentered the stage, and finished off another terrific Moondog show. Unfortunately 'Jo's wine song' was again missing the first Neil Young-ish lines; it was announced by Stef as being an (old?) Scottish song.
Stef got really carried away in his 'rubberish' dancemoves during Jacky, a happy and lively cover from Tom Jones (I think). At the end of this and thus at the end of the show (at about 0.30h), the crowd was cheering enthousiastically and yelling for more. A pity that this didn't happen.
Beforehand, I was a bit afraid that the audience would be too big and too loud for Moondog's fragile sounds. In fact, this was demonstrated by the small incident during 'Shall I let this good man in'. But happily this large audience was no burden, because after that, everything turned out to be just fine: audience and band were having a great time. And so did I.
Paul van Gorp (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Being able to visit only one concert of the Moondog Jr.-minitour, I was really looking forward to this evening, especially after the events during Bazar Curieux the week before.
A stunning performance by Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung (DAA) kicked off at about 9.45 pm. During the second song, Stef and Tom of Moondog joined the four Antwerp youngsters to give an impressive 'Jintro & the great luna - the DAA-way'. One cover was played, and this 'Suds and soda' clearly pleased the audience, because a sudden increase in movement could be detected. Of course several 'Dreislagstelsels' were played too. Not everyone enjoyed the combo of clarinet, accordeon, cello and violin, but I think some of them did change their opinion at the end of the evening. Many DAA-cds were sold at the t-shirt stand.
Between 10.00 pm and 0.20 am it was Moondog-time. From the beginning, it was very clear that the band was having a good time, and that this promised to be a night to remember. And so it did: it is difficult to compare, but this sure is among the best concerts I've been to. It seems like I keep on saying that, but Moondog seems to surprise me again and again.
Only a few of my favourite songs like 'Everyday I wear a greasy black feather on my hat' and 'Blues for Sammy' were not included, but Moondog surely made up for this with the following songs:
Spike Smiths' for all lost goods Moondance Ragdoll blues ? (I've heard it many times now, but I still don't know the title) Queen girl Moondog Love is a heavy brick Jintro & the great luna (the quick version) Cachita ? ('when the siren blows' and some lines about 'alcohol' occur in the lyrics; Stef announced it as a song about babies) Ice guitars (slow version) Redemption song (!) TV song (some lines mentioning Bob Marley were added at the end) Jacky Jo's wine song (again announced as the scottish folk song) Bombo The ricochet ------------ Spike Smiths' for all lost goods
Indeed, it ended where it all began: with 'Spike Smiths' for all lost goods', but what a difference there was between the two versions. The first was done in the 'normal' way, but the second beat everything. Like at Bazar Curieux, the members of Moondog and DAA paraded through the audience (Stef in front of course). The musicians started the tune at the side of the stage, behind the speakers, and after an appearance of only a few seconds on stage they left again for the backstage area, after which they began their march through the Effenaar, walking during the choruses and halting during the verses.
In the dark hall, the little mining lamps, worn by three (Stef was again wearing his uniform cap and singing through a megaphone) created a funny effect. Together with the magnificent lightshow during 'Cachita', it almost deserved the title 'Close encounters of the Moondog kind'. During 'Cachita', blue lights from behind the band created a special atmosphere, which was strengthened by the flashlight from the back of the room and the light beam coming from Stef's hat.
The rendition of 'The Ricochet' was the weirdest I've heard 'til now. It seemed that everything on stage that could produce a sound was used in the long intro. 'The Ricochet' lasted for nearly ten minutes.
Just like Tomas was sometimes clearly totally taken by the music, at some points Stef was performing like there was no one else in the room. The best example of this was when he sang the first verses of Bob Marley's 'Redemption song' with his eyes closed and standing far from the microphone.
The sound during the Moondog performance was very good, but I think that DAA should keep to playing unplugged. I know this is difficult in such a crowded and noisy place, but in one way or the other, the amplified sound differed from the 'clear' notes, which was somewhat annoying. That this is my only point of criticism indicates the perfectness of this beautiful evening.
Paul van Gorp (email@example.com)
Not satisfied with having toured a very big part of Holland and Belgium already Moondog Jr. added some dates to their tour. And once again they have an excellent taste for support acts, this time taking the Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung with them.
I'm not going to introduce them again: just read your dEUS mail from the last week (for web-surfers: check the dEUS reviews) if you've forgotten already. The long time subscribers will probably also remember the supported dEUS in Apeldoorn last year. They played an absolutely fantastic set. Although they were on a big stage this time and not in a little room like in Rotterdam last week their music still sounded very warm and every detail could be heard. They played a mix of their own songs and covers, with of course a dEUS cover thrown in. The violinist told the audience the next song was from a band he was pretty sure they knew and they started a great version of Suds and Soda. It was clear they had grown quite a bit since supporting dEUS. At two or three times there were some keyboard playing and vocals added, which was a nice touch. They had an absolutely great time, and Drielagstelsel 3 was a good as the best moments of the Moondog show. They got an amazing applause and were obliged to play an encore. And suprise, suprise for this Stef and Tom joined them for a great Jintro & The Great Luna. Like expected it was the version they practised last week and that was broadcasted on dutch radio. DAA has got a cd out know and i warmly recommend it to everyone who is on this list because they just like good and original music.
About ten minutes later it was time for Moondog Jr. I don't have an exact setlist but they played almost all of the album with some of the usual extra songs like Spike Smith's For All Lost Goods thrown in.
It was suprising to hear them start with Ice Guitars which is normally a great song to plaY at some climax moment. Jintro & The Great Luna was played again, this time with all of Moondog Jr. It was the really quick version which is on the new single. Some of the highlights included Moondog and Love Is A Heavy Brick. Stef really seemed to be having fun and was dancing franticly during every song he didn't have to play his guitar. Cachita was very nice: the lights were put low and Stef had a hat with a flashlight on it. The album opener Love 609 was also performed. The intensity of all songs was simply amazing and this was definetly the best Moondog Jr. show out of the three i've seen. And as said many times before their shows go way beyond simply playing note-for-note renditions of the album versions. Although they didn't have any new stuff compared to other shows the performance was really good. By the way it was suprising to see how little dEUS t-shirts there were in the audience. They seem to be getting a lot of fans by themselves and not simply because Stef is in dEUS.
A perfect music night by two very original bands.
Jorg Schellekens (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In my career as a visitor of live concerts, this night absolutely was one of the highlights. I surely didn't expect this when I entered the Noorderligt concert hall. At around 8 o'clock, not more than 25 people were inside, whereas the capacity is at least 1000 people; the show was scheduled to start at 20.30h. I thought this was rather strange: during the six or seven Moondog shows I've been to, there was plenty of audience. And this would be one of the last occasions to see the band in person. Because of this, my expectations were high: something special had to happen during this concert in my hometown. And so it did!
The sides of the steps in the back of the room (Noorderligt used to be a cinema in earlier days) were transformed into two sitting areas with several tables and chairs. Fortunately, when the show actually started just before 9 o'clock, the hall was at least half full. My fear, that the initially small audience would have a negative effect on the performance, would probably not become true.
On the contrary: Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung were very enthousiastic during their entire performance. Maybe this had something to do with the fact that this was their final night as support act. Moondog would do one more show the next day in Ravels during the Bultrock Festival, but for DAA this was the end of the line.
Their set consisted of the usual songs (the Dreislagstelsels, one new song, and of course 'Suds and soda), but they were done with great eagerness. Especially Buni was having a great time: the size of the stage enabled him (and Han and Roel) to stroll around during large parts of the show. Near the end Buni told the audience that it was time to go and get someone from backstage. After a few seconds he returned alone; clearly this wasn't planned, otherwise Stef would be in the neighbourhood. During the first notes of 'Jintro & the great luna' I saw Stef walking from somewhere behind me to the front of the stage, where he watched DAA play for some seconds before climbing the stage. He sang along with his eyes closed and his hands in his pockets.
After one or two more songs, DAA's time was over. They were very reluctant to leave the stage, especially while the audience made it clear it wanted more. Buni apologized and said that it was now up to Moondog. But it was clear that DAA had big plans for the night... I estimated the chance to see another 'Spike Smiths' march' to be very big.
At about 10 o'clock Moondog came on stage. This time they seemed to be very relaxed, in contrast with the gig in Den Bosch two weeks before. If you look at the setlist, the first part seems rather normal, but this surely was not the case. First, let me write down the setlist.
Moondog Habibi Ouldi Jintro & the great luna Bombo 'Switchblade' Ice guitars TV song - 'Mary comes around' Everyday I wear a greasy black feather on my hat Cachita Spike Smiths' for all lost goods Moondance Love is a heavy brick Waiting 'til you're gone The Ricochet ? Jacky -------- Ragdoll blues The messenger Shall I let this good man in Love 609 -------- Spike Smiths' for all lost goods (with DAA) Rivers of Babylon (DAA + Benjamin, outside)
It would be too lengthy to describe all events during the show. Therefore, I will only sum up the highlights.
Stef was hyperactive during the entire show. The first marks of this could be seen during 'Jintro & the great luna'. I am used to see him do very strange things during this song, but this time really beat everything. The energetic sequence of songs from 'Jintro & the great luna' until 'Ice guitars' created a perfect ambiance for this kind of behaviour. 'Bombo' smoothly progressed into 'Switchblade' with no break between the songs.
The show climaxed for the first time during 'Cachita'. Again lots of percussion instruments were used, but not only by the members of Moondog Jr.: Han, Buni, Simon and Roel from DAA took the opportunity to reappear on stage and joined Moondog during a somewhat chaotic rendition. While Simon and Buni were jumping and dancing in the back of the stage, the other two anarchists were 'helping' Aarich to play his drumkit. Benjamin and Tom had problems to observe what was going on behind them.
The next song was 'Spike Smiths' for all lost goods', a not so unfamiliar song for DAA. The fact that the members of DAA had left the stage after 'Cachita' didn't mean the end of this night's cooperation of the two Antwerp bands. Han and Roel joined Benjamin on clarinet and altsax during the end of the song. I was curious if this would be the last thing we would see of DAA this night.
'The ricochet' was introduced by screams and squeeks by Tom, Tomas and Stef, which resembled the Efteling-like tape, which was played before the show over the PA (the same tape as in Den Bosch by the way). And again Buni could not restrain himself. He and Simon (I think) were first (kind of) dancing behind a curtain at the side, but when the song really got going they again used the back and side of the stage as an improvised dance floor.
'The ricochet' was followed by a song, I didn't hear before. Stef introduced it as an old Antwerp sailor's song. I'm not really sure at the moment, but I got the impression it is a cover ('Coming back' or 'Racedoll meat' or something like that).
Two events during the first set of encores are worth mentioning. First, 'The messenger' from Daniel Lanois was played again. Some crazy guy in the audience (way to go, Henk!) madly screamed the title of this song after the magnificent 'Ragdoll blues' and Moondog granted this request. Again I was positively surprised by the way this song perfectly fits the band.
'Love 609' was split into two parts with some verses of a song, I am not able to place, in between.
The band left the stage, but I was expecting more. And indeed after a few minutes, the doors at the right side of the stage opened and the sounds of 'Spike Smiths' for all lost goods' in the DAA+Moondog version could be heard. The parade marched to a position just in front in me, while several people were climbing the stage to get a good sight on the 9 musicians. After some minutes they returned directly to the door, from which they entered the audience. I didn't know exactly what to do at this moment: would the band do some more songs inside, or would there be another outside performance like in Eindhoven and Utrecht in January? I guessed the latter would be the case, and I decided to leave. When I was walking to the exit at the back of the room, I could hear the music coming back. When I turned around I saw DAA+Moondog enter the stage at the left side, and leave it again at the right. Still this was not the end, because some of the guys came back in the audience and were quickly pacing through the audience to the other exit, while they were still doing the 'Spike Smiths'' tune. I left through the other exit and could see that they were indeed going outside. There the four members of DAA and Benjamin moved to the front of the house next to the Noorderligt and performed Boney M's 'Rivers of Babylon'. Only about twenty people saw this short miniperformance on the streets of Tilburg, and I'm glad I was one of them. Part of the audience was formed by the people living in the house, in front of which the surprise gig was taking place. They clearly didn't know what was going on when they pulled the curtains aside.
The five remaining musicians went back inside, but not without being shouted at by some woman from the Noorderligt organization at the entrance. She was really pissed off. She made it very clear that this was not part of the deal and harmless children were disturbed during their sleep. I guess they were lucky she allowed them to re-enter the building, because they of course didn't have a ticket :) I took the opportunity to go back inside as well, but the outside performance was the last musical event of the evening. I talked to the tour manager (Hans, if I remember correctly) for some time about the Moondog Jr. homepage. We exchanged addresses and he promised to take a look at the www-site as soon he got back to the Musickness office. He seemed positive about a possible cooperation. He told me that, apart from the next day's show in Ravels, Moondog would do some more shows during the festival season (Pinkpop, Torhout/Werchter and Roskilde). After this, all attention will be given to the new dEUS album and tour, so the Moondog success story will come to a provisional end.
I left the building at about 12 o'clock after a terrific night. I know I keep repeating it, but again this was one of the best concerts I have seen. I don't know how they do it, but Moondog Jr. keeps surprising me again and again. A minor flu couldn't keep me from having a great time during this brilliant last (snif!) Moondog Jr. show.
Paul van Gorp (email@example.com)