Wallis Bird @ Rotown
Rotterdam – April 7, 2010
It seemed just an ordinary wednesday when I set out on my little journey to Rotterdam. The gentle drizzle during my 1hr drive could not really temper my anticipation for what was yet to come. The grey weather made for an empty road and speedy travel, so I got to Rotterdam perfectly on time. Arrived at Rotown 20 minutes before doors opened and dealt with some work by means of cell phone.
Then it was time for action. Doors opened and I eased my way in, surprisingly as one of the first few people. After a little inside joke with the girl who was tending the vestibule and getting myself a drink I positioned myself on the left side of the venue where I had a good view over the whole stage. The show was scheduled to start at 9:30PM, but experience made me believe it would be closer to 10. And low and behold, around 9:50PM, all of a sudden, Wallis and her band appeared on stage. And right from the get go there was a feeling of familiarity, a feeling of comfort, like it was some kind of relaxed, studentesque even, party. It fit the mood of the night perfectly as there was a cool chemistry between the musicians and between the band and its audience.
Wallis, Aidan, Aoife, Michael & Christian were having a lot of fun on stage and it proved to be very contagious. The crowd, myself included, were captivated and felt part of the whole thing. I guesstimate there were about 80 – 100 people in the venue, maybe a little more. Not as many as I expected, but it proved to be a very good amount of people for this show. It was intimate, yet still quite festive, pretty much like Wallis Bird’s music. There’s nothing fabricated or forced about it. The music is utterly pure, honest and real. From set opener Berlin to the encore Feathered Pocket, the whole show was a string of highlights. Judging from the people around me I think Blossoms In The Street, The Circle, Meal of Convenience, Measuring Cities, To My Bones and the encore were among the crowd’s favorites especially.
I was already a fan of Wallis’ music and her live shows have always been among my favorite nights out, but this was my first time seeing her play live with a full band. And I must say, please give me more of that. The intensity, fun, emotion and sheer talent they all displayed is a source of joy and inspiration. Last night was a perfect example of what makes live concerts so much fun. Like I was discussing with the band afterwards, music is all about emotion and when you try to get your music or your message across during a performance you should show that emotion and that intensity, that’s what it’s all about. These lovely musicians truly showed that quality and it made me happy.
I know I’m a little biased when it comes to the Irish, as they are probably my favorite people in the whole world (you can’t deny it, they know their music and they know their beer, what’s not to like?), but really, they were all so incredibly kind. I talked to Aoife, Aidan (PS. Aidan, I tracked down a copy of the EP you mentioned, so I should be able to hear Oklahoma in a week or two when it arrives, you got me curious, haha) & Wallis for a little while and they are just such warm and genuine people. I bet they have so much fun hanging out with each other on tour. I look forward to them coming back to our little patch of dirt in May (Upstairs, Paradiso, May 31, 2010). Maybe we’ll all be able to toast over a pint of Kilkenny or Guinness as with the music of Wallis Bird, it’s just like St. Patrick’s Day, everyone’s Irish 😉