Vuur - LIVE: ABC2, Glasgow 2018

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In This Moment We Are Free Tour
February 7 (20:30 – 21:50)
Capacity 350

Anneke Van Giersbergen along with her new band Vuur came to Glasgow to promote their debut album In This Moment We Are Free – Cities. It is probably the heaviest band and material that she has been part of so far, as where The Gathering had a bit more groove, Vuur have a more metallic and progressive edge. Anyone in attendance that didn't know these particular songs, but did know Anneke's past outfits, could probably tell which tracks on the night were from which; there is a strong distinction.

First though, there was an unexpected bonus due the support act cancelling at the last minute. Initially, the promoters said that only Vuur would play, but after chatting with the band, Anneke volunteered to do a short solo acoustic set instead. Sadly a lot of fans missed this as it was a late announcement online. Those who did catch the news were enthralled by a beautiful and charming 20 minute set covering music from Kate Bush to Iron Maiden via Pink Floyd, amongst others. It was interesting to hear how quiet it was during the set. Even on Floyd's Wish You Were Here, folks were reticent to join in. Everyone wanted to really listen to her voice. With some nice humour and pleasantries, this was a set that wowed the crowd that was in.

After a gap (for what Anneke joked was "a major stage change" which involved moving the acoustic guitars out of the way) Vuur came on and started with two of the bigger hitters from the album, Time and My Champion, and before going back to play an old Gathering track (On Most Surfaces), Anneke took a moment to remind everyone that this is a new band, and although everyone in it has been around a while, an outfit they are just starting a journey. She said that she hoped in 20 to 30 years, people will be talking about how they were in Glasgow in 2018 watching the first gigs.

The Martyr And The Saint is probably the song which is closest recalling Devin Townsend, an artist Anneke has done a lot of work with in the past. It was also the first track on the night where Anneke didn't have a guitar, which allowed her to move around, working the audience and dancing. This is one of the best tracks on the album and live was even better. In the encore they also played an actual Devin Townsend track Fallout, which was very well received.

There was also an acoustic section in the main set, including a very moving and tender version of the Audioslave song Like A Stone, and their own Valley of Diamonds. One of the best vocals however, was reserved for Freedom, which was just stunning. Before the last song of the main set, she said this show was coming at a good time, while the band were fresh, and not jaded or on their knees. So much so she said, that we should all come up and say hi at the merchandise stall afterwards, chat about life, the universe... oh and whilst doing that, buy some stuff".

Again during the Vuur set, just as with Anneke's solo set, there was friendly and amusing chat making it a nice intimate show. From comments about how she just "loves to sing," to how the stagehand was a giant, and conversations about how "size doesn't matter" when it comes to guitars, everyone was drawn in. The band themselves played really well, with the more progressive sections nailed and the groovier tracks having a good swing to them, most noticeable perhaps in the only Gentle Storm track The Storm.

It was a very enjoyable night in the company of a fine band and a wonderful front-woman who is as engaging in character as she is a singer. It will be interesting to see how things go with the next album as they grow into themselves, and with any luck tour a lot more.

Setlist: Time - Rotterdam / My Champion - Berlin / On Most Surfaces / The Martyr And The Saint - Beirut / The Storm / Like A Stone / Valley of Diamonds - Mexico City / Freedom - Rio / Days Go By - London / Your Glorious Light Will Shine - Helsinki / Strange Machines // Fallout / Reunite - Paris

Written by Tom Cornell
More: 2018, Gigs, Progressive, ,

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