It was a crisp late fall afternoon on Saturday, November 12, 2016 as I, along with my girlfriend, made our way to The Ritz in Manchester England for the triple threat bill of headliner Delain, Evergrey, and Kobra and the Lotus. We arrived fairly early as I had an interview scheduled with Kobra Paige of Kobra and the Lotus. I made contact with the tour manager and we were led into the venue as Evergrey were doing their soundcheck. I waived hello to my friends, vocalist Tom Englund and guitarist Henrik Danhage who saw me from the stage and we were led into the backstage dressing rooms to conduct my interview with Kobra. It had been a year since I had last interviewed the lovely Ms. Paige when she was the special guest vocalist on Kamelot’s U.S. tour in support of Haven. As aways, Kobra was charming, engaging, and extremely wonderful to speak to. Sadly, our interview ended abruptly as Kobra was called to the stage for their soundcheck. Due to the fact that the band were unable to have a soundcheck at their previous two performances on the tour, it was imperative that Kobra joined her bandmates on stage to make sure everything was perfect for the nights show.
Having recently reviewed Karnataka’s excellent new album, Secrets of Angels, I had the pleasure earlier this month of getting to see them live at Islington Assembly Hall. The pleasure was greater because I also got to meet most of the band before the show, for an informal interview. Here is, to the best of my recollection, my musings on what we discussed and what I thought of the show.
The Resonance Festival and the Joy and Satisfaction in Being Myself
To some it may seem childish and conceited but, to me, one of the highlights of The Resonance Festival was wandering around wearing an ‘Access All Areas’ laminated pass all weekend. One of the many fantastic, down to earth people I met, Graham Harris, says it best so I’ll let his comment get down to the heart of the whole event.
“I have a drawer full of laminates. Each one tells a story. But the Resonance one holds the best story of all.”
There’s an endless list of bands I wish to see in my life, but a few are so special, and have had such an impact on my life, that they are on my bucket list. Last year, I was able to cross Peter Gabriel off the list, and he didn’t disappoint either. But this past Tuesday, I was able to make another check mark, and was finally able to catch the ever elusive Tool at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.
Crash… Boom! Bang!!
Ankara Congresium International Convention & Exhibition Center hosted one of the leading physical theatre performances throughout the world, originating from Brighton, UK with roots dating back to 1991. The so called “percussion group”- which I believe would be an underestimation – STOMP was originally created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. The venue is one of the biggest convention centres of Ankara, with a usable area of 80.000 m² and an exhibition hall area of 10.000 m². The auditorium where the shows take stage has a capacity of 3.107 people, with a comfortable line of sight for the spectators, considerable lighting and sound facilities.
Finally, we have one of the largest performing arts centers in the world, right at the very heart of Istanbul! Zorlu Center Performing Arts Center (PSM), residing on a total of 50.000 m2, has recently begun to host the legendary musical productions well-known throughout the world. I’d like to mention some very extraordinary facts about the Main Theater, so you can understand why the biggest productions of musical history are on the verge of signing a contract with the Center.
Dün Ankara’da inanılmaz bir gece yaşandı sevgili müzik sever dostlarım… Hala etkisindeyim. Hoş bu biraz da geceyi az önce sonlandırmış olmamdan da kaynaklanıyor olabilir mi demedim değil şimdi 🙂 (Saat 9.00) Çünkü gecenin kahramanlarıyla sabahlara kadar sohbet ettik, planlar yaptık… yalnız o son dürümü yemeyecektik 😛
Şimdi öncelikle, son zamanlarda bayılarak dinlediğim Sırmalı’yı sonunda canlı da izleyip muradıma erdim. Oğuz’u Devlet Opera ve Bale sahnesinde izleyip de ‘ya acaba bar sahnesinde olur mu’ diyeniniz varsa eğer… Haha! Adam son derece Rock’n’Roll’du sahnede; performansının muhteşem olacağı zaten beklentimizdi, ümidimizi boşa çıkarmadı müzisyen, büyük bir rahatlıkla oktavlarca parçaları söyledi.
Geçen Cumartesi gecesini bir kelime ile özetlemek gerekirse, o kelime “unutulmaz” olacaktır. Dikkatinizi çekerim, bunu söyleyen kişi her fırsatta kıtalar ve ülkeler arası seyahat edip sürekli konserlere giden biri.
Congresium Ankara, International Convention & Exhibition Centre’da gecenin sonuna doğru, bu dünyaca ünlü tenora duyduğum hayranlığı anlatamam. Bana sorarsanız, yeteneklerinin hakkını vermek için canlı izlemek gerek! Şimdiden Mario Frangoulis’in bir sonraki performansını izlemek için sabırsızlanıyorum, umuyorum Yunanistan’da, yine sevgili sopranomuz Feryal Türkoğlu ile yan yana!
Introduction to Brilliance
If I have to summarise Saturday night in one word, it would be “unforgettable.” Mind you, this is coming from someone who sees gigs at every turn, in many different countries across continents…
At Congresium International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Ankara, by the end of the show, I was left in awe of this famous tenor and felt that seeing him live was the only way you can truly appreciate his talent. I am already looking forward to the next time, of course. Hopefully in Greece, along with our beloved soprano Feryal Türkoğlu again…