I was fifteen when Focus blasted its insane way into my young life. 'Moving Waves' sent me to places too numerous and personal to even name.
Late last autumn, I was with my son at the home of his good friend, the wild and wonderful Matty. Matty's friend, a handsome young Jehovah's Witness, was there too, and this friend suddenly said,
"Hey, guys, you must see this..."
And he had YouTube blazing out with Hocus Pocus before you could even take a breath. He was so pleased to be showing us such a weird and revolutionary thing! I loftily said,
"Young man, that guitarist is the great Jan Akkerman!" I drew the name seamlessly from my bag of lost memories. "I was listening to this before you ....etc."
Home again, I had YouTube do its magic and discovered that Jan Akkerman has been doing some stupendous things since then!
I also discovered that he was to tour the UK soon! God, how good life can be! I booked, immediately, and seven long months later, on 1 May 2011, together with my man and my friend Tin (she of The CD Collection), floated blissfully down the M4, across the bridge and into Welsh Wales. Oh, historic date!
The Globe, Cardiff, looked rough. It looked the sort of place that you might enter, never to emerge again.
We didn't care!
Inside, we found smiling bouncers. We breathed in fragrant smoke from joss sticks glowing in dark and intricate corners. Up purple staircases we went, under great Moroccan lanterns and past psychadelic art never before dreamt of, and into the music bit! There, huge Babylonian pillars in a North African casbah, and a stage all set and ready for The Jan Akkerman Band! You could see Jan's Les Paul waiting there in its case. It was excitement enough just to see it. And a nice Fender bass just waiting for Wilbrand Meischke to grab it by the neck and shake it into life. Coen Molenaar's great pile of keyboards looked oh so promising. Marijn van den Berg's drums looked good too. They proved to be good and loud.
Jan arrived on stage all of a sudden and picked up that Les Paul. An excited "You're a legend, Akkerman!" from the back drew laughter and some self-deprecating remarks from the Dutchman. Something to do with age making anyone a legend eventually. Then, it began.
But I can't tell you what it was like because I went into a realm that simply cannot be named or described. That's what sublime music does to one, I guess. So take a look at these links, and see what you think.
I can just say that Tin did go up to the sound man in the interval and asked him to turn it down a bit. Does that tell you anything?
|I wish this was my photograph|
Wilbrand Meischke, who was standing nearby, rather ironically recommended earplugs.
I give thanks to God for music and the musicians who bring that music to us. Hallelujah baby!