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Vuur/Anneke Van Giersbergen: O2 ABC2, Glasgow

ian sutherland
Words: Ian Sutherland, Pictures: Ya Cheng

14th February 2018


Sometimes you go to a gig and things just work in your favour in surprising ways. That certainly happened for the early attendees at Vuur's first show in Glasgow.

The local act due to open the show didn't appear for some reason and a ripple of surprise and applause greeted the main act's mercurial leader wandering onto the stage. Encouraging everyone to come closer she proceeded to do something new in her long career and be her own support act.

Anneke van Giersbergen solo acoustic shows are hugely popular so it was a real treat to get a short sample of that magic before the fire and passion of a Vuur show.

This beautiful lady has an amazing voice along with being smart, funny and having enough warmth and charisma to fill a room ten times the size of the ABC2. Which songs she chose to do didn't really matter in this context as the audience just hung on her every word and note.

Covers of tunes by Kate Bush, Pink Floyd, The Gathering and more, all radiated that natural warmth this Dutch legend has around the room. A fantastic little extra to get the evening off to a great start.


There was a complete change of vibe when the radiant chanteuse returned to the stage with her band thirty minutes later. When Vuur formed last year the stated intention was to create a band making very heavy, progressive music.

With the debut album 'In This Moment We are Free-Cities' that intention certainly bore fruit with a selection of tracks full of sturm and drang and complex rhythms but also moments of beauty.

It's taken a little while for such intricate songs to really sink into my memory banks but over the last few weeks the likes of 'My Champion-Berlin' and 'Freedom-Rio' have become familiar favourites and they are performed in terrific style tonight.


Featuring some of the best Metal musicians the Netherlands has to offer, touring has turned Vuur into an effortlessly tight rock and roll beast.

Driven by the floor shaking drumming of Ed Warby and the inventive playing of wild man of rawk, bass player Johan van Stratum the power of the songs are fully realised. Guitarists Ferry Duijsens and Jord Otto are all smiles as they pick and riff their way through the set.

Out in front sometimes adding a third guitar to make the sound even bigger, the sense of irrepressible joy Anneke feels on stage is there for everyone to see and the energy and the smiles are infectious, drawing the audience ever closer.


Outside of the songs from the debut album, we get a nice nod back to the roots of this group of musicians getting together in 'The Storm' from their days in The Gentle Storm, the inevitable and hugely well received songs from The Gathering plus 'Fallout' from AvG's collaborations with Devin Townsend.

In addition, there are two more acoustic tunes, prefaced with a quip of "You may have seen something like this before". Their now black-clad leading lady actually has to take a moment to herself to calm down from heavy and intense mode but soon masters her emotions in beautiful renditions of 'Chris Cornell's 'Like A Stone' and Ayreon's 'Valley Of The Queens'.

It was nice to see a healthy crowd in attendance, the return a hard-working artist gets for touring regularly. By the closing notes of the uplifting 'Paris-Reunite' everyone in the room is fully convinced that a Vuur show is something not to be missed.

With a commitment from their leader that this is a band with a long future ahead hopefully there will be many more to come.


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