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Vuur, The Dome, London

ian sutherland
Words: Ian Sutherland, Pictures: Ash Phoenix

21st December 2017


Legendary Dutch rocker Anneke van Giersbergen likes hard work it seems.

Apparently she's not content with a thriving solo career, working with a plethora of other artists including Devin Townsend and Ayreon and a successful collaboration with Arjen Lucassen resulting in an album and tours under the name of The Gentle Storm.

Touring with The Gentle Storm band gave her the idea to use those musicians for her next project which is another band and another style. Vuur was born earlier this year, a new showcase for a heavy and progressive sound.

Vuur's debut album 'In This Moment We Are Free' has done well all around Europe, the dense and complex songs are as appealing as they are challenging and really get better and better the more you listen to them.

Even with the success of the album, I suspect there was still some trepidation among the band about taking Vuur out on the road as a headlining act. Would people turn up? Would they know the songs?


As the band blast into opener 'Time-Rotterdam' the answers seem to be yes and yes. A healthy crowd is here to see their first UK headline show and they roar as one at the appearance of their heroine early in the first song.

She adds a third guitar to the big heavy sound but the extra duties don't affect her voice which is bright and strong from the start and soars above the heavy riffs and hooks around her.

The band's irrepressible frontwoman is a delight to watch as always. There is a real love for the songs and the people she is playing them with in her every movement.


Fists are punched in the air, hair is thrown around and above all a huge smile is evident anytime she is able to pause for breath. All that talent and enthusiasm is infectious and the band behind her, road tight after a recent support tour in Europe with Epica match her energy levels.

Guitarists Jord Otto and Ferry Duijsens fire out the riffs and solos with abandon, drummer Ed Warby is all over those complex rhythms and somehow bass player Johan van Stratum makes playing complicated songs compatible with throwing yourself all over the stage.

The audience is with them every step of the way too, people in the front rows delighting their favourite by knowing the words and singing along to the new songs.


'Sail Away-Santiago' and 'My Champion-Berlin' are full of heavy riffing and light melodic touches but predictably it's 'Days Go By-London' that seems to mean the most to the assembled throng.

There are a couple of tunes added to the set away from the Vuur material in a cover of Devin Townsend's 'Fallout' and to a great welcome 'The Storm' from The Gentle Storm album.

It's the new songs which are given the limelight though and it's the memorable riffs, driving energy and melodic vocal lines of 'Your Glorious Light Will Shine-Helsinki' that finishes off the main set in style.


There was no way this crowd was letting them off that easy so an encore had to be played. First of all, we got an emotional introduction to the hopeful and uplifting 'Reunite!-Paris'. The song itself was gloriously melodic and powerful and then to close the show it was a step back to the beginning for the Dutch chanteuse with The Gathering and a monstrously riff-heavy take on 'Strange Machines'.

This gig was a triumph, an example of how an artist can move into different territory and successfully take their audience with them. The band are brilliant, the songs are great, but it's the sheer star power of Anneke van Giersbergen that can take a bucketload of new tunes out on stage and make them so comprehensively welcomed.

Vuur are back in the UK for a headline tour in February, don't miss them.

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Check out more of Ian Sutherland right here.


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