Anneke van Giersbergen: Little Devil, Tilsburg

ian sutherland
Words and Pictures: Ian Sutherland
4th October 2017

anneke van giersbergen

Remarkable Dutch singer/songwriter Anneke van Giersbergen is always a busy lady and seemingly able to turn her skills and unique vocal skills to any musical occasion. In between appearing onstage at the grand, progressive rock extravaganza which was the Ayreon Universe shows and preparing to front her new heavy progressive outfit, Vuur, she squeezed in some solo acoustic shows.

Tilburg's Little Devil rock cafe has a tiny live venue within it's premises which was packed and it was a hot and sweaty environment long before the star of the night hit the stage.

anneke van giersbergen

Easily able to fill much larger venues in the area, Anneke admitted after the show that she just played here because she likes it and loves the intimacy such an environment creates. Having to squeeze through the packed audience herself to get to the stage didn't seem to change her mind about that.

Once on the stage she is immediately friendly, chatty and full of warmth. Speaking in both her native language and sometimes in English as there were fans from as far away as Brazil and Israel in the audience, the vibe created is so relaxed that the audience feel comfortable to make comments and engage in conversations with their heroine between tunes. When Anneke says "happy birthday" to a fan, there is a spontaneous birthday song sung by the audience with no prompting.

Of course that charm and friendly warmth is only the icing on the cake, as there is also the music. A mixture of originals and covers are trotted out seemingly effortlessly, every one carried out across the room on that voice, sometimes like sunlight captured and held still for a second by the sheer warmth of the sound.

anneke van giersbergen

Nostalgic emotional moments like her own 'My Mother Said' and Ayreon's 'Valley Of The Queens' are poignant and beautiful yet still allow a smile. 'Never Tear Us Apart' by INXS sees the crowd being encouraged to sing the guitar part and Iron Maiden's 'Wasted Years' is transformed into a ukulele led sing along.

Bruce Springsteen, The Gathering, Queen, Kate Bush; they all get treated warmly and affectionately and carried with that vocal which is just irresistible.

Ninety minutes flashed by in no time at all and everyone in the room was left with a warm feeling of togetherness and of somehow having been part of the show, not just watching it.

Everyone should go and see at least one of these Anneke van Giersbergen intimate acoustic shows. This mercurial, talented lady with the special voice just reaches inside and warms your heart; she's good for the soul.

The power of music condensed into a single human form, Keep an eye out for her coming your way.

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