From : Peter Boels
Date : 18/1/1999
Subject : Re: (UT) Botanique - Brussels 17/01/1999
Here's my review of yesterday's gig in Brussels.
We (me + my g/f) arrived at the venue around 7.45pm. The show was to start at 20.30pm but the doors were still closed so we went to the cafetaria for drinks first. While we were waiting in the hall for the doors to open, at one moment someone shouted something in English to one of the guys at the door : because I hadn't heard much else than French until then, this caught my attention. (btw: I'm from the Flemisch speaking part of Belgium). The guy that had shouted something then went back to the front of the venue. Only then did I notice that there was a second guy with him : he was rather short, had a sweater on with a 'capuchon' over his head, AND very specially painted Doc Martens !! This must have been Nigel I presume ?! Too bad I didn't notice him earlier (more about that later).
It was about 20.40pm when the doors opened and people started flooding in the concert hall : When we got in it immediately struck me how small this hall was ! The front rows were already taken so we decided to stand on the first step, which gave us a great view at the stage. I guess we were about 7m away from Andy.
some tracks of "Mezzanine" the lights went out and a song started playing (Can
anyone please tell me what song that is, thanks !). Then the band came on and
they received massive cheers. First song was 'forget about me' : I just love
it ! So fragile and quiet in the beginning but with a furieus ending (even heavier
live). Great opener. 'Settle down' followed and was recognized immediately by
everyone since this is the single that has been mostly played on national radio
station Studio Brussel. Next song : 'same mistakes'. I especially watched Jason
on this one. Really like the bass.
other songs that were played (but from here on I'm not sure about the order anymore - one or two may be switched).
'higher than reason'
'who's to know'
'angel' (yes yes)
'ciao my shining star'
(which is very very nice)
'from this height' (amazing)
'building' (no comment needed)
then the band went off for the first time.
Some things that really struck me :
1. Andy is very quiet in-between songs. He really just wants to start with the next song ...
2. ... but he didn't count on the massive applauses they got from their Belgian fans !!! :-))
For 1 or 2 songs they really had to wait until the applause ended ! And Nigel's cue to start 'shed your skin' went wrong because Jason didn't get it right because of the clapping. (Sorry Jason. BTW : I really enjoyed your guitar part on that song. I didn't know you took the guitar in that song. Very nice.)
3. When Nigel took the word ("Bonsoir", I was hoping he would also say something in Flemmisch) he mentionned that he was having big troubles with his shoulder ! But because they had already cancelled 2 shows in Belgium, they decided they couldn't make it to cancel again. Thanks guys ! And especially Nigel : To see you drum away like only you can, with a shoulder problem : top bloke !
time for the first encores : 'solved' (with the crowd really 'moving' to it) 'shed your skin' (with the brilliant guitar part of Jason) 'almost here' (chilling : you could hear a needle drop)
off they went again... to come back for one more encore : they had 'forgotten' to play 'finest little space' although is was on the setlist apparently. ;-) Huge applause again as the band left the stage (this time for good).
I stayed in the hall for 10-15 minutes (went to the stage). I asked a roadie if he could get me some cd-sleeves signed, but he said that he couldn't sign them. I didn't push him to GET them signed. He also mentionned to someone that he thought that Nigel immediately went to see a doctor... Seeing that Nigel normally takes time for a chat with the fans, I think this is the reason that I didn't get the opportunity to congratulate the guys with the great performance they gave us. I guess he would have come out otherwise to chat with the fans who stayed in the hall after the show otherwise.
To round it all of : Didn't get to meet anyone from the list, didn't get to meet anyone from the band, but I've seen unbelievable truth live for the first time, and I really hope there will be many more times to come : It was GREAT ! Thank you very much...