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Getting to Patrick Watson on Thursday proved to be a bit of an ordeal. Having spent the whole week teetering on the edge of sleep I was not in my most alert state, and it wasn’t until I met friend MB at the station that I realised I had forgotten the concert tickets. Blast and damnation. No choice but to jump back on my bike and cycle through gridlock traffic in a combination of rain and hail to get the tickets back at my house and then race back to the station again. I decided I should laugh it off rather than spending the rest of the night cursing my stupidity and the horrendous weather, and put Watson’s The Storm on repeat on my iPod to add a touch of drama.

By the time we got to Paradiso in Amsterdam we had been drenched in downpours twice over. It was quite a funny scene in the bathrooms downstairs, watching everyone attempting to dry their hair under the hand dryers. The whole we-all-braved-the-storm-to-get-here vibe added to the atmoshere. Paradiso is probably my favourite venue anyway, such a difference from the vastness and anonymity of Ahoy.

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The support act was a treat: up and coming Dutch band Voicst (from Amsterdam) played a nice little set and really got the audience warmed up. Their singles are well worth checking out: Everyday I Work On The Road, which got a lot of airplay on 3fm, and the older Whatever You Want From Life.

Patrick Watson & co took their time getting on stage, but then proceeded to mesmerise the audience for a good two hours. They came out looking as if they’d just woken up, hair disheveled, washed out clothes and Patrick sporting that same old cap he seems inseperable with, but there was nothing stale about their performance. They gave every song their all, sometimes a bit too much it could be argued. Particularly when some songs evolved into an all out noise fest, you could sense the audience got a bit disconnected the longer it went on.

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But they know their boundaries and would then switch to a small intimate song such as the beautiful The Great Escape or Slip Into Your Skin. The band were still experimenting with chains, toothbrushes, balloons and saws, as I remember from their Lowlands gig last August. Although there was more room to experiment in Paradiso, I got the feeling there was a bit less energy and fun on stage compared to that festival show. But then I guess constant touring is a tiring affair.

It’s not to say they appeared lackluster, on the contrary. Luscious Life (my favourite) was played with real intensity for instance, and the acoustic in the audience performance of Man Under The Sea (“it’s become a bit of a party trick” Patrick chuckled) was still a lot of fun and had everybody grinning and participating. Most notably one guy in the audience who seemed so swept up by the moment he didn’t realise his screechy vocals were almost drowning Patrick out.

Well this was one concert well worth getting drenched for! I particularly enjoyed the insane and insanely talented drummer Robbie Kuster and of course the charming man himself, mr. Watson. Sweet oh luscious life.

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