This concert review is from when Golden Earring were out touring in promotion of their album “Switch” released in March that year. One of the songs mentioned here, “Kill Me (Ce Soir)”, was covered by Iron Maiden as a B side on their 1990 single “Holy Smoke”. It shows you that Golden Earring made other songs than “Radar Love” that were of note. Check them out!
by Max Bell
Golden Earring`s return to domestic base, fun loving Amsterdam, completed yet another highly successful European tour.
Although they`re undoubtedly Holland`s most accomplished band, the audience they pull is still largely comprised of the faithful who latched on in 1965 when Earring were just your average Continental outfit struggling to keep up with an Anglo-American monopoly on rated music.
Now it`s different. Ten years is a long time for any group to survive, and this one is only just reaching commercial fruition.
Naturally the Carre Theatre was packed but the lack of both atmosphere and spontaneous reaction to a very high energy act seemed to indicate that the Dutch aren`t going to elevate their home team to the league reserved for visiting heavies.
Something is lacking in Golden Earring`s presentation that no amount of professionalism and shellshock volume can compensate for.
The fault lies in a lack of variable material and their mistaken insistence on playing too bloody loud. Clearly balanced quadrophonic sound and razor sharp dynamics are fine, but they don`t excuse unimaginative pacing.
To their credit the visuals are neat and simple and occasionally they produce a real gem, but there`s too much indifferent jetsam floating amongst the superior ballast.
They bounced on stage like several Randolph Scotts and shot straight into “Suspicion”. Fair enough with raunchy sax and trumpet breaks plus pretty George Kooyman`s flash`n-`mean guitar.
A quick breather to get the standard formalities over and then an oldie, “She Flies On Strange Wings”. Popular number this, lots of power chords and metallic stereo riffs ricocheting round the hall.
It`s all done by mirrors of course, though I`ve got to admit that Kooymans is pretty nifty on the fretboard, and what a lovely mover!
Bit of buzz out front and they pulled “The Switch”, from the new elpee to celebrate.
It was here that I wondered why the hell my feet weren`t moving of their own accord. Although new member Robert Jan Stips contributes a meaty keyboards passage and the others shove the coda about at high-speed it`s really hard rock by numbers, throw out the bait and watch `em salivate.
Trouble is they didn`t.
Now this grouse with Earring`s patchy repertoire is enforced when they do deliver the goods, because it`s then that you realise you`re seeing three-quarters of a potentially excellent live act.
“Big Tree, Blue Sea” is a genuine ace despite the sneaking suspicion that George is working through the “guitar heroes you have loved” routine. He does it with panache however, and Barry Hay`s flute is a welcome diversion from the previous blast.
At the climax they sound like some Rattles Shocking Blue hybrid, stupid but fun.
“Kill Me (Ce Soir)” was better. Ostensibly about some geezer called Vick Timms it`s actually a vague tribute to Jim Morrison.
Long, long ago Hay copped a lot of the lizard king`s mannerisms, not to mention the black leather trousers, and got them down pretty pat (the mannerisms, not the trousers). The song builds to a point that might be gripping were it not for the magnesium flashes at the end, an unnecessary extravagance considering the context.
“Love Is A Rodeo” gets back to that old impression of deja vu; almost anachronistic lead and a definite nod to days of yore, acid and San Fran.
The horn section, another recent acquisition, returned for “Daddy`s Gonna Save My Soul”, but didn`t do anything other than add to a deafening welter of noise. If Van Gogh ever goes to Golden Earring concerts, he`s probably glad that he did pull his left ear off after all.
During “Vanilla Queen” slight tactical variations resulted in an enjoyable rocker that did not hurt. The band were super slick, tight and confident and oozing full-tilt arrogance.
Enter “Radar Love” which, surprisingly, a fair section of the crowd had shouted for all evening.
Now “Radar Love” was/is a great song and live they bring out the tension lurking behind the drum beat but when Cesar Zuiderwyk launches into his tortuously excessive and boring solo it ruins the atmosphere. Who wants to hear freaky blows at individual instruments which serve no purpose other than to show off how good or bad a musician is?
Anyway the solo is barely a development of the actual rhythm before he gets the spotlight. After the banging and clanking, he still leaps over the huge kit, which is getting to look very contrived.
Continuing that vein, Rinus Gerritsen, who`d been subdued most of the time, stuck his compulsory guide to the obscure regions of the bass guitar in the middle of “Can`t Get A Hold On Her”.
Two encores “Cool Jerk” and “Back Home” then off. They kept them hanging on in there but they sure didn`t take them all the way.
Golden Earring are positively undermining their own possibilities when they stoop to rock cliches, because apart from that lack of invention there`s a niche for them somewhere.
Quite where I couldn`t truly say.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.
This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Average White Band, Kenny, Ronnie Lane, Osibisa, Randy Newman, The Who, Viv Stanshall, Mike Love (Beach Boys), Dollar Brand, Greenslade.
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