It is perhaps the bane of every music lover’s life when they realise that the band they love so much is not playing a show in their town. Or anywhere remotely close for that matter. For me that band was Absynthe Minded, a Belgian quintet who have been touring Europe for their latest album As It Ever Was. And so I, accompanied with two equally eager friends, made the trip to Dunkirk and headed for a tiny riverside club- the 4Ecluses.
The 4Ecluses was the perfect venue for such a unknown and underrated band as Absynthe Minded with its “intimate” size and quaint French charm. Supporting the Belgian quintet was French singer-songwriter Julien Ribot. Ribot’s music is often accompanied by a backing band of guitars and the like but for this show it was a solo performance on piano. Perhaps it was the tiny venue or maybe because I was less than arms length from Ribot himself but his performance was personal and emotive, sharing the odd joke with the crowd (which of course I nor my friends understood). While his music at times seemed very repetitive with many songs following a very distinct pattern the quality of his playing and singing was magical.
[box_light]Front man Bert Ostyn and violinst Renaud Ghilbert- the head to the left of Bert’s guitar is actually mine.[/box_light]
Cue the painful wait between support act and the main performer. Cue cheers and clapping as front man Bert Ostyn takes the stage followed by the rest of his band: Renaud Ghilbert (violin) Jan Duthoy (Hammond, piano) Sergej Van Bouwel (double bass, bass guitar) and Jakob Nachtergaele (drums). They played tracks mostly from their new album, but played the odd classic from their 2009 self titled album as well as their 2007 album There Is Nothing. Songs like Envoi and Plane Song were performed phenomenally well and managed to get the relatively tame French crowd dancing and singing along. While perhaps due to their relatively unknown status they did not interact with the crowd a great deal, their performance was stellar and entirely worth the 10 hours of travelling to see them.
Julien Ribot- Love
Absynthe Minded- Envoi
Absynthe Minded- 24/7
Absynthe Minded- Papillon
Make sure to follow Jasper for coverage of future gigs including The Civil Wars (11th November) and Lucy Rose (16th November) @JC_WaitWat