Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Van der Graaf Generator @ The Junction

Did I mention already that there are no venues in Cambridge suitable for rock concerts? If not, then this is the moment to reiterate: there are none. Unless the audience is less than a hundred people, that is. I went to see Van der Graaf Generator yesterday at The Junction 1. Man it was crowded. Well, maybe it only was couple of hundred people, but that’s exactly my point: even that is more than enough to block your vision. There are no seats except for a few bar stools to perch upon. And beer is expensive too.

There was no support band and VdGG started just as advertised, precisely at 20:30, and were playing non-stop till 22:15. In its current incarnation, VdGG consists of Peter Hammill (piano, guitar, vocal), Hugh Banton (organ) and Guy Evans (drums). I always fancied the idea of rock trio with an awesome drummer and two keyboard wizards sitting there outwizarding each other, and that was how the show started. (Evans’s drumming was consistently magnificent throughout the whole evening.) Wonderfully dark, mysterious, full of odd time signatures... I would love it if not for singing. No, I did not like Hammill’s vocal (whether meant or not, singing out of tune irritates me) and, on rare occasions when I was able to discern the lyrics, I did not enjoy the lyrics either.

If I was in a position to hand out any stars, this is how I would do it: musicianship, four and a half stars (out of five); singing: two stars; venue, two stars.


  1. VdGG! The band has given me so much pleasure over the years, but I have forgotten to follow it for a long time time now!

  2. Present was really good — I think it was you who first gave it to me to listen