Concert Reviews

Vandenberg's MoonKings Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 20, 2018    
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Vandenberg's MoonKings - Camden Underworld, London (UK) - 17 February 2018

Adrian Vandenberg formed the MoonKings (technically Adrian Vandenberg's MoonKings) in late 2013 and following the debut self-titled album in 2014 released 'MK II' in November 2017. The band is a strong all-Dutch outfit comprising Vandenberg himself, Jan Hoving (vocals), Mart Nijen-Es (drums) and Sem Christoffel (bass).

With an impending ten o'clock curfew at the packed Camden Underworld, the MoonKings launched into their set-list with no fanfare nor chit-chat from the band's vocalist. 'Tightrope', the opening track from the band's new album 'MK II', set the stall out for the evening – all Rock and no frills.

Songs from their two albums to date occurred in abundance with the band's vibe clearly centred on a raunchy and tight sound with a simple arrangement of drums, bass, single guitar and no keys or backing singers. 'Steal Away' was a great example of a song hitting the sweet spot of the band's attitude and musicality, and 'What Doesn't Kill You' demonstrated a Classic Rock song being played well. However, out of all the MoonKings back catalogue on display, 'Angel In Black' came over by far the best; full of swagger and bravado, this was a crowd pleaser and proof that Vandenberg is an exceptionally strong song-writer.

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Midway through the set, the band sneaked in 'Burning Heart', a track previously recorded by Vandenberg (the group) with an intricate acoustic intro. However, as Vandenberg is primarily famous for his stint in Whitesnake, there were inevitably some songs from that period in his career. The acoustic 'Sailing Ships' worked very well with an immaculate performance from both singer and guitarist. The ambitious 'Judgement Day' actually worked well, which was quite an achievement because there were no backing singers, no keyboards and absolutely nowhere to hide for the singer.

The first encore saw Nathan James (singer with Inglorious and initially famous for being a finalist on the BBC's 'Jesus Christ Superstar' show a few years back) provide guest vocals. The band launched into 'Here I Go Again' and a few vocal histrionics occurred as MoonKings singer Hoving joined in for good measure. The solo Vandenberg chose to play was obviously his sublime '1987' album version as opposed to the more dynamic US radio version and the song completed with a bit of Glenn Hughes-esque screams from James. To close off proceedings, James left the stage and the band played Led Zeppelin's 'Rock And Roll' almost to prove the vocal similarities the singer has to Robert Plant; a crowd sing-along capped off events and the audience left happy either to get an early-ish train home or head off to other London attractions.

Rob McKenzie

Click HERE to read the 'Vandenberg's MoonKings - MK II' album review.

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