Alice In The Cities - The Mary Heart Attack

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exploring the edges of the musical universe

Alice in the Cities & The Mary Hart Attack

Kievitsnest Antwerp - 30 oct 2014

The Kievitsnest is a bar located in an abandoned church in the neighborhood of the Central Station in Antwerp. Most Thursday nights they organize free concerts in the small chapel in the sacristy. Needless to say this is a very atmospheric location, especially when they lit the firepit in the beautiful garden. It seems that there’s plans to rebuild this location into a brasserie, exploited by some very well-known chef cook. Personally I hope these plans are going to be abandoned as well, this location is way too beautiful for yet another restaurant. I mean, leave us some culture, restaurants are not culture. Anyway, let’s review the bands instead of complaining about the money-grabbing catering business.

 

First up was The Mary Hart Attack. Unfortunately this trio, hailing from Ghent, Belgium, didn’t seem to have a good day. At first they experienced some technical issues and sound problems. The sound was simply too loud, nearly reaching overdrive. Therefore most members of the audience went, or stayed, outside, sitting by the fire. Then there was this 52 year old drunk trying to give the band some pretty useless advice after every song. So the Mary Hart Attack looked pretty annoyed and disappointed.

 

But were they any good? Well, actually, they were. They sounded like a modern day post-punk/new wave band and reminded us of bands like Joy Division and Sonic Youth. Their music is very energetic, a bit dark and has an nice, gloomy atmosphere. This is a very talented band, writing excellent songs. I for one hope to see them again, but with a better sound and a lot more people in the audience. I surely hope a disappointing evening like this doesn’t harm the confidence they have in themselves, each other and their music. Stuff like this deserves better.

 

Alice in the Cities turned the volume down before they started, which proved to be a great idea. Although they also experienced some sound issues and had to face the same drunk, they did very good. For as far as I can remember, Alice in the Cities played the same songs they played at Incubate a month earlier. At first they seemed a bit hesitant and maybe a bit nervy, but after a while they relaxed and started enjoying themselves. Halfway through the set I witnessed some smiles and rhythmic head shaking. Drummer Jeremie even got a little jumpy at times. Their ‘cinematic post

rock’ sounded pretty good (as good as it gets with the available sound gear) and the audience seemed to like it as well.

 

We heard they hadn’t played together since the gig at Incubate and needed a little time to adapt again but nobody really noticed, except for the band members themselves. With hints of Western-music and a touch of Pink Floyd and Cocteau Twins, Alice in the Cities proved to be an excellent band. The rush to the merchandise booth proved that the audience really loved it.

 

All troubles aside, this was a nice evening with two very talented bands that didn’t get the chance to show their true potential. Kievitsnest is a beautiful location and very well suited for concerts like these but there’s still some work to be done concerning the sound. So, let’s not turn this into a stupid restaurant for stupid business people but keep it as it is, an awesome place where music lovers can have the time of their lives, watching and listening to promising bands. Expand the concept by creating rehearsal and recording studios. That would be something our city can be proud of. There’s enough restaurants already dammit!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Serge