Jacco Gardner

Motel Mozaïque (http://www.motelmozaique.nl/)
Rotterdamse Schouwburg
The Netherlands

6th April 2013 (2013-04-06)


Type: Audience master, recorded directly in front of the mixer desk, about 12
metres back from the suspended PA.

Source: Factory-matched pair of Schoeps CCM 41V microphones (DINa mounted) ->
Marantz PMD661 recorder with Oade Concert Mod
(-18 dB gain/44.1 kHz/24 bit WAV)

Lineage: Audacity 2.0.3
* 3 dB amplification of tracks 1 to 3.
* Applied variable amplification across recording for consistent
listening experience.
* Attenuation of crowd noise.
* Manual balancing of channels.
* Added fades.
* Split tracks.
* Converted to 16 bit.
-> FLAC (compression level 8) [libFLAC 1.2.1 20070917]

Taper: Ian Macdonald (ianmacd)


01. [00:49] [intro]
02. [02:11] Cabinet Of Curiosities
03. [03:21] A House On The Moon
04. [00:15] [banter]
05. [03:20] Help Me Out
06. [03:07] Summer's Game
07. [04:19] The Riddle
08. [03:53] Chameleon
09. [04:08] Puppets Dangling
10. [00:19] [banter]
11. [03:00] The One Eyed King
12. [04:12] Watching The Moon
13. [00:19] [banter]
14. [07:08] Lullaby
15. [03:26] Clear The Air
16. [00:29] [banter]
17. [04:42] The Ballad Of Little Jane
18. [04:02] Where Will You Go

Total running time: 53:00


24 years young, Jacco Gardner from Hoorn offers something a little bit
different than your usual Dutch dross. That Dutchest of Dutch hallmarks, the
perfect copycat syndrome is still overwhelmingly in evidence, but Gardner has
at least distilled the essence of a whole era and bottled the constituent
properties of a genre, as it were, rather than merely mimicked his favourite

I'm still sitting in Corso, reading my e-mail after having been party to Retro
Stefson, when Motel Mozaïque's app alerts me to the fact that Woodkid has been
hospitalised and, as an obvious consequence, will now no longer imminently be
performing at the festival.

Oh well. At least I no longer have to lament missing Woodkid in order to see
Jacco Gardner. This development also results in a change of venue for Gardner,
who will now perform in the Rotterdamse Schouwburg, rather than the scheduled
De Gouvernestraat. Having never been to the latter, I have no idea whether
this is a change for the better, but after last night, I do at least know that
the Schouwburg is a nice venue and one that should yield a positive listening

So, I wander over to the new venue and wait for the hall doors to be opened.
When they are, I enter and take up position in the same spot as the evening
before, with my back to the mixer desk.

Gardner comes on at 00:30, so technically it's now the 7th, but his billing is
for the 6th and it's only a two day festival, so I'll stick with the 6th, as
the TV guide does for programmes broadcast in the wee hours.

Gardner must have downloaded a pack of samples called 'psychedelic sounds of
the late sixties' or something, because his band's keyboards conjure forth the
instantly recognisable sounds of a plethora of genre-defining period analogue
organs. Or maybe he's actually got the real thing with him up there on stage.

Everything is in place, right down to the haircut. The album, too, is the
musical equivalent of, say, a Picasso, only one that was painted yesterday by
a talented unknown, rather than by Pablo himself at the time. And remember,
it's not fraud until you sign it with someone else's name.

If this sounds as if some negative sentiment is brewing and about to be
spewed forth, let me disabuse you of that notion straight away.

Gardner's 'Cabinet Of Curiosities' is a lovely... well, it's very aptly named,
in fact. It's an appealing collection of curious psych-folk songs that succeed
admirably in evoking an era that had been consigned to antiquity long before
Gardner's parents first dreamily stared into each other's eyes.

No matter, though. Gardner may be a self-conscious musical anachronism, but he
obviously possesses a keen ear and an eye to match. This has been put together
with a historian's loving attention to detail. Most important of all, the
songwriting is good.

In the space of 53 minutes, Gardner gives us everything he currently has: the
entire album, plus the B-side of the single; and it really is a B-side, 'Clear
The Air' having been released as a 7".

Mention must also be made of the accompanying film clips, playing on a massive
backdrop. They are the perfect complement to the songs, almost but never quite
becoming the main feature. They, too, hark back to another age, although it
wouldn't surprise me to learn that they are actually just another cleverly
executed simulation and were filmed in and around Hoorn six months ago.

It will be interesting to see how Gardner follows his debut album and whether
he will continue to carve out this niche or venture into less derivative
territory. For now, however, there's enough to become absorbed in and one
hopes that this young man will manage to cut a path far beyond this nation's

The recording is excellent and faithfully reproduces the sound on the night.

Samples are provided to help you determine whether this is one for you.