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Anneke Van Giersbergen

A few weeks after the release of “drive”, the new guitar filled album from Anneke Van Giersbergen, riff magazine sits down with the red haired singer and discusses guitars, songwriting, fan covers, and what the future holds.


The show started with Amanda Sommerville’s Trillium, with their gothic metal foundation, one can’t help noticing a certain hard rock spice in the way that the band delivers live.

As one of the best metal singers currently active, Amanda easily conquered the crowd with both her majestic voice and organic sympathy. The set was very diverse, and in spite of the band’s apologies for usage of backing tracks for some instruments, it was very easy to see that the public was not bothered at all.

A special note for guitarist Paul Owsinski who delivered the night’s most searing leads as well as showcasing tasteful guitar playing throughout the whole set.






It was not long until the small Jazz Café got packed of hungry Anneke fans… hungry for the diverse moods that she got us used over the years. So it was no surprise that the fans spanned several demographics and styles.

In the last couple of years, Anneke has performed live accompanied by a small group of musicians, especially lately in her solo tour where fans could experience her songs in an intimate and minimalist way: just her, an acoustic guitar and a looper. This was not the case tonight, as we are greeted by an expanded ensemble of bass, drums, keyboards, and if it was not evident that the rock side of Anneke is in full force, then the two electric guitarists were sure to make everyone aware of how things were going to play out.


The show started with a fast track and surprisingly it took a long time until there was a slow song. The theme of the night is fast and heavy, the crowd loves it and you can see a lot of people banging their head and doing air guitar.

The band was in a very good shape, very tight and the musicians seemed relaxed onstage; they shown to be very diverse, feeling well on both slow and heavier material. In the middle of the concert they left the lead singer alone onstage, with her acoustic guitar, for a quick recollection of her solo tour. This moment got everybody singing with her, and showed that personality goes a long way.


I was very surprised by the track “mental jungle” which had complex rhythms and hammering guitars that you would expect from a softer DJENT band. This one was a bit more challenging for the crowd, but it was not for long as the band turned down the heat and smoothed things out.

Anneke really knows how to communicate with people so for her it’s very natural to establish empathy; as the show went on, nobody wanted it to reach the end.

Inevitably, the musicians left the stage, and this triggered one of the biggest clapping and whistling demonstrations that I’ve seen in London.

Back for a couple more, they started with a cover from “the gathering” which got a lot of people happy, and ended with the crowd singing along to “the best is yet to come” one of the singles from “drive”. Could not help thinking that this song really asks for a song after, but it was the last song of the encore, and afterwards people thanked the band and moved to the merchandise zone to interact with Anneke and the band.


The balance is very positive, this new rocking side of Anneke Van Giersbergen surely is a very pleasant surprise and does not feel forced at all, even in the heavier, more modern tracks, she shows that it is possible to crossover genres.