In what appears to be a regular venue for progressive bands to perform in Poland, Quidam have added their names to this burgeoning list that has included other luminaries such as Landmarq, Arena and S.B.B. who have all performed at the Wyspianski Theatre in Katowice in 2005. As expected of a venue of such age, the entire theatre appears to envelop the band within a very deep and narrow setting; such is the unusual structure of the building. The band is set well back from the audience and if it were not for the excellent use of modern cameras, long zoom lenses, mechanical booms and cranes, you'd easily be mistaken for thinking the band were playing in the venue behind. Needless to say, the production is crystal clear, with no loss of any sound or vision or fluency when panning from one musician to the next. It's just a pity the bands that do perform at this very romantic and historic old theatre are positioned so far away as to lose a bit of the ambience with the audience.
As expected, Quidams performance was very good given they are currently one of the most celebrated bands in Poland and rank alongside Satellite, Collage, and S.B.B. in popularity. Quidams music is firmly rooted within the Neo prog sub genre so they may not appeal to everyone, although noticing the number of older farts in the crowd was reassuring for those of us of advancing years. Perhaps Neo prog will become the music of choice and be played to all the residents when our kids visit us in the nursing home.
Quidams refreshing sound often finds favour with those whose preference might include bands such as Morte Macabre, Anglagard, Landmarq, Camel, Paatos, White Willow, Liquid Scarlet or possibly even Nemo. Similarities and slightly vague musical references can be found within all the aforementioned bands, however, Quidam stand firmly on their own feet, possessing a very warm and symphonic sound, often embellished by tasteful flute, guitar and keyboard interplay.
Their lead vocalist, Bartek Kossowicz possess a reasonably powerful and emotive voice that seems to belie his somewhat youthful appearance and represents a dramatic change since their earlier female vocalist, Emila Derkowska, departed the scene. The bands music is always well composed and this is highly evidenced when listening to their earlier songs such as Wesola, Pod powieka and Plone, parts of which are excerpted within a long medley of old favourites. Their songs are always accompanied by very melodic and long, soaring lead breaks courtesy of Maciek Meller whose playing style reminds me of John Mitchell from Arena. Similarly, their bass player, Mariusz Ziotkowski and Maciek Wroblewski on drums maintain a rock steady groove throughout.
Although Quidam are not doing anything ground breaking or different these days, what they do they do very well which explains their ability to survive for as long as they have. 13 years in this business is a pretty long time given the continual emergence of newer bands such as Magic Pie, Riverside, Lizard, Paatos and others who would be only too happy to wear the coveted crown. When you include the very impressive newer releases from many of the more established bands such as Pendragon, I.Q., Marillion, Echolyn and others, it's easy to see there is not a lot of breathing room at the top.
Recommended for those with a passion for good quality Neo!
1. Hands Off
2. Queen Of Moulin Rouge
5. Oldies but Goodies
6. No Quarter
7. The Fifth Season
9. Everything's Ended
11. Not So Close