Focus concert at Spirit of ´66 Verviers/B. on April 12, 2002.
Review in iO Magazine by John Bollenberg, translated by Willem Hubers (see below the picture).
English Translation :
Judging by the enthusiasm with
which Thijs van Leer came on stage around 10.45 p.m. this was going to be an
evening never to be forgotten. The legendary yodelling flautist knew very well
his new line up is one to be reckoned with. Even though this concert was the
very first one with brand new drummer Bert Smaak.
It sounded, however, as if they all had been playing together for years. Amazing how Thijs has found a brilliant new guitarist who -to boot- is also called "Jan". The sound of this Jan Dumée is very similar to that of Jan Akkerman. As a result all classics such as Sylvia, Hocus Pocus, House of the King & Harem Scarem sounded as if one were listening to the original line-up from the glory days.
Thijs van Leer is more than ever the motor within this well-oiled machine, his subtle organ-playing being allowed to flourish thanks to an appreciative audience, who were enjoying the music in silence.
This may sound like a cliché, but those who stayed home to listen to the re-mastered FOCUS-oeuvre gambled wrong again, and may very well have missed the concert of their lives. Because this current FOCUS is that good. The new piece "Focus 7" (where do they get these original titles from?) made us all very curious about the new CD-material.
The flute-playing was yet again breathtaking, an accolade for the sound mixer, who made sure each instrument was perfectly audible. Van Leer moans, yodels, hums, sweats, whistles and "organs" himself through FOCUS´ past and present. He deserves to be cheered throughout the world.
Again a serious piece of history has been written at this small venue in Belgium.
By John Bollenberg, translated by Willem Hubers.