Mark Bogert, February 28, 2014 – Bibelot, Dordrecht (NL)
After the disbandment of Penny’s Twisted Flavour, the Dutch guitarist Mark Bogert was invited to replace Mark Vermeule in Knight Area, one of the best-known prog rock bands in the Netherlands. Despite playing and touring with this band, he still found time to work on his own project: an instrumental solo album called A Story In Parts. Friday the 28th of February was a special day for Mark Bogert because he presented his first effort to the audience live on stage.
Well, Background Magazine was honoured to be invited to this special evening, which was well-planned and well-organized. When we made our appearance we were warmly welcomed by Nadine Pruim, Bogert’s fiancée. After receiving a drink and the promo, of which a review will soon follow, Mark explained that he wanted to play three songs for the press before the audience would enter the venue. He was willing to answer some questions afterwards. In my perception this planning shows the professional attitude of Mark and Nadine. The guitarist admitted that he was slightly nervous, but when he entered the stage, I noticed that he left all the nervousness behind. We were treated to three solid songs, a perfect warming-up for the show to come. After finishing these songs we talked in a relaxed atmosphere about his new guitar, his music and his future plans until the band members got ready for the launch of Bogert’s solo album.
For his live band Mark had asked two band mates of Knight Area: drummer Pieter van Hoorn, who noticeably had a lot of fun playing Mark’s powerful music, and veteran bass player Peter Vink, who’s not only humorous during recording sessions, but also on stage. Former Penny’s Twisted Flavour member Wendy Heuvelmans played the keyboards. She excelled in the parts when only the guitar and the keyboards were present on
stage. As a second guitar player Mark had invited his former neighbour Ramon van Laatum in order to make it possible to reproduce the album’s guitar sound. On several occasions his live band was joined by flutist Ellen Baksteen whose flute playing perfectly fitted to the more mellower parts of Bogert’s compositions.
This CD launch party was visited by a rather mixed circle of people consisting of many friends and family, fans of heavy instrumental guitar music as well as progressive rock fans. Before the show I had the chance to listen to some parts of the new album, but to see Bogert playing live is something different: it’s no wonder that this young guitar god is called the Dutch Steve Vai! During several compositions I could clearly hear the influences of this American guitar master. During the faster, heavier and more neo-classical parts the influences of Yngwie Malmsteen, a self-appointed guitar god came to the surface. Malmsteen would have approved of the way Mark Bogert played the musical style he initiated.
Beside the heavy and solid guitar orientated compositions, one of the highlights was the tribute he paid to his parents. This piece was simply called P.A.M. because he couldn’t think of a more appropriate title to thank his parents for their continuous support. In this composition Ellen Baksteen’s great flute play gave this piece an extra dimension, just to let Mark’s parents feel even prouder. The overall atmosphere on stage was a real pleasure to watch: musical friends having a great evening together while other friends, family and admirers watch in the audience. I hope they have captured these positive vibes on the CD as well, so I can relive this special evening many times.
The CD presentation of A Story In Parts by Mark Bogert turned out to be a pleasant evening filled with great music. Both Mark and Nadine are very dedicated to the music and their enthusiasm clearly affected the other musicians on stage. I would like to thank and compliment this dynamic duo and all the musicians involved for this evening and I hope they can book a number of gigs in order to bring the album to the attention of more people.
Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)