Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Level 42

I went to see Level 42 play live at Paard van Troje (locally commonly referred to as Het Paard) last monday november 12th with some friends.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Running In The Family album. An occasion that prompted the Level 42 Running In The Family 25th Anniversary Tour, of course. And what better way to celebrate this fact by playing the entire Running In The Family album live. Front to back. Yup... Quite a feat IMO, especially a song like Two Solitudes. After the  Running In The Family album two acoustic songs were played: Out of sight, out of mind and the most recent Level 42 song they played all evening: Guaranteed. Notable classic Level 42 songs like Heathrow, Hot Water, Starchild and of course Love Games were also played.

I'm a long time Level 42 fan but kinda lost interest in their music, I missed their earlier style of music and couldn't cope with the absence of Mike Lindup. Mike's voice plays a key role in Level 42's music. With Mike gone Level 42 kinda collapsed IMO. Now with Mike back in the fold and Pete Ray Biggin on drums (wow!)  Level 42 is really up to their task. Level 42 clearly knows what the fans expect them to play and are still able to play their asses off. Wonderful.

I had never seen Level 42 play live before and I loved every moment of it, I had a great time. No complaints? Well not the music and the level of musicianship, the sound pressure level however was way too high IMO. We all went home with ringing in the ears. The next morning I still suffered from it. Not nice.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Skyfall, Level 42

We went to see Skyfall last night. Excellent Bond movie with the usual Bond elements and a bit out of a typical The A-Team episode. Everything is a remix, indeed.

Tomorrow evening I'm going down memory lane: I'm going to a concert of another British institution: Level 42. Mark King still can play the bass like there's no tomorrow and keyboard player Mike Lindup is back in the fold. Back in the day I was a huge fan of Level 42 but never got around to seeing them play live.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I ordered a few samples from a local perfumery. They offer an online sample service: five  samples of your choice mailed to you for €12.71. Probably only in the Netherlands.

I ordered:
  • Caron Yatagan
  • Knize Ten
  • Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa
  • Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa Oud
  • Creed Aventus

Yatagan, a woody oriental, is a five stars fragrance according to The Guide. Luca advises to rush to buy it before they screw it up, yet recoiling at the smell of Yatagan isn't uncommon. Definitly not your run of the mill male fragrance this stuff. No flowers, no fruit, no chocolate, no candy. A punch in your face, or rather on the nose. Brash and butch, utterly masculine, no mistake about it. Take a whiff of a department store Top 10 fragrance, now make a 180° turn and start walking. Way, way back at the other end that you cannot see yet, there's Yatagan. Very much un-like any modern day designer fragrance that usually are made not to offend rather than to impress. Recoiling at the smell? Oh yes, I can see why that could happen. This one is unique, but in positive way. Bottle worthy for me? Hmm, I dunno. Yatagan could be an acquired taste. It's not pretty smooth polished stuff,  I feel it's rough and coarse. However I feel it does dry down to a very pleasant kinda body odor. Yatagan is a weird one. Can be found relatively cheap if you shop online. Cannot be easily found in a regular perfumery chain store or department store. Guys, if you shave your chest and balls this is not for you, instead stick with the likes of Dior Homme and L'Instant de Guerlain Extreme pour homme.

Knize Ten Is touted as the reference leather scent. A classic (and a five stars) in Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez' books. Upon initial application Knize Ten explodes into a lot of notes all at once I can't tell apart. After 15 minutes Knize Ten settles down into a smooth and ambery leather with some sweetness and a hint of tobacco/ashtray. A few hours later the sweetness takes a strawberry-like turn for the worse that can last for hours. Reminds me of cheap bubble gum. Pass. Bazooka bubble gum anyone?

Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa was ordered because I want to compare it to Dior's Homme Sport (2008 and 2012). I love the citrus-&-ginger-on-top-of-wood combo of  Dior Homme Sport (2008). Colonia Intensa is very nice, light, airy and fresh. A bit of an upscale Dior Homme Sport. I feel like a million bucks wearing this. Classy.

Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa Oud, just curious what this one would smell like in general and oud in particular. Colonia Intensa Oud smells like Colonia Intensa with some added Oud. It reminded me a bit of Dirty English that also contains oud but this one is much more refined and lacking the boozy quality of Dirty English. Very nice, I like it even better than "plain" Colonia Intensa. Longevity is excellent. Acqua di Parma calls this eau de cologne concentree, I feel this is what we normally call eau de toilette. Excellent stuff but its quality comes at a hefty price. For the moment being only available in 100 ml bottles at about €155 euros each. Ka-ching. Which makes it much more expensive than Colonia Intensa.

Creed Aventus, there's a ton of material on Aventus on the fragrance boards. Reading the boards one gets the impression Creed in general and Aventus in particular is something really special. Apparently very popular with women, see the  fragrance boards. People are even trying to find elusive Aventus batches, as apparently no two smell alike and some are considered the Holy Grail of Aventus. I wanted to smell what the fuss is all about. For the obsessed, my sample is from the C42B11Z01 batch. First impression: is this all there is to it? What's so special about it? Unpleasant? No not unpleasant at all. But nothing special either. I thought it smelled rather weak too. I don't get it. Must sample it some more, see if the penny drops later. Well not the penny but the sample dropped onto a tiled floor... No more sampling. Aventus relegated to a hall way scent. Do sample this one before you fork out an inordinate amount of money, as a bottle of Aventus is far from what most people think is reasonable for a bottle of fragrance. I think it's overpriced. BTW the missus and my daughter didn't say a word about smelling something out of the ordinary (either good or bad) when they got home. Go figure.