Live 2005

This time we played at the Boerderij at Zoetermeer. And it was a special night. Such a warm and enthosiatic audiance... It was a definitely a night to cherish forever..


25 feb 2005 Reel + Asrai

Groene Engel-Oss    Feb 26, 2005 
-Gothic rock band Asrai is one of the most interesting Dutch bands at the moment. The band has been playing together for quite some time now and this is finally starting to pay off. A couple of months ago the band even won a prestigious music prize in their home country and their following seems to be growing with every gig the band plays. As a matter of fact I was curious which of the two bands was actually headlining the show. Personally I am a little bit surprised by the amount of attention Asrai has gained the last couple of months. I gave their latest album a try, but it didn't impress me that much. When I entered De Groene Engel I saw a very relaxed Asrai standing behind their merchandise stand. It seemed to me that Epica was about to open the show. Would this have something to do with all the young girls standing out in the crowd?
The first surprise of the evening was the fact that Asrai did in fact open with a forty five minute show. It was nice to see that this band was so relaxed, confident and loyal to their fans, that they are open to the crowd up until just a few minutes before the start of the show. It didn't take too long for me to find out why this band is becoming more and more popular. Watching the expressive lead singer Margriet flanked by an impressive guitar player Rik and bassist Martin made clear that this is a real live band. Looking at the reactions from the crowd, my guess is that there were a lot of fans of the band in the audience. Despite the fact that the sound in the hall could have been better, the band convinced me to give their new album another try. I liked what I was hearing and I know that I wasn't the only one impressed by the band.
(Review + Pics: Geert Oldenmenger
© Rockezine Feb 26, 2005

Sometimes he was bending over so deep; his guitar almost touched the ground. It is a great sight to see two men so completely devoted to their instrument. But there was more to see on stage, Manon (synths) and Karin (drums) were really enjoying themselves, singing along and dancing along with the music, their interaction was fun to see, it showed the warm connections between these band members. It was a pity the lights were so bad, otherwise these interactions would have stood out a bit more. There were huge amounts of red light and there was hardly any front light so let us all hope this will change in the future.

Soft whispers calling ‘Asraiiii, Asraiiii’ and a wind like sound announced the performance of the first band of this evening had begun. Margiet, with a huge amount of glitters al over her hair is the strong leading lady of this band, her fire shooting eyes and constrained fingers show us the passion she is feeling while singing her lines. This evening however the guitarists caught my eye as well. Martin (bass) seemed to be making love to his guitar, I can just imagine him caring for his guitar as if he were married to it. Rik (guitar) was completely at one with his guitar, he held it as close to him as possible.

We packed our bags, sun factor 20, bathing suits and of course our amps,

guitars and our not inflatable drum kit and all other gear.

So we were ready to go and ready to rock.....

 Join us on our trip through Spain by clicking this link

Photos taken by Michel Oversteyns & Marja and Marco


Intwine, After Forever, Blues Explosion, Alanis Morissette, Toy Dolls, Tiësto, GenerC, Jovink & de Voederbietels, Horse, White Cowbell Oklahoma, Opgezwolle, De Sjonnies, Asrai, Robbing Williams, Australian Nirvana, Frank Anthony (Tribute to the King), Ronnie & Tonnie, Otto Orgel,Henk Wijngaard, Hutspot, Die Lustige Schlagerfreunden, Silent Disco van, Enge Buren, LeJo,

The Wounded & Asrai

12 Augustus 2005

Animadverto, Asrai, Autoagression, Autumn, The Azoic, The Birthday Massacre, Black Tongue Tribe, Chillburn, Crystal Entity, The CrüxshadowsDiary of Dreams, Dragonfly, Dulce liquido, EpicaEstampie, Fertile reality, Glis, Gothminister, Image Transmission, Misery, More machine than man, Morgenstern, Morning, My Insanity, Nemesea,

the Old Dead Tree, Olen'k, Panic DHH, Penumbra, Qntal, S.K.E.T., Sonata Arctica, StinScatzor, Suicide Commando, Syrian, T. Raumschmiere, Tamtrum, Therion, UnterNull.

Wanneer Asrai het podium betreedt, lijkt het even of de Addams Family is gearriveerd. Drie vrouwen met een imposant zwart kapsel nemen plaats achter de microfoonstandaard, het drumstel en de toetsen. Ze krijgen bijval van drie niet minder opvallende mannen.
Met logge, loodzware nummers die veelal bestaan uit enkel akkoorden, neemt Asrai de zaal over. Hier staat een band met een eigen geluid en gezicht. Opbeurende melodietjes hoef je van Asrai niet te verwachten. Net zo min als gezellige theepraat met het publiek. Als een hardnekkige winterdepressie trekt het optreden voorbij. En dat is een compliment.

Tonight Hillegom became Hellegom where all the dark creatures could gather for a ghouling and howling night full of guilty pleasures.


15th sept . On the road again, this time we are going to Berlin in Germany. It would be the beginning of a two show case with Asrai, Autumn, Epica and After Forever.. and they called it:
Dutch Gothic Metal Night.
Join us to this trip by clicking this link
It was 5 o'clock in the morning when we all gathered arisen and shining at Margriet's place. While walking to the doorbell, Karin slid through an almost toxic waste-dump from a dog with a very big and bad diet.. The little bit of grass around the nearest tree wasn't enough to get rid of this evil substance.  So it took some time to get rid of it, although the whole journey there was a strange and mysterious smell.
Together we went to the Rotterdam Airport the catch flight HV 5095.
Rik could't go to this gig so Mario did, together with Madeleine for the merchandise and Marcel as our soundengineer

There weren't any problems getting through customs and at 7.15 pm we were up in the air.

It was Martin's first fright flight

We arrived at Stansted at 7.10 local time, we were totally surprised that it was so quiet at the airport; we almost started to miss the security check.


Henk, our devilish driver, and Ingrid left for England with our gear the day before. They took the ferry from Calais and booked a picturesque hotel near Stansted.

So we had more than enough time to watch the road and found the CAMDEN LOCK HOTEL LONDON easier than expected. While we where checking in, the ever watchfull parking police decided to provide us with a parking-fine in the first ten minutes of our arrival and we where glad  they didn't clamp us welcome to London (For that matter all big cities are the same, so it almost felt like home)


It wasn't difficult to spot them. So we all sat back in the van and let ourselves be carried away by the English landscape. We went back to the hotel for an authentic English breakfast.
(Later it turned out to be our only meal for that day.)
With a full belly it was time to get through all 571 trafficlights to London and as promised at the Stansted airport, the average speed was 10 miles per hour due to the usual traffic jam.

It was time for some relaxing, and what is more relaxing than to go shopping in Camden?

We got to Camden looking forward to buying ourselves some brand new goodies but due to some difficulties the electricity went down. so hard to spot the shop in the dark. Paying was like a touch in the dark, so it was a bit disappointing and with almost empty bags (of course we did manage to buy some stuff) we went back to the hotel to get freshen up and pick up our gear to go to the Underworld.
Of course some of us didn't care much for shopping and enjoyed a pint on the terrace in front of the shops.
So we had more than enough time
to set up the merchandise.

A bit too early we arrived at the Underworld where Arcturus and Red Harvest were busy with their sound check.

That night Redemption television would be filming all performances and do interviews with all the bands. But the time schedule was a bit tight so due to our sound check we didn't have the time to do the interview in their improvised studio. And we decided that we would do it in between the gigs of Red Harvest and Arcturus.

At 6.30 dinner was served, or so we thought, and we gave our orders. But with two bands and crew before us, and a little Chinese woman that spoke perfect Chinese but not a word of English to cook and serve us, 5 minutes became 15 minutes and the food wasn't in sight and half a hour later we decided it was better to play with an empty stomach than to be burping on stage.

Waiting for dinner..  ?

At 7.00 am the venue would open their doors and we started at; no time to eat it's time to rock!
Arcturus, Red Harvest & Asrai  The Underworld London  5/10/5 review by Pete Woods.
Dutch band Asrai were not only colourful on stage but even had a merchandise stall attractively decked out in purple with red roses on it. I love this band ever since I was introduced to their Touch In The Dark album and think they display everything that a group marrying together Gothic and metal sensibilities should have in their armoury. As the sultry power of Whisper consumed us I was instantly blown away. Vocalist Margriet sounds powerful on album but by Christ, in the flesh she was both in your face and bellowing away with a force that demanded attention. For a first song of the night I couldn't have expected anything better and as for audience reaction I couldn't really tell you, as I remained at the front till they had finished. Those around seemed to be having a good time though. Despite having ladies on vocals, drums and keys there was an evident masculinity in the guitar and bass department. Musically this took me back to the 80s with these instruments very thick in the mix I could hear patterns not a million miles away from either The Sisters Of Mercy or New Model Army. In Front Of Me was a song that just sounded massive and should easily have the strength to propel Asrai to much greater things than an opening slot. Tower is a slower number, for some reason it slightly reminds me of Depeche Mode's Blasphemous Rumours and it was sung totally from the heart, something that you don't often find in music of this orientation. To say I enjoyed this would be an understatement, my only annoyance was that with Shadows, this brief 30-minute set ended far too quickly.
I really don't know what to say to wrap this up but feel damn lucky to have witnessed 3 superb bands here tonight. All of them seemed to give us 110% I just wish all visiting tours could be like this one.

Marcel, doing some fine tuning

After Red Harvest show we ran backstage for an interview with Redemption TV. We had a nice interview with a really nice lady. (It's always nice to talk with someone how has the same vision about music, specially females in (metal-) music.)

Thanks Matt ...for dropping off

some flyers

After Arcturus the place emptied in no- time sorry Mario, no after party.

We loaded up the van and tried to find the Hotel, that wasn't that hard.but a legal way to park and reach the hoteldoor was another story.
Some of us went to sleep. The hunger teased needed a bite. So we went into the night. (Not to far anyway, and not too long either. Long live the Doner Kebab! We definitely wanted to go back to the hotel when they started doing a jam session in the next room of the kebab-shop...aarrgghhh. What is it with British people jamming and karaoke (see our former UK adventures).

Drummers ball

It was really fun in the 100 m area of the hotel; karaoke, and a crash course in how to beat eachother up with beer bottles. And the beer wasn't that bad we were worried about our van.
We awoke early, enjoyed breakfast together and thought about how to spend the rest of our day.
We checked out our van and we were glad that it wasn't damaged.
Mario had to go back to Amsterdam and the rest of us would fly back to Rotterdam. So we had to be at Stansted at 5 a.m. It was 11.00 o'clock in the morning.. So it's not difficult to guess what we decided to do..So much shopping to do; the black rose, etc..etc..
Hoping all electricity problems were solved we went back to Camden and yes all the problems were solved.
We went back to load up the van at 2.00 p.m. and heavier than before we hit the road again.  It was a good thing we went back on time, due to all kind roadwork we saw more from London than we wanted, and trying not to get lost.
Near Stansted again and of course we needed a drink. So we went into a nearby pub.

Although we thought we had more than enough time, (time means nothing when you're having fun) so we couldn't enjoy a last meal together.

Henk and Ingrid dropped us off at the Airport, we waved them goodbye and they drove back to their hotel..
Instead of a meal in a local pub we had an airport meal while chatting about the gig and our upcoming flight not aware of what happened that day in Holland.

The flight to Amsterdam was earlier than the flight back to Rotterdam, so we checked Mario in, kissed him goodbye, got back to the hall and decided to check in.

So when we arrived at the queue we caught a last glance of Mario going through customs.

The flight back was nice till almost the end of it.. We had a lovely time until the pilot had an announcement to make. About fog (always thought that was more for the British).. due to the fog and therefore bad sight we couldn't  land in Rotterdam. Crossing our fingers and hoping the pilot made a bad joke and turned out to be a stand up comedian.. Which unfortunately he wasn't. We had to go to Amsterdam, (so in the end it wasn't necessary for Mario to take the other flight).
Luckily enough there was a bus waiting for us to take us back to Rotterdam Airport and indeed there was a heavy fog, so no view at all. And later we found out that that day a Second World War bomb was found next to a Schiphol runway and that they had all kinds off problems that day.
For us all problems faded away when we're coming home again.
De locatiekeuze van de Boterwaag als podium voor de Haags/Rotterdamse gothicband Asrai blijkt een gouden keus van de Popweek programmeurs.
De middeleeuws aandoende gewelven van de vermaarde koffie-, bier- en eettent en de voor de band opgestelde kaarsen zorgden voor een stemmige sfeer.

De inmiddels flink internationaal doorgebroken band lijkt in het begin ietwat onwennig op de wellicht voor hun te krappe locatie. Maar na het eerste nummer is het ijs gebroken en speelt de band vol overgave een puike set.

De gothicmuziek slaat aan bij de goed vertegenwoordigde bewonderaars, die met wapperende haren en bangende hoofden op de maat van de steady drumster Karin uit hun dak gaan.
Prijsnummers als Touch in the dark en Pale light zijn inmiddels kleine gothic-hitjes geworden.

Wat opvalt is dat Asrai door het vele spelen op grote festivals en poppodia een enorme sprong voorwaarts heeft gemaakt. De presentatie van de bombastische en de vlekkeloos gespeelde nummers maakt een professionele indruk.

De show van Asrai is van een onverwacht hoog niveau, met de kanttekening dat het bij tijd en wijle wel wat veel van hetzelfde wordt.
Maar de puike presentatie - wat zien de stoere bandleden er eigenlijk sprookjesachtig lief uit - en het prima afgestelde geluid maken Asrai boeiend om te zien.
En dat de muziek niet alleen bij de zwarte vleermuizen en metalheads in de smaak valt, mag als een extra kwaliteit worden opgevat.

21 October 2005,

Tonight we play together with The Outburst and Machine Deus Ex at the Espace Curial in Paris.

Fully back we drove to the most romantic cities of the world. We are in a very good mood because the next day we would play at the Female voices fest.

Driving through the streets of Paris we noticed a tension under youngsters, who were hanging out and looking with a nasty attitude to Karin when she got out the van and walked through their neighborhood needed get the key for the gate....

At Espace Curial we got a warm welcome and the two other band we played with was a pleasure to look at on stage. In the meantime our van got also some attention from the youngsters outside. Smudged and damaged, our van was waiting for us after a great rocking night. So we decided to leave straight away and give some necessary attention to the van later...

Not even a week later a series of riots occurred in the suburbs of Paris and other French cities.. When three youngsters hid in a power-station where two died from electrocution, resulting in a power blackout. The incident ignited rising tensions about youth unemployment and police harassment in the poorer housing estates. ..


Straight from Paris we drove to Wieze.
We were looking forward to this gig.
We realize that standing in the queue has to be terrible for the audience, but for us it was quite impressive when we're passing by.
While driving straight back stage.

Also this time Mario is joing us on stage

We would like to thank Metal Organization and  all the enthusiastic people who made this festival very special.

It's been a while ago that we played in Rotterdam. 5th Nov it was about time for having that party.

With Crystal Entity as our support act, several stands like: Brendah, Dragon Slayer, Emenef, Yvonne, Faerytale-fashion.

Exploring Rotterdam's Nightlife, Rutger ended up at this gig.
With Tim as his host, Rutger found the bar, glad that after his former adventures that he could keep his clothes on.
For his side of the story:

Tonight we're playing at the Willemeen at Arnhem. A nice looking venue and tonight we share again the stage with o.a. The Wounded... Shame that the other support act started more then an hour too late and played double the time then agreed... so way out off scheduale The Wounded finally could enterd the stage, by the time that they're finished it was so late that many people already had to go, shame that therefor a lot of our fans had to miss a big part of the concert

Killing some time back stage

Call it pre-production if you want too...
It was about time to put some ideas on disk... So we were getting out of the rehearsal room and into the studio. Together with our Soundwizard Johan and our soundenigeer Marcel.

With guest appearance from Devon

Wizard at work
While we were recording at the Dynamo studio.. Manon was busy at the Excess studio where Hans was helping us out.
When she finished the job Manon joined us, not only for eating the necessary pizza but for filling in the missing keyparts as well.

Tonight is a special night. Karin recieved her own signed drumsticks from the endoursement she have with Balbex...

Thanks to Pat Sticks