Random Women of Rock II

1 09 2009

RWoR #1 was one of the more fun posts I put up back in the good ‘ol Journalspace days, and well received too.

Yankeedogs post today reminded me that I’d been meaning to post a follow up for a while now, featuring perhaps not so much the eclectic mix as before ( Lita Ford, Tarja Turunen & Wendy O Williams) but more of what I’ve had playing in the trusty Hilux of late.

Some call it goth rock, others symphonic or female-fronted rock or metal – whatever, its different, theres definitely talent involved (the musical kind!) and it sounds awesome up loud. With my music, I tend to favour musicians,composers and singers with a modicum of ability over todays instant-popstar generation.

And don’t ask me why, but the Europeans seem to have this little segment all sown up, with these 3 young ladies in fact all from Holland. And I thought the only good things from the Netherlands were Heinekens and coffee shops!

First up, Floor Jansen, yep, thats her name. The band, After Forever, have now gone their seperate ways, but apparently shes working on another project giving hope to the chance of seeing her peform live again.

This song, Energize Me, one of their more commercial tracks is one of the few official videos of theirs to be found. Floor wrote most of the bands music and lyrics on the later albums which featured a number of styles ranging from classical to hard rock.

With her soaring soprano range and, at over 6 ft tall, imposing stage presence, I reckon we haven’t heard the last from Ms Jansen.

Within Tempatations’ Sharon den Adel makes up # 2 on this list. Sharon and her partner Robert Westerholt, the bald rhythm guitarist in the clip, eaily take out the drej award for”coolest parents imaginable”, Sharon  having recently given birth to their 2nd child. Can you imagine the “what my parents do” session at school when both your parents front a mainline (in Holland anyway) rock band?

Sharons voice has a smoky sense on some of their tracks that adds even more to the classical dynamic. Not overly taken with this Underworld inspired video, but it does give a nice overview of her talent.

And before anyone says “Evanescence”, be aware WT were around many years before  Amy Lee and co broke into the scene.

Last but by no means least, the mighty Epica, and singing sensation Simone Simons. Epicas’ songs are mostly written by Mark Jansen, the original founder of After Forever. When he moved on(read : was sacked)  from them in 2002, he formed Epica, who’ve gone onto become one of Hollands bigger acts in their own right. Their live performances are stand-out, featuring where possible complete symphony orchestras and backup choirs to belt out not just their own brand of rock but such crowd pleasers as the Star Wars’ Imperial March and the best version I’ve yet to hear of the theme to Pirates of the Caribbean.

Simones amazing vocals prove the perfect accompanyment to both the full on big-band sound of the orchestra and moments of full on rock nirvana. Sublime, and a match made in heaven.

In this next clip, filmed when she was only 19, Simone leads the band in one of their early classics, Cry to the Moon.

Funny watching the backup singers’  faces when Mark starts in with the Death Grunts. I figure they’re thinking, ” all our years of classical training, and here we are on stage playing backup to this ??”

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4 responses

1 09 2009
yankeedog

Some good stuff here. I’ll dig up some more Epica-I like that. They remind me a bit of Trans-Siberian Orchestra without the big light show. Outstanding!

I was going to do a post on women rockers, but my taste goes a back a few years-Pat Benatar, Chrissie Amphlett, et al. Glad I didn’t-I’d have been eclipsed by your post!

1 09 2009
drej

YD, do it, would love to see more of Pat, Chrisssie and co. Believe theres even a movie coming out based on the Runaways, Joan Jett, Lita Ford et al…
Glad you liked Epica – they have a new studio album due out next month I think, though I’ve yet to hear the whole back catalogue myself.

2 09 2009
Dr Yobbo

The Dutch breed ’em tall don’t they??

Still got a soft spot for Sarah McLeod from the Superjesus. She was rock and roll, that girl.

3 09 2009
drej

Yes! Sarah McL is Awesome! they even played Broome 6 years ago when we first moved here & I can’t believe I didn’t make it!
Hmm maybe an Aus/NZ RWoR may be required….

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