BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS
There’s a Dutchman doing a Christy thing!
Ever since 1997 when John Flierman and accordeon/piano player Ed Veltrop decided to climb the stage, the Dutch, Belgian and Irish folkscene haven’t been the same. With songs from their biggest source of inspiration, the legendary Christy Moore, they have become well known musical guests in folk clubs, theatres, Irish pubs and at major festivals. Their second CD album Second Stage was well received in the Dutch and Irish musical press.
John Flierman sings with a typical Kildare accent and after each gig the audience and especially the Irish stay behind flabbergasted: ‘this Dutchman must have some Irish roots’. Folkmagazine NewFolkSounds is convinced after listening to their first CD album Moore Songs: ‘John Flierman is the Christy Moore of the Netherlands’. Stage animal Ed Veltrop* (ex-keyboard player of the Dutch band Van Vollenhoven) sings, plays the accordeon and piano and knows, like no one else how to win the audience’s attention. NewFolkSounds: ‘Veltrop delivers a few sublime accordeon accompaniments and solos, which make it all even more dynamic’. Even Christy Moore himself picked up the phone more than once to give this duo his support.
Emotions and humour
Flierman doesn’t want to be an exact copy of Moore and together with Veltrop he gives his own approach to the work. You can clearly hear this on the latest John O’Dreams album “Second Stage” released on the Via World Label. The eleven songs sound honest and mature, with guest musicians Peter Cadmus (African drums), Siard de Jong (fiddle, bouzouki & low whistle) and Mark Gilligan (tin whistle) rounding off this album. Melancholy ballads are alternated with socially critical, politically charged and also humorous up-tempo songs. Live as well as on CD John O’Dreams knows how to find the balance between emotions and humour. With their self-willed arrangements they make their own mark on modern Irish folk music.
With memorable performances at Folkwoods 2002 (Eindhoven), Celtic Night festivals in several Dutch theaters with famous, international folk artists such as Jim McCann & Eleanor Shanley, support acting to Allan Taylor & the John Wright band and growing numbers of gigs in Dutch theatres, folkclubs and pubs, this duo crosses more than often the Dutch borders. In Belgium John O’Dreams captured the hearts of the audiences at several festivals. Recordings from their show at the international Folkwoods Festival in Eindhoven were broadcasted on national radio in Holland. The last couple of years they did seven live tours in Ireland. In 2003 the duo crossed over to Ireland for three different live tours. They had a warm welcome in a.o. Dublin, Galway, Clonakilty, Dundalk, Letterkenny, Cavan, Ferbane and Magherafelt. In Omagh the famous venue Sally O’Briens was packed and people had to wait up to an hour to see their gig. Tour impressions were broadcasted by the Irish national television RTE. The Dutch lads were also frequently guests at several Irish radio programmes.