The Hafler Trio, live in Antwerp

It was surprisingly quiet when I arrived at Cultuurcentrum Luchtbal, the venue in Antwerp where The Hafler Trio were scheduled to play. I would have expected a sold out situation since, as far as I know, there are only two concerts planned this year, Antwerp and Paris, and H3O isn't known to be an avid tourer. Andrew is clearly suffering from his illness, he needs a cane to walk and it's easy to see even normal strain takes a lot of his energy.

Andrew was lighting some incense while I was deciding which chair to sit on, on each side of the stage he had set up a basket with incense. Since I didn't know what to expect I wondered why the rest of the stage was mainly empty. A big projection screen was lowered and some things covered with black cloth were on stage but that was it. When the incense was lit he walked to the back of the hall. The video projector switched on and the music started, after some fiddling around they got the projector working and the video filled the screen. The video was like the one coming with the Re-Release CD of The Sea Org though not the same.

The sound quality was awesome and in 5.1 Surround.  The songs he played were from his yet unreleased album I Love You, part 3 album of his sexual trilogy. Due to the way the venue was designed the sound seemed to be the wrong way round so I left the chair and put my back against the stage and was now facing Andrew who was standing at the double PA sound system and visibly enjoying himself. The video was not connected to the music so I wasn't missing anything and I could fully enjoy this great performance.

The 5.1 surround sound wasn't simply a gimmick—it added something stunning to this music. When the all sound stopped Andrew came down to the stage and free drinks—watered down absinth—were passed around for everybody. Andrew gave everybody a sheet with the lyrics of Tristan Tzara's "La Chanson Dada" and asked everybody to sing, mumble or hum along. He used an overhead projector, one of the objects covered with black cloth, to project the lyrics on the screen and a record player, also covered. to play an old record with the song in French.

The concert ended in an appreciative and respectable applause, it was well deserved.