Today Navarone’s dream has become a reality. The people of Nijmegen are ardent Pinkpop pioneers, and now they can perform on the sacred grass themselves. They really did everything they could to be here, even selling their souls to the demon of The Voice in 2019. But then a pandemic happened that prevented us from taking advantage of it. With four albums and a fifth on the way next year, the rock band has to break through to an even larger audience ten years later. They have never had a real injury.
All Navaron’s musicians are adept at their musical instruments and according to their resume they can handle vintage rock of the ’70s, as well as the edgy twists of the ’90s, as well as contemporary music, so…the perfect cover band you might say. In that regard, a place like this in Pinkpop is justified: they want a little Metallica, a bit of Pearl Jam, and a bit of Imagine Dragons. Each number represents a different amount.
The lead at Navarone is Merijn van Haren. His high-pitched sounds work wonderfully in contrast to Led Zeppelin’s licks in Cerberus, or in Ballad Wire. But in the superb rock-songwriter End Of The World, his vocals sound in the artistic part like the last cramp of a slaughterhouse pig. Also intriguing is the closing track Lonely Night, which limps to the rhythmic beats of fellow Nijmegen De Staat residents, while presented as flat vocals. It is a model for the rest of the group. They can swing a little, but Navaron will not become a first brand.
When a saxophonist comes along during Free Together (Van Haren: “We dedicated it first to Britney, then to Johnny Depp, and now we don’t know who.”) and plays a long solo—finally an arrangement you don’t want to expect.
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