7th October 2011
I've seen a load of good musicians tonight, but good musicians do NOT make a good band. In fact the best band of the night were represented through the exquisite company of Simon and Flupke of the Narcotic Daffodils. Who were not playing tonight.
This is, incidentally, is the first round of Poppunt's Campioenschap van Brussel, one of the more important events in the rock/competition year, where a number of Belgian bands have come through as a springboard to a successful career.
Classic White Stripes guitar/vocals & drums duo. Unfortunately, the drums are tight and controlled, the guitar is smooth and discrete, and the voice is soulful and melodic. Err... Needs a bass for the balls (and to drive the songs), and a synth/organ/piano to plug the gaps.
The songs are good, but IMHO, they don't pull it off as a duo. Has potential.
Good. The bass has balls. This FEELS like a rock band. At least for the first song, then the bass goes pretty much inaudible. And I think the guitarist centre stage would have been better off nutting the sound engineer and turning himself down... Bronchitis (I suppose) might be a reasonable excuse for running through the whole set grunting like Kurt Cobain, but it is unusual to have the lead vocal both off centre and the most static member of the band.
However, this is their very first gig, and they do have some excellent tunes. The last 2 tunes show their roots in No-Wave with a rather sonic-youth-y tune and something pretty wild with the guitarist playing slide with what looks like a amputated dildo.
Could do better, but I know they will.
They were most certainly the most visually apealing band of the night - the drummer, lead guitarist and bass player certainly all looked both like they were having a good time, and like they were putting a performance into it.
1/2 way through the set, and we get a cover of Queens "show must go on". Which proves to be the only memorable tune of the night. I've seen a few things that are a lot worse in this indie-folk style stuff, but even with a cellist from the Flemish National Orchestra, it's not a patch on Ruacutane.
Well executed, but about as rock'n'roll as X-Factor.Susan Boyle is more exciting.
The cynic in me wonders where they found so many genuine Vlaamingen in Brussels...
A trio who made me think of early Muse (when they still rocked), Foo Fighters or Triggerfinger. A well executed McCluskey cover brings back fond memories of Dour a few years ago. Oh - and the sound engineer can more or less mix a simple trio, so the sound is passable.
I was impressed with the range of sounds that the guitarist(+lead vocal) used, and the bassplayer, not only in a pink dress, but with a huge 5-String bass decorated with flowers and pink fluorescent strings, was just class.
Best band on the night for me.
You sort of know how a band is going to sound sometimes just be looking at the instruments, and this lot (Les Paul, Epiphone ES335 copy & Les Paul bass) do not scream originality or excitement.
And sure enough, we get Beetle/Stones "inspired" (is that an anagram for "r-insipid"?) rock where everyone can count to four and all the songs are written in the same key.
They did bring a crowd. It's just a shame the crowd didn't turn up for the rest of the bands.
Americana inspired ego-rock. Not my thing. Fortunately, the Archiduc is only a few doors up, and the company is excellent.