Thun, Rosa Parks Private Bus Seat
13th November 2010 – Den Hemel, Ziechem
Just to set the scene. Den Hemel is – err –in the bloody (or rather muddy) sticks. It’s pretty much the only thing open (let alone café) for like miles around and the ample parking is full. I realise that if you’re from Ziechem, you probably have been going there for years, but this bewildered brusseleer would have liked to see a sign with the name of the place on the frontage? So it’s a more than pleasant surprise to find that the top floor of a decent, if provincial looking pub is a proper club with a good capacity, a reasonable crowd, a proper stage and a pro engineer that make most of the small venues in Brussels look like right dives.
OK. Right. So this is Post Rock or Post Punk or post what or just late-in-the-post?
A bit of a shaky start from Tom, Bart, Philippe & Stijn. They’re hard to fathom – good enough musicians, some really great riffs, not quite sure if they want to be Sonic Youth or something more conventionally indie. I can hear some Mogwai & Interpol in there as well, but the overall effect is rather wishy-washy. It gets better as the set goes on – in fits and starts, and I really quite liked the last 2 tracks (and snippets of some of the others)
They’re missing a front – lead vocals or guitar to drag the whole thing kicking and screaming into a damned good live band. More confidence, more bravado, more projection of the music at the audience. They’re not bad by any means, but they really do need to decide where they’re going to be a bit more convincing.
Rosa Parks’ Private Bus Seat
Geez – This is one brilliant drummer. He’s on a completely different level from your average rock drummer – total mastery of the drumkit as an instrument within the band – not just keeping time, but creating atmosphere, tension and intimate, tender moments.
Err – Back to business... I have a suspicion that getting detailed information about the band and doing proper journalistic research will cause quite some distraction, so let’s just stick with the spirit of the band and tell you that if you really want to go & read that crap, go & visit the website (it’s on their Myspace page BTW).
Introductions over, and I’m really starting to get into Roel’s soft voice over the heavily reverbed guitar. Then he cranks up an octave and goes into that trademark psycho hysteria that he’s probably picked up from former Confuse The Cat bandmate Geert Plessers.
The melodies are delicate and subtle. The noise verges on ove rwhelming. The bass is driving and uncompromising yet constitutes the core of the tune. The guitars are secondary to the action, but always in-yer-face and omnipresent. Did I mention the drummer? He’s firmly in the John Lever league – the delivery is immaculate, the style is distinctive, and the sensitivity to the music is second to none – without a doubt one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen.
Best of all, there’s no pretention in the performance – the guys are up there just for the music. Being ‘alternative’ isn’t just in what you play – it’s in how you play it, and how you approach it.
If you have anything by The Sound or The Twilight Sad in your CD collection, make sure you catch them live. You will NOT be disapointed.
Rosa Parks’ Private Bus Seat: