"I feel the krautrock similarities are fully justified, truly its like seeing early Can or T-Dream in their rawest incarnations. Drums are smashed, trombones & saxes are blown, the sound guy Marcel (part of the band) walks up to the front of the stage and adjusts some wires totally oblivious to the audience."
De Nieuwe Vrolijkheid - De Nieuwe Anita 17/07/06
I like the Nieuwe Anita, so much so that I got out of hand and will probably never be allowed back in. It's got a nice bar, cheapish drink and a good sunny atmosphere. More importantly it's not full of Amsterdam Rich Bohemian Slackers, only some. Incendiary turned up to see De Nieuwe Vrolijkheid play, after seeing and loving them at the Metropolis festival. However the band were at pains to point out that Metropolis was an aberration; we were to see them in a setting that suited them. Fine, we thought, suits us too.
Once down in the Anita basement we were once again struck by the weirdness of this group. For a start there are effectively two drum kits, and a lot of wires and old synths, giving the set up some early krautrock feel, say Tangerine Dream circa 1969. But as we all know it is one thing to have unusual instrumentation, another to use it in an interesting way. Luckily dNV do; in fact they are inspired in using this instrumental eclecticism. They keep their musical attack relatively simple and go straight for the jugular, albeit in an extremely psychedelic way. The opener Light Feet is possibly the best live opening track I have heard since, oh Hell, the Bunnymen's Over the Wall? Its snake-like Barrett groove hits you full face and the drumming never relents. Weird noises float over the top of the track Harmonia-like, and it clocks in at a ridiculous 10 minutes or so.
An utterly fabulous beginning. dNV specialise in tempo changes galore; and this is why on stuff like their song I Know How You Die I feel the krautrock similarities are fully justified, truly its like seeing early Can or T-Dream in their rawest incarnations. Drums are smashed, trombones & saxes are blown, the sound guy Marcel (part of the band) walks up to the front of the stage and adjusts some wires totally oblivious to the audience.
Talking of the audience, I didn't expect Dutch crowds to be into this sort of stuff, as it can't really be categorized. Still they enthusiastically cheer the band on and the band are surprised - not surprisingly seeing some male audience members in Groningen decided to display their John Thomases to them... (a pic from Groningen is included as proof of this rather drastic way of showing disapproval). Still it shows that this band can produce extreme effects on its paying customers.
After only 40 minutes or so it was all over. A class act and one that should be taken very seriously indeed. I can't see them and Holland ever getting on, it's Germany and the UK for them. Which is a shame as dNV deserve to be massive alternative heroes, the same as (say) My Bloody Valentine were. And nice, safe, rich, increasingly intolerant Holland desperately needs some band to shake things up.
After the gig the choice of music from the deejay drove me to near distraction and I had to be led away as his choice of Camera Obscura and Hefner could have led to bloodshed. Still, you can't have everything, just hopes of everything.
Words: Richard Foster.