"Slowly but surely, the venue is coming into its own. There’s room for equipment, and a gantry of sorts for the smaller amongst us (believe me, Dutch squatters are at least 6 inches bigger than anyone else). "
Ik Jan Cremers, Ghiu – Sub 071 1st anniversary gig, 20/03/08
Can you believe it? Sub 071 has been going a whole year. Slowly but surely, the venue is coming into its own. There’s room for equipment, and a gantry of sorts for the smaller amongst us (believe me, Dutch squatters are at least 6 inches bigger than anyone else). To celebrate this august occasion, and as is their wont, the Subbers invited two cracking bands to set the tone.
First up were the Ik Jan Cremers, from Amsterdam (though the lead singer hastily told us was born in Leiden). Ik Jan Cremers deal in very poppy three minute guitar thrashouts, underpinned with some very sharp melodies and dry humour. They are angular in appearance and have that self conscious, “look but don’t touch we’re creative” air of any Metropolis about them. No matter, despite a slightly edgy start, and a moment mid set where I thought they were running low on steam, they came through in the end pretty convincingly.
The singer’s act with the piece of paper (you know the drill, “oh I can’t remember the name of the next song, ah… it’s written on this piece of paper”) worked through sheer persistence. If he’d have done it once or twice it would have been sheer affectation. It’s nice to see the Bard of Salford get a mention too-ah.
After this we were regaled by Ghiu, another trio (Sub 071 likes trios, probably down to the size of the room) who win all prizes, hands down, for having the longest warm up / soundcheck on the alternative scene. Top be fair to them, something in the circuit box wasn’t playing ball; and the inevitable problems with a laptop (what is it with bands with laptops? They always seem to create sound issues) meant that the sound-check took on the role of a truncated set. Now and again their swampy free-form muse seemed to take off, them an atonal screech would put paid to any progress. Still, they were an interesting act, playing with styles and ideas; it’s a bit post rock at times, suddenly dipping into breakcore and post-noise. Luckily intellectual considerations don’t get in the way of bloody good music. I’d recommend this lot to anyone.
Great night all round then!
Words: Richard Foster