Kanipchen Fit, Jelle Buma, Zea, and a bit of Chicks on Speed SUB071 and LVC, Leiden -23/04/10

De Boer stands and delivers his lyrics in a slightly hunched, pained pose; looking for all the world as if someone’s thrown cold water over him

A marvellous night, made all the more palatable by drinks in the new Cider House beforehand. Once in the SUB, Incendiary had a quick word with a number of the Heads on the Leiden scene, including Spoelstra, who had come to watch a tremendous triple bill. The atmosphere at this stage was warm, loving, and ever so slightly bucolic…  Things kicked off fairly promptly with Zea, a man, (known as Arnold De Boer to his mother), a guitar and a bank of keyboards & effects. Now I own and love LPs by this band (for once Zea was a full band too, notwithstanding De Boer’s own stint in the great Dutch band The Ex) so I was looking forward to the mix of acerbic, clever, spiky observations that fill the records. De Boer is a mean guitarist, whose speciality is trading off spiky riffs against quiet, personal observations. The music also highlights a lot of weird keyboard sounds, which dribble freely over the guitar’s slashing open chords. All the while, De Boer stands and delivers his lyrics in a slightly hunched, pained pose; looking for all the world as if someone’s thrown cold water over him. Sometimes he jumps up and down on the spot. Still, his music goes down well with the hushed SUB crowd, who know talent when they see it.

Next up is Jelle Buma, one-man drumming sensation whose soundscapes (set off by multipad sampler) accentuate the tonal and the textural above the melodic. A zen-like calm descends upon the crowd: where Zea’s vibe was spiky and shifting, Buma’s is placid and immovable. The great man has a formidable aura about him, one that translates into a set of very transcendental work-outs. The crowd dips and sways ever so slightly. For all it’s simplicity this is very moving and intelligent music and very surprising in its seemingly innate ability to hold an audience.

Following a little break – ostensibly to sort out the vocal levels - we get Kanipchen Fit, who’s excellent LP has been reviewed elsewhere in this magazine. Kanipchen Fit is a noisy, raucous and whole-hearted three-piece fronted by the axis of performance artiste and poet Gloria Holwerda-Williams and Empee Williams of the great Dutch band Solbakken on guitar. Their strong suit is making an intelligent and inspiring racket. Gloria leads the line with a verve not often seen: at times breaking into a shuffling dance that gets a bit wired during some of the more acerbic guitar breaks. Empee snarls and pulls shapes on everyone’s behalf. Track of the night is a wanton version of People Need Love, which is just belting and goes on for ever. Incendiary magazine can’t recommend them highly enough.

After this, a little more socialising and a dash over to a quarter-full LVC to catch Chicks on Speed, or rather, Chicks on Speed and Incendiary favourite Anat Ben David. Now I don’t mind Chicks on Speed, it’s high class karaoke done by clever types, and what with all the costumes and suggestiveness they do pull it off very well, but I don’t think I’d have enjoyed it that much without the presence of David, whose stage presence is simply dynamite. Nothing is beyond the lady, from pirouetting in a very strange outfit to haughty Garbo impressions. We even got a number off David’s brilliant solo LP, Virtual Leisure, to boot - an added bonus in Incendiary’s eyes. After this is was left to the smattering of trendy types and lunatic survivors from the Eric’s / Factory scene (no kidding) to gad about an empty LVC… Incendiary’s head was caned so we snuck off. Still, a top night musically if nothing else.