Ontzettend Leiden 25/09/09
Now, if I remember rightly, Ontzettend Leiden was a festival spread over the pubs and clubs of this fair city, and it was a cheap and cheerful affair, throwing up the odd jewel along the way. Since 2008, probably at the behest of some form of official “profile-raising”, organisational frenzy, all those who like something a wee bit different are herded under the one dank, forbidding roof of the LVC. Ostensibly here to see the new Hospital Bombers/Appie Kim project Splt Mlk, Team Incendiary arrive in time to catch the sensitive, Roddy Frame-isms of ex-Glenister front-man Ronald Straetemans, an act going under the name Tududuh. His is a soulful vibe, a bit windswept, with only a guitar and a cassette deck for company. Now, to succeed, these sort of acts need that little bit extra; whether in performance, personality or in material. On this showing, Straetemans has got a pretty formidable canon of songs, and a gentle charm which could be a winning proposition. This area seems to have a run on soul-boy acoustic acts like his; Long Conversations is another one who deserves more attention. A good start to the evening.
After this came Splt Mlk, who are a combination of two of Incendiary’s favourite bands and who want to be booked to play at funerals and weddings. Marc sings his favourite poems and strums, often not at the same time, Marcel drums and a gentleman not of my acquaintance plays bass guitar. Their ramshackle vibe is very reminiscent of a surly Jonny Richman, Lou Reed or even Witthuser and Westrupp, if I felt like getting all Mittel Europa on your collective asses. There’s charm and wit a-plenty, and a real strength about them, mainly because Marc really does not give a fuck about how things pan out during a performance. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it goes askew. One track called Clear Yellow is particularly great, topped as it is with Marc’s howling vocals.
Following a healthy stop in the smokers area, Incendiary take up a position to watch Skipper, who certainly rock out a lot more than the last time we saw them. It’s louder, and there’s less banter, which gives the whole feel of the gig a more muscular, determined edge. Mike Scheeper’s a big guy though, and the attic stage just isn’t big enough for him to do anything but hunch over his guitar for fear of knocking everyone near him over. Maybe he should do that given his natural reticence… Once again you realise just how talented Skipper are both as musicians and as a band who write great songs, and just how bloody annoying it is that they can’t (for whatever reason) sort out a stage show.
Frankly, the time between Skipper and Katadreuffe (which encompassed at least one act) is unaccounted in the cold light of day. Still, we shall make partial amends by saying that Katadreuffe’s left-field take on guitar rock sounds very interesting indeed, though there are an increasing amount of bands surfing the shoegaze/no-wave wave at present, and just appropriating a sound doth not a band make. Their harsh guitar sound, high in the register, and shifting in texture and tone, nods towards Ride and Magazine in equal measure, was very appealing to this reviewer’s sensibility. Definitely one to see again. After a bleary interval trying to find somewhere to sit comfortably, (always a problem in the LVC), Incendiary gave up the ghost and stood around waiting for the Moi Non Plus who eventually arrived in a cloud of dry ice and proceeded to give the show of the night.
Moi Non Plus is a bloody brilliant proposition when they are angry, and some sound issues seemed to raise their emotional temperatures somewhat. They are also sounding more and more like Neu!, and once they got into a groove, you could shut your eyes and think you were back in 1972. Still, when have we ever dissed a band for sounding like Neu!? More importantly, the Moi Non Plus has a formidable rock sensibility which overrides mere copying, and their show was full of elemental force. Lots of drunken dancing and growling ensued, and all too soon the band disappeared in a righteous huff.
Somehow, Incendiary – buoyed by the fact that the Dutch music scene (despite its best efforts) is still punching above its perceived creative weight – stumbled into the night.
Words: Richard Foster