And lo, it came to pass that after two Tegendraads festivals went well in the LVC, and the organisation saw the merit in allowing different music in what had to all intents and purposes become a weekend dance club, WOTNXT/SUB’s organisation was finally allowed to host their own night. Four bands, all to some extent interested in making a racket, were booked; headlined by the magnificent Dÿse.
First up were Sugar Coated Mind-bombs, Leiden’s legendary noise-punk duo who were coaxed out of lethargy and other duties to knock out one of their energetic live shows. SCMB played one of the best gigs I have ever seen about two years ago in the LVC, where bassist Michel was able to jump and thrash about like a 6 year old stoked on sweets and jelly. This time the errant bass-player and screamer was restricted to standing on a carpet, and the cramped conditions certainly needed some adjustment on the band’s part. Still, SCMB knocked out an increasingly frenetic set, brimful of false starts, rambling jokes and joyous, thrashy punk which can remind the listener of some of NoMeansno’s more abandoned moments. One of Leiden’s truly great bands, SCMB seem destined to become a fond memory to all who have seen them.
Following this was another duo, Schnaak, who hail from Germany, and had started their gig by wandering through the LVC ringing what looked like some sort of prayer bell. The guitarist had a fringe that prevented us from seeing anything other than, well, his fringe, and as such remained something of a mystery, personality-wise. Not so the drummer. This engaging young man regaled us with animal noises, and informed us that he would shortly howl – “like a duck”. At one point during an increasingly frenetic set, we were told that it was time to take off his trousers as the atmosphere was “like Africa”. Tremendous. Musically, Schnaak were a fabulous proposition, balancing high-register dissonance against sharp, angular melodies in a brazen, and “we’re anti-fashion” kinda way. At times they maybe sounded how the Swell Maps would have done if they were super-tight, technically. This band is one to look out for. http://www.myspace.com/ultraschnaak
A brief chat with a number of people ensued, (it seemed like most of Leiden’s formidable underground scene was out and about), before Dailyfire kicked off. Suffering from a wee bit of technical difficulty (the main guitarist – one of several – couldn’t get the noise needed from his axe) the band nevertheless started to crank out a sludgy, though very atmospheric racket that was strong on hooks, riffs, and full of the usual doom-laden growling from the (yes, it has to be said), chirpy lead singer. There’s an almost ambient quality about the band that comes from the fact that a lot of their tracks aren’t bashed out at any great speed, rather a steady plod suffices. http://www.myspace.com/dailyfire
More chat and drinks and it was time for Germany’s Dÿse, a duo who mix post-rock, a wee bit of jazz, metal wig-outs and what can really only be seen as some kind of stentorian torch singing into one heady stew. Dressed in some modern form of Gothic court jester attire, they pulverised the LVC with a methodical attack that left little to chance, and played on the brilliant quality of silence that pervades a lot of their music. What a bummer I didn’t get their new LP, which frankly looks the sex. http://www.myspace.com/dysexxx
Roll on next year…