Space Siren and Rats on Rafts – Koornbeurs Popronde Delft 29/9/11

Then it is home on the last regular train after the usual conversations:  “see at the next gig?”, “you bet”… what is a 40 something bloke doing, getting all excited about this young stuff?

 

 

 

Delft is a pretty town, and the Koornbeurs could be a pretty cool venue if it could control its sound issues. Incendiary arrived just in time to miss Spilt Milk at DOK (we seem adept at missing this great band) but just in time to see Space Siren unloading their stuff. Once settled in the friendly Koornbeurs bar (a euro a draft beer to boot) we chat onto Rats on Rafts, who have just arrived: surrounded by their colourful, opinionated gaggle of followers. One of them points out something in the Pop Ronde literature that makes Incendiary laugh out loud. John Robb, Louder than War supremo’s name is indelibly linked to Rats at the minute, or so it seems: now John is referred to as “no one less than ‘John Robb’”.  An eminence grise indeed.

Anyway enough of journo insider jokes…

Space Siren are on early doors, and we’re really here to see them, as they are one of the more interesting bands around; possessing a mighty wall of warm, textured electric sound and a drummer that can batter most people into submission. They also have a dark, folsky, “bedtime story” side to their muse which is also really beguiling. But sadly this is not the best place to see them play, as the acoustics in the Koornbeurs cellar are determined by the width of the venue and the lowness of the stone ceiling: basically the sound ricochets every which way but towards the audience. Because of this we have difficulty in hearing Gwen sing her lines at times but cop a more than load of Corno’s guitar as if to compensate, ho hum… . Still their new song, Off With Her Head is really great and one of the most catchy things they’ve done and as ever their take on DAF is a groovy pulsating thing that never fails to move Incendiary to cut some rug. A great version of This Radar too sees the audience happy enough to buy vinyl and chat to the band before everyone treks off to another venue.

Then a long wait ensues… enlivened by yapping onto various scene heads & Rats on Rafts fans.  Finally it’s time for Rats who, as always start off with that anthemic & moody battle cry of theirs, The Moon Is Big. The short 30 minute blast which Pop Ronde gigs dictate suits the band, as they can whip up a storm pretty much instantaneously. And despite the sound playing tricks and amps not doing what they should, this gig undermines the fact that the band are scorching hot in this autumn of 2011; they can do no wrong and people know this. By the time the band play God Is Dead the crowd goes pretty much ape. Rats are such a unit, there’s no time for slacking…We get the odd surprise, the criminally neglected Kevin Cabbage Town and a great version of Sailor before the inevitable onslaught of Jazz, which has the crowd indulging in the sort of frenzied collective happiness that you normally see at Frans Bauer gigs. It’s not their best but it’s still magnificent.

Then it is home on the last regular train after the usual conversations:  “see at the next gig?”, “you bet”… what is a 40 something bloke doing, getting all excited about this young stuff? I don’t know, maybe I should ask ‘John Robb’.