Appie Kim, Hospital Bombers, Vox Von Braun De Nieuwe Anita, Amsterdam 26/09/08
Rolling up to the Nieuwe Anita, I little expected such a turn out, obviously the place is transforming into a bijou hang for all the trendies. You know, people who are too thin for no reason sporting wan fashionably hang-dog expressions and fashionably distressed clothing. Luckily the place (for Amsterdam) still okay and not too snobby, and anyway, I wasn’t going to miss this night for the world. After all, it’s not everyday you get three of Holland’s greatest bands in the same venue celebrating the launch of Vox Von Braun’s splendid new LP Something Ain’t Wrong.
Actually I shouldn’t be surprised; what’s especially nice about this scene is the mutual support it generates. Members of Eindhoven’s Sugarettes made the journey up, as did some of Groningen’s Subroutine records. Lawks, even designer Viktor Hachmang crept out of the wilds of Noordwijkerhout….
Appie Kim were up first, mixing up tracks from their tremendous LP A=OK with some new stuff and some fab old Nieuwe Vrolijkheid numbers. It’s immediately apparent that they’ve made great strides live. Natasha’s guitar is as enjoyably thrashy as ever, but it’s streamlined through the song structures a lot better, it feels a lot sharper. The drumming is softer, at times more abstract and jazzy, but with a great deal more presence and power. In fact they rock big style, and they have got a formidable groove inherent in the new tracks. Appie garner their usual polite applause: audiences are slowly coming round to this strange, slightly aloof duo, through their exceptional talent, though sometimes I wonder if people are slightly scared of Natasha van Waardenberg…
Hospital Bombers are up next; like all great bands, they’re a simple proposition deep down. Their songs are bloody endearing and they play with vim, snap and verve. Because the venue is below a block of flats, the sound can’t go too high, so their heady brand of country punk can’t really let rip, but as usual they’re a towering proposition in this sort of setting. Seeing as I’ve already gone on about Appie’s drumming, I’d entreat you to go and see the Hospies’ drummer, who really has a style of his own…
Between bands there’s a happy infusion of classic garage (Shocking Blue’s Send Me A Postcard and the Elevators really grab the mood) and it’s all pretty beautiful and set for Vox to show off their debut LP. Typically they have to keep things short (the venue has to ensure all the upstairs neighbours are asleep or something – ridiculous) but their brand of warm, scuzzy pop is as always tremendous. The extra guitarist gives a more balanced feel, it’s a much more tripped out and reasoned approach.
Afterwards we partied, (as you do) and chatted to Appie who have side-projects galore and tell me of interest from one of England’s big concerns; (say no more, watch this space…) Really though, you have to catch these bands before this particular incarnation of pop’s realm of faerie fades away. Take my word for it.
Words: Richard Foster
Pics: Courtesy of Vox Von Braun