DSTRUCT plus WOT NXT: Tegendraads festival LVC, Leiden 29/03/2008

"The Wot Nxt corporation have always been held in high esteem in Incendiary’s heart, so when we found out that a festival was planned for the normally slumberous LVC, it didn’t take much persuasion to decide that time spent in watching the shenanigans would be time spent wisely (even if it did mean pissing around with those infernal beer tokens the place dishes out).

 

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DSTRUCT plus WOT NXT: Tegendraads festival LVC, Leiden 29/03/2008

 

A night of hot fun indeed! The Wot Nxt corporation have always been held in high esteem in Incendiary’s heart, so when we found out that a festival was planned for the normally slumberous LVC, it didn’t take much persuasion to decide that time spent in watching the shenanigans would be time spent wisely (even if it did mean pissing around with those infernal beer tokens the place dishes out).

 

Interestingly the most remarkable acts (with a couple of notable exceptions) were - for our money - on early doors. Madame P creates incredibly potent sounds by linking her remarkable voice and steely determination to do whatever she wants (for however long it takes), with various wires and electronic gadgetry. It would be best to describe her muse as interpretive; in that it does seem to be of the moment, but this description shouldn’t mean that her music was lacking any sense of direction, far from it. In fact if you get the chance, go and see her.

 

Following the redoubtable Madame, we were entertained by a fantastic set from the witty, charming De Nomaden, a rap/hip hop duo from somewhere called Nomadsland (no, me neither). The set had pace and intelligence in bucket-loads, their slightly off kilter (but very human) take on things reminding me of space cadets such as Kool Keith. There’s something fantastically enervating seeing a rap duo in front of 30 people, and for my money this feeling never translates when an act such as this treads a bigger stage. Let’s hope I’m wrong with this lot.

 

Who says Wot Nxt can’t mix it? So far we’d had avant garde voice manipulations, hip hop and now it was time for Sugar Coated Mind Bombs to make their punk-pop racket. Michel’s bass was as low as he could sling it. This preoccupation with all things ground-level reaches as far as setting his mic at the lowest possible height. SCMB were soon off and running, switching between a slothful UR punk rumble and shattering blasts of white noise. Underneath it all is their fabulous pop sensibility which is all about being in love with the now. And why stand up when you can roll around? Michel treated us all to some fine punk goonery before segueing into Kru$h’s set. Kru$h are a crust-core grumble whose songs are about pain, inequality and looking after your neighbours. Up front was the tall skinny guy who works at the squat bar Linkse Kerk/Bar n Boos (hands off the Linkse Kerk/Bar n Boos, property barons!) and a big lad who looks like he should be fronting Motley Crue or on a Viking long-ship; take your pick. Mr big lad is also the possessor of a mighty growl, a growl which played off the tall lad’s scratchy yowls to great effect. Add the prerequisite slabs of guitar and manic drumming, and you’ve got a pretty hot gig.

 

After this we grabbed some kind of vegetable concoction from the (ever present) vege-gloop-in-an-exotic-bun vendors and looked at the Tee shirts. We missed most of Amen Ra’s set (to be honest overly Gothic heavy drone-athons aren’t my thing) and headed upstairs to prepare ourselves for Machinefabriek’s gig, which we missed by about 3 minutes. Still, you can read about their splendid LP in these very pages. Following that, we got an enervating (if ever so slightly meat & two veg) punk blast from The Real Danger, good fun if nothing new or remarkable. Then, another change of musical direction (from the DSTRCT stables) with Meticais; who is the classic “skinnylad playing his decks/laptop in his bedroom”. Meticais likes to create breakcore on the spot, and damned good he is too. Actually he was a blast of fresh air, proving how simple making music can be. Check this lad out, he’s fantastic. The laptop vibe took on a further twist with Mikrobot and Madnix, a duo who pushed the sampling and breaks to manic heights. There was an element of old school and a touch of drum and bass in their electronic stew as well as lots of daft samples which never allowed things to go stale.

 

Just to make things even better, the Julie Mittens were on next. I’ve seen this lot over the past 4 years get better and better, to the point where they are now on the cusp of greatness. Truly, can any free rock trio have sounded this good and as goddamn raw since Ash Ra Tempel? I think not. Somehow the intimacy of the LVC attic helped them, the volume was ever so slightly softened which in turn gave a bite to their sound that I feel they’ve lacked previously. All the usual energy was there though, Michel and Aart-Jan throwing themselves into the stunned audience at any available opportunity. An utterly heroic performance from possibly the greatest free rock band around.

 

After this we waited around for Czech drunk punks Malignant Tumour, who needed multiple slugs of Pina Colada to get going. Some broken English, and a costume change of riotous bad taste and we were off into a crazy world of bad behaviour and flying v riffery. The singer gave up the ghost of being an energetic singer in a punk band, and decided that sitting down would be a hell of a lot more comfortable (which seemed, to us, in a very skewed way, to be far more punk than anything else). Enthusiastic audience participation ensured that this was never less than top fun. After this, exhausted by the heat, beer and too many bands, we headed off for Bedfordshire. All hail Wot Nxt & DSTRCT. Let’s hope it’s not the last time the LVC do this.

 

Words: Richard Foster  

Go to www.myspace.com/tegendraadsfestival for more band information