De Kliko's - De Kliko's

But in these days where the hippest of the hip flock to see Ethiopian dance bands or Ghanaian kologo, surely there's nothing wrong with taking in a bit of Dutch beat?

 

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Ah De Kliko's! I really liked what I saw when I took in their gig at last year's Le Guess Who? festival. And I really dig this LP, too. Peddling an updated take on 60s Nederbeat, they have managed to circumvent sounding like a tribute or nostalgia act and made a smashing, occasionally great LP. It's a sharp collection of songs set over a tough, crisp sound that doesn't slack off at any point. Even the slowies and growlers like De Fik Er In are sharp. OK the lyrics are in Dutch, which may make things a wee bit off putting for some. But in these days where the hippest of the hip flock to see Ethiopian dance bands or Ghanaian kologo, surely there's nothing wrong with taking in a bit of Dutch beat?  

The songs (about leather jackets, sunglasses, being cold) all serve, or react to basic needs. Not quite the list of basic needs Dr Rat came up with; instead of smack and violence, the Kliko's' singer uses the track Radiator to make the point that he just fancies standing by his radiator to keep warm on a cold day. Or telling us all that he's up for getting meat from his favourite biological butcher.

The straight forward, deadpan delivery (without any hint of irony) isn't that far away from Ronie Schutte's (from legendary Nederbeat band, Ronnie & de Ronnies) though there are undercurrents of "feeling" in tracks like Zonnebril and Niks. Ik Wil Je is a funny take on  I Want You  (Reg Presley's lot being a popular cover band for the original Nederbeat bands), and Lerre Jekkie (Leather Jacket) really starts to get into Slade territory what with the screeching and all.

But most of all it's a great record jam-packed with simple, tough and catchy songs like Hé Poesje. Actually this LP should be a hit (that is, it would be if there was any justice in a land where good pop music - and the histories and traditions round said "pop muziek" - is seen to be the preserve of the "outside world"). Regardless, it's really heartening to be reminded that the Dutch have a strong pop tradition to draw on and reinvent.