In Music We Trust (featuring the Rakes)

a man who resembled Jason King wandered onstage, clutching an acoustic guitar and accompanied by a girl who resembled the star of Der Neue Schulmadchen Report 2 Teil: Was Eltern den Schlaf Raubt

a man who resembled Jason King wandered onstage, clutching an acoustic guitar and accompanied by a girl who resembled the star of Der Neue Schulmadchen Report 2 Teil: Was Eltern den Schlaf Raubt

In Music We Trust 28/10/05, Paard van Troje Den Haag.

Has it really been a year?  Doesn’t time fly? How could it be our paper anniversary already?


I remember it clearly – a huge paper aeroplane thudded against my bedroom window.  It was so vast it must have been a minor engineering miracle to get it in the air.  I unfolded this stationery stealth bomber and found it was decorated with some sketchy details printed on it in indelible marker pen.


"In Music We Trust" was legible as well as the words "Paard van Troje" and a date, written in the American style – an invitation to the Incendiary beano organised to celebrate our first anniversary proper. 


After jetting into Rotterdam and taking one of those crazy double decker trains, I arrived in Den Haag, lubed and ready to groove.  On the way to the venue I was secretly delighted to hear that "Paard van Troje" was Dutch for the Trojan Horse.  There is an analogy here for how we view the beast we call Incendiary, but my brain isn’t able to follow it through to any natural conclusion, not when a musical bill of such distinction is within such a close grasp.


The tension mounted but there was not a jelly or trifle in sight.  There was however a healthy mixture of art and music as you might expect from the Incendiary stable including the visionary talents of new media artists Anke Van Den Berg and Henry Verboket the brilliant photography of our very own Zoe Gottehrer and the out-there oil panels of Aristoteles Skalis (needless to say I put some of my artwork up, but no-one looked at it! – ed)


Downstairs there was Aristoteles’ mural of a Nazi geisha woman, which several of my colleagues were clearly scared of. I realised that none of them would make eye contact with her and I saw at least one crossing them self as they walked quickly past. To be fair, it did look like she could hex you good and proper, but I quite liked the girl.


Fighting through the crowds on the stairs, we heard a steady beat and crashed through the door just in time to catch the start of The Remotes.  I can’t tell you anything about them other than the singer was Australian and I’d heard he’d got a broken jaw.  Oh yes and that they really rocked in a very noisy fashion. 


I don’t know about you but I like to start a first birthday party with some good old balls out rock and that’s exactly what we did.  The singer of the Remotes was the happiest man in the whole wide world.  They finished their set and he found a spot at the front where he cheered, whooped, hollered and generally got down to every other band on the bill.


Of course I got stuck into some golden Dutch beer and talked shop with the other Incendiary indentures.  We bitched about the boss (especially when he played the same record twice during his DJ set) and talked expenses, editing and how come we didn’t have an office with a window in Incendiary Towers?  When would we get those engraved gold clocks we’d been promised for loyal service?  Ever read the Rum Diaries by Hunter S Thompson?  It was exactly like that (except we were in Den Haag and not Puerto Rico and they were drinking rum and we were drinking draft beer – anyway, you get the picture.)


Out of the corner of my eye, a line of guitarists and a lap-top took to the stage.  It was time for The Polaroids who’s brand of Sci-Fi Bubblegum Punk Rock (their words not mine) completely took our mind of Incendiary minutia.   


I have something to declare.  I know the Polaroids – in fact I know them quite well. They even gave me a beer from the rider in their dressing room. This is bad in that I might show bias but good in that I can accurately report how much their live act has come on in recent months.  Their second gig in Holland saw them romp through older material such as You Shape the Flow of My Time, Space Rock Hunter and Sunbeam Motorcyklist which was written about a statue in Prague.


Accompanied by an eye-catching backdrop of animation and surrealist imagery, there were some new songs too including rumoured next single Plastic Surgery. They started patchily with a few sound problems, but soon found their groove and finished on a definite high with previous single Urban Fox and a highly improvised Sweet Rock and Roll which used just one chord to devastating effect.  Fact fans may wish to note that this song is inspired by the Velvet Underground who played a song with this title live but never put it down on vinyl.


(Anyone interested can read about what the Polaroids did on a previous visit to the Netherlands (they drank excessively – ed) here:



As the Polaroids disappeared through the curtains into the backstage area I headed once again to the bar. Another Incendiary (meat)head placed himself behind the turntables and those of us (un)fortunate enough to be within ear shot of the house P.A. were treated to a bewildering set of lounge, funk and what may or may not have been Shirley Bassey singing Light My Fire, I can’t be entirely sure. I did cheer up somewhat, it has to be said, when I heard the theme from a rare German porn film from the late 1960’s blasting out into the hall, although that may say more about my video collection than anything else. Incendiary is nothing if not eclectic in its taste.


This cheesy interlude felt out of place with the rest of the night at first, but when a man who resembled Jason King wandered onstage, clutching an acoustic guitar and accompanied by a girl who resembled the star of Der Neue Schulmadchen Report 2 Teil: Was Eltern den Schlaf Raubt (the title of said porn film), it all seemed to fall into place rather nicely.


At last it was time for the Jack Stafford Foundation. Or at least a fraction of them. Jack, the Jason King look-alike, has been making quite a name for himself in these parts, or so I’ve been led to believe. Having been instructed, or should I say ordered, to review this evening’s entertainment I had been lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Stafford’s latest album, Exes, in preparation for this event which I happened to like quite a lot. I’ll admit I was looking forward to this, but as he took a chair with his missus and started strumming the acoustic guitar I have to admit that I was hoping for the rest of the band to turn up sharpish, but they never did.


Jack did the decent thing and allowed his lady friend to sing along with him but I don’t know if it was the right thing to do. Although I’m sure they went in search of harmony, their voices often wandered in different directions, which spoiled the quality of the song writing somewhat. Also, I didn’t recognise much from the Exes album but that may have been down to the stripped down format and my lack of familiarity with Mr Stafford. Or perhaps he’s just not comfortable singing about ex-girlfriends when sitting on stage with his current sweetheart by his side? After all, it was uncomfortable enough for us in the crowd to watch her blow smoke in his face, so perhaps we should be thankful? In the end, I suppose they did alright, but I’d like to see the full Foundation one day. (I thought they were great! – ed)


Finally, last up were the only major label artists on the bill, The Rakes.  I’d heard their album and a couple of singles – thought they sounded ok but nothing too flash, if I’m honest, which I always feel duty bound to be. 


This opinion was a poor preparation for seeing in the flesh and I rapidly had my words forced back into my mouth.  Live they were very tight and controlled (as you might expect from a band midway through a touring frenzy) but menacing nevertheless. 


The singer probably has a bit too much of an Ian Curtis fetish for some tastes but these boys really can play.  Punky, poppy and loud about says it all.  They worked through high octane versions of songs on their debut album including Strasbourg, Work, Work, Work, before finishing up with a blistering encore of Twenty Two Grand Job.  


Thank-you and good night and those Rakesters disappeared off into the night in search of sex, drugs, rock n roll and whatever else it is young men in a band go looking for when on tour in major Dutch cities.  Of course we made sure they got an Incendiary party pack as they went through the exit door.


The night was still young and we too poured ourselves out into the Den Haag night.  Of course there are other stories involving several Incendiary writers but I’m not going to tell.  What goes on tour stays on tour and all that…  But rest assured, whatever else you might think of Incendiary, we know how to organise a good party.  Plans for our second bash (no party fears two here) are already underway – watch this space…


Words: John Cottrill & Damian Leslie.







pictures: Zoe Gottehrer