Let’s be honest: outside of Holland, most Dutch bands probably wouldn’t get the time of day unless some sort of viral sensation or celebrity plug was thrown into the mix. This is a real shame, though, as there’s plenty of bands in Holland who could be just as big in other territories as they are in the Netherlands. All Things Loud has lined up some of the best local bands who deserve to go global, and you can read on to see who they are.
If there’s one Dutch band around right now who have the songs and personality to smash it abroad, it’s De Staat. The quintet, who hail from Nijmegen, are fronted by the eclectic Torre Florim, a man who comes across as a lyrical scientist with the onstage persona of Freddie Mercury. If you want to try and pack their music in to one particular genre, you’re probably going to have a very tough time. One listen of their most recent record, 2013’s I_CON, is likely to throw you already. Although they’re generally able to see live on every street corner, it doesn’t make them any less exciting. Last week, the band premiered an absurd video for new single Witch Doctor. The video sees Florim orchestrate a mass circle pit whilst being surrounded by thousands of topless skinheads (CGI we hope). If you’re waiting for a band in Holland to break through abroad, De Staat are your best bet.
Listen to the band on Spotify here. Above picture by Stefan Lucassen.
Let’s face it, you’ve probably heard of post-hardcore outfit John Coffey by now. Back in June, frontman David Achter de Molen (which translates to David Behind the Windmill. Go figure) did the unthinkable at Pinkpop Festival when he caught a flying cup of beer from the crowd and subsequently chugged it (all whilst in the crowd). The video, which has now been viewed millions of times around the world, helped the band reach audiences they never thought they would in countries previously untouched by the hardcore troupe. Later this year, the band will take to the stage in London as part of the returning Vans Warped Tour, yet before that they’ll also be playing their biggest ever headline show at the legendary Paradiso. The show is already sold out, which is enough testament to not only the soaring popularity of John Coffey in Holland, but also to the stratospheric rise of hardcore music.
SUE THE NIGHT
Appearing on the complete opposite side of the musical spectrum is the Suus de Groot-helmed project Sue the Night. Although the recorded music is mainly courtesy of de Groot, live the band turns into a six-headed monster capable of encapsulating anyone within a few miles of the venue they’re playing. The last few months have seen de Groot and her band (which includes ex-Bombday drummer Linda van Leeuwen) play tons of festivals, some to packed crowds and others to very few people. You could argue that the highlight of their summer came when the band played Best Kept Secret’s main stage, sharing it with the likes of The Vaccines and Noel Gallagher. Unlike a couple of artists on this list, Sue the Night haven’t made a single bit of impact abroad. However, that should change soon when other territories get a hold of songs like the Bruce Springsteen-esque The Whale.
Of all six artists we’ve mentioned here, psychedelic troubadour Jacco Gardner has probably made the biggest international impact. Right now, Gardner and his live band are busy touring the UK and Ireland on the back of new album Hypnophobia, which Gardner recorded all by himself at his home studio in the Dutch town of Hoorn. He’s even toured America, selling out venues which some American acts couldn’t even fill. All of this is largely down to Gardner’s exciting visual presence and encapsulating music, which is equal parts full-blown psychedelia as it is sixties retro pop. An hour spent listening to Jacco Garnder is best accompanied by a time machine, because you’re probably going to need one in order to experience his music properly.
BIRTH OF JOY Birth of Joy drummer Bob Hogenelst recently attained a 10 at the Amsterdam Conservatory for Music, something which came down to his technical drumming ability and exquisite skill. Don’t believe us? Then listen to Birth of Joy and you’ll hear exactly why. Hogenelst’s powerful drumming might stand out, but it’s essentially just a nice accompaniment for the rest of the band – frontman/guitarist Kevin Stunnenberg and organist Gertjan Gutman. Birth of Joy don’t have a bassist, yet it’s not exactly as if they need one when Gutman and Hogenelst’s rhythm section has become so tight. Birth of Joy are raw, balls out rock at their finest.
Completing our list is Amsterdam-based quintet The Mysterons, who are populated
by members of PAUW, Jungle By Night and stunning vocalist Josephine van Schaik. Their music is best listened to whilst riding on the back of a camel during an Egyptian sunset, yet don’t let that oriental impression throw you from checking out their extremely diverse debut EP (it’s not all camels and deserts. We’re in Holland after all). Standout track Thunderbird 1 encompasses extremely funky vibes in its rhythm section, whereas the tempo-shifting Echoes is a future hit. The Mysterons may only have six songs to their name, yet don’t be surprised if they’re suddenly on everyone’s minds come 2016.
Not satisfied with these six? Fear not, because we’ve deliberately left the following artists out of our list: PAUW, DeWolff, The Deaf, Jungle by Night, The Indien, Traumahelikopter, Afterpartees and, for the sake of mentioning a popular band, Kensington.