Like Prometheus, Rats on Rafts are fire stealers, tricksters, concerned with conjuring up form from fire and brimstone. They are the most elemental of bands and watching them in action is like standing next to a blast furnace.
On reflection I’d say that the day in Dudok was probably the closest you’d get to feeling the actual spirit that drives the real, workaday Dutch underground.
Playing in front of a set of projections showing their trademark revolving Cannabis leaf, Toner Low got very deep into the world’s navel.
I’m beginning to think of Haldern’s programme as a curriculum instead of just a timetable of bands.
Dan Deacon. Where do we begin? With the Crocodile Dundee led dance off? The bizarre tai-chi contest. The drummer? The drummer! The cat noises?
Both bands contributed to a great night, and a lot of new people turned up and realised that there is another world outside the 3fm bubble that is actually a creative drip-feed for it.
The gig was also sort of dressing up game indulged in by two grown men whilst singing about your pals, eating, sailors, and bodybuilding.
WORM had filled up nicely with a mix of Ethiopians, trendies, part time punks and Roffa dossers, existentialists, and the odd emissary from the world music chin-stroker club.
One day, I promise, I will get bored about writing about Rats on Rafts. But not yet. Rats are unstoppable at the moment.
Some of my Dutch pals look at me like I've just announced that I've converted to satanism when I say I love Frans Bauer.
Somehow things ended and a room full of people with a second wind ran around wondering what on earth to do next. Some night!
Paul comes out to bash some drums out the front, they all play keys during one passage, and Ron Mael indulges in some Basil Fawlty dancing. It's brilliant.
Afterwards we danced to the Human League and talked about the pizza Yuko Yuko ate in Inverness. This is the stuff of dreams, of legend.
This was the stuff; hobo rock set on a tripwire. A truly great gig and one of those gigs where listening in was the order of the day.
Watching someone pour his heart and soul out over a Thomas Dinger/Sons & Fascination backdrop does need a bit of darkness and mystery.
The place just explodes and I'm reminded of my younger self watching the Stone Roses or The Pale Saints when both enjoyed their brief moments of extra terrestrial illumination in the late 80s. That good, no shit Sherlock.
Using a peculiar hand motion as if blowing the song out onto his hand to inspect it, Dawson laid down the law with an incendiary set.
A break, more beers then Rats on Rafts. The Great and the Good were out for them; bookers, press, agents, managers, radio presenters.
Was it loud enough though? It was one of those gigs that was loud and sounded quiet, the power being held back for the odd surprising spurt of white noise.