Sonic Soiree features some good Low Countries bands

Sonic Soiree features some good Low Countries bands

Music lovers visiting Amsterdam who like to discover new music the old fashioned way can have an incredibly good time in the many bars, cafes and pubs that feature live music. Frequently these venues will host interesting and as yet unknown bands. 

At the Brakke Grond, the Flemish cultural centre, the music is actually somewhat curated. So chances are you will hear some real quality live bands perform during their regular Sonic Soirees, which are  a mini version of the annual Sonic Connections festival, which the same venue organises every April and which is itself a mini Pink Pop of music from the Low Countries. 

The Sonic Soirees are a great way to discover new Belgian and Dutch bands before they break through to mass fame, according to the people at Brakke Grond on their website. 

If you think that the Low Countries might well be devoid of musical genius because you have never heard of The Nits or believe Golden Earring was English, just give the acts that perform during the next Sonic Soiree a little try online. That way you know whether you will be entertained or potentially abhorred if you decide to make your way to the Brakke Grond on February 11th. 

I would definitely do this before going to see the band with the dubious name Kiss the Anus of A Black Cat, who are listed first for the next Sonic Soiree. They certainly don’t do themselves justice with that name if you take a song like ‘Veneration’ from their album ‘Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water’. They are not bad, just a bit scraggy and definitely worth exploring even if it’s only for the experience of listening to some latter day homecooked Belgian folk rock. 

According to the people at Brakke Grond the band is part of the rock-solid contemporary folk scene, with music in the tradition of, say, Sixteen Horsepower and Woven Hand.  I’d compare them with Zita Swoon, a Belgian band which is actually great.   

After the pleasant surprise that the cat anus people are, there’s hope for the other two acts. The Amsterdam band Bird on the Wire’s songs strike me as lighthearted, a bit romantic. Styled somewhat on Bettie Serveert, a successful Dutch folk singer.  

The last band is called Little Trouble Kids. This, my dears, is the band that will provide you with the experience of listening to something really outrageously fun. The duo girl performers are wonderfully crazy. They stick their neck out that tad more than Bird on the Wire, this noisepop duo. Shrieky voices that sound ‘wannabe’ more than ‘we’ve really got it’. It’s lovely to come across this type of confused music, so obviously adapted to be able to be heard over the noise of the dank Antwerp pubs. If Bridget Jones had been a singer, she could have been in this band. 

The Little Trouble Kids were ‘discovered’ by Millionaire-frontman Tim Vanhamel, when they still only used two instruments one of which was a severely abused acoustic guitar. Vanhamel, himself somewhat established as a rocker, dragged them to a studio and produced their debut album ‘Little Trouble Kids’. That name could not have been more appropriate. 

For information about tickets, you surf to the  Brakke Grond website. In case you are interested in attending a lecture by an instrument maker who has made instruments for bands including Sonic Youth and Blood Red Shoes, turn up a bit earlier. At 7 pm, Yuri Landman will talk about guitar making.  
The venue is located near the Red Light District, at Nes 45.