Friday, 21 February 2014
The No Milk Today festival wants to offer a stage to bands that have outgrown the beginner's phase and are on the verge of a break-through. The idea is to help them with it. When I found out Automatic Sam was on the bill, I just had to go there. They already broke through in my book. They are the headliner for this night and The City Hollers and Bartek complete the line-up.
No Milk Today at Bitterzoet, February 18 2013
The City Hollers
The MC of the night states that this band didn't quite understand the concept. Since this will be their last performance, so a break-through isn't going to happen for this duo. Which is a true shame. They play a good set of blues rock songs in the style of The Black Keys, but a bit more rough around the edges. Guitar player and singer Ruben Seyferth is playing a mean slide guitar supported by Henk-Jan Berkhof's standard but effective grooves. Too bad this band is calling it quits since they lay down a good show with a bunch of catchy songs.
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When it's Bartek's turn, it's obvious some people just came to see The City Hollers's swan song. There are less people left over to watch Bartek work it's way through some very heavy noise rock songs. This is not music for the faint hearted and it is quite heavy on the stomach. Now and then they create a hypnotic feel that can put you in a trance. It's almost like listening to heavy machinery pounding away. It could use a bit more variation though.
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A few years ago this band blew me away when saw them for the first time. Half a year ago they released their new album Sonic Whip which sounds great and even made it into my 2013 top ten. Finally I can see them play again. It looks like even more people left and by now the small club is half empty. It doesn't bring the band down at all. They play a tight set with many songs of the new record. Their solid set shows they have outgrown the beginner's stage long time ago and definitely are the most professional band of the night. Their songs are heavy, with plenty of dynamics, psychedelic elements and variation. Why bands like this aren't drawing any bigger crowds in this country is beyond me. They are one of the more interesting rock bands around here. So a festival like this, definitely is useful. Go see Automatic Sam for yourself if you get the chance and pick up a copy of one of their records. You won't be disappointed.
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