Thursday 28 April 2011

De Staat Are An Unstoppable Machine

A few years ago after Dutch band De Staat's mastermind Torre Florim released its début album they played every meaningful festival in the Netherlands and some abroad. Their groovy rock songs proved contagious and every stage they climbed turned into victory. With their second album they made clear they are aiming higher now and want to see how far they can take it beyond the Dutch borders. The album itself is promising and certainly stands a change but what about their live shows?

De Staat at Melkweg Amsterdam, Friday April 22 2011 (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
Support act Death Letters are working hard to warm up the crowd. The venue has filled up considerably and the two young musicians are successfully managing this tough job. It does show though that their more blues oriented songs are more convincing than their newer punk songs. But it looks like the crowd can appreciate the duo's efforts.

And then the interesting looking machine is revealed. It starts banging the rhythm to 'Ah I See' also the opening track of new album 'Machinery' and De Staat kick off their show. It's a strong opening and with the song, that features a catchy car horn, the crowd immediately gets one of their best ones. It is followed by five more tracks of the new album that most people already seem to know note by note. The songs of the first album blend in smoothly although the set list leans more to the new album. Like on that record The Routines' Kelly joins them on stage for 'Sweatshop'.

The machine remains unused for most of the show until in the final encore drummer Tim van Delft switches it back on. It starts producing the lazy groove for album closer 'Back To The Grind'. It's an interesting sight and a nice gimmick. Although their songs have some unmistakable similar characteristics and mostly follow the same recipe it still is a varied show. The members of the band are all entertainers and are using big gestures. Percussionist and master of sounds Rocco Hueting is the one that adds the additional flavour to the colourful bunch. With Florim they have the charismatic front man that sometimes like a victorious general is leading his troops through the noisy battle field.

And so it looks like they have all the needed parts of a machine capable of taking on the rest of the world. Time will tell if they will succeed at it but with everything in place they might just well achieve it. And that would be well earned.

More Pictures.

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