Sunday 18 November 2018

On Stage: Tusky @ Sugarfactory

I loved the rock band John Coffey and it was really too bad they disbanded a few years ago. Their live shows were legendary and the energy of the band was simply hard to resist. Fortunately from its ashes rose Tusky, with John Coffey's guitarists Alfred van Luttikhuizen and Christoffer van Teijlingen (now on bass), completed with drummer Bas Allein Richir and John Coffey guitar-tech Sjors van Reeuwijk. The music is still punkrock but more straightforward powerrock than John Coffey. Think about a mix of early Foo Fighters and The Offspring and you get the idea. Time to see how if this band can live up to the live reputation of its illustrious predecessor.

Tusky at Sugarfactory Amsterdam, November 16 2018

The debut album of the band Rated Gnar is promising enough just from its cover art. A pink background with a cheerful but at the same time disturbing hairy male cartoon figure and the Tusky logo as its head. Just as the cover art the songs are both cheerful and energetic but also heavy, powerful and a bit aggressive. Enough to raise your fist to any way. As if it comes as a surprise, on stage this combines into a lively rock show that checks all the right boxes.

Van Luttikhuizen and van Teijlingen have seen many stages of all kinds of sizes during their time with John Coffey. This is clear from the convincing way they play at the front of the stage and act as if they are playing a much bigger venue than the small Sugarfactory. This translates into a big ball of energy and a fired up crowd. People are crowd surfing, moshing and even form a wall of death. The music does the rest and it is clear everyone inside here is having a great time. When van Teijlingen asks for a circle pit around the sound table, people obey willingly and start running around the sound engineer who is desperately fencing off the expensive equipment. He's smiling though as he knows it is just innocent play and he knows how these shows go down.

The catchy punkrock songs are a perfect soundtrack of course for a wild night on the dance floor and Tusky's music can be regarded as such. It is rock music to have fun with and have a good time. This is exactly what the band is showing on stage as well, simply four guys having the time of their lives playing in a rock band. That's exactly the way I like it. Like their album art, Tusky is a band that is about simply having fun, but with a rough edge. John Coffey is dead, long live Tusky!

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