Monday 18 March 2019

On Stage: Raggende Manne @ Melkweg

The Dutch word "raggen" means something like "to romp". Dutch band Raggende Manne are a phenomenon that is hard to explain. Their wild punk free jazz, or "hectic punk jazz" as they call it, with Dutch lyrics that are mostly absurd, is one of a kind. The band has been romping around for over thirty years although they disbanded end of the nineties until their return in 2013. They had a new album planned with an accompanying tour, until disaster struck.

Raggende Manne at Melkweg Amsterdam, March 16 2019

Before they could release the new LP Alles Kleeft and start their tour, singer Bob Fosko got diagnosed with stage four cancer. He decided that he doesn't want to make a big drama out of it and go ahead with the tour as long as he feels fit enough. A changing bunch of guest singers is helping him out every night in case his voice plays up. Tonight they are Ro Krom, Theo Wesselo and actor Bert Kuizenga. For the rest the band just wants to play and throw one of their insane parties like they always do.

Tonight there's simply no room for sadness. Fosko looks in pretty good shape and cracks a few jokes about his disease. For the rest the band and their singers turn the place upside down. Think of it as a two hour punk show, compressed into a single hour. It may all seem a joke, but the music is actually really good. This band will run you over like a steamroller, put it in reverse and then run you over once again. That's why the shows never last really long, although tonight it seems to last a bit longer than usual. It's one of the benefits of having four singers on stage.

It's obvious everyone in here tonight is having a great time and maybe the party on stage is even the biggest. The band can't leave of course without an encore where everyone gathers on stage for the final blow. The band returns a second time and plays their first single that turned into an unexpected hit, the six seconds lasting 'Nee, da's niks'. It's a suiting end of a festive night, a celebration of a unique band.

All Pictures

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