The Party Program

Friday nights are always good nights. This weekend was no different. Show time.
De Sojo (Leuven) showcased 3 bands, all quite different. Actually, it was a pretty weird line-up. A Canadian band on tour opened the night, a supposedly legendary-ish Belgian hardcore band did their thing and the headliner was a tribute-band. Turned out to be a lot of fun.

The Evidence were on tour in Europe, for 5-6 weeks I think. They're from Calgary, Canada. I had never heard of them. Maybe they're bigger in their homeland, I don't know. Anyway, pretty cool band. Poppy punk rock. A singing drummer who used like 9 cymbals, a Mikey Erg-lookalike guitarist who liked the Yum Yums and a tall bass player who was pretty cool and really happy. They played for 3 guys "and a horse head". They performed a pretty good live show, although sometimes it sounded a bit flat, monotonous. At other times I was really into it. Especially the last song (Damn That River) and the accompanying instrumental outro appealed to me. Yeah, fun show to watch overall. They're nice guys and a cool band, but they did have too much t-shirt designs for their own good, haha. Well, maybe they're big in Canada. Worth checking out, but they don't necesarily stand out.

Rain apparently is an Antwerp hardcore band who haven't been very active since the nineties, I guess. During the show I was thinking they sounded like the missing link between Amen Ra (slow and intense) and Midnight Souls (mid-paced and intense), and after the show someone mentioned the exact same thing with the same bands, so I guess that's what they sound like. Not a bad thing to sound like! Dark and emotional. They did a lot of effort to make it a memorable show, and gave it all on stage. I like my hardcore a tad faster, but I can dig this. I'm into the whole gloomy atmosphere, breath-taking explosions of music and "fuck!" lyrics. Head-nodding assured! Awesome drumming as well.

Then, the (temporary) band I was really excited about: a Refused "The Shape Of Punk To Come" tribute band, which goes by the name of Refused Party Program. Musicians from different band-backgrounds team up to play the classic Swedish hardcore/punk album that changed the world (yeah, well…) in its entirity. "They told me that the classics never go out of style, but they do. They do." Got the show going, includiong the samples, electronic bits, and most importantly, the actual songs. The show was pretty spot on, tight playing, no mucking about. The Deadly Rhythm was pretty kick-ass to witness live, as it is in fact a deadly rhythm. Dancing, singing. it took a while to get the crowd going.
In fact, it took exactly 5 songs, when New Noise kicked in. Obviously the best known song by Refused and perhaps the most prolific for the record. "We lack the motion to move to the new beat." Crowd interaction at full level. As Refused themselves aren't around anymore, this was basically the next best thing. A pretty brilliant idea to play this album, and despite its complexity, the Refused Party Program were able to pull it off really well. Tannhäuser/Derivè gave me goode bumps. The composition, the climax, the genius of the whole song(s) just transfered really well. "So where do we go from here? Just about anywhere." The last song is the odd one out on The Shape Of Punk To Come from a crowd persepective, but was cool nonetheless. They finished the set with Rather Be Dead as an encore, for the old school kids.
They'll only do 10-15 shows, so it's advisable to check it out. Personally I'd like to see it again, my expectations were fulfilled, and I had a great time watching this absolute classic played live.

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