Rock music in the Netherlands

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Dutch rock is a form of rock music produced in the Netherlands, primarily in the English language as well as in Dutch.

History[edit]

Mainstream[edit]

Pioneers of Dutch rock were the so-called Indorock bands from the late 1950s, like The Tielman Brothers and the Blue Diamonds. They played rock guitar instrumentals when most of the Dutch youth had hardly heard of rock 'n' roll. They stemmed from the Indo community in The Hague and were pivotal in earning that city the title of Beatstad ('Beat city') in later years. With 1960s bands like Golden Earring and Shocking Blue,[1] Vandenberg in the 1980s, and Kane and Anouk in the 1990s, 2000s The Hague became synonymous for mainstream rock. Shocking Blue released "Never Marry a Railroad Man"(1970) and "Inkpot"(1972).

More progressive music emerged in the 1960s in Amsterdam. In 1964 (see 1964 in music), The Outsiders were the first Dutch psychedelic rock band to become successful. Well known was the 'Haagse Scene' - many of the popular bands of the 1960s came from The Hague, such as Shocking Blue, which topped the US charts in 1970 with Venus, Golden Earring, Q65, The Motions and Earth & Fire("Seasons",1970). Other representatives from this period: the Cats, Tee Set, Bintangs, Sandy Coast, Cuby & the Blizzards and Brainbox. George Baker Selection acquired international fame with the songs Little Green Bag (1969), and "Una Paloma Blanca" (1975).

From the late 1960s the post war generation gained political influence. Many state subsidised rock venues opened all over the country. These clubs, like Amsterdam's Paradiso and Melkweg, were stepping stones for many alternative rock bands on their first European tour and the Dutch crowd stayed well informed about new British and American acts.

In the 1970s some artists stood out. Mouth and MacNeal[2] got hit "How do you do"(1972) in US chart. Herman Brood became the ultimate Rock 'n Roll icon. He even scored a hit in the US with Saturday Night. He became the epitome of the "rock'n'roll junkie" he sang about. As an artist he was in the media until his suicide in 2001. Other bands from the 1970s: Gruppo Sportivo, Massada, Vitesse, Solution, the Nits, Focus and still Golden Earring with their greatest hit ever: 'Hocus Pocus'(1973), 'Radar Love'(1974), also Top 10 in the US.

The late 1970s and early 1980s gave many one hit wonders and some bands that lasted longer. Female bands Luv' and Dolly Dots but also disco bands Spargo and Time Bandits were most successful. Together with the Golden Earring, which scored some of their biggest hits with 'Twilight zone'(1983) and 'When the lady smiles'. The Nits developed a large audience outside the Netherlands, including Finland, Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Greece and Canada and in 1989 were the first Dutch band to play in the (then still) Soviet Union. Urban Dance Squad was a cross-over band, combining hip-hop with funk and rock. The band's minor American success proved to be influential. Their music style (rapcore) influenced bands like Rage Against the Machine. Van Halen was created by Edward Van Halen who was of Dutch heritage.

Dutch bands in the 2000s are Intwine, Kane, The Sheer, Krezip, Di-rect, Heidevolk and Johan.

Current rock acts[3] include Anouk, Voicst, Di-Rect, Kane, Destine, De Staat, Navarone, John Coffey.

Symphonic Rock and Hard Rock[edit]

The Netherlands are also known for symphonic metal bands such as Within Temptation, The Gathering, After Forever, Delain and Epica. They became successful in the late 1990s and in the beginning of the new millennium. However, bands like Supersister and Kayak (who had a hit with Ruthless Queen) were already internationally successful in the 1970s.

Similarly, in the last decade of the previous century a more extreme variety of metal, death metal, have had some success. Bands like Gorefest, Pestilence, Asphyx and Sinister were well-known both in and outside Europe. At the present, bands like Legion of the Damned (band), Pyaemia, Maaswater Veenlijk and Severe Torture enjoy a similar status.

In the 1980s Vandenberg was internationally successful.

Punk[edit]

Ivy Green was among the first punk bands, originating from Hazerswoude.

Tedje en de Flikkers, a group of homosexuals ("flikkers" is Dutch for "faggots") from Nijmegen, was one of the most infamous punk formation of the Netherlands. They sprang from the left wing and gay movements that thrived in Nijmegen during the 1970s and 1980s. Their provocative performances (politically more than musically) often literally resulted in orgies of sex, drugs and noise. They existed only for three years (1977–1980).

The Ex is an Amsterdam group of musicians making something that could be called punk. De Heideroosjes is also a well-known Dutch punk rock group, singing in Dutch, English, German and dialect.

Boerenrock[edit]

Some bands create a kind of rock music sometimes called "Boerenrock" ('farmers rock'). These bands mix rock and pop music with regional influences, sometimes sung in the regional dialect, and lyrics influenced by life in rural areas. Examples include BZB (Band Zonder Banaan) and WC Experience from Noord-Brabant, Normaal and Jovink en de Voederbietels from Gelderland, Rowwen Hèze and Neet Oét Lottum from Limburg, Mooi Wark from Drenthe and Jitiizer from Friesland.

Musically, the music played by such bands can be described as a rowdy, straightforward style of rock music, inspired by bands such as ZZ Top, Motörhead, AC/DC and CCR. At other times, influences from pop music and folk music (for instance the case with Rowwen Hèze) can be heard.

Not rarely, these bands display a lot of humorous elements in their repertoire, lyrics and live performances. An example is the repertoire of the WC Experience, which contains cover songs from bands such as Queen, Guns 'n' Roses and Madness, only the lyrics are replaced by different, rather silly lyrics in their own dialect. Also, the name of 'Band Zonder Banaan' means "Band without a Banana", and is a humorous play on the name of a famous Dutch pop-band, BZN (Band Zonder Naam, or 'Band Without a Name'). The name "Jovink en de Voederbietels" is a contraction of the names of the two founding band members (Hendrik Jan Lovink en Gijs Jolink), and "voederbietel" is a Dutch word for a food trough on a farm.

Boerenrock bands tend to perform at local festivities and concerts in big tents in rural areas, rather than in concert halls in bigger cities. An event where a lot of Boerenrock music can be heard, and a famous event amongst Boerenrock bands and fans, is the yearly Zwarte Cross ('Black Motocross') which is organized by members of 'Jovink en de Voederbietels'. The event is a mixture of several motocross related activities and a rock festival.

Indie rock[edit]

The indie music scene in the Netherlands is mainly active in the four biggest cities Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht as well as the northern cities Groningen and Leeuwarden. Following below a brief overview of bands, organisations, venues, festivals that create and are connected to the Dutch scene.

In the 1990s indie rock band Bettie Serveert was formed and independent record label Excelsior Recordings released albums of Dutch indie rock bands like Caesar, Ghost Trucker, Alamo Race Track, Johan, Spinvis, Gem, Bauer, Daryll-Ann, zZz, Cloudmachine and many others. After 2000 Voicst was formed and became popular after a beer commercial hit single for Heineken. After leaving Zoppo and forming Avec-A musician Yuri Landman received international attention as an experimental luthier for famous experimental rock bands. Dutch noise rock acts are The Ex, Gone Bald, The Moi Non Plus, Adept, Bonne Aparte, Feverdream. Post rock: We vs Death, Electropunk: Aux Raus.

Indie rock scene by city[edit]


See also[edit]

References[edit]