The Reader Review
The Music In My Head Festival, Paard van Troje,
The Hague, Netherlands, 14 June 2008

Saturday June 14th, 3 PM: being slightly delayed by the ‘ever reliable’ Dutch railways, I hurried myself to the dressing room @ ‘het Paard van Troje’ in The Hague for an interview with Mick. Before I knew it, I had the complete band sitting around my recorder, which made a very pleasant, sometimes joking interview about ‘Diamond Hoo Ha’, future plans and the illustrious ‘David Hasselhoff Masters’!

The band was in a very relaxed mood preparing for the night's show, which meant cutting the setlist, as they had a timeslot, leaving 75 minutes to gig. Songs like ‘Sun Hits The Sky’ and ‘Butterfly’ got scrapped, while ‘She’s So Loose’ narrowly escaped the same fate. Mick and I in meantime had a very interesting and, I think, informative chat on DIY releases. Before we knew it, the rest of the band ran off, to the hotel and down town.

An hour before showtime, I re-entered the dressing room for a quick chat with Charly Coombes, the complementary guitarist for this and upcoming shows. Inbetween very interesting facts on his solo-career, interferences from a small orange Euro Cup toy-megaphone kept on flying through the air, while the band loaded up for the gig.

Which started about 20 minutes later as scheduled. The intro started and the audience cheered out loud as the band entered the stage for the first song: ‘Diamond Hoo Ha Man’. Beer rained down on the first few rows, which didn’t seem to bother the completely filled venue. ‘Bad Blood’ was followed by nearly scrapped ‘She’s So Loose’, after which the by now notorious megaphone was introduced on stage, starting an impromptu but short lived ‘Olé, Olé’-chant from the audience. Charly had changed his guitar for a nice set of cowbells, to juice up ‘Mary’ and then changed back to guitar for a very nice version of ‘345’, which had more of the subtlety of the record, than it had during the December 12th gig @ Oxford. A great performance!

‘Late In The Day’ got a very warm reception, as did ‘Rebel In You’, which ended with an extra set of guitar-chords. ‘Brecon Beacons’ started off with an extra set of words to the softer intro, before blasting off full throttle, to the pleasure of a very enthusiastic audience, which danced and sang along to most of the songs. Charly in meantime had another go on the cowbells during ‘Outside’, after which ‘St Petersburg’ and ‘Moving’ got great receptions. ‘Richard III’ literally made the venue explode with sheer energy across the dancefloor. ‘Lenny’ had the regular extended intro, in which Danny made some sort of drum solo-like thing, which really suited the song. ‘Pumping On Your Stereo’ was introduced by a slow building sort of jam, which caused another joyful explosion amongst the crowd. With loud applause, the band got offstage, leaving the audience shouting for more. Which actually wasn’t as loud as crowds used to call during previous gigs, to be honest.

Then the band re-appeared on stage for a three-track encore. Mick passed his cigarette to the girl next to me and geared up for long skipped ‘Alright’, which truly set the venue ablaze. Police-cover ‘Next To You’ fuelled this even more, after which Gaz thanked Charly for playing with the band and congratulated the audience with the National Soccer team beating France in the Euro Cup 4-1 the day before. Then the usual show stopper ‘Caught By The Fuzz’, extended with a slow bridge near the end, pounded through the hall, ending not only this gig, but also the last episode of ‘The Music In My Head’ festival.

Back in the dressing room, the band cooled down, slowly ridding themselves of the adrenalin they got from the gig. Mick laid back on a couch, while Charly hillariously fooled around with the megaphone and Danny took the initiative for a true work of art by Gaz, Mick and himself, titled to my last recollection ‘Grandpa with ginger-coloured neckhairs and a pretty unnamed girl in a rain of meteorites’.

Leo Hoek van Dijke - 15 June 2008