woensdag 12 december 2012

Di-Rect Live in LVC Leiden

Marcel Veenendaal. Foto Wo.
You can listen to 'Say something' here.

Earlier this week you could read all about the support act of Di-Rect, Soul Sister Dance Revolution (click here), now it's time for the act of the evening. I was there as the presenter of a birthday present to a 14 year old, so to own up, it was not my choice. Di-Rect was something of a boy band in my recollection. On my route to the train station, ten years ago, I often biked passed an old van with Di-Rect lettering. The father of the drummer had a store there or so I understood.

Nowadays Di-Rect is a band from The Hague, long passed being a boy band, even moving into hippie-like spheres I'd say with its new(ish) singer Marcel Veenendaal. Preparing for the gig, I listened to the band's latest cd, 'Time will heal our senses' and I'll admit that I did not mind listening to the album at all. Before that I did unknowingly pick up a tune or two, I noticed and heard them perform a cover of The Young Giants at Giel Beelen's morning show on 3FM. This morning (on writing) they performed a fantastic cover with rappers Kern Koppen of 'Wallpaper'. Really, really well done, so click here to listen.

Jan Bakker. Foto Wo.
In the LVC Di-Rect rocked and rocked hard. In fact too hard. I moved backwards to not only save my eardrums, but also to try and distinguish what songs I was listening to. It was near impossible to find out, for someone not overly familiar with the songs. So it's hard to really write a review. What I did notice, is that this band rocks, is able to play different styles and work with dynamics. The basis supplied by Jamie Westland and Bas van Wageningen is rock solid and the rest knows how to play and sing. If I'm not mistaken a whole intermezzo of The Who's 'We're not gonna take it' was played. The interaction between lead-guitarist Spike and second guitarist Jan Bakker is like it should be, they weave in out and of each others playing.

In several songs the keyboard is the lead instrument. These were the moments that more of the song structure became apparent. It also made clear that Di-Rect is band that has expanded a lot and is not afraid of experimenting with the music they make and play. Rock, prog elements, classic rock, psychedelia and pop. A great mixture that the band conjures up. Listening to the sort of songs that were played, I was no longer surprised with the mix of audience. A few children, teenagers and adults all the way up to sixty something.The mix seemed quite odd to me before the show started. Di-Rect is able to surprise and will continue to do so in the future. It convinced me of that at the LVC.
Di-Rect & Kern Koppen. Foto Wo.

Marcel Veenendaal is a great singer, who also likes to twiddle a lot with effects on his voice and sings with ease. Too bad that most of it is lost in the noise. To me he seems too good not to be heard properly, but this was the effect of the ear-bleading loud music. I'm pretty sure the harmonies were quite nice also. Di-Rect does know were to find them. (Despite the noise several people in the audience managed to shout over the music anyway. So that's maybe why Di-Rect plays so loud.)

In the encore the band was joined by rappers Kern Koppen for the latest single, 'Say something'. This combination works well (just like in 'Wallpaper' as you have noticed). The song has swing and a totally recognisable refrain, so will undoubtedly become a hit for both. It shows that the band knows how to write a single that sticks and is interesting at the same time.

So all in all I have to say that I would like to see the band again but at a little less volume. This way I will be able to come to a more nuanced conclusion. Loud is not good.


You can order 'Time to heal our senses' here.

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