vrijdag 16 mei 2014

Cooking for De Kift

Dinner with De Kift.
Late March a tweet was sent into the world. Are there fans who would like to eat with De Kift? Eating turned out to imply the cooking as well. Being fans for over 15 years, my son and I decided to sign up and we found a matching date.

De Kift is rehearsing a new show that will be premièred at the Oerol festival on the Waddenzee island Terschelling in June. Twice a week fans come in to cook for the band in its rehearsal room and offices in Koog aan de Zaan. A building that may have been a factory owner's home right opposite the factory, as was usual around 1900. The band rehearses in a large garden shed, in which it also records most of its records. Something of a sacred ground for fans, looking at it this way. We even got a glimpse of how De Kift's cd covers are assembled, as usually they are works of art in their own right. Sorry, we didn't see the new one.

De Kift head quarters
De Kift is known for its complex music. A combination of strange rhythms and rhythm changes. At the same time it finds great melodies over these rhythms. Often influenced by eastern European sounds and brass bands. Underlying this all is a DYI punk attitude. The other half is the strong stage presence of Ferry Heijne. Reciting, even declamating lyrics before often great harmonies erupt vocally and/or by the brass section of De Kift. When the music has been taken care of in the traditional sense, De Kift comes up with the extra 50%. Anything that leads to tones can be used, instruments are switched at a stiff pace. We saw complex rhythms being created with bear and wine bottles, e.g. To top this all off, there is almost always a visual aspect to the stage. A drum bicycle, de Brik. So what is next in this show? For those good at adding up. Yes, there is 200% De Kift.

A fan never knows what to expect next. The new project can be a regular song cycle album, an
opera or a stage show with lots of music. 'Bidonville' is the last option.

Matthijs studying sequences.   
While the band was rehearsing, we started cooking in the small kitchen. In the meantime a film crew arrived, that was going to film the evening as part of a project about North Holland. Other people living in the building walked in and out the garden. Parcel delivery men were let in by us. What we learned is that the band has a taste for Belgian beers and German Weizenbier. Together we had dinner, Thai chicken pineapple and got to meet the band. After dinner we watched the rehearsal of the performance to be.

If something became clear, it's that being De Kift is hard work. The switching of instruments looks tiring from just standing in the audience. Here we saw how narrow escapes are made or that an intended switch is impossible to make in the time allowed. Solutions have to be found, pieces of music changed to make it work. Knowing exactly when to put down a tuba and switch to a zither, from guitar to drums or bass guitar to the glass organ. A piece of music is still missing here, spoken word that has to fit the length of music there. We saw the birth of a harmony contra vocal melody and the addition of the glass organ, just from experimenting a little. For those who don't know, counting is everything to make these rhythms work. To think that the whole visual aspect still has to be added and it is clear that De Kift still has a lot of work ahead of it before the show premières at Oerol. Two shows on most days for a whole week in the open air. In other words, my son and I saw a show coming alive in little steps at a time, while still a long way from perfection. Being De Kift is hard work.

Ferry Heijne.
We only heard part of the show, but already heard some great melodies. Knowing De Kift 'Bidonville' is going to be a great show. The album is scheduled for September after which the band will tour around the country and many a country in Europe. Thank you De Kift for allowing me this look into your kitchen. The literal part was my pleasure.

For fans of e.g. Tom Waits and Kaizers Orchestra check out this band!


All photo's by Wo.

For more information on 'Bidonville' and De Kift see http://dekift.nl/

P.S. Here's the promo filmed during our presence, yes, yours truly is in it for 0.25 of a second:

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