zaterdag 30 januari 2016

De Staat of independence. De Staat live in Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden. 29-01-2016

Photo: Wo.
Yes, De Staat of independence it is. The band sells out the larger venues, has its own recording and rehearsal space, the album 'O' is of superior quality, the band plays the music it wants to and the audience follows. The only things left to wish for is an international breakthrough of sorts and larger venues, if possible. De Staat shows the sort of progression a fan hopes a band makes. The road from 'Wait For Evolution' to 'O' is gradual one. As this review shows the band evolves live as well. For those interested, you can follow this evolution backwards though the years as well. De Staat featured regularly on these pages in the past four years.

De Staat is at the top of its game, I wrote that in my recent review of 'O' (read on here: http://wonomagazine.blogspot.nl/2016/01/o-de-staat.html). On record, but also live. Having seen the band evolve through the years, it is abundantly clear that De Staat reaches a larger effect with a more dosed effort. Yes, the members work hard on stage, but at the same time the music does more of the work as well.

Photo: Wo.
When a band grows, more things get possible. Like the light show, which certainly played an important part in the show. The visuals in the background as well as playing with a video camera and stage effects in light and mist. Singing in a indirect direct way to the audience during 'Help Yourself'. The title became self-fulfilling as the plug connecting the camera kept falling out, disconnecting it to the screen. Well thought out effects, that added to the experience, are part of the show and not just a bunch of lights switched on or off.

Photo: Wo.
The new material adds extremely well to the existing songs. The direct effect may be a little less movement and a bit more attentive listening, standing still is still no option when De Staat starts playing. Opening song was the song that opens 'O' too. 'Peptalk' showed the intention of the band straightaway: relentless beats and reticence. That is what De Staat has become a master in, leaving spaces open that easily could have been filled with lots of noise and beats. The effect of the music is less direct, but certainly more special and lasting. Something all five members play a role in. All get the opportunity to contribute to this play of stopping and going full out. It all starts with a drummer who seems to be getting better and better, Tim van Delft. It doesn't seem like he's doing something which is extremely difficult for ordinary people. The foundation of De Staat is solid, full of imagination and varied.

What 'O' showed was that not even a true ballad is beyond De Staat. 'Time Will Get Us Too' was drawn out into a long outro, but one of the highlights of the evening. The tension was almost touchable in the venue.

Add to the great new songs De Staat classics like 'Sweatshop' and 'Input Source Select' and the evening is complete. The fact that I did not miss them a lot, expected them of course, says all about what a fine album 'O' is.

Photo: Wo.
I am going to write something controversial as well. This thought just does not get out of my mind, ever since having seen the band for the first time in 2012: De Staat plays fascistic music. Don't get me wrong, the music has nothing to do with what passes for an ideology in those circles, no. It has everything to do with the fact that whole armies could march to the rhythms of De Staat. From Rome to Cologne or on galleys pulling the oars over the Mediterranean. Torre Florim has something of a charismatic leader in his way of presenting himself as well, not to speak of his robot like movements. 

Photo: Wo.
When Florim jumped into the audience to sing 'Witch doctor' from the floor, carnival broke out in Leiden, a week early to the south, in a Calvinistic city. Everyone on the floor was circling around Florim in a frenzy. A great way to end the show.

De Staat is better than ever. The ease with which the members play and sing the not your everyday rhythms and songs, make it seem so easy. De Staat is ready for larger things, Hopefully people in other countries will start paying attention.

Wo.

You can listen to 'Witchdoctor' here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ttGgIQpAUc

or buy 'O' here on Bol.com


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