Earlier this year, I started thinking how it would work out if I put together a band night in Delft. The last time I did that is over ten years ago and it seems that the interest in local live gigs has improved a lot in the meantime. For example, shows at the band’s favourite bar/batcave/hangout Koornbeurs draw a nice crowd every time and that wasn’t always the case. In addition, we’re excited about the next generation of bands coming up now. Our local rock and metal scene is very much alive and again: that wasn’t always the case. What doesn’t help is that Delft doesn’t have a (semi-)professional venue like neighbouring cities The Hague and Rotterdam do. The only places that you get to see bands perform here are pubs, theatres, associations and the like. And despite how great Koornbeurs is, there’s no actual stage.
However, something interesting has been happening with the Rietveld theater having to temporarily move out of their home due to renovations. They’ve built a pop-up theater at HAL015, next to the Schie canal, south of Delft’s city centre. I visited the place to have a look when it was nearly finished. You’d never guess from the outside, but inside it looks warm and inviting and the stage accommodates most kinds of productions. Another cool thing: it’s available for a price to outsider productions. The idea that I could invite bands that I like to a venue that’s comfortable as well as pretty, have them perform on a decent stage with professional sound and light, that was actually non-existent in Delft up to that point.
So, I’m grabbing the opportunity to go for it and organise Het Blauwe Hard! The name is a word play on Het blauwe hart (‘the blue heart’) which in turn refers to a well-known sculpture in the centre of Delft. The colour blue is tied to Delft because of the city’s reputation for producing Delftware, also known as Delft Blue. But I digress… Here’s the poster:
The first two bands that I invited to play were Baardvader and Neroth. Baardvader are a fuzz/stoner rock band from The Hague with influences such as Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. They played a show at the Koornbeurs last year as part of the Popronde festival and impressed everyone there with their very convincing sound and style. Eindhoven’s Neroth probably caught my attention because they won a spot to play at Baroeg Open Air, also last year. The unique thing about them is that they play fairly traditional black metal but with exclusively clean vocals courtesy of Floor Vandenbrande. It gives their sound an epic feel. The band members are also quite young so I like to think of Neroth as part of the ‘next generation’ of metal bands in the Netherlands.
Our third band hails from Dordrecht. Façade made a big impression with sophomore album The Eternal Dance. It’s very creative and ambitious doom metal and they’ve managed to grow into a sound of their own. I’ve never seen them live before, only on videos, so I’m looking forward to getting blown away by their show. And last but not least we have Akelei! We’ll be playing first, so that I can help manage the event afterwards. Aline isn’t available to join us this time, unfortunately, so we’re rehearsing mostly older material that doesn’t require guest singers. Also, this may actually be our last show for a little while as we have no other bookings. But we’re filming and recording the audio for all the gigs so if everything goes right, we should have some professional sounding and looking material to craft a live video.
I should mention that SPOD, the local rehearsal space foundation in Delft, has been helping out behind the scenes. Everyone in Akelei has a history of rehearsing at SPOD and it’s nice to see that we’re still making things happen together. I like to think that we can make Delft more interesting for music lovers and artists alike.
All the info (in Dutch) here: https://hetblauwehard.nl
There’s a page on Instagram dedicated to Het Blauwe Hard which you can find HERE. And here’s the link to the event: https://akelei.org/js_events/het-blauwe-hard/. More news when I have it!
Listening to: Darkher – Immortals
2010 debut album