(photos: JP Daniels)
(courtesy to Keys and Chords magazine)
Funk explosion at Madame Moustache
The evening of 20 November could be characterized from now by the first snow in Brussels, judging from the outdoors experience, and a fine funky show by the concert in one of the trendiest places at present, Madame Moustache. This was the evening when Fifty Foot Combo opened for Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds.
For some reasons, it could be difficult to associate surf with Belgium. But Fifty Foot Combo may help. They have started in 1994 as a surf garage rock band and build their way up to a skillful group, until 2006 when they shortly broke up. In 2009 the group reunited and since then they keep putting on live shows difficult to forget.
You can take the band Man or Astro-man and spice it up with Sandra Hagenaar on keyboards with her gothic romance appearance. Add a latino scent signed by Rodrigo Fuentealba on one guitar, next to all-hip-modern other guitar player Steven Gillis. For the percussion section, wonder if Jesse Roosen might not be one of the Slipknot masked guys who went on bongos and congas and what is he doing next to such a nice guy with steady performance and presence as Bart Rosseau on drums. Put everything under the subtle coordination of Jens de Waele on bass. And just when you think you’ve got it, plainly forget about all the styles I’ve just mentioned, because their music is reinvented, staged and reinforced into something you’ve never heard before. Just one more key word: they call their sound Monstrophonic. And I find it not coincidentally at all that their label is called Drunkabilly.
kid congo power
I must say, it takes courage and generosity to have a band as Fifty Foot Combo as supporting act. Because they are simply great. It makes one wonder what could possibly come after such a delight for eyes and ears.
Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds is built around Brian Tristan, an underground legend difficult to pigeon-hole. He is far from what you would think of him if you knew he was the president of The Ramones fan club in 1976, was the founder of The Gun Club, and played in The Cramps or with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Four very calm men on stage, dressed up with high school lettered jackets, starting the show with a song like Conjure Man, which brought around a dark and mysterious ambience. Kid Congo was smiling all the time, being nice and playing the story-teller before songs.
But when you think you have a nice charming concert to sing and clap your hands along with the band, here comes a song like She’s Like Heroine to Me for the punk fans start pogo dancing, switching everything to a punk scene. This was the alternative pace of the entire show: between funky sound and punk rock pulses.
The weird mix of punk, psych-sound and rock’n’roll was all around the setlist: Su Su, Killer Diller, Dance Me Swamply, Loud and Proud, I Can’t Find My Mind. A certainty that punk rock can be performed with both style and romance.