We went along to see the best of Dutch talent at The Great Escape.
Despite being faced with the tricky midday set, CUT_ (pronounced ‘cut underscore’) are a dynamic electro-pop duo whose dark spin on power pop provides a much needed boost to everyone’s first set of the day. Wearing a red leotard and her face smeared with glitter, Belle Doron’s vocals are strong and her stage presence confident, whereas her counterpart Sebastiaan Dutilh lurks behind the decks providing the live production to their short but impressive set. ‘Trigger’ is a track full of warbling synths and vocals that sway from an eerie falsetto to a rich, soulful delivery. ‘Tune in, Tune Out’ is giddy pop, its post-chorus drop taking the crowd from politely nodding to actually dancing.
Next up, four-piece Dakota make daydream indie reminiscent at times of Warpaint or Beach House. Latest EP, 2016’s Leda, translates well here, with both the upbeat, hazy chorus of ‘Automatic’ and the urgent ballad of ‘Easier’ standing out here as particularly successful facets of their glistening summer sound. They’re followed by Kim Janssen, a solo artist who weaves his way through a set of orchestral arrangements, uplifting synths and delicate vocals, performing live with a full band set-up including keyboards, guitars and trombones.
Pip Blom is a powerhouse of energy with her scuzzy, DIY sound, managing to fill the room with an awesome noise, much bigger than the lo-fi sound she transmits on record, whilst elsewhere, Jameszoo adds vibrancy with his left-field jazz fusion sound, going against the grain of an otherwise pop/rock saturated line-up.
Yet Dutch/Norwegian indie four-piece Klangstof emerge as the forerunners here, packing out their small basement venue ahead of time. Theirs is a sound that simmers and bubbles under the surface before erupting into sweeping soundscapes, as obvious here from singles and particular crowd-favourites ‘Hostage’ and ‘We Are Your Receiver’.
Whatever your taste, from pop to indie to electronic to jazz, it’s safe to say the Dutch acts delivered this Great Escape.
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