In the beginning …
Plackband was formed in the mid seventies by
musicians from the music scene of The Hague. However the music was in
the beginning a mix out of different music styles of these
gentlemen, slowly their direction came clear: symphonic rock with
influences out of jazz rock. Later on their sound was more
influenced by the legendary bands of those days like Genesis and Yes. The
band got the nickname, "The Hague's Genesis"!
Because the band had no name and their sound gear was held together with
"Plackband" (Dutch for adhesive tape), as a joke they called
themselves Plackband. Not aware at that time that this would be become
their official name. It's not a name that represents the style of their
music. On the other hand it shows their stubborn spirit, not influenced
by trends but always choosing to go their own (and often difficult) way.
The first gigs in 1977 were a little shaky, but after a while the sound
became more tight and mature. As a result of the combination of their
enthusiasm and a big feeling of togetherness, investments were made
which were important for the future of the band. In those days the band
owned the most professional sound and light gear of all amateur
bands in The Benelux. This in combination with a gigantic (yellow with
blue lettering) truck. It was always brilliant to see how a live show was
built in those days. Led Zeppelin once owned a part of the light gear.
It is funny to hear, when you ask someone about that live show of
Plackband, they always speak about that in superlative terms.
The highlight of their gigs was the discovery of the band by "VARA's
Popcaravaan" and "VARA's Popkrant". (VARA=Dutch radio/television
station) Also two songs were recorded in 1978, which became their first
EP. Those two songs were: "Seventy Warriors" and "Some
Party". It's still a mystery they never managed to release a
whole album (LP). If you read the reviews of those days, they always get
praised into heaven. And their shows were always sold-out. The headlines
of their greatest (and maybe also saddest) review said: "Plackband
the only bad thing is, they're from Holland …"
Holiday of eighteen years
Eventually one record company was interested in the band, but they
would introduce another style (more commercial) and even introduced
an different singer: Martin Scheffer from Sympho band Taurus.
They tried something with the cover of "Strawberry Fields Forever".
But it was never released. Singer Kees Bik was forced to leave the band,
and in 1982 the band slowly died. In the years to come they tried to
work on a comeback with singer Frank van de Bos. Unfortunately, or maybe
fortunately this never was the case. Otherwise the never expected reunion
of 2000 would not have happened.
This is what happened: All Plackband members had their own musical
challenges. Ronald and Michel did the project November (together with
FAF drummer Edwin Wernke), which resulted in a CD album, the little gem:
"The 1st of November" and a single called "Memory"
wich also contained an acoustic version of Genesis-cover "The Cinema
Show". Albert opened a music store, Kees became songwriter with
Urban Heroes and Boom Boom Machini and John and Tom founded a recording
studio: studio "Sound Design" in The Hague, which later merged
with "Holland Spoor". There they found an old Revox tape with
a live recording of the last gig they did on Christmas Eve 1981 at
"de Paap" in The Hague. It was hidden on the top floor of the
studio, which was in fact the old practice room of Plackband. Later the
decision was made to release this tape in a remastered version under the
name: "The Lost Tapes".
Reunion of 2000
At the time that Michel and Ronald were recording "The 1st of
November" (at Holland Spoor Studio's) there was more and more
talk about a reunion of Plackband. While promoting the November CD,
people often said to Ronald and Michel they never heard
of November but they all knew Plackband. That released some nostalgic
feelings. When also a Dutch prog magazine (IO pages) published an
article about Plackband this became very clear to Ronald and Michel. After
the failure of releasing a second November album, it happened all very
quickly. After some phone calls on one and the same evening, everyone
was very enthusiastic to give it a try. The reunion was a fact and
"The lost tapes" were independently released.
After rehearsals for a whole year (a hell of a job) the first concert
with all the original members in 18 years was held at 23 June 2000 at
"de Boerderij" in Zoetermeer. It became a beautiful show, a
feast, a concert, which will never be forgotten! The enthusiasm was back
and the band looked fresh, more mature and relaxed then ever! Another
four concerts followed and the band was thinking about the future to come.
Was this it? No, the band wanted more.
So the band was looking for (yes they did) a record company! Together
they made a commitment that there would be no concessions made this time
and the company had to be as enthusiastic about symphonic rock as they
were. In the end the choice was simple: Xymphonia Records. There were
four companies interested and at first glance it would be the French
Musea Records. But when band members came in conversation with the
earlier mentioned Xymphonia things happened very fast. This led to a
very interesting cooperation. The first fruits of it will be harvested
shortly. The CD-single "Remember Forever" with a complete new
title track and the two remastered tracks of their first EP from 1978.
In March 2002 the long awaited album "After The Battle" was
released. This album is very successful according to the reviews all
over the world.
New lead singer
The band and lead singer Kees Bik decided to split up. The band was very
grateful for everything Kees had meant to Plackband. A new
period has come. The choice for the new lead singer fell not
coincidently on ex-November singer Karel Messemaker
With him the band got new impulses. At this moment the band works on new
songs and the existing songs
are revamped under the influence of Karel. For the first time in
history of Plackband they play sometimes some songs of Genesis and Peter
Gabriel arranged in a Plackband way.
Songs are Carpet
Crawlers , More than This, Afterglow , Red Rain
At this moment the band is very busy rehearsing for a comeback with an exciting
show supplied with visual effects. The highlight is a concert in the Boerderij
on the 19th of November 2004 in Zoetermeer (Holland). This will be live recorded
The goal is a beautiful live DVD in the beginning of 2005 in the shops for the
fans of Plackband.
Featured on the DVD will be the live-concert and also pictures , unique
video fragments with an
interview included and last but not least a video-clip!!!!
Also the band will return to the famous international venues like Spirit
of 66 in Verviers/Belgium and the Classic Rock Society in Rotherham/England
Karel Messemaker has a serious health problem. Koos Sekreve replaces him.
Plackband goes more and more international. There are concerts in
Belgium in The Spirit of 66 and in Doornik. In August the band is on the
Gong festival in Reggio in Italy. Also there is a successful venue in
England in The Boardwalk A music cafe in Sheffield. In the old days
Genesis played there. Further the band is one of the biggest acts of the
Progpassion festival in Holland.
In April there is the long expected dvd/cd Visions. It took a
long time because the editing has to be done by PB Himself.
Besides the registration of the concert in 2004, Visions gives an
overview of Plackband through the years.
Again they are going over the Dutch borders. There are shows in the
Spirit of 66 and in England for the Classic Rock Society. Borders don't
exist anymore for PB.
The band decides to go on with four. Karel Messemaker is no longer the lead
singer. Michel takes over. The first material in this combination is put on a
demo called PBII. The new songs are presented on a big stage. The band is
support act by The Musical Box in the RAI Theatre in Amsterdam.
At this moment there is much to do about the band. They are invited by Arie
Versteegh of the Boerderij to do the support act for Kayak a famous Dutch band.
PB started a new show. In the Paap is the 30th anniversary and this is followed
by a extended show again for the Classic Rock Society in Rotherham. The band
played already for the 5th time there. Martin Hudson the big man behind this
invited them direct after the gig for a next time.
Next is a show with Arena in Ittervoort in Limburg in Holland at