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Dub Trio, Zylinderkopf - Live at De Helling, Utrecht

DemonDust says: Got anything to do tomorrow night?
Lex says: On a Friday night? What do you think? Of course I don’t.
DemonDust says: You should check out Dub Trio at De Helling.
Lex says: Sounds likes it doesn’t suck. I’m in. 

And in I was. Because after downloading their music – anarchic an internet abuser as I am – one could say I was quite taken with this fun little instrumental trio that play an exciting mix of rock and reggae. Last.FM calls it post-rock. Last.FM can suck a cock. Because terms as such always exist by the grace of sheer lack of tag-a-billity in music. As we all know, when these kinds of weird descriptions come around it makes it worth listening. Probably more interesting is mentioning their connection to groups such as Fugees and G-Unit (no, really), and even more their part in Mike Patton’s Peeping Tom. All that on one single Friday night. Well well.
But first, DemonDust is nice enough to fill all you in on the supporting act.
Openers for tonight were the Dutch fun-trio Zylinderkopf. The guys played a humoristic mixture of ska, rock and noises. It was pretty funny to listen to, especially because they sang their lyrics in German and Southern Dutch dialect next to English. Yet after a couple of songs the joke had gotten old and we let for beer. Unfortunately so, because therefore we missed their legendary closer track ‘Schwarzenegger’, which can of course only be a song of superb quality. (DemonDust)
So after a couple of beers and with growing anticipation we headed into the concerthall. First of all it was plain that this is a band that draws a nice mixed crowd. Everything from an Eels tourshirt to your everyday Zwarte Cross fan could be found here. Nice.
Dub Trio came on, obviously as a three-piece, and played their set. Actually quite a cool set, filled with weird electronic samples and a drummer sporting a nice sweatband to mark the exact spot where his face ends and where his forehead begins. This is where it gets tough for a non musician to describe, because where colleagues Dust and Sledgehammer had a blast making gestures imitating a supposed amazing way of holding a drumstick and so on, I only heard great music. Not quite a punishment though.
Because hearing this trio live is great anyway you want to. Being musically gifted doesn’t seem to be a reason to annoy the public with extremely complicated or distracting structures and schemes. A simple basis is put up on which these guys make great variations that are very inviting to nod ones head to. Or shake your ass, if that’s your bag. Sometimes it’s very much danceable, before erupting into a great heavy rock or punk piece, and tuning down for some chilled out dub sounds. Maybe that was the downside to this performance, when going minimalistic it does get quite boring after a while. But on the other hand, not just wowing an audience with a thundering tsunami of loudness is worth a small applause. Clap clap clap. There.

Also one would expect a group such as this to improvise a lot more, but the material they’ve put out is exciting enough to present as the pretty much straight forward package as it was this night. All in all a group worth hearing and seeing, even for people like me who aren’t interested in imitating specific drum techniques. Great music attracts both the expert and the lament, and Dub Trio proves to be such a great group. (Lex)