Dutch people are people from the Netherlands. You can find their influence all over the world, wherever you go you might see little windmills, expensive flowers, milk products, Holland parks or dodgy places called little Amsterdam, and there is even a theme park inspired on the Netherlands. It is strange that even though their history has made a huge impact on the outside world, the Dutch language didn’t do such an impressive job.
We received very recently a email written in this Dutch language, and it was being passed along the hallways from reporter and reviewer upon reviewer and reporter to end up on my desk. I’m known as one of the two people with the ability to understand words in Dutch, and even have an ability to read in this language too. Trust me, it takes a couple of beers; but then anyone should be able to have similar Dutch language skills; drink a few more and you will be able to speak the language fluently.
But… before continuing this report; it must be said that one of the English receivers of this email took the effort to run it through the very popular ‘Google Translate’ and when it ended up on my desk translated and in its original shape, something fishy spotted my eye. Google Translate made the Dutch speaking band into an ‘English’ one, and suddenly there was no mention of them playing ‘originals’ as the translation had turned the band into a cover band.
It’s of course not that important, but still it’s a bit silly. There was simply no indication in the text that this band is ‘English’ before the translation took place, which is just a bit weird… But there seems to be a pattern here..
But let’s forget the struggling online translator and the horrors of the language barrier & listen to these fine tunes by this Dutch band named ‘De Eerste De Beste’ (The First The Best)… They (a certain Joost Ariëns, Dennis Gremmen , Bart Cornelissen & the illustrious Niek Willems ) begin with a song named ‘De Koude Kermis’. Which I would translate as ‘the cold funfair’ but Google translates it as ‘the rude awakening’… Either way the tune itself is nice, it has this nice happy guitar sound on loop, a nice moving bass and a pair of rolling drums… oh and the Dutch vocals! Yeah, Google Translate those Dutch vocals as that would have been such a beautiful thing to read! Poetry of the highest order! There is a nice breakdown with a spaghetti western atmosphere, before rolling into the rock and roll rocks with a minimal ‘The Doors’ organ hint. I have no knowledge about what the song is about, other then it being something featuring a ‘pink elephant’. The bass impresses me the most and that’s pure universal language!
Next song is probably the ‘single’ of this release, and why not? It’s the most radio friendliest song on the album, and will probably do well among the Dutch speaking radio airwaves. The music is very bright, happy and energetic and the voice sounds sincere and thoughtful. Even though the world wide reputation of the Dutch language being cold, the singer here sings with the soft ‘g’ and it makes the tune perfectly smooth & nice. The tune also features nice backing vocals; making the Dutch gentlemen into a choir of sweet humming mermaid-men. All in all, a very fruitful song and above all there is a sweet video animation made to join this tune… It definitely makes it something that can be suddenly enjoyed by world wide audiences, just look at it.. isn’t it beautiful?
Then there is another fine tune of a positive order. A song named ‘Vandaag’ which Google translates as ‘ Today’. It’s a nice happy tune, probably the happiest on this release; love the come back of music after a little break. It sounds full, but in a sweet and sunny way. Think about Dutch ska with Dutch pop rock influences.. (yeah i know; it’s not something you would think of every day..)
‘Ik zal de eerste zijn’ (I‘ll be the first) is another tune which has a nice uptempo format, with carnival-horns and quite a happy mood. There is a shimmering bit in the middle, only to make the end more stronger in a feel good way. Even though I can understand the language; I too have no idea what these songs are about; but who cares? The whole sound is positive, which is unlike ‘gezelligheid‘ a global applicable feeling.
The last track is a bit weird, it has the dress-code of a rocker, but the horn section pushes it a bit into corners of awkwardness. It’s quite cool actually, it’s as if the horny carnival horn (a trombone?) had outbid a heavy metal guitar in order to be the shining middle point of attention. This track is called ‘De Dag Onttroond’ (the day dethroned) and it’s probably poetic. I don’t know what else to say… I can say that this band comes from Tilburg, and that they are probably fluent in Dutch, but I will refrain from that, & throw up a kinky link for you to check this Dutch music out for yourself: