Aandklas 10 March 2009
I have seen Van Coke Kartel a number of times, and often walk away disappointed and sometimes a little disgusted by the behaviour on stage, but lately I have noticed that frontman Francois Van Coke is cleaning up his act quite nicely. That, plus the word ‘acoustic’ that sparked some interest, had me questing off to Aandklas, to further give Van Coke Kartel a second chance…
First up, the turnout was disappointing, to say the least. With a following as strong as theirs is, I am baffled as to the tiny crowd that rocked up. The performance was not as ‘acoustic’ as you may imagine, and I think many expected something even more chilled and quiet. While the music was tight, [Wynand is unbelievable on his double bass] and Francois’s voice was powerful, I felt something was missing. It was not a technical aspect, but I felt the essence of Van Coke Kartel’s music was partially lost. One becomes accustomed to music in its own skin, and without the furious energy and Wynand’s spastic but always-entertaining jumps and kicks, it just wasn’t the same. The crowd sang along but I got the feeling they were not quite as involved with the performance as is desired. Acoustic sets have become more and more prevalent of late, and I see it as a test of a band’s ability, covering vocal strength, adaptability and musicality. Van Coke Kartel failed.
I am glad to have seen them in this setting, though Van Coke Kartel to me will always be loud, explosive, all over the place rock that makes you want to burst right out of your skin for love of live music.