Madrid Spring 2009 - De KEEFMEN did a 3 day tour of Spain
and City Trash was smart enough to sent somebody along to
see what´s happening with the latest sensation out of Drenthe
Netherlands. They just released a killer debut 10inch on the
legendary KURIOSA RECORDS and during the trip they would
present their new 45 “Crying at my door/ What´s happening”
out on the Spanish label VINYL JUNKIE REKKIDS from
Zaragoza run by the sympathetic Koko.
The 3 days would take us from Madrid, the center of Spain, to
Zaragoza in the north, and would end in the south near
Alicante in the pueblo Orihuela. The tour was mostly put together
by Raul from the FUMESTONES and HEY GIRL RECORDS, and
he had done a good job arranging todo, but as always De
Keefmen arrived a day earlier on a hot summer day wearing their
leather jackets and jerseys, to enjoy a little bit of Spain and
Madrid. It would not be the last time they would be sweating.
D: It was nice to spent some time in Madrid, because we knew
that the rest of the tour was going to be driving and playing only.
Peter and I even went to the Prado to see El Bosco’s Garden of
P: Yeah that was great to it see for real. We also saw the
Colossos by Goya and some great work from Ruben's. Too bad
this was the only day we could do things like this.
D: More earthly delights we saw and experienced on the streets
and in de bars of Madrid... What a delighting experience! Madrid’s
atmosphere reminded me a lot of Amsterdam... and not only
because of the prostitutes with tattoos on their tits and the
gay-area we stayed in (Peter still has nightmares of the big
golden cock he saw on the door of one of the clubs). Madrid is
very relaxed and the Madrilènes are very relaxed as well. Two
beers on an empty stomach in the full sun makes your pace fit in
H: First off all Alfred and I discovered the Metro! This comes in
handy; we need one of those in Drenthe. Anyway: we got out in
Callao, this was the place to be to visit some real good record
stores Raul told me. After we’ve seen only one somehow we end
up having coffee and the best piece of chocolate cake I’ve ever
had with a hooker sitting next to Alfred right in front of me!! I could
have a look all the way to California. This definitely was the best
coffee I had!
Than it was already time to get back on the metro and go to
Nuevos Ministerios where we’d meet up with Raul again to rent a
car for the next few days when we’d actually get on tour. After
some Spanish I don’t speak we went for this real nice café to have
lunch in Spanish tradition. Raul ordered the best fried potatoes
ever, some nice meatball kinda stuff, bread, cheese and a
delicious octopus! Wow, and off course it all came along with
some more beers. Than Raul got back to work. The rest off the
day we spent together drinking some more in the sun nearby Gran
Via with a nice view on supply and demand according to the
oldest job in the world. Too much horrifying supply after my
After all this tourism it was time to do what they came here to do.
First on the agenda was the Pequena Bety, of course the best
place in Madrid.
D: What a beautiful place there’s no such thing in The Netherlands
a single club devoted to sixties/garage music. They even had
rock’n’roll food and beautiful little Betties serving drinks.
P: A really nice place to hang out, cool retro design too.
H: I can only agree with that! The place looked brilliant!!! Nice
sixties/seventies style bar and tables! Great rock’n roll posters all
over the place. It all suited each other very well!! And the diner:
on the first night I had the best and biggest burger I ever had! A
Big Mac becomes a Small Mac compared to that!! It was delicious.
P: The stage was down in the cellar, wich reminded a bit of Vera's
downstage, but slightly bigger. When the first band started, the
place filled up and when we started the crowd went wild and so
did we. Little Betty is great!
Opening for them were TV EXPLOSION, a group a little bit more
punkrock than De Keefmen, and with great enthousiasm they prepared
the people for what was coming. And when finally De
Keefmen hit the stage I was not even fully ready. Skipping the
more moody and ballad stuff, they came at you like a tornado, fast
paced and surprisingly furious. Now I´ve seen them many times,
but this was an intense set, a pure shot of adreneline, playing
their hits like “Told you once, told you twice” and “ Till the end of
time” and adding next to the Troggs cover “6654321” the Love
song “My flash on you”, done a bit scruffy, but at the same time
perfectly. The crowd went wild and I was perplexed.
Soaking in sweat it became a long night for De Keefmen.
P: I went outside for fresh air, but got hold up by some crazy
Spaniards who wanted autographs and take pictures with me, that
was really strange, but cool aswell.
H: The owner of the club paid me the money and bought our
record. ‘Next time you come and play here the crowd will be four
times as big, what a wild, wild show!!’
And there was this strange old man who wanted me too speak
Spanish with him. So I drank some more and tried but I still
couldn’t speak Spanish. On one point I had the idea that probably
he wanted to make sweet love to me. That’s when I avoided him
and send him to Peter.
D: After the show we went to the Louie Louie rock’n’roll bar. And
P: And then everybody got more drunk then they already were. It
H: Aaaaah yes: The Louie Louie! Almost forgot about this place!
Indescribable beauty! You could tell from the walls that it
contained the right history. We went there with some nice people
who attended our show at the La Pequena Bety. The DJ even
played the Outsiders I remember! I ended up convincing one of
‘em to see our show the next day (at that moment that day) in
Zaragoza, after ten minutes I discovered he didn’t speak English.
That was absolutely the time to get to bed.
Next day it was it was time to do the first travelling and find out if
Touren with Alfred Nooy is as much fun as the song claims. Our
Dean Moriarty from Ruinen would be driving us the whole tour, a
total off over 1500km in 3 days. He succeeded in convincing us
the song speaks the truth. What the song didn´t tell he would be
wearing shorts all the time.
P: Alfredo is the man. Even in the overcrowded streets of Madrid
he remained calm and found ways to make crazy statements. We
listened to lotsa ole country rock to keep him satisfied.
D: Alfred ‘een beetje flexibiliteit siert de mens’ Nooij was a hell of a
driver... Always in a good mood, always hungry, and always ready
to annoy somebody with his rhetorical remarks... But very good
company! Thanks dude!
H: Touren met Alfred ‘wat is dat hier joh met die Cappucino’s en
café solo’s? Ik wil gewoon een normale koffie! Is dat teveel
gevraagd?’ Nooij was a very decent driver with no ‘fratsen’ that
‘scheelt’. He had the right pace to get us in time for every gig. I
remembered that he liked Zaragoza very much: ‘mooie
palmboombies enzo, ja, dat vink wel mooi’. He was awesome:
glad he came along and took care of us!
Upon arrival in Zaragoza after a 5 hour drive, because our driver
needed to eat in some place along the highway, we were greeted
on the streets by a nerves man wearing a Pierced Arrows shirt. He
turned out to be Koko, the man behind VINYL JUNKIE REKKIDS.
H: He was unbelievable, what a good man! He paid everything for
us. He was too kind. In the beginning he worked a little on my
nerve by text messaging me every ten minutes where we were
(we were much too late…). But in the end I understand: we came
in quarter past nine. Did the soundcheck, went to eat (mostly
drinking) something and than the owner of the club ordered us to
start playing (that was ten a clock, now I understand the hurry). So
I barely ate anything yet and I find myself back on stage again
drinkin’. Doesn’t matter, that’s being on the road I guess. Damn
what a night it was! Ending the show on the ground, soloing
through Cryin’ At My Door for the second time ‘cause of the single
presentation, people filling me up with beer and than some more
beer. Later on we went to another club which I can’t remember. It
was too ‘gezellig’. I paid for that the next morning.
D: Koko was amazing... I think it was the first show he organized,
because when we arrived at the club, and hour and a half too late,
he was out on the streets looking for us... Before the show he took
us out to dinner, where I had the best vegetarian food in Spain
ever. Koko took good care of us.
P: Koko is the man, he made sure we came nothing short and also
took care of our friends, who came along.
Through the simple use of myspace De Keefmen had ended up on
his label, “just sent me some songs Im sure I´ll like them” is what
he had told them. and now they were in Zaragoza, playing the
KEZKA bar, a small bar reminiscent of their local hang out in
Meppel, but then with some good rocknroll music.
P: It seemed more like a 50's rock&roll bar, but it was the perfect
place for us.
D: For a second I thought we were at the headquarters of the local
Elvis fanclub… It was a small bar, with a small stage in the corner,
lots of fifties looking people and girls talking about Genk Wieljems.
P: The show was wild again and the Zaragozians know how to
make a fun party.
H: It looked more rockabilly-like or something. But that didn’t keep
the crowd from going all the way during our show. In the end I
liked this show the best, damn it was so fucking special,
presenting your 7" too a bunch of insane wild Spaniards and of
course meeting up with Koko who I’d been contacting for over a
year through mail, he looked so good wearing that big orange
An early concert doesn´t mean an early night. While I was
improving my Spanish, after the weekend I had a sore throat of
speaking it, and selling a lot of records I could witness De
Keefmen drinking and talking and to no ones surprise we ended
up in a local disco. Fortunately Koko had arranged a perfect hotel
for De Keefmen were everybody could sleep it off, or at least that´s
what I thought.
D: I didn’t feel too good, but Henri looked like shit. Koko was
waiting for us downstairs in the lobby, but we only discovered him
later. He apologized for his English, told us to wait a second,
ordered a beer and two greasy sausages and all of a sudden his
English approved again. According to Koko, Henri was knocked
H: No comments. I only wanna say thanks to Peter for buying
some life saving banana’s.
There was not much time to visit anything in Zaragoza, because
we needed to go to Orihuela. We did manage to see a church,
apparently an important one, but I was already thinking of the trip.
P: It was quite a long ride, but it went pretty quick thanks to Alfred
who knows how to keep his feet on the gas.
H: It was about 7 and a half hours on the road. Alfred mentioned
that you could get ‘rare ongelukken’. But why I can’t remember.
Near Valencia he wanted to stop the car to get a pair of nice juicy
melons straight from the tree’. We initially planned to drive through
Benidorm and go for a dive in the sea. But there was no time left
for some gay swimming.
Somehow we found the place to play, La Gramola in Orihuela
near Alicante. Quite a legendary place, with a lot of groups
playing there. it might be the Pits from Spain, but a lot bigger, but
in a small place. I have no idea how big Orihuela is but it might
be like Meppel or even smaller.
P: We entered the city and saw the club from the outside and
thought 'where the hell did we end up this time?!', but once we got
inside it made more sense, cool rock&roll club and the stage
looked great, so everybody was in the right mood again.
D: La Gramola was a nice club, with annoying customers! Some
dude tried to pick a fight with me because I didn’t want to take a
picture with his wife. The club was in some backstreet, with lots of
cats and catshit everywhere… The owner was a nice dude, who
only spoke Spanish… with a nice kid who could play soccer and
‘Thunderstruck’ at the same time. For some reason most people
came in only after the show.
P: Still there were enough people to get a wild party going.
Although on the pictures I saw, we look damn beat and
H: It was great, even the customers. And of course Jesus and
Vero of Los Fusibles we’re great! Good people to hang out with.
We sold and signed many records and I even put my autograph
on a girl itself. What’s that about?
We stayed the night in some cabin in Bigastro a pueblo close to
Orihuela. This cabin was a bit difficult to find and my guess is we
got to see the whole town, before we got there, but that was not
all we saw
D: When we were driving in the car, looking for the campsite,
where we were supposed to stay in this wooden cabin, all of a
sudden some kind of procession was moving towards us from
over the hill. Alfred was looking to put the car in reverse and
everybody was freaking out! What a hell of a day!
P: It felt like a scene from a bad horror flick with hundreds of
people heading for us.
When De Keefmen arrived back at the venue to do the soundcheck
we were welcomed by Los Fusibles, well two of them.
They would do a short furious set in Low Point Drains vain, which
was a pleasant surprise.
D: In Orihuela we played with half of Los Fusibles, Jessus and
Veroína, who’s equipment we borrowed. Veronica has a nice set
of bongos. Vintage Gretch and all that jazz… They played about
15 minutes of their primitive, but pounding garage rock. Not bad
P: Great people too, they took us out for dinner that night.
Yes food very important to the Spanish, but also to De Keefmen.
P: It was good everywhere, no junk food but tasty tapas, spicy
potatoes, good red wine and beers and offcourse some schnapps
afterwards to get us in the right mood for the show! It's difficult to
explain you're vegeterian though.
D: The food was delicious. On the night of the show in Madrid,
Raul from The Fumestones took us out to a more traditional tapas
place, where local Spaniards would also eat. It was one big
bacchanal of tapas, beers and booze. There were way too many
people in the restaurant, a bunch of them belonging to the TV
Explosion, the opening band of the night. There was lots of
smoking and lots of screaming going on. It was amazing. And
before we got a chance to empty our glasses Raul made sure the
waiter put some more beers on the table. This is where our
Spanish deliriums began…
H: Oh yeah, it was very good that night!!! Very nice Spanish
peppers I remember and I had this delightful fish with potatoes.
Raul did absolutely know how to promote Spain.
And the show in Orihuela you wonder? Well just like Zaragoza
and Madrid De Keefmen took the stage and impressed. Perhaps
it was just their size, but I think it was the energetic wild & raw
performance that convinced the crowd. “Crying at my door”, “Be a
Keefmen”, “The mystery tree” and “Don´t look back” all seem to
be perfect wild savage party tunes which people didn´t seem to
get enough off.
A tour, a bit like an holiday, 3 days of playing and partying, just
what De Keefmen needed and for that matter I needed. Any
P: More free beers would be nice next time, that would safe us
some money aswell.
Are they coming back?
P: I definitely want to go back to Spain and do a slightly longer
tour, we had such a good time!
I guess they will. A week later you could still sense the adreneline
rushing through your veins thinking about the gigs. Unfortunately
they had to miss the reunion with Raul when the Fumestones
took the stage in Rotterdam, which is a big shame. Hopefully
they can make it up next time in Rotterdam at the Primitive Fest.
And after that it´s time these Keefmen work on some new
songs and get a full lenght LP out there.
P: And offcourse we'll be doing more sweaty live shows and
I´m counting on it!
In the meantime you go out there and get their great 45 “Crying at
my door” on Vinyl Junkie Rekkids and their debut 10inch on
Kuriosa, you won´t be dissapointed!