Halfway the Seventies the Dutch progrock formation PLACKBAND was founded with this line-up: Kees Bik (vocals, Mellotron), Ronald Brautigam (guitar and vocals), Michel van Wassem (keyboards and vocals), Albert de Keijzer (bass and Moog-pedals) and Tom van der Meulen (drums and percussion). PLACKBAND were ‘local heroes’ but gradually they became more and more known and PLACKBAND even appeared on the national Dutch radio. Unfortunately musical disputes lead to the demise in ’82. Until then they never got the opportunity to record an album, only a single entitled "Seventy Warriors/Some Party" (from ’78, nowadays a collector’s item). In 2000 PLACKBAND reunited and released in the original line-up the live-CD "The Lost Tapes", including all their best songs. Two years later PLACKBAND released the album "After The Battle" and a single entitled "Remember Forever", including the new title track and the two songs from the single "Seventy Warriors". The sound of PLACKBAND is a tribute to mid-GENESIS, very warm, melodic and with strong vocal harmonies, lush keyboards and powerful guitarwork. In 2004 singer Kees Bik was replaced by Karel Messemaker, he knew Ronald and Michel from the Dutch formation NOVEMBER, the successor of PLACKBAND. Full circle!
The live-CD "The Lost Tapes" is very mid-GENESIS inspired and is based upon strong guitar – and keyboardplay but Ronald integrates a harder-edged sound and Michel showcases at some moments his jazzy background. The compositions are pleasant with many changing climates, the lyrics often have a humoristic undertone. Critical notes concern the not optimal sound quality (but above bootleg level) and the vocals, not everybody is pleased with Kees Bik’s voice. I don’t mind about the fact that he sounds at some moments a bit powerless because I like his dramatic outbursts, it matches with the music in my opinion. The album "After The Battle" is a strong progrock album, at an almost un-Dutch professional level! After many rehearsals PLACKBAND re-recorded their best material and some new songs, including a few instrumentals. The CD showcases the skills of Ronald (beautiful twanging guitars and volume pedal along exciting fiery solos) and Michel (from sumptuous choir-Mellotron till nice synth flights and swinging clavinet), supported by the impressive Moog Taurus bass pedals and a solid rhythm-section. "After The Battle" is a real treat for the mid-GENESIS fans. In fact, this album should have been released in the late Seventies but ‘better now than never’!
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