Breaking Barriers 2017
The second edition of Breaking Barriers, Leuven's own underground festival, is focusing on Belgian bands. In some cases this denomination is debatable, but all of them have a special connection to this country. The festival also focuses on bands that explore or even transcend the boundaries of the original punk scene.
Even in the best families there are sometimes disagreements, but after a break of six years, Red Zebra is back in business. Their live shows are an endless parade of classics, proving this band is much more than just 'I can't live in a living room'. Their lyrics are full of social criticism, but marinated in their own dark sense of humour. Their music sounds punk, but played with an overdose of talent and an innate tendency to create irresistible melodies.
This is without a doubt one of the best alternative bands this country has ever known and Het Depot is very glad to welcome this quintet back on stage for the next chapter in the story of their lives.
The Bollock Brothers
The Bollock Brothers have been active since 1980. Over the course of all those years, they have written quite a lot of classics, from their debut release 'The Bunker' to the dancefloor filler 'Horror movies'. The band is the brainchild of Jock McDonald, half Irish, half Scottish, half visionary, half master-forger. As the only constant member throughout the band's 37 year history he repeatedly managed to surround himself with the right musicians to bring his interpretation of the punk spirit to life. Many songs are reworkings of other people's work, from Serge Gainsbourg's well-known 'Harley David - son of a bitch' to 'Cyber polaroid', based on a track by the totally obscure French minimal electro band Ruth.
This edition of Breaking Barriers has been announced as a day with Belgian artists, but this descriprion increasingly fits The Bollock Brothers. Belgians now make up 40 percent of the band and it's not impossible this number will rise even more. It clearly indicates where the band feels most at home.
Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat
The band with the most bizarre name in the country, sometimes listed under the not very elegant abbreviation KTAOABC, has been around for about ten years, but for some reason they haven’t performed a lot on stages in and around Leuven.
This band sounds young, innovative and contemporary, but at the same time it’s perfectly suited for a bill featuring older bands. What KTAOABC delivers isn’t a copy, but an update of the dark atmosphere of the 80s. All ingredients are accounted for, from the inflammatory lyrics to the edgy synths and gloomy drum patterns. For many older music fans this concert will be a revelation, but actually it will just confirm that the younger generation isn’t inferior to the legends from the past.
Struggler was founded in 1979 in the most northern part of the Belgian province of Limburg and has enjoyed a well-earned cult status ever since. Their output on vinyl has remained limited to a few singles and a single album, but this year they finally released a new LP, called 'The gap'. During Breaking Barriers, the band will present their latest release, but obviously the old classics won't be omitted from the setlist.
Struggler still sounds like a bunch of desperate boys who, just like their contemporaries. De Brassers and Siglo XX, don't feel attracted by the social conventions that are imposed on all of us from early childhood. They feel more at ease outside all the standards. This hasn't made them rich, but always doing what you're told won't necesarrily make you a happy person either.
Donder, Hel & Hagel
A festival in Leuven wouldn't be complete without a band from Leuven. An underground festival wouldn't be complete without giving at least one unknown band a chance to play. As a band, Donder, Hel & Hagel is completely new, but that doesn't mean the members of this trio are new as well. During more than 20 years they have been part of various local bands like The Usual Suspets, Ulrike's Dream or Cop on Fire, just to name a few examples.
For their latest project, they have discarded the distortion pedals, fast drums and shouted vocals for electronic beats, Dutch lyrics and gloomy guitar chords that are associated more with the other bands on this bill than with their old friends in the international squatter scene. This band doesn't sound like one would expect and that's the whole point.