ARTICLE Pepijn van den Wall Bake PictureS Laura Luikens
A day in The life of a club Any juicy club night is like a finished product, meticulously assembled, well-wrapped and presented to the clubbers as a thing of beauty. My mission? Unwrap and disassemble a very special night in Trouw. What went down behind the scenes, will I be able to get that interview? How much beer can one steal from the backstage area? This is a special report on my attempts to get my very own Almost Famous moment.
14:00 – Trouw on a rainy Monday afternoon, after a weekend filled with sunshine and festival fun. Unrelenting daylight of the palest kind shines through the windows and puts everything in a very un-club like atmosphere. I have been in clubs on strange moments, and believe me, also on Monday afternoons, but this is definitely the strangest. Everything is squeaky clean, and the only people around are some sweaty blokes trying to lift a crate on the stage. There is no music, and it smells like cleaning agent and coffee. As I said; the strangest moment. It’s another seven hours before the South African white trash rap spectacle goes down here, but already all the lights and the splendid Function One sound system are up and running. I’m wondering whether Die Antwoord’s ‘next level beats’’ are going to sound any good tonight. 15:30 – I try to find the man in charge, and it turns out his name is Lenny. A name that suits the guy in charge I think. ‘I was here since 9 this morning my friend. It’s always a day’s work to get this shit going, but when it’s done, it’s done!’ Tonights act has already arrived, but is apparently still recovering from previous gigs in their tour bus parked out back. Lenny already went outside and saw one coming out the bus. ‘He looked really rock ‘n roll. A real homeboy...’ 17:00 – I wander backstage to see whether any of the artists have arrived. This is not the case. The dressing rooms are empty. Bowls of fruit and nuts covered in household film fill the table. The fridge is giving a friendly buzz, almost inviting me to open it. I feel like a kid left alone in a room full of candy.
Which actually is the case, if your replace candy with rows of delicious looking Becks beer. I resist my budding alcoholism and close the fridge. Do you know what makes Becks so awesome? That aluminum foil around the neck. Peeling it off is a great activity while drinking. I’m telling you, somewhere in Germany, people thought of this. I continue my stroll, now joined by my partner in crime and photographer, to the dressing room belonging to the support act. We look around and take some pictures. Awesome graffiti. They have stupid Belgian Jupiler beer instead of glorious German Becks. 25 centiliters instead of 33. That must mean they’re 8 centiliters less awesome. And also, no foil to peel off! There has to be a difference I guess. I steal some chocolates and one of those totally inferior beers and we continue our shrewd raid through the backstage areas of Trouw. 17:30 – The first soundcheck begins. The sound guy is making neanderthaler-like noises into the microphone, but doing so with a totally serious and professional look on his face. It’s very hard not to find that hilarious. 20:00 – Some noises from the backstage area, apparently, our South African guests have arrived. We don’t hesitate and make our way downstairs to take some pictures and maybe even a quick word with the artists. Before we can even get close to the dressing room where I previously drooled all over their fridge, we are stopped by an extraordinary little man with a quick temper and a shapeless t-shirt. He’s got this fanatical look in his eyes. ‘No-one is allowed in this area, you have to leave!’