Pete’s Rock News and Views
The Dame are a new Progressive Rock band from The Hague in The Netherlands. They have a unique marketing style that adds a little mystery and intrigue to their craft.
In the summer of 2017, a motley crew of musicians walked into the Holland Spoor Studios in The Hague. Ranging in age from 15 to 50 and coming from very different backgrounds. In their version of progressive rock (or neoprog, as it has been called), they try to give everything a feminine touch. Not just the music, but the entire look and feel. Just a little more beauty, a little more passion and a little more sexy chic
During the course of six months, they gave their debut album everything they had and more. They killed their darlings, trimmed what needed trimming, changed what needed changing. And there it was; their very first professional recording. All lyrics written by Marian van Charante and all music by Stephen de Ruijter. Except for ‘Thy Father’s Bidding’ and ‘Water Tumbles Down’ the music for these songs were written by father and son De Ruijter.
They proudly present to you: ’Losing sight of what you want’
The Dame would say: Let’s Misbehave!
We like to describe our music as the sexy version of progressive rock.
So are we judging books by their covers or has this band got something to add to the Progressive world? Their debut album, “Losing Sight of What You Want” can answer that for us.
Kicking off at a slow tempo, “Water Tumbles Down” subtlety introduces us to the band. What is immediately obvious is the quality drumming from Ruben Meibergen and the wonderful vocals from Marian van Charante, which are perfect for this type of music. As the song develops, so do the band as a whole. They build this track beautifully and we are treated to a band that can deliver a killer piece of work. Highlight of this great opener has to be the majestic lead solo from Stephen de Ruijter. Track Two, “General Disarray” picks up the pace a little as the rockier side of The Dame is revealed. I love the way they can transform a track and keep the listener in awe. The groove at the beginning section is played to perfection and the heavier second section is a joy. My only disappointment with “General Disarray” is the abrupt ending, I feel a longer closing instrumental section would have grabbed me more.
The guitar solo that opens “Faking It in Monaco” would have David Gilmour applauding. “Faking It in Monaco” is a real grower, It didn’t catch me on the first listen, but after a couple more, I totally get it. I love it. The track is very reminiscent of modern Marillion in sections. The anger conveyed in Marian vocals as she demands to know “When you close your eyes, do you feel like a big shot” which soon turns to pity is stunning. “The Last Dance” is another quality number, Michel Krempel plays a solid bass line alongside the progressive rhythms laid down by Ruben Meibergen. “The Last Dance” comes across as quite a sinister track.
Title Track “Losing Sight of What You Want” is an 11 minute epic, a dazzling example of how modern prog should be played. The different parts flow into each other magnificently. The track rocks, the whole band shines and we are left feeling satisfied that this is great music. I particularly like the middle part with the excellent use of talk-over effects that play as the band really get into it. This may be “just a fu**ing song” but it’s a fu**ing good one. “Thy Father’s Bidding” is quite different, almost sounding like a traditional piece of folklore. The track gets very threatening when the child’s choir joins in and the menacing vocals combine with the eerieness of the music to create something quite haunting.
Final Track and 19 minute epic, “Conveniently Distant” has it all. The band have certainly worked hard at perfecting this one. There are moments of sheer brilliance from each member as “Conveniently Distant” progresses into what can only be described as a masterpiece. Scintillating time changes, superior vocals and some exquisite keys from Thijs de Ruijter help this track grow into The Dame’s magnum opus. The influence of the likes of Marillion and early Genesis are clearly apparent. This is a true monument of a track. The 18 minutes and 59 seconds just fly by,
With “Losing Sight of What You Want” The Dame have released an album that deserves to be up there with the likes of Steven Wilson, Spock’s Beard etc. It is an album that is peppered with wonderful playing, superb vocals and some of the best Modern Prog you will discover this year.
So the answer to the question is that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, only a fool would do so. Check The Dame out for she is not only a sexy lady, she can deliver the goods too. The Dame is here and justifiably so.