In the beginning …

Plackband was formed in the mid seventies by musicians from the music scene of The Hague. However the music was in the beginning a mix out of the different music styles of these gentlemen, slowly their direction came clear: symphonic rock with influences out of the jazz rock. Later on their sound was more influenced by the legendary bands of those days like Genesis or Yes. The band got the nickname, "The Hague's Genesis"!

Because the band had no name and their sound gear was held together with "plakband" (Dutch for adhesive tape), as a joke they called themselves Plackband. Not aware at that time that this would be become their official name. It's not a name that represents the style of their music. On the other hand it shows their stubborn spirit, not influenced by trends but always choosing to go their own (and often difficult) way.

Plackband on stage

Live shows ...

The first gigs in 1977 were a little shaky, but after a while the sound became more tight and mature. As a result of the combination of their enthusiasm and a big feeling of togetherness, investments were done which were important for the future of the band. At those days the band owned the most professional sound and light gear of all the amateur bands in The Benelux. This in combination with a gigantic (yellow with blue lettering) truck. It was always a fest to see how a live show was built in those days. Led Zeppelin once owned a part of the light gear. It is funny to hear, when you ask someone about that live show of Plackband, they always speak about that in superlative terms.

The highlight of their gigs was the discovery of the band by "VARA's Popcaravaan" and "VARA's Popkrant". (VARA=Dutch radio/television station) Also two songs were recorded in 1978, which became their first EP. Those two songs were: "Seventy Warriors" and "Some Party". It's still a mystery that they never managed to release a whole album (LP). If you read the reviews of those days, they only get praised into heaven. And their shows were always sold-out. The headlines of their greatest (and maybe also saddest) review said: "Plackband the only bad thing is, they're from Holland …"

Holiday of eighteen years ...

In the end there was one record company interested in the band, but they would introduce another style (more commercial) and even introduced another singer: Martin Scheffer van the rivalling Sympho band Taurus. They tried something with the cover of "Strawberry Fields Forever". But it was never released. Singer Kees Bik was forced to leave the band, and in 1982 the band slowly died. In the years to come they tried to work on a comeback with singer Frank van de Bos. Unfortunate, or maybe fortunate this never was the case. Otherwise the never expected reunion of 2000 would not have happened.

This is what happened: All Plackband members had their own musical challenges. Ronald and Michel did the project November (together with FAF drummer Edwin Wernke), what resulted in a CD album, the little gem: "The 1st of November" and a single called "Memory" with also on it an acoustic version of Genesis-cover "The Cinema Show". Albert opened a music store, Kees became songwriter with Urban Heroes and Boom Boom Machini and John and Tom founded a recording studio: studio "Sound Design" in The Hague, which later merged with "Holland Spoor". There they found an old Revox tape with a live recording of the last gig they did on Christmas Eve 1981 at "de Paap" in The Hague. It was hidden at the top floor of the studio, which was in fact the old practice room of Plackband. Later the decision was made to release this tape in a remastered version under the name: "The Lost Tapes".

Reunion of 2000 ...

At the time that Michel and Ronald were recording "The 1st of November" (at Holland Spoor Studio's) there was more and more talking about a reunion of Plackband. While promoting the November CD, people were often telling to Ronald and Michel that they never had heard of November but they all knew Plackband. That released some nostalgic feelings. When also a Dutch prog magazine (IO pages) published an article about Plackband it became very clear to Ronald and Michel. After the failure of releasing a second November album, it happened all very quickly. After some phone calls on one and the same evening, everyone was very enthusiastic to give it a try. The reunion was a fact and "The lost tapes" were independently released.

After rehearsals for a whole year (a hell of a job) the first concert with all the original members in 18 years was held at 23 June 2000 at "de Boerderij" in Zoetermeer. It became a beautiful show, a feast, a concert, which will never be forgotten! The enthusiasm was back and the band looked fresh, more mature and relaxed then ever! Another four concerts followed and the band was thinking over the future to come. Was this it? No, the band wanted more.

Single cover "Remember Forever"   cd print "Remember Forever"

Xymphonia Records ...

So the band was looking for (yes they did) a record company! Together they made a commitment that there would be no concessions made this time and the company had to be as enthusiast about symphonic rock as they were. In the end the choice was simple: Xymphonia Records. There were four companies interested and at first glance it would be the French Musea Records. But when band members came in conversation with the earlier mentioned Xymphonia things happened very fast. This led to a very interesting cooperation. The first fruits of it will be harvested shortly. The CD-single "Remember Forever" with a complete new title track and the two remastered tracks of their first EP from 1978. In March 2002 the long awaited album "After The Battle" will be released. In April there will be a tour to promote the album.

Ronald Brautigam
(Translation out of Dutch by Douwe Fledderus)

Additionally ...

The Dutch progressive rock band Plackband does no longer exist. Recently the band made a choice to go on without the lead singer Karel Messemaker. Michel van Wassem the keyboard player took over the lead vocals. In this formation they have decided to go on in a new musical direction.

Bass guitar player Albert de Keijzer was not able to spend the necessary extra time for this change and decided to leave the band. The rest of the group Tom van der Meulen (drums), Michel van Wassem (keyboards, vocals) and Ronald Brautigam (guitar, vocals) have decided to close this chapter after 30 years and to make a new start. At first they had to search for a bass guitar player and he was found in the person of Harry den Hartog, a very talented musician, who is also a member of the rock cover band "De Rockenjagers" Harry was looking for a good progressive band to express his musical intentions. His versatility and fabulous skills will do right in PBII! The ex members of Plackband are eager to discover their new musical direction. This resulted in the start of a new formation with a new name PBII.
(news excerpt from Plackband's website)

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Note: Also have a look at our media section where you can find mp3 samples of our Xymphonia releases.