java soulnation // valerius


vette shit ouwe!

Literally translated as “fat shit, old man!”, it is used to express compliment of something really cool. Probably it’s like, “awesome, dude!” or something like that.
(Maarten said the expression is no longer common in the province of Noord Holland — where young lads use the expression, but some folks still occasionally use it)

For a Dutch band, Valerius are pretty awesome. I had never expected that there would be an indie rock band emerging from the Netherlands, where its pop scene was so bad that Erlend Oye once said “there were no such things as Dutch (pop) music”.

Of course it’s a completely different story if you’re talking about other (rather specific) genres, like jazz for example — where the country has talented singers like Caro Emerald and Laura Fygi, to name a few. But in pop music, the last time there was a Dutch band that went famous outside their country of origin (at least went rather famous in Indonesia) was Di-Rect, who emerged in the hype of Canadian/American pop-punk scene, like Sum 41, Good Charlotte, and Simple Plan.

So I was rather surprised to see a band that was really likely to appear in summer festivals to perform in Indonesia.

But this year’s Soulnation was not their first one. Last year they also gave a couple of performances at the so-called urban festival. And they also performed at last year’s Java Rockin’ Land, plus few more other free performances at the Erasmus Huis.

Oh dear, I really hope they are not going to be another Mike Tramp.
Or Duncan Sheik.

But things could not really get worse because they had made the biggest blunder of their entire career by performing at Dahsyat, the most awful of the cheesiest TV (music) shows, in which performers were mostly bands struggling to be famous in any possible way, soap artists trying to sing in their ugly squeaking voices, and boybands/girlgroups whose dancing was not even synchronised – let alone their voice. To make it even worse, it was hosted by annoying celebrities talking nothing but rubbish, and had live (paid) spectators who could not even dress properly for the telly.

Of course for me that was a complete shock, seeing a band that has the quality of European fresh indie rock music in that morning show.

Shocking until I found out from Maarten that in the Netherlands they were the kind of band that would perform in..

Duinrell is basically a family theme park like Jakarta’s Dunia Fantasi, and if you’re a Jakartan then you know what sort of bands perform at Dufan.

But still, I had to admit that they were a good band so I had to watch them. Plus, Maarten asked me to shout “vette shit ouwe!” at the band while they were on stage.

I finally did it on Saturday, and caught the attention of keyboardist/ guitarist/vocalist Jelte Tuinstra.

So mission accomplished.

Yes Maarten, you have taught me well 🙂


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