trio Phaff have been referred to as a more urgent European version of
the White Stripes. An obvious comparison to make since the only instrumentation
used in the band are guitars and drums, fronted by a male vocal (courtesy
of Bas Jacobs).
What makes them an interesting proposition is the fact they actually use
two complete drum kits, and just the one guitar. The White Stripes comparison
is still there – gutsy riffs and vocals that range from low monotone
to violent screaming and yelping. But to actually dismiss them as wannabes
is missing the point and missing out on a fantastic live experience.
The drums actually spend a lot of time duplicating each other. At times
this can be seen as a bit unnecessary (playing for playing’ sake)
– but at others it creates a crescendo that truly places Phaff as
one of the underground music industry’s most compelling live acts.
It is theatrical and visually strong, and basks in having a tribal feel
few other acts will be able to get close to. The end of the set, which
sees Bas Jacobs leave the stage and allow the drummers (the sexy Joni
Spaan and Michiel Verburgh) to create a wall of sound and rhythm that
you have to see and hear for yourselves!
Songwise they have a definite chart hit in ‘Life is great’;
plenty of primitive rock n roll moments and without going on too much
about the inevitable comparison, could be Phaff’s ‘Hotel Yorba’.
In all a band that are unique and should be grasped. Not perfect yet,
but tribal rock n’ roll with no pretensions.
Phaff have recently completed a short European tour, culminating at The
Garage in Camden. Available to buy is the vinyl 10 inch, ‘Bello
Ma Folle Questo E’ Il Mio Segreto’, on That Bam Record Company.
There is more to Holland than flamboyant 70’s football then.