Brooklyn Funks Up Brussels – GUSTAF Show Glittering Gripping Guts In Belgium

15 November 2021

Who: Swirling 5-piece from Brooklyn
led by Riot Grrrl Lydia Gammil

Brooklyn Vegan: “There are a lot of bands making arty post-punk, but
very few who have a front person as magnetic, funny, and occasionally,
scary as GUSTAF’S Lydia Gammil.”

I was looking forward to this gig for a long time, well actually since I heard this hot hit
team for the first time with their sassy single Book and when their stunning debut album
Audio Drag For Ego Slobs – released early October – tested my stereo’s resilience I was totally sold. Imagine head-spinning Strokes riffs, dance-adrenalized B-52‘s razzmatazz and early Parquet Courts jingle-jangle jaggedness. Sounds pretty awesome, right? You betcha.

Yesterday night the 4 pumped-up Amazons and one glitter jacket boy showed their gripping guts and their funktastic swagger with a non-stop edged post-punk-disco exhibition in Brussels.

And yes, glamorous front punkette Gammil is soemthing else. She jumped on stage
with that early John Rotten stare and started sneering about her former boyfriend’s
dog, her best behavior, and spitting gibberish like “I don’t wanna ruh ruh, I don’t come
to repeat, get ready cause I won’t ruh, ruh blearghhhh”.

Meanwhile, the bassist pumps up the jam, the glitter boy produces motorik Tom Verlaine riffs, the drummer beats relentlessly and in front of me, Tarra Thiessen moves in sensual ways while hitting a series of small rattling stuff, from a cowbell to metal shakers and lots of other pit-a-pat items in between.

Here’s an idea of the Gustaf vibe…

No excuses whatsoever to not purchase their debut LP via Bandcamp…

GUSTAF: Facebook

All you need for a rattling party

(Live pics by Turn Up The Volume)

FAT WHITE FAMILY Puzzled BRUSSELS With Psychedelic Mood Swings…

FAT WHITE FAMILY – Botanique, Brussels – 12 June 2019

Turn Up The Volume! followed British desperadoes FAT WHITE FAMILY since the day his ears got perplexed by their 2014 debut LP Champagne Holocaust, a controversial piece of drug-fueled mental disorder. Since then I saw these anarchistic misfits going entirely bonkers on stage 3 times. Three unforgettable gigs. Chaotic, insane and baffling. Best fucking live band in the world I wrote back in 2016 (review here). Then key members
Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski took some time off to get clean(er) and making great stuff with other projects (The Moonlandingz and Insecure Men). Now three years and two FWF full lengths (the second was Songs For Our Mothers) later the Family is back. New album SERFS UP is as their two other LP’s half brilliant/half mediocre (meaning they made so far, a one and a 1/2 masterpiece). Yesterday they landed in Brussels to entertain
a sold out hungry club.

* Saul Adamczewski‘s mind-blowing psychedelic guitar play
was off the charts and dominated pretty much the whole concert
* The old jackhammers (like ‘I Am Mark E Smith’, ‘Tinfoil Deathstar’ and
Whitest Boy On The Beach‘) still carried the show and were the ones who
made the crowd go sickly bananas
* The set’s closer ‘Is It Raining In Your Mouth?‘ (from the debut LP) was (again)
the indisputable FUCKING INSANE KNOCKOUT HAMMER with frontman Lias
‘s vox going totally apeshit beyond normality. One day his head will
explode while screaming his brains out…

* Most of the time Saoudi‘s vocals got lost in the guitar-oriented mix.
A damn bloody sin as his voice is ESSENTIAL!
* Most of the new songs are sensuous and smooth and undermine
the feverish flow when played live. Pump them, up, cowboys!
* The new LP’s groovy killer cut ‘Feet‘ got lost in a cacophonic
mess-mix, so its hypnotic swagger got slaughtered. SHAME!

CONCLUSION: Maybe my expectations were too high but this show was half brilliant/half mediocre, half speed/half valium like their albums, but still way much better than many of the current competition. Fix the mix, drop the slow ones or pump them up and become the most challenging and dangerous band in the world again, you motherrockers!


A wall-of-Saul-psych-guitar-sound

One Fat White Family member down

Meet and greet with the stunned fans

Rest of the gang

Head of the family

Stream new album
SERFS UP! here…


(All concert pics by Turn Up The Volume!)

New York’s BODEGA Electrified Brussels With Their Riffs Charged Punk Chants…

BODEGA – Botanique Venue, Brussels – 12 February 2019

As I said before on repeat New York‘s dazzling hit-and-kick quintet BODEGA is one of
the most thrilling new bands around. They spit and sneer sharper and hookier than
their wide awake jingle jangle mentors Parquet Courts, they resonate like if Talking Heads and Tom Verlaine’s Television were rattling punks rather than exploring new wavers and they clatter as contagious as those British early 80s outsiders Delta 5 once did. Bodega‘s debut longplayer Endless Scroll, released last July, ended up as one of the best three albums of 2018 in Turn Up The Volume‘s list. A rollicking, astonishing record.

Yesterday in Brussels the New Yorkers did exactly what I expected. They turned up the heat, the audience’s adrenalin and their own uninterrupted vitality for a full hour. Nikki Belfiglio, one of the two vocalists, stole the show visually. In the middle of the stage, she hit one cymbal relentlessly with her rhythm stick while shouting and clamoring and dancing graciously all around the podium in between. Guitarist and main singer Ben Hozie is the electrical riff generator whose biting vocals cut like a Swiss knife and who turned ‘Truth
Is Not A Punishment
‘ (the 2.49 min closing track of the album) into an almost 10 minutes trance like psychedelic jam with some terrifically frenzied help from second guitarist Madison Velding-Vandam . Quite surprising as most of their songs balance around the
2-minute mark, but it worked perfectly. They played a couple of new ones that fitted in smoothly but they got everybody going ballistic with yell along crowd-pleasers ‘Name Escape’, ‘Gyrate’, How Did This Happen’ and ‘I’m Not A Cinephile‘. Wham Bam! Electrifying performance! if you never heard of this motherrockers here’s an idea of their live vibrancy…

BODEGA: Facebook

The riff generator

Thank you, Brussels



(concert pics by Turn Up The Volume!)

IT IT ANITA – Belgian Noiseniks On Their Way To New Sonic Adventures…

IT IT ANITA – Les Nuits Botanique Festival – 6 May 2018

Dedicated followers of this blog know that Turn Up The Volume‘s ears and eyes get tremendously excited when IT IT ANITA, flamboyant noise junks out of Liege, Belgium
hit the stage. Which they did yesterday on the closing night of Les Nuits Botanique Festival in Brussels. Sandwiched between metallic noise duo The Body and Danish
post-punk hype Iceage (what a disappointment) the band stuffed their 40-minute
set, except for a couple of golden hammer oldies, with new songs. First impression regarding the fresh stuff: surprising, adventurous, intriguing, trippy and compelling.
It’s quite clear that this impressive quartet doesn’t want to repeat itself all over again.
It’s not that IIAA became an arty farty avant-garde jazz combo overnight, luckily not,
but this kick-ass 4-piece definitely wants to explore new sonic areas. We will obviously
need more listens of the new material to really see/hear the whole picture, but this
gig was certainly a loud and clear signal that a fascinating fresh longplayer is waiting
in the pipeline to be released in September. Until then let’s all go berserk to brand
new, clamorous single Another Canceled Mission

Picture this.
Brussels yesterday…

Smashing energy…

On a mission

Tons of electricity

Meet and greet with the fans

Turning up the volume

IT IT ANITA: Website – Facebook – Twitter

(pics by Turn Up The volume)

Blistering Dublin Tornado FONTAINES D.C. Impressed Brussels With Smashing Performance…

FONTAINES D.C. – Les Nuits Botanique Festival, Brussels – 4 May 2018

Last March Turn Up The Volume discovered this up and strongly coming Irish gang FONTAINES D.C. with the release of their hair-risings single Chequeless Reckless.
A paranoid post-punk-punch activated by manic drums and resounding guitars while singer Grian Chatten spitting and sneering in a frenzied Mark E. Smith way, word by word, syllable by syllable. So I was pretty curious to see if these outspoken youngsters could translate their rip-roaring grit and grinta on a podium. Oh my, oh my! This mean Dublin machine rumbled, thundered and stormed like a relentless sonic tornado. They nailed it big time in a dazzling 35-minute set, getting big compliments afterwards from the two mind-splitting headliners of the night, punk madmen Idles and metallic monsters Metz. Trust me, Fontaines D.C.‘s future looks pretty ace! Their hammering in-your-face drones activate your limbs instantly while young, agitated and charismatic frontman Grian Chatten is the magnetic eye-catcher in the middle. His body language and physical looks reminded me (and many other spectators) of – YES – the late, great icon Ian Curtis . Highly intriguing and irresistibly hypnotic. I guess you get the picture by now. This is a band for the future. Tremendously exciting and cuttingly outspoken. The following two smacks will definitely convince you why I’m going totally euphoric about this gloriously explosive turbo…



Picture this

Genuine grinta and grit

Thunderous electricity


FONTAINES D.C. Facebook –Twitter

(pics by JL/Turn Up The Volume!)

Gloomy Melancholia At Its Nostalgic Best With An Eight ‘INSECURE MEN’ Orchestra In Brussels…

INSECURE MEN – Botanique, Brussels – 27 April 2018

INSECURE MEN is a new musical project formed by lifelong friends Saul Adamczewski (guitarist/songwriter for the most fascinating band in ages: Fat White Family) and Ben Romans-Hopcraft (frontman of London’s indie popsters Childhood). With both having
a variety of difficult personal experiences (hopefully) behind them the pair recorded and released a gripping don’t look back in anger longplayer. Produced by Sean Lennon (yes, the son of…) this gripping self-titled debut is to the heavy-hearted side of my ears a first-rate achievement. Gloomy melancholia at its very best. A captivating melting pot of cynicism injected stories drenched in highly affecting retro pop orchestrations. Romantic Wurlitzer tunes for 50s ballrooms with young, insecure people looking for much-needed attention on the dance floor. Something like this sweet little gem…

Last Friday the band – actually an orchestra of eight including a sultry saxophonist and
a teenage-looking pedal steel guitarist – hit Brussels. They translated, after a rather slow start, the weirdly glamorous and smoothly catchy feel of the album just perfectly onto the stage. At times this concert felt like an intimate campfire-like gathering in some dark alley of a big city with sticky sing along musings as nostalgic as the old-fashioned design of most of the band’s suits. As we all know, vulnerable and heartbreaking romanticism is timeless and ageless. The crowd, ranging from 16 to 60 years old, was into it until the very end when all present clapped and swayed along to darksome lullaby closer ‘Burried In The Bleak’ after Saul‘s hot shower in ‘Whitney Houston and I‘. It was good to see the once-troubled frontman smile again…

Hear this

INSECURE MEN: Story – Facebook – Instagram

Picture this

Insecure frontman

Childhood echoes

Smooth sax

Ballroom nostalgia


(concert pics by JL/Turn Up The Volume!)

EZRA FURMAN Enkindles Brussels – From Gripping Turmoil To Euphoric Rock ‘N’ Roll Exhilaration…

EZRA FURMAN – Botanique, Brussels – 14 February 2018

From depressing parking lots to captivating singer/songwriter/performer
From losing his innocence to a boy named Vincent to ‘us vs the world’ feel
From driving down to L.A. to playing a sold out show in Brussels last night
From peeling an orange every morning to sucking the blood from a wound
From covering the wonderful Kate Bush to playing ardent Chuck Berry riffs
From psalms to transangelic exodus on four wheels, to loving you so bad…

From the great unknown to the rockabilly of tell em all to go to hell…

From loving/hating Valentine’s Day to the Queen of Hearts

From a beach house to an adoring, crouched audience…

From a dog day to a restless year

From fear to queer, from a dream to a scream

Here’s the whole set reproduced on Spotify
(except for ‘Kate Bush’ cover of ‘Hounds Of Love’)


EZRA FURMAN: Website – Facebook – Twitter

New album TRANSANGELIC EXODUS out now – available on iTunes

(all concert pics by JL/Turn Up The Volume!)

Legend PETER PERRETT Enchants Brussels With Touching Love Songs And Electrifying Passion…

PETER PERRETT – Botanique, Brussels – 17 November 2017

Despite the fact that British legends THE ONLY ONES emerged in the explosive, but quite short era of punk and new wave their characteristic, amplified power guitar pop brilliance
hadn’t much to do with the revolutionary DIY scene at the time. The London band featured bloody good, experienced musicians and with Peter Perrett, their charismatic frontman and singer/songwriter they had a troubled genius who wrote black-pitch stories about death, drugs addiction, and tormented love that hit countless souls. His dark desire for
all sorts of tragic human themes was obviously inspired/caused by his heroin abuse.
His intriguing, melancholic voice matched their dazzling, electrical melodies hauntingly perfect. The band released three albums –  Even Serpents Shine is my all time favorite – between 1976-1982 and scored a knockout classic single with ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ back in 1978…

Enough about last century. Back to the present. Last June, the now 65-year-old Perrett released his first proper solo album ‘How The West Was Won’. Simply the most touching record I heard all year. A highly affecting work of moody passion with several emotional songs about his eternal love for his wife of many years, Zena, but also gripping musings about his turbulent past and striking reflections on his current state of mind. Overall this soul-stirring longplayer is about the one and only essential drug in life: LOVE.

Yesterday the man landed in Brussels. Assisted by a splendiferous 5-piece ‘children‘ band, featuring two of his sons and two cool ladies (electric violin/keys & tambourine/keys), Perrett moved us all intensely with a striking performance for heart and soul. Of course, they played that Only Ones masterstroke but this spellbinding concert was mostly about now, about how Perrett feels today, about ‘How The West Was Won’ and that is something quite special. From amplified lullabies to mind-blowing jams led by brilliant guitarist Jamie Perrett taking the jubilant audience to an ecstatic level. And yes, the veteran’s magnetic voice is still spot on and, most remarkably, he enjoyed every single second of the entire show and looks really like a genuinely happy survivor, still highly capable of enrapturing people, off and on stage. Unlike the late Johnny Thunders once sang ‘You Can’t Put Your
Arms Around a Memory’
I’ll embrace this memorable evening forever…

Here’s the magnificent HOW THE WEST WAS WON in full…

PETER PERRETT: Website – Facebook

Guitar hero… Jamie Perrett

Belgian tambourine girl…

Mesmeric violin…

Father and son on bass..

Intimate encouter of the magical kind…


Thank you for signing my treasure, Mister Perrett…

(concert pics by JL/Turn Up The Volume!)

Red-Hot Rock And Roll Sauna With INHEAVEN in Brussels…

INHEAVEN – Botanique, Brussels – 24 October 2017

They’re young. They’re wild. They’re sexy. They rock like hell. They roll all over you. They have it all. They’re INHEAVEN. A blazing 4-piece turbo out of South-London. Their self-titled debut album is a tempestuous fireball, a blustery power plant, dealing with mixed emotions of being young today. Unquestionably, one of this year’s best long-players. All killers, no fillers. Yesterday the hefty gang invaded Brussels. Two songs in and everybody, just everybody, young and old(er) went bananas in the basement club of our capital’s historic building ‘Botanique’. Fueled by frontman James Taylor the whole place went
mental and the temperature rose drastically in less than no time. A string of massive rippers (like Baby’s Alright / Vultures / Regeneration ) alternated with some scream along mid-tempo power pop crackers (like Real Love / All There Is / Drift) turned the venue into
a steamy sauna. The unforgettable highlight of this glowing gig occurred when the band agreed to meet the fans’ begging chants and played stellar rocker ‘Treats’, with charismatic bassist Chloe Little on vocals, once again. WOW! What a tumultuous closer of this storming concert it was, as by that time I was up there on the small stage to take some pics (I know, I’m crazy) of the euphoric audience. But many followed my steps and a stage invasion was inevitable. Party time! ROCK AND ROLL! Awesome night! Unforgettable gig! Thank you, INHEAVEN…

Here’s an idea of the band’s dynamite energy on stage…

I just can’t get enough…

Their smashing debut album in full…

More concert pictures

Treat Chloe right…


There goes James…

Hell yeah…



INHEAVEN: Website – Facebook – Online Store

(all concert pics by Turn Up The Volume!)

FOXYGEN With Their 21st Century High-Energy Big Band Revue Back In Brussels…


FOXYGEN – Botanique, Brussels – Friday 24 February 2017


After touring their rock opera inspired double LP ‘…And Star Power’ back in 2014/2015, Sam France (frontman/singer) and Jonathan Rado (multi-instrumentalist), the eccentric key members of Californian’s collective FOYXGEN announced, unexpectedly, the end of the band. Weird and sad, on the other hand I felt lucky to have witnessed their spectacular live ecstasy in Brussels on that final tour. Oh yeah, on stage their exciting, eclectic cocktail of soul, pop, jazz and many other sonic vibrations from the early years of popular music leaves an impressive impact on your ears, eyes and limbs. This live performance on the American David Letterman Show at the end of 2015 will give you a perfect idea of the group’s adrenalin injected live power…

And the good news, of course, is that FOXYGEN came, suddenly out of the blue, back last October with new single America, followed, last January, by their fifth longplayer, titled HANG. A continuation of their bombastic and theatrical approach of several decades of several musical genres of the past, featuring a 40-piece orchestra. Here’s the LP in full…

And… last Friday the Big Band Revue, with some help of a steamy horn section and an extra female singer/dancer, hit Brussels again with the charismatic Sam France leading the non-stop swinging spectacle as if it was his last concert ever. The highly energetic chameleon has multiple stage persona’s. From a sort of white James Brown madman on tons of speed to a hyperkinetic snake version of young Iggy Pop while he also demonstrated his Elvis moves in between. Explosive, flashing, 24 Karat entertainment! Here some of my pics…

‘Hello Brussels’…

‘We’re here to entertain you’…

Jonathan Rado going solo…


Elvis is in town

Passionate harmonies…

Great to have you back…

FOXYGEN: Website – Facebook – Discography