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Review: Dutch riot grrrl band Clitteband’s first album ‘Kattekwaad’

Young punks Clitteband released a video of their song 'Killversum Mediarat' last year. Now their first album is out!

Hailing from Hilversum town in the Netherlands, Clitteband have just released their debut album ‘Kattekwaad‘, out on 16th June.

In Dutch, ‘kat’ is ‘cat’ in English, ‘kwaad’ is ‘evil’ in English. So, a very literal translation would be ‘cat evil’. But the usual translation is ‘mischief’, as done playfully by kittens and young people. Here is the cover of a Dutch children’s book about kattekwaad: the kittens Pim and Pom having fun with wool.

Tijd voor Kattekwaad book cover

Kattekwaad is also the name of a Dutch organic beer brand!

Kattekwaad beer

Children’s book author Mies Bouhuys, the beer brand and the Hilversum punk band all give official Dutch spelling rules the middle finger. Ever since the 1996 spelling reform, law-abiding persons are supposed to write ‘kattenkwaad’ instead of kattekwaad. But many people correctly hate these 1996 spelling rules.

The band name Clitteband is a wordplay on Dutch klitteband = Velcro.

The band members are: Emmi, lead vocals and guitar, Lucy Kliphuis, drums and backing vocals, dieseldump, bass and backing vocals and Siem Bockweg, lead guitar and backing vocals. On the original ‘Killversum Mediarat‘ video and part of the album, founding guitarist Dini played.

Lucy Kliphuis and all the band created the album cover, CD booklet and other artwork. They describe themselves as: “young punks with old hearts”, and they have played with other Dutch riot grrrl bands, like Panterprint, to enthusiasic audiences. At the album launch party, Waterschade and Consensual Peggy also played.

Their songs are in Dutch, a bit unusual for Dutch punk bands. The oldest Dutch punk band Ivy Green wrote only one song in Dutch! The singer of Popgroep Kut, another band founded in the 1970s, said that all Dutch punk songs should be in Dutch. But his own band, who never recorded anything, was one of few applying that rule. Today, all songs by well-known Amsterdam band Hang Youth are in Dutch. Donder, who opened for the UK Subs in Eindhoven in 2023, sing in their Achterhoek region Dutch dialect. But the majority of Dutch punk bands now, like in the 1970s, have English language songs.

Clitteband relaxing after completing the album

There are thirteen songs on the Clitteband album:

The first one on ‘Kattekwaad‘ is a remastered version of ‘Killversum Mediarat.’ The band’s hometown Hilversum calls itself ‘Mediastad’, Media City, because many national TV and radio stations are there. The song title is a wordplay with allusions to death and rats. Its lyrics are about prejudices against punk in Hilversum: “If you don’t wear a respectable upper middle-class polo shirt and your hair is not conformistically combed, then police may consider you a public enemy.”

The next song on the album is ‘Gore Gozers‘ (Filthy Blokes). This fast song is about being harassed by sexist men. Then, the slower song, with a reggaeish rhythm, ‘Geen Gespook Vannacht‘ (No Ghostly Business Tonight).

Next, a switch to faster gear, in ‘Koningin Van Mijn Rommelkamer‘ (Queen Of My Lumberroom). Here is a live video of that song:

Then, another fast song, ‘Zijden Gordijntje‘ (Little Silk Curtain). Followed by ‘Hand In Hand Rennen‘ (Running Hand In Hand), in which there are tempo changes.

Brandstad‘ (Fire City) is about the relationship of Amsterdam to the rest of the Netherlands. ‘Roken Op Schoolterrein‘ (Smoking On The School Ground) follows. The title is a bit similar to the 1973 song ‘Smokin’ in the Boys Room‘ by Brownsville Station, later covered by Mötley Crüe. Clitteband begin this song with with an a capella intro.

Then, ‘Psychopsyched’:

Mama Ik Wil Accountant Worden‘ (Mama, I Wanna Become An Accountant), has sarcastic lines like “I need to make money to buy a car to go to work … My hobbies are neckties and leather bags”.

Sluw‘ (Sly) is one of their earliest songs. Song number twelve is ‘Voetzoeker‘ (Firecracker).

And the last, fast, song on the album is also often their last song at concerts: ‘Ich Bin Wasschmasin‘ (in German. English translation: I Am A Washing Machine).

With this album, like before at their concerts, Clitteband have proved they are an energetic, fun band, who can write varied songs. See them at one of their next gigs!

Kattekwaad‘ is uot now on Attack Records (a small label owned by the guitarist of Utrecht punk band Stachel) on streaming services and via direct message on the Clitteband Facebook page HERE

  1. Killversum Mediarat
  2. Gore Gozers
  3. Geen Gespook Vannacht
  4. Koningin Van Mijn Rommelkamer
  5. Zijden Gordijntje
  6. Hand In Hand Rennen
  7. Brandstad
  8. Roken Op Schoolterrein
  9. Psychopsyched
  10. Mama Ik Wil Accountant Worden
  11. Sluw
  12. Voetzoeker
  13. Ich Bin Wasschmasin
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