Everyone’s a critic

The Dame

‘Losing Sight of What You Want’

Release date: February 16th 2018

Label: Independent Release

 

ProgRadar

Review – The Dame – Losing Sight Of What You Want – by Progradar

With a flair for the dramatic and a talent for musical storytelling, Netherlands’ The Dame deliver neo-progressive music with more than a touch of melodrama:

“A new Dame has moved into town!

She is sensual, feminine, and smooth… that is, until the guitars start roaring.

The Dame will take you back to the romantic era of the roaring twenties. Hidden back room bars, smokey night clubs, liquor in coffee mugs… when gentlemen were stylish, and ladies were sexy chic.

Time to drink champagne and dance on the table!”

A collection of seven impressive tracks, ‘Losing Sight Of What You Want’ is the band’s debut release and is a polished and stand out album.

The theatrics are there for a reason, drawing you into the well constructed songs and setting the scene for what is almost time-travelling concept album. The soulful vocals of Marian Van Charante are beguiling and bewitching on tracks like the immersive Losing Sight Of What You Want, the epic and involving Conveniently Distant and the deliciously dark wanderings of Thy Father’s Bidding.

Stephen De Ruijter’s imposing and intense guitar playing is like the conductor’s baton, leading the rest of these superb musicians as they deliver a deeply engaging musical experience, the rhythm section of Michel Krempel (bass) and Ruben Meibergen (drums) being the powerful glue that holds everything together. Keyboard player Thijs De Ruijter’s wonderful playing is the icing on the cake.

This is neo-prog Jim but not as you know it! and in the crowded world of progressive music it takes something to stand out from the crowd and, to my ears, these mesmeric musicians are well on the way to finding it. With the eye catching packaging and clever back story, this is a CD that should be finding it into everyone’s collection.

 

Progwereld

Recensent zijn is soms helemaal niet leuk. Al jaren bespreek ik cd’s, zomaar lekker luisteren is er voor mij niet meer bij. Altijd staat de analist in me op en ga ik in gedachten al een stukje schrijven. Onlangs ontving ik ter recensie “Losing Sight Of What You Want”, de debuut-cd van de Haagse progband The Dame en dat is nou precies zo’n plaatje. Je wil lekker luisteren naar de muziek, niet te moeilijk doen en hem vooral niet onder de loep nemen. Het bandgeluid geeft daar ook alle reden toe. Toch ontkom ik er niet aan en gaat ook dit album bij recensentenbureau van der Heijde gewoon door de malle molen.

Allereerst de band. De gitaarfratsen van Stephen de Ruijter zijn buitengewoon smakelijk en de stem van Marian van Charante is helder, sensueel en gaat de wereld in zonder overbodige versiersels. De ritmetandem, bestaande uit Michel Krempel op basgitaar en Ruben Meibergen op drums, dendert lekker door met af en toe een haast postrock-achtige groove. Daar komt bij dat de invullingen van toetsenist Thijs de Ruijter, de 18-jarige zoon van gitarist Stephen, niet al te verheffend zijn maar wel subtiel in het geheel klinken. Ook is het fijn dat van Charante regelmatig voor wat ondersteunend gitaarwerk zorgt. Je zou het een Panic Room-achtig totaal kunnen noemen.

Het door crowd funding ontstane album maakt een verzorgde indruk. Er wordt een soort dvd-boekje meegeleverd met daarin een verhaal van een mysterieuze vrouw. Hierdoor komt “Losing Sight Of What You Want” in eerste instantie over als een conceptalbum maar dat is het echt niet. De teksten, die allen geschreven zijn door van Charante, hebben een behoorlijk donkere tint en gaan over haar leven in het relationele vlak. Neem maar van mij aan dat het geen joepie de poepie teksten zijn.

Dat de muziek alles behalve zwaarmoedig klinkt is dan ook een zegen en eens te meer blijkt dat de combinatie woord en muziek goud waard is. De cd telt zeven nummers en eigenlijk verdient elke track mijn aandacht. Het sprankelende openingsnummer Water Tumbles Down laat een aantal fraaie facetten van het bandgeluid horen, het is subtiel gespeeld en aangenaam gezongen met een heerlijke gitaarsolo tegen het eind. De band weet af en toe lekker van leer te trekken. Het nummer eindigt weer subtiel. Een nummer als General Disarray verdient enige kritiek. Het is best veelzijdig maar dat neemt wel met zich mee dat het ook geknutseld overkomt met zelfs een wat regionaal aandoend stuk tweekwarts maat. De compositie is naar mijn idee een toontje te laag waardoor de zang er niet zo flitsend uitkomt. Gelukkig zijn alle daarop volgende nummers stukken beter. Het slepende Faking It In Monaco, waarin van Charante me erg doet denken aan Ima van de Griekse band La Tulipe Noir, is een van mijn persoonlijke hoogtepunten. De wah-wah solo in The Last Dance laat je kwijlen als een boxer en het psychedelische tussenstuk van het geweldige titelnummer is ook al een genot voor de smaakpapillen. The Dame weet je precies te geven wat je graag hoort. Thy Father’s Bidding bevat een kinderkoor en mocht je denken dat dat iets van de nineties is, heb je het mis. Zelden heb ik een kinderkoor gehoord dat zo op z’n plaats is als hier, prachtig. Het album sluit af met een 18-minuten durende epic en wat moet ik ervan zeggen? Het in vier stukken opgedeelde nummer begint in elk geval zeer Eloy-achtig en er is weer een karrevracht aan smakelijkheden.

“Losing Sight Of What You Want” is een album vol hartstochtelijke, tijdloze muziek dat zo eerlijk is als goud. Uiteindelijk is recenseren altijd leuk.

Dick v/d Heijde

 

DPRP

The Dame – Losing Sight Of What You Want
Water Tumbles Down (7:23), General Disarray (5:33), Faking It In Monaco (7:31), The Last Dance (5:40), Losing Sight Of What You Want (11:19), Thy Father’s Bidding (5:33), Conveniently Distant (18:59)
Track List:

When this CD arrived in the post, I was at first a little sceptical of the promotional paraphernalia that came with it. Describing their music as a “Sexy version of progressive rock” the album artwork recalls 1920s nightclub decadence, which is mirrored in the elaborate packaging and accompanying booklet. Would this be a case of style over substance I wondered? Not a bit of it. This debut album from The Dame is contemporary, guitar-driven prog with memorable tunes, strong hooks, inventive arrangements and superb playing.

Fronting the band is the delectably-named Marian van Charante who provides the vocals and the lyrics. She has a very distinctive voice that adds a theatrical touch to the songs. The nearest comparison I can think of is one-time Propaganda singer Susanne Freytag.

Stephen de Ruijter is responsible for lead guitar and the music, and if you’ve never heard of this man before (which is highly likely as the band formed as recently as 2016) then mark him out as a guitar hero in waiting. From the ringing arpeggios of Water Tumbles Down, a touch of djent during General Disarray, the tasteful Gary Moore-style blues of Faking It In Monaco to the Steve Rothery-flavoured weeping lines of Conveniently Distant, he has all the bases covered.

The songs themselves are equally colourful. From the slow-burning opener, Water Tumbles Down, to the epic 19-minute closer Conveniently Distant, with its multiple twists and turns that builds to a monumental coda, there is plenty for prog aficionados to savour.

The other songs are equally praise-worthy, including the punchy General Disarray, the faded romanticism of Faking It In Monaco, with its opulent synth strings courtesy of keyboardist Thijs de Ruijter, and drummer Ruben Meibergen’s rhythmic gymnastics during The Last Dance.

The lengthy title song, Losing Sight Of What You Want, includes a lovely synth hook and an infectious chorus, whilst the astutely titled Thy Father’s Bidding uses melancholic piano, classical guitar and a children’s choir to deliver a potent message. Throughout, Michel Krempel’s bass lines are superbly sublime.

Special mention should also go to Chris Muller whose weighty production gives the album a live feel, especially the muscular drum sound. This certainly gets my vote for the best debut album of 2018.

Geoff Feakes: 8.5

 

Proggnosis

Reviewed by Marc on 16 May 2018

Dutch band The Dame has just put out an album called Losing Sight of What You Want. I would describe their music as melodic symphonic prog in a Marillion (circa Brave) sort of way, but this without even coming close to actually sounding like Marillion.

The album offers us seven tracks, most of them in the 5 to 7 minutes range but one lasts more than 11 minutes and the final one clocks at nearly 20 minutes. Even though the general mood of the album is melodic, the music does explore different genres, even flirting with metal prog at times. Lead singer Marian van Charante has a very nice voice that she never forces, but she does change its character and delivery to good effect depending of the ambiance. The album also includes quite a few instrumental parts that allow the musicians to show their chops.

I was very much impressed by The Dame. I am convinced that fans of bands like The Gathering, Mostly Autumn, Magenta, Gazpacho… will find much to enjoy with Losing Sight of What You Want, an album that can be compared in quality with what these well known bands have given us in the past.

Recommended indeed!

 

 ProfilProg

CHRONIQUE / REVIEW

THE DAME

LOOSING SIGHT OF WHAT YOU WANT

Releases information

Release date: February 16, 2018

Format: CD

Label: Auto Production / Self Released

From: Pays-Bas / Netherlands

8,0

Philippe André – May 2018

CHRONIQUE / REVIEW

CD

Tiens des petits nouveaux ! Bienvenue en direct de LA HAYE, capitale administrative du pays des tulipes, bienvenue au pays de THE DAME, quintet néerlandais qui nous propose son premier album. Un premier album “sexy”, ce sont eux qui le présentent ainsi, retour dans les romantiques années vingt, les années folles dans un maelstrom de bars et de boites de nuit enfumés, où circulaient sous le manteau l’alcool souvent frelaté, diverses substances à fumer et où c’était la fête de la lingerie sexy (on y revient).

C’est bien beau tout ça, mais quid de l’essence musicale proposée par THE DAME ?  Globalement du néo-prog mais un néo classieux et chanté par une femme, donc un peu différent de ce que nous avons l’habitude d’entendre, mon avis sur la question je dirais plutôt un opus au croisement du néo progressif et d’un rock d’obédience classique, un disque un peu trop chanté à mon gout mais vous avez l’habitude de ce leitmotiv…

A noter quand même que la tessiture vocale de Marian VAN CHARANTE, puisque c’est d’elle dont il s’agit est relativement grave pour une dame (sic), nous sommes loin de la voix céleste d’une Kate BUSH, celle  de Marian s’apparenterait plutôt à celle de Chrissie HYNDE, pour celles et ceux qui ont un jour écouté THE PRETENDERS donc une voix puissante qui a tendance à tout emporter sur son passage (je vous recommande pour preuve particulièrement le second titre “General Disarray”). Coté instruments solistes, nous avons la présence de la fratrie DE RUIJTER, Stephen à la guitare solo et Thijs aux claviers divers avec une prédominance avérée pour le piano, le premier étant beaucoup plus démonstratif que la seconde. La section rythmique composée de Michel KREMPEL à la guitare basse et de Ruben MELBERGEN à la batterie et aux percussions n’est pas particulièrement distinctive de celles que l’on rencontre habituellement avec ce type de formation, la trame musicale est présente et bien pensée c’est là l’essentiel.

L’album est assez long puisqu’il culmine à presque soixante-deux minutes ce qui fort honorable pour un premier disque. Les deux longues pièces placées respectivement en cinquième (le titre éponyme) et septième position et qui affiche onze minutes pour l’une et presque dix-neuf pour l’autre ne sont pas plus passionnantes  que le reste de l’album qui présente donc l’avantage d’être qualitativement équilibré et comme je le stipule parfois, il n’y a rien à maudire dans cette première oeuvre de THE DAME, ce qui démontre  une certaine maturité, si je devais citer un morceau un peu moins bien, ce serait l’avant dernier “Thy Father’s Bidding”, trop basique et répétitif.

Un très bon premier jet, qui suivant le succès rencontré ou non par le quintet néerlandais pourrait leur ouvrir les portes d’une plus grande reconnaissance, un opus qui a été rappelons le, auto produit ce qui n’est jamais évident pour des musiciens inconnus en dehors de leur contrée d’origine. Nous ne souhaiterons que du bon pour l’avenir de THE DAME.

 

Jerry Lucky

Band: The Damele: Losing Sight of What You Want

www.thedameband.com

Independent Release (2018)

Rating: A Refreshingly Unique and Winning Prog Style

This is the first release for the excellent new Dutch band The Dame. I love the irreverence of their name and I also like how they’ve crafted their image to play off their name and the time period it comes from. This disc features seven compositions, a full sixty-one minutes of music that is best described as smooth melodic prog in the vein of bands such as Landmarq and perhaps IQ and Panic Room. Fronted by a female vocalist and rhythm guitarist who’s vocals add a resolutely distinctive tone to the tunes, Sung in a smooth throaty fashion, Marian Van Charante imparts a wonderfully unique flair to all these songs. It was magical and seductive and won me over in just a few listens. In fact the more I listened the more I fell in love with the way she and band created their personal proggy vibe. I also liked the fact that they never fell into the “let’s just make it heavy” trap. Instead all these songs, including their eighteen minute epic closer all incorporate the “delicate and heavy” vibe together but what takes it another level is their quirky rhythmic and melody lines. The tunes are big and bold when the song needs to be and then downright cool and groovy in other spots. The one thing you can count on is that a tune rarely goes where you expect it, especially when it comes to singing the melody lines. These guys have really got it together. They all play extremely well and the fact they’ve thought about a “tone” for their musical direction says volumes about their musical commitment. Interestingly there were even a couple times where I was reminded of the British band Sailor and their “time-period thematic” style of composition. I really loved everything aboutThe Dame, they really have it all together and so I’m recommending you don’t hesitate but check them out!.

 

Pete’s Rock News and Views

The Dame are a new Progressive Rock band from The Hague in The Netherlands. They have a unique marketing style that adds a little mystery and intrigue to their craft.

In the summer of 2017, a motley crew of musicians walked into the Holland Spoor Studios in The Hague. Ranging in age from 15 to 50 and coming from very different backgrounds. In their version of progressive rock (or neoprog, as it has been called), they try to give everything a feminine touch. Not just the music, but the entire look and feel. Just a little more beauty, a little more passion and a little more sexy chic

During the course of six months, they gave their debut album everything they had and more. They killed their darlings, trimmed what needed trimming, changed what needed changing. And there it was; their very first professional recording. All lyrics written by Marian van Charante and all music by Stephen de Ruijter. Except for ‘Thy Father’s Bidding’  and ‘Water Tumbles Down’ the music for these songs were written by father and son De Ruijter.

They proudly present to you: ’Losing sight of what you want’

The Dame would say:  Let’s Misbehave!

We like to describe our music as the sexy version of progressive rock.

So are we judging books by their covers or has this band got something to add to the Progressive world? Their debut album, “Losing Sight of What You Want” can answer that for us.

Kicking off at a slow tempo, “Water Tumbles Down” subtlety introduces us to the band. What is immediately obvious is the quality drumming from Ruben Meibergen and the wonderful vocals from Marian van Charante, which are perfect for this type of music. As the song develops, so do the band as a whole. They build this track beautifully and we are treated to a band that can deliver a killer piece of work. Highlight of this great opener has to be the majestic lead solo from Stephen de Ruijter. Track Two, “General Disarray” picks up the pace a little as the rockier side of The Dame is revealed. I love the way they can transform a track and keep the listener in awe. The groove at the beginning section is played to perfection and the heavier second section is a joy. My only disappointment with “General Disarray” is the abrupt ending, I feel a longer closing instrumental section would have grabbed me more.

The guitar solo that opens “Faking It in Monaco” would have David Gilmour applauding. “Faking It in Monaco” is a real grower, It didn’t catch me on the first listen, but after a couple more, I totally get it. I love it. The track is very reminiscent of modern Marillion in sections. The anger conveyed in Marian vocals as she demands to know “When you close your eyes, do you feel like a big shot” which soon turns to pity is stunning. “The Last Dance” is another quality number, Michel Krempel plays a solid bass line alongside the progressive rhythms laid down by Ruben Meibergen. “The Last Dance” comes across as quite a sinister track.

Title Track “Losing Sight of What You Want” is an 11 minute epic, a dazzling example of how modern prog should be played. The different parts flow into each other magnificently. The track rocks, the whole band shines and we are left feeling satisfied that this is great music. I particularly like the middle part with the excellent use of talk-over effects that play as the band really get into it. This may be “just a fu**ing song” but it’s a fu**ing good one. “Thy Father’s Bidding” is quite different, almost sounding like a traditional piece of folklore. The track gets very threatening when the child’s choir joins in and the menacing vocals combine with the eerieness of the music to create something quite haunting.

Final Track and 19 minute epic, “Conveniently Distant” has it all. The band have certainly worked hard at perfecting this one. There are moments of sheer brilliance from each member as “Conveniently Distant” progresses into what can only be described as a masterpiece. Scintillating time changes, superior vocals and some exquisite keys from Thijs de Ruijter help this track grow into The Dame’s magnum opus. The influence of the likes of Marillion and early Genesis are clearly apparent. This is a true monument of a track. The 18 minutes and 59 seconds just fly by,

With “Losing Sight of What You Want” The Dame have released an album that deserves to be up there with the likes of Steven Wilson, Spock’s Beard etc. It is an album that is peppered with wonderful playing, superb vocals and some of the best Modern Prog you will discover this year.

So the answer to the question is that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, only a fool would do so. Check The Dame out for she is not only a sexy lady, she can deliver the goods too. The Dame is here and justifiably so.

 

Powerplay

 

For bookings please contact us through

Email: manuela.willems@thedameband.com

Phone: +31 6 34 75 55 64

www.thedameband.com