Shaking Godspeed



These days
it seems as if the highest achievable accomplishment for a band is to be
regarded as ‘a bit strange’.

With everybody having continuous online access to the most outrageous modes of
human expression, you would expect a rock band from Holland with a fairly
traditional instrumental and sound palette to evoke the same yawns as anything
else. But whether people classify Shaking Godspeed as absurd, intriguing,
annoying or transcendentally beautiful, they will do so with absolute conviction

Touring their asses off since the release of debut album Awe (2010, winner of
multiple awards in nationwide written and broadcasted media), the group played
the biggest of festival stages to the tiniest of snack bar corners and was a
support act for Deep Purple and Wolfmother, amongst many others. The sophomore
album Hoera was received with the same amount of praise and continued their
rollercoaster ride of beautiful strangeness.

While recording their latest effort Welcome Back Wolf, Shaking Godspeed was
looking for… well, something else. Even though shape shifting from Beefheartian
punk blues via polyritmic angst ridden noise anthems to uplifting summer hits
with organ probably contributed to the first albums being met with as much
confusion as amazement, there is never a better thing than something new.

Thus on this album, the band explores Afro-Caucasian grooves in the title
track, searches for the widest of sonic gestures in tracks such as The
Lighthouse, and raises a big ol’ middle finger to musical expectations in
Future Boogie and Baby You’re So Strange (the latter one apparently written
after a good look in the mirror). Even if you perhaps find yourself looking for
a heartfelt ballad with Spaghetti Western-ingredients, it’s on there as well

But when you’ve stretched the borders for creative expression so far apart over
the years, then what can still be viewed as truly ‘strange’ for Shaking
Godspeed? Of course: a compact song with a four-on-the-floor feel, catchy
melodies, and lyrics dealing with a beautiful girl. The group’s latest single
She’s Young (‘The only love song I will ever write’, in the words of front man
Wout Kemkens) has it all, and is accompanied by a video from Parisian artist
Alice Saey. Even though very 2015-style compiled on a computer, the short movie
exists of hundreds and hundreds of hand drawn frames, made over a period of

So what’s
next for Holland’s most diversely productive collective? Next to tirelessly
continuing to spread their gospel in national and foreign music venues and
festivals, the first steps towards an –again – totally new paradigm have been
taken already. Shaking Godspeed have been asked to write the music for, and
star in, a theatre piece that will be taken in production by one of the biggest
musical theatre companies around. In their native language Dutch, that is.

A bit of a strange choice? They certainly hope so!


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