Progressive rock didn't 'just happen' in the seventies. The first signs of more adventurous music were evident in the late sixties, when psychedelic rock became fashionable. Only few of these bands actually made an album, like Group 1850 did. Most of them just made one single. But since there are some classic examples of fine progressive rock emerging, they can't be left unnoticed. On this page you can read about some of the greatest fuzzy, spacey singles form dutch psych bands.
Bag was a band from Amsterdam. In it were Leo
Schelvis, who had played in Graaf X And Klimax and
Moon Spinner, Michel Krijnen, Richard Kho and Arthur
Mesritz. The band only existed for three months and produced one single on Flame. "BAG" is derived from the term "bagism", a form of art created by Yoko Ono before she met John Lennon.
Schelvis would later play in Haddock and Perch. Kho has died.
Watch "Trip dream" at Youtube.
Recorded at Farm studios, Baambrugge.
Flame FL004 (1969)
Pseudonym VP99.020 (2011)
Especially Trip Dream is an excellent composition with fantastic guitarplay, that could have been on de first Pink Floyd LP without problems.
The brothers Rudy and Tonny de Queljoe moved from Ambon to the Netherlands in 1951. They played in several bands like Johnny and the Blue Jeans, The Sharks, Dragonfly. In the latter band the brothers played together and the singer was Johhny Caljouw. Due to animosity the three started a new formation: The Beat Five. The name however was soon changed to Group '69 Sect. Other members of thsi band were Huib Power (drums) and Carlos van den Berg (guitar). When Hans Verhagen became their manager, they changed their name to Dragonfly.
The music they played was inspired by The Doors, Jimi Hendrix and Moby Grape. They release two singles in 1968: "Celestial dreams / Desert of Almond" (Philips JF333927) and "Celestial empire / Prince of Amboyna" (Philips JF334536). They toured in the Netherlands, but also in England in clubs like The Speakeasy and Middle Earth. The band finally ended after they broke up with their manager, who as a reaction cancelled al their remaining gigs. leaving them out of work. Caljouw joined Machine, de Queljoe brohters would play in several bands like Brainbox. In 1977 John and Rudi tried to revive the band, but this attempt failed. After that Rudi played in Vitesse and Masada. Tony passed away several years ago.
Track 1 and 2 produced by Hans Verhagen, track 3 and 4 produced by John Schuursma.
As you can see from the cover art, Dragonfly was the first home of Peter Criss, drummer from Kiss. Wait, no. Scratch that. Here we have a talented group of Dutch guys who called themselves Dragonfly who managed a 1968 released but never got to record more than an EP. It's too bad because this is a damn fine EP with great psychedelic hooks and a touch of experimentation that shows some real promise.
"Celestial Dreams" actually packs several innovations into its four minutes. Along with a fine, almost psych-folk vocal we get an awesome jazzy rhythm section, a touch of Hendrix-type lead guitars, and some odd noises which sound halfway between the three-way of analog synths, strings, and horns swooping through the background. Then with the similarly titled "Celestial Empire," the band lunges into full-tilt fuzzed out garage psych. That's a lot of genres for one side of an EP.
The second side includes a few lighter rockers that show no drop in quality with "Desert Of Almond" and "Prince Of Amboyna." Maybe these guys were going for concept albums in miniature. These last couple tracks make me think of early Caravan a little bit as they are also psych pop with a touch of jazz rhythms thrown it. Distinctively different is once again the guitarist, who is one of the best Hendrix imitators that I've come across. It almost makes me think that the man himself may have dropped in on these sessions. Almost.
You'll thirst for more after you give this a listen, but we've got to get what we can. These guys are ripe for one of those compilations that dredge up long forgotten studio demos and/or live tracks if such a thing exists.
Sound of Imker originates from Assen, were they started in the spring of 1968. They play several gigs in the Netherlands, but also in Germany and Danmark. Record company Phonogram wants them to record a single in 1969. The a-side, "Train of doomsday", is about the destruction of the earth. The single was however never available in the shops, because Phonogram didn't like it. Remco Imker took all the singles with him. For a short period Homan is replaced by Rein Strating. Due to financial problems the band stops. Tokkel Imker would later play in Flash and Dance Band (Herman Brood) and Roccayle. He became a drug and alcohol addict, and wandered in Assen. He died in 2001. Remco Tokkel plays in several local bands. Paul Reijters would play in Phoenix. He committed suicide sometime in the early seventies.
Watch "Train of doomsday" on Youtube.
Philips JF 334635 (1969)
Op Art 018 (1999)
Hard hitting 60s band from the northern parts of Holland. Their one and only single was pure speedy garage rock. The story goes that they were so fed up with the disappointed record company, they threw the already pressed 1000 copies in some meadow. That's the reason you will hardly find an original copy. Since there were no pictures of this band available an image from a 60s concert poster was used for the back side. One of the best singles to come out of Holland ever.
(sources: Oor Popencyclopedie, Private Dutch, Album sleeves,