ANPPunk band Fever 333 at Lowlands
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 16:30
Dissatisfaction with house prices, inflation, climate and racism. It is not only palpable, but also increasingly audible: there is more punk music. Pop venues and festivals recognize this, according to a tour of NOS op 3. The genre, which originated in the United Kingdom in the 1970s and spread all over the world, seems to be on the rise again. Also at major festivals such as Paaspop, which kicks off the season this weekend.
“We certainly have more on offer and you notice that the public also wants to see more,” says Paaspop programmer Joey Ruchtie. “For example, a band like Hang Youth. They have become a bit of the poster boys of dissatisfaction in society.” If you take a look at the program, you will see more punk acts, such as John Coffey, Bob Vylan, Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes and Nova Twins.
Why is punk so popular right now? NOS on 3 explains this in the video below:
Punk isn’t dead
NOS op 3 called about twenty venues, festivals and bands who experience the same thing. “When the world gets worse, punk gets better,” says Joël Heijda, programmer of the Tilburg pop venue 013. “Acts tackle political themes sharply. Younger acts often dare to express themselves more, they speak a younger target audience.” Programmer Dirk Baart of pop venue Ekko in Utrecht agrees: “You can certainly notice that the young generation is activist, you can see that in the music they go to. Punk is very committed and activist, which fits in well with that.”
Punk is the voice of the people, of the youth.
Booker Jeps Salfischberger
Jeps Salfischberger books punk bands for Mojo, which organizes Lowlands and Down the Rabbit Hole, among others. “You can see that the genre is back on the radar. A band like Hang Youth can be found at major festivals. Their performance at Pinkpop last year was a real success. You can see that the audience there is open to their message, which is not always light-hearted And you can also see it coming at festivals such as Lowlands and Down the Rabbit Hole.”
Lowlands features bands such as Turnstile, Yungblud, Viagra Boys and Amyl and The Sniffers; Down the Rabbit Hole includes Death Grips, Idles, The Murder Capital and Tramhaus. Salfischberger links the popularity of punk, like many other bookers we spoke to, to the present time, in which the crises seem to tumble over each other. “I think people are a bit fed up with it. Punk is the voice of the people, of the youth.”
Striking: a lot of new punk music is being listened to. NOS op 3 analyzed more than 800 Spotify playlists with punk music, with a total of about 89,000 songs. Those playlists are full of new music, with a peak from 2020, the corona year.
Researching all punk music is difficult. The music cannot be extracted from Spotify data based on one genre. Looking at playlists analyzes music that users themselves categorize as punk. In addition, not all punk bands put their music on Spotify, for example because they see it as part of big business, which they are against. But many bands do and that is why you can still use the data of users as an indicator.
NOS Spotify playlists contain a relatively large amount of new punk music
Bookers also recognize the image that there is a lot of new punk. They see that many bands have emerged during and after the corona period. Maurits Westerik of the Best Kept Secret festival: “During covid it was so lonely. Everyone was alone on their laptop making music. While young people want to make music together. So you see a lot of young bands. a good single from a young Utrecht band, No Brains. So yes, it’s back. Post-covid, people want to rock, people want to be loud.”
Punk band The Covids (founded unsurprisingly in corona time, but the members have been in the world for much longer), notice that they are getting opportunities faster. Drummer Sid Bierens: “I speak to people who are slightly older than us, who are surprised how quickly we are booked. They say that when they played shows, two men showed up in a squat.” Bassist Max Vet: “You see punk bands playing on large stages at festivals these days. Ten years ago they would have played on a small stage in front of a hundred people.”
According to Westerik (Best Kept Secret), this is also due to the fact that there is more room for guitar music again: “For a while there was a tremendous rise in electronic music. Young people are now very much embracing guitar music again.”
Ruchtie van Paaspop also sees this interest: “The Dutch band John Coffey is now reuniting after years.” They stopped in 2016. “Apparently they also feel that energy. Previously it was the highest possible for a band like this to sell out Paradiso, but in December they will be in AFAS Live, their biggest show ever. When you think of punk, you quickly think of small concerts in underground venues. You couldn’t imagine such a big concert in the past.”