This was published on August 1, 1983 in
"De Noord-Amsterdammer" (a local paper for Amsterdam-Noord).


It's not always the empty vessels that make the loudest sound

AMSTERDAM-NORTH. -- Fortunately they rehearse in a refurbished bank vault, because over the past two years the North-Amsterdam punk-band Mornington Crescent has not only become ten times as fast, but also twelve times as loud. "That is our goal, to become the loudest band in Amsterdam, if we are not so already," solo-guitarist Stan reports.

Punk dead? Think twice. Not only does Mornington Crescent keep this genre alive, as often happens with all sorts of bands that can not escape their childhood, but they also bring an enlivening of Punk. Perhaps this is possible because Erik (drums, --constantly producing steam from behind the drums in a very special way), Emile (guitar), Stan (guitar), Jasper (bass) and Hans (vocals) just keep doing it for fun. "We all like different kinds of music, but this music is the best for us to play, the best way to blow off steam."

It all starts rather cliche over two years ago. A couple of friends rehearse in a garage - which they have had to abandon due to the noise - a couple of gigs at schools follow and they keep enjoying it. "Even though there are hardly any places in Noord for bands to rehearse." Then their star is rising: two gigs at the Paradiso. Almost obligatory for a band in their genre to move ahead. And move ahead they do. A self-published single appeared and they hope to be gigging regularly the coming year.

In the meantime the band has had twelve different names and some 25 band members have come and gone. "The singers were either just not good enough or they didn't speak English well enough," Erik says. During the rehearsal I really wonder whether proper knowledge of the English language is actually needed.
The Frankenstein-like sound that Hans produces sounds mean, but is well intended. Unfortunately he can hardly be heard over the guitar parts. "Oh well, actually the lyrics are not that important, it's the vocal support that matters. The lyrics don't have any political content or anything. We do have one song against religion, but then you have to," Jasper quips. And Mornington Crescent, does that mean anything? Stan: "I was in England and I ended up at a subway station by that name. It just sounds good."

Rough, is a good word to describe Mornington Crescent's songs. Tight compositions with successive changes in accent and accelerations, like water in a mountain stream that is sometimes pressed through narrows to finally end in a waterfall. Time of this flow from start to end is usually not longer than about a minute and a halve, although there is a sullen song that lasts a bit longer. "Was it three verses or two?" They write their own songs, of course. "We don't copy anything, but inevitably you will use things from music you like, unintentionally. Covering songs is just not possible because our individual tastes are very different," Stan tells convincingly. The Dead Kennedys and Motorhead t-shirts illustrate his story. With a repertoire of about 25 songs it is not easy to stay original. "This is possible because all the band members write the songs. Someone suggests something and the others add to it. The lyrics then follow."

About their successful counterparts Drukwerk - other bands in Noord usually have a short life span - "We used to like them. A nice band that, especially in the beginning, made nice music. But now they have become too commercial." Jealousy or not, Mornington Crescent will not be fit for the disco for a while. But for anyone that wants to consume some cheerful decibels and blow off some steam, a Mornington Crescent gig is the king of the crop.