Bettie Serveert at the Abbey Pub (again)

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BETTIE SERVEERT

at the Abbey Pub

Bettie Serveert is a good band on CD, even better in concert. Of course, as I mentioned in my previous Bettie Serveert concert report, lead singer Carol Van Dyk offers plenty of, um, visual distraction, but the music is also excellent… more lively, real and raw than most of the band’s studio CDs have been able to capture. Van Dyk (or is it Van Dijk? Depends on which CD you’re looking at) was performing tonight with a cold, but no one would have noticed much difference if she hadn’t mentioned it.

Guitarist Peter Visser plays with quite a spread of effects pedals laid out in front of it (and no monitors), but he uses those pdeals for fairly subtle changes in the sound of his guitar. His guitar did not brush against my head this time, though it did come close…

After playing their cover of the Bright Eyes song “Lover I Don’t Have to Love,” Van Dijk and Visser said Conor Oberst complimented them on their version after seeing them at a concert in New York. Visser laughingly recounted Oberst hugging him and calling him “brother” at their first meeting, which led Visser into a little speech about how wonderful the world would be if everyone hugged everyone else and called him brother. (You have to imagine this being said with a Dutch accent.)

Bettie Serveert closed with a teriffic version of the Velvet Underground’s “What Goes On.”

This was yet another Abbey Pub show with three opening bands, which I easily could have skipped. Not that any of them were actually bad… Just nothing that stood out too much. The singer known only as Tristen sang well, but her songs were not distinguished. Nomad Planets played good countrified ’70s-style guitar rock, and Braam … I’m not sure how to classify that band, but it did have a decent-size contigent of fans on hand.

SEE MORE PHOTOS OF BETTIE SERVEERT…

And from the archives, photos of Bettie Serveert from Feb. 12, 2005.

Bettie Serveert at the Abbey Pub

OK, I will admit up front that writing about this concert is putting my critical faculties to the test. You see, I spent the whole show looking at up at Bettie Serveert’s lead singer, Carol van Dyk, and taking photos like this.Yes, I am smitten.
But, believe me, the music was great, too. Really. What is there to say about it, though? It’s simply hard-rocking and catchy indie pop songs, sung by one very sexy gal from Holland. (The band definitely rocks harder in concert than some of the pop songs with techno touches on the new CD from Minty Fresh, Attagirl.)
Wearing Buddy Holly glasses and a cowboy hat, Peter Visser plays the kind of kind of guitar riffs that will knock you in the head. I mean that both literally and figuratively. I was standing very close to Visser (but paying considerbably more attention to van Dyk), and at one point, his guitar brushed against the top of my head. Ah, the perils of concertgoing. If I were a centimeter taller, it might have hurt, but as it was, it was just a close call. I wasn’t sure Visser even noticed what happened, but then he leaned down and apologized before leaving the stage at the end of the set.
One surprise selection on the new CD is a cover of the Bright Eyes song “Lover I Don’t Have to Love.” As they introduced it, Visser commented in his Dutch accent that he didn’t understand the title. “I’ll explain it to you later,” van Dyk promised.
SEE MORE PHOTOS… MANY MORE PHOTOS OF BETTIE SERVEERT. (I plead guilty to focusing nearly all of my photographic attention on Ms. van Dyk. Can you blame me? And how am I supposed to edit this down to a reasonable number of pictures. Sheesh…)