Bettie Serveert - Plays Venus in Furs (Brinkman, 1998)

Le mois dernier, j'avais posté l'album Squeeze du Velvet Underground, en fait le premier disque solo inégal de Doug Yule. C'est mon blog, j'assume mes choix. Pour les fans qui auraient préféré que je laisse ce cadavre dans son placard, je tente une réconciliation avec cet album live des néerlandais Bettie Serveert. Le temps d'un concert, ils reprennent le répertoire du Velvet Underground. D'autres ont eu la même idée avant eux (comme les Feelies), ces reprises n'égalent pas les originaux, et les transcendent encore moins. Pas grave, ce n'était pas le but! Le but était de passer un bon moment en rendant hommage au Velvet. Et à ce niveau, le groupe assure. Si elles ne brillent pas spécialement, ça ne veut pas dire pour autant que ces covers soient ternes!

Bettie Serveert
Plays Venus in Furs and Other Velvet Underground Songs

CD Brinkman 74 (Netherlands, 1998)

01.Beginning to See the Light
02. Stephanie Says
03. What Goes on
04. Venus in Furs
05. Sunday Morning
06. The Black Angel's Death Song
07. I Can't Stand It
08. European Son
09. Rock & Roll
10. After Hours

Note : Recorded live on 11|27|1997 at the Paradiso, Amsterdam.
Tackling a touchstone like the Velvet Underground invites comparisons that aren't flattering. Carol van Dijk's bassy alto lacks the sweetness and knowing naivete that Nico brings to her tracks ("Sunday Morning," "Stephanie Says" are tackled), nor does she quite nail Reed's dark, understated swagger. The playing is pretty reverential, and the band seems hesitant to put their own stamp on the songs. In the end, Bettie Serveert sounds too much like a competent bar cover band and doesn't add enough to the musical sensibility to be anything else. At the same time, it's understood that it'd be hard to improve on the Velvets, especially after these songs have been so imprinted on the consciousness after years of loving homage that served as the basis for large swaths of alternative rock. The band does do a better job with the longer, free-flowing, less pop pieces ("Euopean Son," "Black Angel's Death Song," and "Venus in Furs"), accurately capturing the dark hypnotic tones, thanks to Peter Visser's smoldering guitar work which complements van Dijk's own smoky vocals. Indeed, the band begins to hit their stride about midway into the live set, roaring through the rocking rave "I Can't Stand It" on to "Rock'n'Roll," and the letter-perfect, appropriate closer "Afterhours."


1 commentaire:

  1. thank you - i've been searching for this for years