Friday, 13 July 2018

Drama “Drama” 1972 + “Melodrama"2013 Dutch Prog Rock


Drama “Drama” 1972 + “Melodrama"2013 Dutch Prog Rock


Drama "Drama” 1972

I must admit, the music of Drama is more rock than progressive. On the other hand they did have progressive influences, but most of all they did have Frank van der Kloot. He was a young and brilliant guitarist which makes this band just a bit more interesting than some of the bands that were in the same space of time. 

So what about the music. The album opens with a heavy track Dreamed I was the president which has a typical seventies sound and a great guitar solo. This is followed by the superfluous blues cover I’m your hoochie cookie man. Again the guitar is good, but the more interesting tracks are the slow, early progressive No doctor and Melodrama, a song that is built up to a wonderful guitar outburst. Side B continues with the cheerful Smile or yell and the (excusez le mot) rockballad Tell the world I’m coming. One of the better tracks is the dynamic Brains or not. The album ends with acoustic guitar and wonderful flute playing, by Supersister’s Sascha van Geest. A nice early progressive effort with great guitar work. 
The bonus tracks are singles they released, which show their ability to create good melodic rock tracks. But when you listen to Mary’s mamma, it is not hard to understand why the band hated this song. It is terrible, awful and has nothing to do with the music they really make…..~

For more than a year now people have been talking and writing about the group Drama. The band comprised a number of individuals who had already made their marks in the past in several different bands: Polle Eduard (Tee Set, After Tea], Drummer fen “Shell” Schelfekens (InCrowd, Big Wheel), Ulli Grun (Boots, After Tea), and the young guitar virtuoso Frank Van Der Kloot (Bobby’s Children and soon to play on the new Barry Hay album: ‘Only Parrots, Frogs And Angels’).  

Twenty five years ago it was Harrie Knipschild, Hollands best known blues expert, who started penning his praise for the band Drama in the Veronica Television Magazine. Drama started after splitting of the band After Tea (Trio: Ulli, Shell and myself). We needed a new challenge, and with the addition of guitarist Frank Van Der Kloot we grew into a band with, what’s the word, balls. Record companies quickly became interested and we were even given studiotime without even having written anything. 

We used the studio to write and rehearse, and because we all had the same blood group, we all knew that it would only be a matter of time before the material came rolling out. Now, on the 23rd of July 1997, with the help of a dog eared scrapbook and a somewhat scanty memory, I’m trying to write a foreword for the soon to be appearing Drama CD. Initially I was pleased that this was happening, even though our friend and Drama producer Hans Van Oosterhout won’t be able to enjoy it. Hans slipped peacefully into an eternal sleep on the 4th of May 1995, but I know he would have been proud that this was happening.  

Apart from the fact that Hans was also Supers/Step’s producer, he was also responsible for a large part of the Drama sound. By this I don’t mean the sound on 'Mary’s Mama’ (produced by Peter Koelewijn). Phonogram had spent a lot of money on Drama by that time, and after the tiring creation of the album, a hit was most welcome. Koelewijn came, and Drama had themselves a hit which they subsequently refused to play live. It wasn’t particularly a “Drama” but it was quite difficult trying to explain that to irate venue owners after our gigs. We were quite often involved in hassles after our shows, but never had any trouble with our real fans who had already bought the album anyway. 

Drama came and went quite quickly. After Ulli had gone back to Germany and we’d once more become a trio, we no longer had a recording deal, and couldn’t find much work. Quite good reasons to call it a day I can’t really think of anything else to say at the moment except that this should have been a double CD with one “studio” disc and one “live1 disc to give you a good picture of what Drama were really about. Because live, without leaving a trace of modesty, we were something else. ….by Polle Eduard, July 1997….~


Musicians: 

Ton "Shell” Schellekens: Drums 
Polle Eduard: Bass guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals 
Uly Grün: Hammond organ, Mellotron, Guitar, vocals 
Frank van der Kloot: Guitar, vocals

Tracklist 
Dreamed I Was The President 
I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man 
No Doctor 
Melodrama 
Smile Or Yell 
Fell The World I’m Coming 
Brains Or Not 
Give Up And Go 
Down 
Hard To Believe 
Daddy Won’t Let Me 
Everywhere 
Mary’s Mamma



Drama “Melodrama"2013

Drama has always been one of the more captivating of those Dutch ‘one-album’-bands in the early seventies. The band, featuring band members Polle Eduard (vocals, guitars), Ulli Grün (keyboards), Shell Shellekens (drums) and Frank van der Kloot (guitars, vocals), was founded from what was left of After Tea in 1971. 
Their album Drama was recorded in the GTB Studios in The Hague with Hans van Oosterhout, who worked with Supersister and – after Drama - with the newly founded Alquin. The eight songs on the album show the wide musical interest of the band-members, culminating in a mixture of blues, post-psychedelica and dreaming westcoast-orientated songs. In 1973, just a mere 18 months after their formation, Phonogram did not continue the contract and soon Drama split up. The band never reunited, but their album got some attention in 1997 when it was issued on cd by Pseudonym Records. Now, sixteen years later, the material of Drama forms the bulk of Melodrama. A high quality 180 gram audiophile pressing featuring five tracks from the original 1972-album, which are augmented by five previously unreleased tracks. Among them is a longer version of the Frank van der Kloot-penned No Doctor.

Musicians: 

Ton "Shell” Schellekens: Drums 
Polle Eduard: Bass guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals 
Uly Grün: Hammond organ, Mellotron, Guitar, vocals 
Frank van der Kloot: Guitar, vocals
Tracks A1-3, B1, 5 from the 1972 LP Drama Tracks A4, B2-4, 6 previously unreleased demo-recordings 

Tracks: 
Dreamed I was the president (T. Schellekens) [4:49] 
I’m your hoochie cookie man (W. Dixon) [7:56] 
Melodrama (Drama) [4:33] 
Everywhere (U. Grün) [5:02] 
Brains or not (R. Eduard) [6:36] 
No doctor - part I (F. van der Kloot) [3:40] 
No doctor - part II (F. van der Kloot) [1:34] 
No doctor - part III(F. van der Kloot) [4:19] 
Give up and go (R. Eduard) [2:31] 
Lifetime (R. Eduard) [3:35] 





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