New Band Interview: Donderag

By londonist_mark Last edited 159 months ago
New Band Interview: Donderag

Funny old thing the music biz. You're never more in than when you're out, never more up to date than when you're retro. If pop music is simply a process of reworking old standards under different banners, which it is, then everything should always be "in" which of course it isn't. There is, of course, a retro right and a retro wrong (a term we made up three seconds ago, feel free to use it in conversation). If currently retro right is early eighties post punk scratchy guitars, then retro wrong would be anything reminiscent of the early to mid nineties (unless you're The Pixies). Which to our ears places Donderdag at a disadvantage.

That is of course until you stick on the first track of their eponymous debut, Party. In a space somewhere between the noisy guitars and screams of the aforementioned Pixies and the pop harmonies of The Breeders Donderag are dishing out the beers and filling the bath with vodka jelly. With one foot still firmly on the Britpop pedal (check out the Lush style vocals provided by Bridget Hugo) and the other kicking the grungeball about their pastures are unashamedly the wrong shade of the green and all the more enjoyable for it. The Donderdag experience is very much like having all your favourite dumb fun pop moments (Hole, Blur, Radiohead to name a few) of ten years ago wrapped up in one big package and set on jump up and down with a big grin mode. We're not talking po-faced musicianship here, Donderdag are pretty much all about getting out and having FUN. And we like fun. They even name check Princess Leia and we like Princess Leia too.

We recently crept into the Marquee to catch the unfeasibly tall Nico Renson - think Guy Garvey having been stretched out - lead his merry band through a spirited set and were we not going to be at The Melvins show tomorrow night we'd have wandered down to The Water Rats for 8.30 to catch them again. If you have nothing planned we recommend you take a trip down.

Now before you take the jump to read their responses to the fiendish Londonist music questionnaire you might just want to take a listen to Party. And then you might want to enter our competition to win a copy of the Donderdag album. All you need to do is tell us what Donderdag means. We have no idea and we're not looking it up. Most inventive answer wins. Email us here at Londonist Music ( with the your answer and don't forget to put Donderdag with two ds in the subject line.

Now over the jump with you.

Band Name: Donderdag

Who's In The Band?

Nico (the Belgian), Bridget (the South African), Miles (the dude from Buckinghamshire), Ian (the Filipino-Irishman)

What Do You Do In The Real World?

Nico writes music for TV and the rest of us are involved in numerous musical projects.

Describe Your Sound To Us: Quirky Guy and Girl vocals

meets Grinding Rock!

How Did You All Get Together?

Bridget met and took in Nico on his arrival in London, who in turn met and jammed with Ian, who introduced Miles to the band.

Who Are Your Influences?

The Pixies, Blondie, QOTSA, amongst others…

What's The State Of Play With The Band At The Moment?

We’ve just finished our debut album and are promoting it playing London venues this summer.

Where Can We Hear / See You Next?

At the Waterrats on Tuesday 4th October at 8… you’re all invited at the Londonist!

What's The Big Game Plan For The Band?

Promote the album, then play some gigs in Belgium and Scandinavia, then a showcase here in November.

Who Would You Most Like To Support?

The Pixies on their upcoming gigs, or the Kaiser Chiefs…

What's Your Ultimate Label To Be On?

Any Label who’ll put us out and help us be heard!

What's the best gig you've ever been to?

The Pixies and U2.

Have You Ever Thrown A TV Out Of A Hotel Window?


Would You Like To?

No, well…maybe Bridget would.

Any Great Stories From The Road?

Yeah, on the road, Literally. Driving to a gig, a biker crashed into our front door head first at full speed. Miracously, he was fine, but the door was completely wrecked. We got to the gig without a door.

Recommend One Album To Our Readers You Don't Think They Will Have Discovered.

Songs Of The Free, by Gang of Four. A lot of this year's bands are influenced by these guys who formed in the late 70’s. Excellent post-punk rock!

Why Should Londonist Readers Go And See You?

Well, we have great songs and look pretty too. ;-0

What's Your Favourite:

Venue To Play In London? The Spitz

Venue To Go To In London? Brixton Academy

Record Store? Fopp Records

Shop (non-music)? Some of us have’nt shopped at all this year…otherwise Bridget’s in Italy right now….

Market? Spitalfields Market or Borough Market for food.

Place To People-watch? Any of the major rail stations.

Place To Chill-out? St. James’ Park

Place To Get Lashed? The East End. Bridget knows some good places…

Place For A Post-gig Kebab? (we like curries!) Tayyabs near Brick Lane rocks!

View In London? Probably Ian’s roof terrace near Tower Bridge.

Form Of Public Transport? London Buses. They’re slow but more civilised than the tube, and there’s a view.

What Advice Would You Give Ken Livingstone?

Sort out some inexpensive housing for musicians and artists. After all, we’re generating a lot of dollars and euros into the capital.

What London Place Or Thing Would You Declare A


The Donderdag studio in London Bridge!

The World Is Ending In 24 hours. How Would You Spend Your Last Day In London?

Living it up eating in the best restaurants and checking out the best gigs…(the artists obviously don’t know it’s their last 24 hours!)

Have You Ever Been Sick On The Tube?

No, but Ian’s had an epileptic fit on one of the platforms.

If You Could Sink One Part Of London Into The Sea, Which Bit Would It Be?

Tony Blair’s Ball and Chain to the US in Downing St!

Greatest Thing Ever To Come Out Of London?

Musically, the Rolling Stones.

What Advice Would You Give To Someone New To London Getting On A Night Bus For The First Time?

Make sure you stand right in front of it when hailing it, otherwise you might find it’ll just drive past you non-chalantly.

If You Could Write A Song About London What Would It Be Called And What Kind Of Song Would It Be?

Probably something like ‘Takin’ it to London’ and it’ll be a quirky rock n’ roll song.

and finally

Sum Up London In A Word... Home.

If you're a band looking to get coverage in Londonist, get in touch with the music team, after reading these handy tips on How To Get Into Londonist's Music Posts.

Last Updated 03 October 2005