Jane Spleen at Rataplan
Last week the opportunity arose to check out Jane Spleen, an upcoming Antwerp band releasing their debut album at Rataplan vzw. All I had to do was saddle my loyal Panda to join me on my next adventure and off I went.
Our destination this time was Rataplan in Borgerhout. In case this name doesn't ring a bell for some of you. Rataplan is a cultural valhalla for arts, music and theater. Located in an outer corner of the city, it might not seem like an ideal location. But as stated in their mission statement, it's purpose is to surmount borders. No matter your skin color, age, financial background or political preference; Rataplan is a safe house where everyone with a heartfelt passion for art is welcome. Be it on stage or in front of it.
This message gets conveyed splendidly through the entire being of this cultural outpost. From the moment my plus one and I walked through the door, we get overwhelmed by a very familiar and welcoming feel. After passing the ticket counter we're taking this upstairs where I'm hoping to get lucky and reach first -cultural- base. (which is of course getting a drink) The amicable bartender makes sure this happens and for the record, we're talking so-amicable-I-want-to-tell-my-lifestory-and-cry-on-your-oprah-shoulders kind of amicable. Anyway, my hipster Casio watch tells me time passes by fast and it is time to advance to second base, the concert.
Jane Spleen: debut album
Jane Spleen starts off their set with ‘I Wanna Know’, a bluesy opener to get the audience moving. They show exactly that kind of enthusiasm and energy I love in local bands playing at home. This energetic feel flows on until mid-set when we get an extremely graceful ‘Sofia’, a song dedicated to the daughters of singer Oljana and guitarist Koen.
From here on out the lead singer’s voice effectively starts taking control over the audience. Even more so during ‘somebody else’, Oljana’s voice shows enough maturity and character to captivate the room in a dreamy atmosphere. The already intimate concert hall gets filled with soul vibes and the fans dig it. To close off the set, our lively seven headed group brings us more than decent rock with ‘Waiting For What’. Being my personal favorite of the evening, I could not stop applauding and it seems I was not alone in my motoric compulsion. A splendid finale.
Avoir le spleen or having the blues... The band’s signature phrase suits them perfectly as I easily entered third base after the concert; leaving Rataplan with a heavy heart and reminiscing their music for the entire night and probably many nights to follow. Jane spleen, when you guys get world-famous I’ll be proud to say "hey I went to their concerts before it was cool".
Text by Kevin Lau
Pics by Kevin lau