The audience of De Zwarte Ruiter seemed ready for a night of rock and roll on Saturday, 23 February. The venue was already packed while the guys of garage rock band Electric Eel Shock were still busy on their soundcheck. By day De Zwarte Ruiter is a place where you can grab a drink or have a nice meal, but during the evening the tables are put aside and it becomes clear that the elevated area is used as a stage for bands. The stage has been taken by many national and international acts since 1988.
A fixed fact is that shows take place without an entrance fee here, and that ensures that every interested person can enjoy the music freely. During the night with Electric Eel Shock the crowd was a mixture of music lovers who were curious what kind of sound the trio could blast out of the speakers. But what the audience might not be prepared for is the craziness of the band’s members.
Maybe a secret weapon, but also a hint on why Electric Eel Shock is still active after 25 years and does a world tour every year. Drummer Tomoharu removes all of his clothing and only leaves the well-known long sock in an area that might remind some of the old sock-act from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. When he takes his place behind the drums, the band starts. The gentlemen really don’t mind covers, and started with a cover of Black Sabbath to warm up the audience. Guitarist and singer Aki places the microphone stand against the wall to be able to sing into the microphone and later takes his guitar with his mouth and poses. It’s a standard move from the musician, but it creates a lot of cheering from the audience.
The well-known tracks like Bastard! and Favorite No. 9 came by during the show, but also the newer tracks like Red Devil and So Much 80s. In the meantime, everyone has worked up a sweat, including the audience. The charm of guitarist and vocalist Aki splashes off and he knows how to find people who want to photograph him or watch him at the right moment all the time. He draws attention by pointing at them or showing the peace sign. Otherwise, he’ll know how to draw attention with the remarks he makes about the band and The Hague.
Meanwhile, the drummer shows exactly what he does with that long sock and bassist Kazuto tries to reel up the crowd by waving his arms. The crowd loves it. In the meantime, De Zwarte Ruiter has been fully warmed up, literally and figuratively, and it’s time for the trio to close off the night. Even though the band manage to play one more song before the stage is cleared.
Photo: Francisca Hagen