De Koer nightclub 1981 -a short history
The entrance was tucked away in a tiny alley, a stone’s throw away from the Royal Palace and Dam Square in the heart of Amsterdam. De Koer: cocktailbar, nightclub, concert venue, and a cultural breeding ground for young rebels, often functioning as a nightly doss-house for anarchistic squatters and punks. The name of the club was inspired by the Flemish word for ‘a small courtyard where the toilets are situated’.
The dance floor was populated by a mix of eclectic night owls, the colourful Mohawks of black clad punks contrasted against the sharply dressed New Wave kids, a distinguished bank manager gyrated with a pirate, dressed in the latest Vivienne Westwood couture. After their concerts in Paradiso some artists like Depeche Mode, Lydia Lunch or Blixa Bargeld from Einsturzende Neubauten could be spotted in the crowd on a Saturday night.
De Koer provided an alternative platform for innovative music in the Dutch capital. Local heroes like Mecano, Nasmak, Plus Instruments, Der Junge Hund, Neon or Soviet Sex played there, but also international groups like Allez Allez, The Thompson Twins, Theatre of Hate were invited to perform on the small stage. One of the most legendary names to perform was Blaine L. Reininger, the violin player of the cult band Tuxedomoon. After his performance he went into town, to the infamous red light district where he got robbed and attacked by a bunch of junkies. The following morning news reached the club that Blaine was in hospital with his left hand smashed to pieces, the LP ‘Broken Fingers’ released in 1982, is a silent witness of that unfortunate moment.
Some of the most memorable evenings took place during ‘De Zelfkant van de Cassette’ when guests and artists could play their own demos, poems, soundscapes or favourite tracks from cassette only. These tapes provided a perfect snapshot of the 1980s DIY scene and helped introduce a democratic scheduling, every visitor had the opportunity to contribute to the club’s music policy.
As DJ and artistic director in De Koer night club I was frequently given cassettes by fledgling bands who wanted to perform there. The way these tapes were made was sometimes really touching; demos of their own music often contained poor quality recordings of live performances, interspersed with gaps or overlapping tracks.
But some of these tapes contained demos of pieces of music that were never published or incomplete.Even John Lurie of The Lounge Lizards left a cassette with early versions of the band’s music….
Many of these bands were then still unknown and yet to be discovered by ‘real’ record companies. This later changed for Soviet Sex, Mekanik Kommando, Minny Pops and Nasmak with official releases.
I have kept this collection of demos from Amsterdam/Dutch post-punk bands because they capture the early 80s sound and offer a unique insight of the spontaneous, DIY music style of the time. To be released soon as a compilation on cassette and other media….
Eddy De Clercq
read more ‘Laat de Nacht Nooit Eindigen’
Van discothèque tot rave
Eddy De Clercq & Martijn Haas
‘Boeiend, kleurrijk en inzichtelijk: de belangrijkste dj van Nederland vertelt zijn verhaal’
– David Kleijwegt, Vrij Nederland
‘Laat de nacht nooit eindigen mag gerust als een naslagwerk gelden voor de Amsterdamse uitgaanscultuur van de jaren zeventig tot nu.’ Het Parool, 22 oktober 2015
‘Laat de Nacht Nooit Eindigen staat vol smakelijke anekdotes over hedonistische feesten, decadente clubs en de geniale dj’s, muzikanten, kunstenaars, ontwerpers en weirde types waar De Clercq zich door liet inspireren. (…) Het is knap geschreven. De Clercq slaagt erin om met prachtig beeldende taal zijn passie voor de muziek over te brengen.’ Daniël Bertina, Cultuurpersbureau