It’s not uncommon for rock bands to display a harder, more aggressive sound in concert than they do on record, and in the case of Dutch critical favorites Bettie Serveert, the extra muscle at this sold-out Troubadour gig added an unexpected angle to the quartet’s otherwise dreamy style.
A sense of musical abandon ruled this 100-minute performance, a slant only hinted at on the band’s two Matador releases. Guitarist Peter Visser’s endless, distorted chords and the group’s dynamic interplay gave new breadth to its intimate and mysterious songs.
Singer Carol van Dijk is the star member of Bettie Serveert (the group’s name is a backhanded nod to a Dutch tennis hero). Her delicate delivery often gives way to powerful shouts of pain and frustration in a manner both potent and charming.
Her bandmates also have a confident command of their instruments that translates into a tight and driving concert presentation.