Slagerij Van Kampen is a unique phenomenon.
There are other percussion groups, but Slagerij Van Kampen surely was one of the first and no other band knows how to establish their own sound and create their own style like this Dutch group of drummers.This phenomenon originated in Willem van Kruijdijk’s brain, who started the band together with his girlfriend Mies Hilberink, and who experienced their first live performance, together with Dree van Beeck and Marjan Meijer, in 1982.
Their performances landed everywhere as a kind of bombshell, a new branch on the tree of pop music had been born. The group writes history, there are some staff changeovers, but success grows and grows. A difficult path, opposing regular music streams, but fighting upstream or not, they fought on and how!......(...)
After capturing the club circuit first, electronic equipment is bought (one of the first Dutch samplers was at SVK) and the first theatre show is a fact, everything with scenography and slideshows they made themselves. An impressive start to a new chapter, in which Slagerij Van Kampen was one of the first groups to enter the theatre, also because many club stages had become too small for the show. The audiences grew, particularly because of word-of-mouth advertising of people that had visited the show and were totally overwhelmed and when the group plays a leading role in a Dutch TV commercial for ‘Nationale Nederlanden’ their popularity knows no bounds.
Since the beginning Mies and Willem have been the driving force behind the origin of the band and the big successes that followed. They are still responsible as composers, directors and producers for the artistic ins and outs of Slagerij Van Kampen.
It was quite a blow when Mies heard in 2001, at the top of their series of successes, ( An Edison Music Award had been won and a gold cd was received for the 5th album of the group) she was no longer allowed to torture her body with the enormous drive she continuously showed on stage. When Willem also decided to end his active career the end of Slagerij Van Kampen was in sight.
It was the end of a beautiful career, it was too bad....However, some band members and technicians, as well as the management at that time revolted and wanted the band to go on. And so, after lengthy deliberation, they decided to look for new band members and Mies and Willem remained active band members as composers and producers, but they would no longer be performing on stage themselves.
They are both still active band members and the leaders of the band, even though they don’t perform anymore, they still produce and write the lion’s share of the typical music, which still plays that unique role in the world of popular music. Every year 40.000 to 50.000 enthusiastic people come to listen to Slagerij Van Kampen in theatres and at festivals and they do so for a reason: something indefinable happens, that can’t be captured in the definitions of the music industry. It’s not jazz, rock, reggae or house music, not hip-hop or classical music, but simply Slagerij Van Kampen and nothing else.
And so the success continued, an almost new face, but with the same musical impact as always. undoubtedly the most original and most exciting percussion group will keep conquering the world with their typical own idiom and performance.
It’s something you have to have experienced yourself, otherwise you’ve really missed something! A unique phenomenon indeed.