De Kift emerged from the Dutch squatters' movement and the punk waves of the late 70's, early 80's around 1988 . Their punk influences include Wire, Crass and The Minutemen. Often described as an art-folk-punk band De Kift produces theatrical, yet down-to-earth poetry, set to avantgarde punk/pop music with an extensive brass section. The band is also renowned for their intruiging, creative album-art, including a wooden cigar box, origami, stickers, family photos and a t.v.-guide. Their lyrics are based on everyday Dutch rural life, the greats from Russian literature, and British authors W.
H. Auden, Samuel Beckett and William Shakespeare, among others. De Kift have become legendary to a select but very diverse audience, and have also received critical acclaim.
Their debut, vinyl LP "Yverzucht" was released in 1989. Soon after Maarten Oudshoorn (vocalist and writer) left the band and it took until 1993 for their second album "Krankenhaus" to come out. This album is basically a collection ofr short stories about madness and war, all from the perspective of a person on his sick-bed. Works by Wolfgang Borchert, E.M. Remarque and Jan Arends formed the basis for the lyrics.1993 through 1996 the band touredThe Netherlands, Germany and France. Their success abroad inspired a re-release of "Krankenhaus" in German.
De Kift's 1996 album "Gaaphonger": took a more theatrical turn. The inspiration for this album was Dutch explorer Willem Barentz' 16th century journey to Nova Zembla in the Arctic ocean.
De Kift's fourth album, "Vlaskoorts" (1998), is the story of a rural family in disarray, with each song presented from the perspective of one of the family members. Venedikt Jerofejev, Jan Arends, Wolfgang Borchert, Flannery O'Connor and Werner Schwab were some of the inspirators. A film adaptation, titled "De IJzeren Hond" was released in 2000.
In 2001, De Kift celebrated their 12-year anniversary. This milestone was celebrated with the presentation of their 5th full-length: "Koper". For this album the band was awarded a Silver Harp, a Dutch industry prize for, ironically, promising newcomers.
In january of 2003 the film "De Arm van Jezus", opened at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam. De Kift was responsible for the score as well as filling most of the cast. The film was nominated for a Tiger Award and at the Netherlands Film Festival was awarded the Dutch Film Critics Award.
"Vier Voor Vier", released in 2003, is an opera based on the play "Elizaveta Bam" by Russian author Daniil Kharms. The record combines De Kift's self-willed music of pots and pans, brass band horns and gnarly, scraping choral singing with two classically trained singing voices.
In 2005 two DVD's were released, one of "De IJzeren Hond" and the other of "Vier Voor Vier". That same year De Kift presented "De Kift" in Paris, France. Their selftitled CD aims especially at a French audience. In 2006 "Vier Voor Vier" became the band's North American debut, this time in an English translation.
Their next album was 7, released in 2006. The lyrics are Russian poems translated into Dutch, from poets like Pushkin, Charms, Ryzji and Blok.
Their latest album, titled Hoofdkaas, was released in 2008. It is a dark yet very humorous album in which food and eating, cooking and feeding play an important role. It is no coincidence that the album is packaged in (unique) cookbooks.
De Kift remain fully active with two generations on stage. They continue to tour throughout the European continent and even through parts of the farther east including Russian Federation. The group's creativity is relentless and they remain yet to be discovered in the sense of their importance to the contemporary musical/lyrical/political/theatrical traditions. They are unparallelled in their home country and beyond.
*Ferry Heijne: vocals, guitar, trombone, trumpet, composer
*Han Hulscher: trumpet, vocals
*Jan Heijne: trumpet
*Mathijs Houwink: bass guitar, double bass
*Patrick Votrian: trombone, tuba
*Pim Heijne: bass guitaar, guitar
*Wim ter Weele: drums/percussion, guitar
*Bert van Bommel: trombone, trumpet, euphonium
*Eddie Kagie: vocals
*Frank van den Bos: piano, accordeon, vocals
*Jacco Butter: bass guitar
*Jos Kley: vocals
*Maarten Oudshoorn: vocals
*Marcel Aartsen: trombone
*Niels de Wit: bass guitar, clarinet, guitar, saxophone
*Roeland Drost: piano
*Ron Van Velzen: bass guitar
*Werner Mazurel: trombone
*Wilf Plum: guitar, saxophone
*Willem Dam: bass guitar
*Xavier Serge Martin: vocals