Bob Drake and the Exovarmints & Hala

Concert - Fri 22 September 2023
New Grounds Rotterdam
Doors → 20:00
Start → 20:30
End → 23:30

DARLINGS & DARLINGS; please be aware that this is a WORM CONCERT at the NEW GROUNDS! @ ‘s-Gravendijkwal 58-b, 3014 EE Rotterdam

About The Exovarmints:

Bob Drake:
Multi-instrumentalist/singer/lyricist and songwriter, Bob (b. 1957) started playing instruments in, and recording bands in his native rural midwest USA in the early 70’s. In 1978 he moved to Denver, where he became a noteworthy figure in the local DIY/post-punk scene. In Los Angeles between 1990-94, he worked as a freelance recording engineer, working with some of the most popular artists in rap, hip-hop, and R&B, of the early 90’s. In LA he met David Kerman, who invited him to be part of his 5UUs project, resulting in two albums and two European tours.
Relocating to France in 1994, he has engineered and produced over 400 albums by obscure/independant artists from around the globe at his studio, among others, he has recorded and performed with Peter Blegvad, Fred Frith, John Greaves, and Chris Cutler. As a solo artist, he has performed at Cardiacs’ Alphabet Business Convention in the UK, the Rock in Opposition festival in France, and scores of solo shows in the UK and France between 2016-2019. He released his first solo album in 1994, and the most recent – his 20th – in 2022.

Bob says what it’s all about:
I’ve been doing solo shows and livestreams, just myself and a guitar, since 2015. That’s a lot of fun, but recently found myself longing to get a band together, to really dig in to the music live onstage, in a whole new way, as one can only do with a group of really great, flexible, and experienced players. Dave Kerman and I hadn’t played together for many years, and both of us were wishing to do so again, but the idea of a guitar/drums/vocal duo didn’t really entice me. We needed a bassist, so Dave suggested his fellow Basel resident Marco, who eagerly accepted, so we have a solid, rockin’ little trio.

Exovarmints will be playing Bob’s somewhat unpredictable little pop tunes about planets, animals, planets and animals, bells, astronomy humor, haunted statues, geology fiction, and so on. Bob’s music is at:"

David Kerman:
Drummer /composer/ multi-instrumentalist/ lyricist, Dave Kerman (b. 1959), is best known for his work with the experimental rock groups 5uu’s, Present, Aranis, U-Totem, Motor Totemist Guild, Thinking Plague, Nimby, Ahvak and Blast.

Marco Nenniger:
Marco Nenniger (b. 1980) is a Swiss upright and electric bass player. In his twenties, he played with the Simon Spiess Trio, recording four records and touring Europe and the East, while working with other bands like Klangquadrat, Judy Birdland, Giacun, and more. Later he began working with Sandro Corbat as a cofounder of Sandro P, focusing on tunes inspired by erotic movie soundtracks from the 70s and 80s. Both were also part of the band Scratches, a dark pop band based in Basel.

About Hala:
HALA is a diverse and energetic musical spectacle – filled with unexpected twists and turns that are based on the fairytale-like compositions of vocalist and bandleader Helene Matthia, with Arno Bakker (Andy Frasco & The U.N.) on sousaphone, Jorrit Westerhof (3times7) on guitar and Gerri Jäger (Knalpot) on drums.

The band was formed in 2017 in the basement of Atelier "Il sole in cantina", Cantina Records in Groningen, which is known for its experimental journeys. They have released three EP’s: “Hala” (2018) and “Blueberry Ink” (2019) and “How Do You Do” (2022).

The music’s genre is various: from progressive rock, avant-pop and (free) improvisation to avant-garde and cabaret. You hear influences from artists such as Neneh Cherry, Nina Hagen and Acoustic Ladyland.

"Helene Richter and Hala are surprising and audacious."
(EP Recension | Rinus van der Heijden, July 2018 |

"Free improvisations transform into contagious rock rhythms and funky dance tunes."
(Concert Recension |Eddy Determeyer, June 2021 |