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From a bomb shelter to a world tour: Blue Crime crosses the Atlantic for the first time

By Michael Grondin
 Dutch act Blue Crime makes their Calgary debut this month. Photo: Fan Liao

Dutch act Blue Crime makes their Calgary debut this month.
Photo: Fan Liao

CALGARY — Imagine blue shimmering light reflecting off a swimming pool. The music of Amsterdam’s Blue Crime has this floating quality that dances about, and within their shoegazey ambience, heart-throbbing melodies and sporadically fierce grit, Blue Crime find solace in intimate and passion fueled live performances.

After an interrupted attempt to get a Skype conversation started between Calgary and Brooklyn, NY, three of Blue Crime’s members spoke of their excitement for touring in North America.

“We really care about the sound, but what’s important also is the atmosphere and how we connect with the people watching,” says singer Liu Mottes. “We hope that we can get to a point where we can be together on stage and feel like one. We are still experimenting with that to see what works and what doesn’t.”

“Continuity and flow are also important for our shows. We’re not the kind of band that plays a song and chats, and plays a song and says something in between. Which is fine but it’s not us,” says drummer and band recording engineer Bart van Hasselt.

Blue Crime use a wide array of cosmic visuals to add to their performances as well.

“We want to create an experience where we have the audience go on the journey with us. The idea is for us to have this visually as well as musically,” says bassist Floor van Dijck. “It’s not just about the songs, but the experience.”

They were formed in a bomb shelter turned art space in Amsterdam’s Vondel Park.

“It was a shelter for when something was going to go down. That’s where everything for us came together, where the first ideas for this band started. It’s a really beautiful place,” says Mottes.

This ambitious four-piece also place a lot of emphasis in their own drive and vision, relying on a do-it-yourself approach to recording and writing.

“We all come from very different musical backgrounds and when we come together everyone has their own spice to bring to the band,” says van Dijck. “From that point, we just decided to embrace it and work really hard and find our sound and work out how we wanted to perform.”

Blue Crime will be stopping in Western Canada in early July, and they are very excited to tour through Canada and the U.S.A. “It’s the first time we’re touring on this side of the ocean,” says van Hasselt.

“We are playing some really great nights with some amazing bands,” adds Mottes.

Blue Crime perform in Calgary at Eau Claire Market on Canada Day, in Vancouver at the Biltmore Cabaret July 5th, and again in Calgary at Nite Owl on July 7th.

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