I. Starting from the bottom
was found by singer and guitarist Casper Starreveld and Bassist Jan Haker who
knew each other from high school. Leadsinger Eloi Youssef and drummer Niles
Vanderberg quickly joined. They recorded their first studio album Borders in Leeds (UK) somewhere around 2007. Borders turned out to be a very big success.
Mainly because of the raspy voice of Youssef and the dark indie pop music theme
that can be heard on their first album. Kensington and their label EMI Music Netherlands got into a disagreement
about which direction they should take. So they split with their label.
That posed a
problem. With the label still holding the rights to their songs, Kensington couldn’t play them live at
the risk of being sued. They also ran out of money. This were
hard times for the band and they were considering to give up on music. But they
remained hopeful and music label Parlophone took them under their wing. That gave them a chance to start recording their second album. In
2012, Vultures was born. This album
turned out to be an international success. Vultures was awarded with album of the year by the
Dutch magazine ‘Music from NL’. With
this Kensington cleared the slate and decided to grow up.
III. International success
The success opened up a lot of doors
for the band. Hit single ‘Home Again’ dominated the charts for months. At the
same time, that same song got played on a lot of German speaking radio
stations. They got booked at one of the biggest pop music festival of Europe, Sziget, and were one of the first bands who played at the Cutting Room in Manhattan. . But
the real shock was when they received a tweet from nobody else than Coldplay.
They said that they were big fans of Kensington. The Netherlands turned out to
be a big country after all!
enough reasons to continue. After their tour with Vultures, they returned to the studio to record their third album. Rivals appeared in 2014. Just as their previous albums, this one proved to be a
raging success. Rivals also brought
something new with it. They outgrew the smaller venues and were now getting
booked at the biggest indoor arena of the country: Amsterdam’s 17K-capacity Ziggo Dome, which they sold out in just 11 hours. The extra
concert was sold out just as fast. It seemed that
nothing could bring this band down. But they did receive some warnings. Too
much of the same isn’t always a good thing. Rivals
brought a lot of new ideas but it also had some very striking similarities.
V. How about now?
Control, Kensington’s fourth and most recent studio album dating from 2016, didn’t get the critical acclaim its predecessors got. Although it delivered a few hit singles, there was a lot of criticism on how it wasn’t really innovative. That said, Kensington are now proving to be just that. With an upcoming international tour, which includes France’s Main Square Festival, Germany’s Hurricane Festival and once again the Hungarian Sziget Festival, the world is at their feet. It’s all quite a performance, seeing what they come from. They deserve their spot with this continent’s greatest and they can already be seen as one of the biggest bands The Netherlands has ever produced. We can’t wait to find out what’s next.
There’s an incredible amount of artists and bands on this planet. Sometimes they make it to the news, yet you don’t really know who they really are. ‘Coffeebreak’ to the rescue. In one cup of coffee, we give you a crash course: five keytracks with five paragraphs of explanation. After that you can safely join all coffee machine conversations.
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