The Hague: “Haagse Bluf”

DNRC091 | LP | 2021 | DELETED

A string of line-up and name changes, several major tour cancellations, one breach of international diplomatic protocol and half an aspirin were all that stood between The Hague and worldwide fame. Having formed in the old Dutch imperial capital in 2019, The Hague rapidly became well-known for their revolving line-up, a characteristic which had some music journalists reaching for comparisons with The Fall’s Mark E. Smith and his infamous predilection for firing band members. The only difference between The Hague and The Fall, of course, was that the latter at least always had Mark E. Smith in the band; whereas whenever The Hauge went through a line-up change, they would find themselves with a completely different set of members, none of who actually knew the songs. As for the name of the band itself, it went through more changes than a gypsy medley, with a string of appellations including Die Haga, Haga Colitis, La Haye, Den Haag, De Haag, ‘S Gravenhage, The Count’s Domain, Haagse Hary & Het Paard, The Haaglanders and, finally, The Hague. Discussions between several band members about changing the name to The Hagues came to nothing, as said band members had already been sacked. Unfortunately this occurred on the eve of their first major tour, supporting Waning Gibbous, and the band was forced to give up the lucrative support slot, due to the fact that no one in the band had any recollection of Waning Gibbous or their “Wax On, Wane Off” Tour. This led to one member of the band being deported for insulting a junior trade minister from Belgium. The two later reconciled and formed another group, Benelux. In the end, The Hague disbanded early one Saturday morning in May, after a long and harrowing ‘truth’ session involving obscene amounts of alcohol and only one packet of aspirin between all seventeen surviving members. After the first sixteen had had their dose (one half of a tablet), the seventeenth (whose name is no longer necessary) pulled the plug on a trademark electric grenade he had hidden deep within his saxophone and the sound of the detonation could be heard as far away as Delft. No trace of the band, its live shows or its string of (patchy) releases has ever been found, until now. “Haagse Bluf” cobbles together material from early demo tapes and showcases a band still trying to work out what to call itself. While diehard fans of The Hague will be disappointed by the quality of this LP, the band’s enemies (of whom there are, naturally many) will simply be relieved to discover that it was deleted the moment of its release, in 2021.

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