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GEM

Summary | Biography | Discography | Photos | Audio/Video

Gem

Period

2003 - current

Genre

alternative, rock

Online

Officiële website

Gem

Gem is an energetic young rock band from Utrecht. Its music is a mixture of rock 'n'roll, British punk pop and modern rock à la The Libertines and The Strokes. The group has a flying start and after several high-profile shows it records its full-length debut, which is released on ...
Full biography

Members

Maurits Westerik   zang
Arjen de Bock   toetsinstrumenten
Daniel Rose   basgitaar
Michiel Bel   gitaar
Bram Hakkens   drums
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Former members

Bas de Graaff   gitaar
Vincent Lemmen   gitaar
Ilco Slikker   drums
Jeroen Kikkert   basgitaar
Tony Van Best   drums
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Mentioned in the biography of

1993   Doc Aerobics Lobo Probe
2003   Little Things That Kill
2003   zZz
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Biography Gem

Gem is an energetic young rock band from Utrecht. Its music is a mixture of rock 'n'roll, British punk pop and modern rock à la The Libertines and The Strokes. The group has a flying start and after several high-profile shows it records its full-length debut, which is released on Excelsior Recordings.

2003

The Gem story kicks off when singer Maurits Westerik (ex-Mint) teams up with guitarist Bas de Graaff and bassist Vincent Lemmen (son of guitarist Gijs Lemmen from Dutch band Tumbleweeds). Joined by guitarist Simon Bonner and inspired by guitar bands from both the UK and the US they record their first demo in Studio Moskou in their hometown Utrecht. Tony van Best joins them on drums for the occasion. When they find out that one of their favourite bands The Libertines play the Melkweg in Amsterdam on 9 June the band sends an e-mail to the club in which they refer to two MP3's on their website. This results in an invitation to open for the Libertines. Gem plays a great gig, this in contrary to the Libertines, and Gem gets raving reviews. The band is interviewed by Internet music site 3voor12 and has also caught the attention of the Dutch Rock And Pop Institute, which is about to put together a new CD in its Unsigned series. Gem fits in perfectly with the up and coming alternative guitar groups that have been selected by the Dutch Rock And Pop Institute, Mojo Concerts and Excelsior Recordings for the CD College Radio: Alternative Rock Songs. Bassist Vincent Lemmen goes to Germany but he continues working on new songs for the band. In August he is replaced by Jeroen Kikkert. Gem, now with new drummer Ilco Slikker, goes into the studio with producer Frans Hagenaars to record two songs. As part of the Unsigned project Gem and other Dutch bands like Eleven and zZz go on a Dutch tour and play in clubs like Paradiso, Nighttown, 013 and Tivoli.

Little Things That Kill Mint Tumbleweeds zZz

2004

Gem Gem is invited to play at the Noorderslag festival in January. In the week before the gig the band features in a two-page article in national newspaper de Volkskrant. It seems like a hype is born. Record company Excelsior Recordings offers the band a contract and in order to concentrate fully on their musical career the band members quit their daytime jobs and studies. Just before the band goes into the studio to start recordings for its debut album guitarist Simon Bonner is replaced by Vincent Lemmen, who has recently returned from Germany. Gem starts recordings for Tell Me What's New, a title which singer Maurits had already used once before for the second album of his previous band Mint. The album captures the band's live sound and gets positive reviews in the Dutch music press. Gem's first gig abroad is on 10 June during goNORTH, a festival for contemporary 'cutting edge music' in Aberdeen Scotland. In the summer the band plays Dutch festivals like the Music In My Head and Metropolis. In September Gem goes on a short tour of the Netherlands with label mates zZz. Gem also plays in Germany at the Terratec Talent Truck during the Haldern Pop festival and at the PopKomm in Cologne. The song This Is Your Life can be heard in the Dutch movie De Dominee (The Vicar). Early October Gem plays at the CMJ festival in New York where they are checked out by people from the Sub Pop label (Nirvana, Afghan Whigs, Zen Guerrilla). Next is a stint at Glasgow's MusicWorks conference in October.

2005

Gem In January Gem plays at the Noorderslag music conference. Legendary German TV show Rockpallast (WDR) records the show and an interview for a broadcast at a later date. In April Haldern Pop Record releases Tell Me What's New in new artwork in Germany. A successful show in Berlin's club Franz, is followed by an extensive German tour in June hitting cities like Cologne, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Dresden, Munich, Freiburg and Frankfurt. In the summer the band is recording its second album, which is scheduled for a fall release. The track Good To Know You is featured on a TV commercial for temp agency group Randstad. Justin Billinger (ex-Doc Aerobics Lobo Probe) and Michiel Marsman are credited as songwriters. Previously they have written music for ads by Snickers, Heineken, the BBC and the tax authorities. Good To Know You is Gem's first hit single. Together with befriended The Hague-based garage rockers Spider Rico Gem releases a Christmas single on vinyl, which is only available at concerts at Ekko (Utrecht) and Rotown (Rotterdam). In December and January Gem again tours Germany extensively (10 shows).

Doc Aerobics Lobo Probe Spider Rico

2006

Gem Preceding the release of second album Escapades, Gem plays three times during the annual Noorderslag weekend in Groningen in January. The band is 'stalked' by the UK's booking agency ITB, which represents the Editors and We Are Scientists among others. A final deal is confirmed at SXSW, which showcases Gem at a European Music Office (EMO)-endorsed European night. On the release date of Escapades (February 27) the band supports the UK's number one band Arctic Monkeys at a packed Melkweg in Amsterdam. Escapades is co-produced by Excelsior staff producer Frans Hagenaars with former Daryll-Ann guitarist Anne Soldaat (at this time with Do-The-Undo). The set is more poppy than Tell Me What's New without losing its typical rock power. The ITB deal is paying off with shows at the new Barfly-sponsored The Great Escape festival in Brighton (May 20), followed by a gig at London's Water Rats Theatre (May 22), where Dylan played his first ever UK show in 1962. It also marks the place where Gem's heroes Oasis played their first London show. The Great Escape pays off too, as on May 24 the band plays at Dublin's Ambassador Theatre, supporting the Editors. Drummer Ilco Slikker plays his last show with the band on December 16 for Rockpalast in the Palladium in Cologne.

Daryll-Ann Do-The-Undo

2007

20-year old Wouter Rentema (Inna-Truth) takes over from Slikker in January. Late February guitarist Bas de Graaff announces he will leave the band. Rhythm guitarist Vincent Lemmen takes over on lead guitar and singer Maurits Westerik takes up the rhythm guitar. Westerik contributes to open air traveling theatre festival De Parade during the summer. In November Gem travels to Riga, Latvia, for a month to work on the band's third album with Welsh producer Greg Haver (Super Furry Animals, Catatonia, Manic Street Preachers).

Solo

2008

Gem's third studion album NEW is released in April. The first single from the album is the track LOOK. The band plays severals instore gigs and in May they kicks off a Dutch club tour. On 5 May Gem plays several Bevrijdingsfestivals (Freedom festivals) and in August follows the Lowlands festival. Maurits Westerik and Bong-Ra's Jason Kohnen are in Reykjavik, Iceland, between 1-10 September for a recording session for a project called In A Cabin With. Westerik is also one of the five composers on the album Freeland which comes with a novel called Vreeland written by Dutch author and rock journalist Jerry Goossens. The songs on the album are performed by a fictive band called The Group. During an extensive autumn tour of the Netherlands in October and November the single She Said Oh Oh Oh, I Said Yeah Yeah Yeah is released.

Bong-Ra

2009

The Reykjavik sessions of Maurits Westerik and Jason Kohnen feature dark song with electronic music. The songs are released under the name The Giants Of Húsavík. Under this name the duo, dressed in monk's frocks and joined by C-Mon & Kypski's Daniel Rose and Jori Collignon, perform at the Noorderslag festival in January. Gem celebrates their 5th anniversary with a compilation of four CDs featuring the band's complete work. Besides the three studio albums, GEM United includes a fourth CD featuring B-sides, acoustic versions and the previously unreleased track Rats. Late June Gem is support act for Krezip during this band's two farewell gigs at the Heineken Music Hall in December. On 4 December Gem celebrates the band's fifth anniversary in Tivoli, Utrecht. Under the title Gem United the band plays with special guests, including all members from the band's first line-up.

C-Mon & Kypski Krezip

Discography Gem

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos Gem

Audio/Video Gem

Video Gem

GEM - BLISTERS
GEM - BLISTERS
GEM - Look
GEM - Look
GEM She said oh oh oh I s...
GEM She said oh oh oh I said yeah yeah yeah
GEM - Good To Know You
GEM - Good To Know You
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GEM - BLISTERS

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