Mick Ness

Mick Ness

Mick's first gig was in 1975 at Krasnapolski Amsterdam where he plays with his school band. After being in a band called the Erections in 1979, Mick Ness forms Mick Ness & Issue. The band rehearses and performs in a club in Amsterdam called Oktopus. The club is part of the so-called Ultra movement. In 1980 the group uses different names: Mick Ness, Mick Ness & His Issue and Mick Ness First Issue. Ness plays the guitar, sings and experiments with everything he can get his hands on. Other members include Pieter Bannenberg on drums, Eshter Apituley on sax and Marijn Wijnands on bass.

On 21 January 1981 the band plays a gig at an Ultra night in Oktopus. A track of this gig ends up on an Ultra compilation cassette tape. The group is now called Mick Ness Groepgeluid. In the autumn the LP Maakt De Rietveld Betere Muziek Dan Schilderijen ('Does The Rietveld Art School Produce Better Music Than Paintings?') is released. Ness is working on demo material for the album Leave Me Your Ears. Except for Pieter Bannenberg on percussion, Ness plays all the instruments himself. Influences include Pere Ubu and Joy Division (especially the bass lines). The fairly, high-pitched and tormented voice of Ness is also striking. Mick Ness Groepgeluid records material that later will turn up on the Tago Mago cassette tapes.

In 1982 Ness and Pieter Bannenberg (who could also be heard on Minimal Compact's debut mini LP) record material for De Ark on an 8-track recorder. Paul Bolten (brother of Theo and Cor Bolten from Mecano) is involved with the French cassette magazine Tago Mago and starts a Dutch edition of the magazine. By the end of the year the first, and also last, edition comes out shared by Mick Ness and the French group Dante's Inferno. The accompanying cassette tape includes three songs that were recorded earlier in the year. February 1983 sees the release of De Ark I Tot IX, an album that is wrapped in a cotton sack and of which only one side can be played.

Accompanied by Pieter Bannenberg's metal percussion Mick creates experimental, noise-like sound collages. The vocals are mainly Gregorian-like. Most reviews of the album are not very positive. Mick and Pieter play the material of De Ark on stage only once. Groepgeluid's live gigs are becoming less frequent. After Groepgeluid has split in 1984 Ness occasionally plays live, either solo or with other musicians under the names of the Mutant Jasz, Mick Ness Orchestra and Mr. Ness. Occasionally he plays with other musicians like Dick Polak (Mecano) and Joop van Brakel (Nasmak). As a session musician he works with people like Feargal Sharkey and Gino Vannelli. In 1989 Ness joins the Hungarian band Sexepil.

In 1998 Ness and Mecano singer Dick Polak record several demos, which are, however, never released. In 2001 by the name of Erector Set Mick Ness and Mecano singer Dirk Polak contribute the track Indoor Forest to the soundtrack album of Baby Blue, a partly English-language thriller by film director Theo van Gogh. In 2004 Mick Witkamp composes the soundtrack to the Fow Pyng Hu-directed film Paradise Girls.  (up)