Gem operates at the crossroads where Oasis and the Strokes meet. Singer Maurits (Maurice) is the kind of upstart like Liam and Julian rolled into one. He is singing songs, because he simply has to. He would die, if he wouldn’t be the singer in a rock ‘n’ roll band. What you get is songs and tons of attitude. Blimey, the way he is hammering his message home. You will find yourself waking up with various songs by Gem simultaneously in your head.
What’s more, they will keep on haunting you for days. They managed to play the ‘Libertines-in-crisis’ off the stage and subsequently became one of the bands to watch in 2004. Typically the type of band that will make lots of kids pick up a guitar and start a band of their own. ‘Hail, hail rock ‘n’ roll, kick out the gems,’ we say.
On disc the band made its first appearance on a Dutch talent sampler dubbed College Radio: Alternative Rock Songs. Well, as you can see with Gem’s debut album in your hands, this lot got signed on the spot by Excelsior Recordings, which also released the sampler. Alongside their new label mates zZz (also featured on the College Radio album), they became press darlings number 1 in the Dutch media, the traditional and new media alike.
Press coverage so far is absolutely outstanding. It looks like the Dutch are beginning to hype a band the British way. Or should we say they are finally learning how to hype in any case? In it self this accomplishment marks a historic first. Well, good for them. Wham bam, thank you Gem.