Van Kleef are music fans – who happen to play it rather well too. The band take great pleasure in choosing the right songs to play for you. Here is a little bit about them.
Emma – Lead Vocals
Vocalist and amateur percussionist, Emma, started on Spanish classical guitar – but lets not talk about that! Making the move to singing was a revelation and she, literally found her voice. A previous lead singer for originals band Ashen Sky, Emma still collaborates with the members now and then. If you’re luck, you can spot Emma at open mics or showcase events in Edinburgh and Glasgow as one half of the acoustic duo Twa’ or sometimes solo! If you’re even luckier, you can hear her belting out the lead vocals for the amazing Van Kleef, a band which Emma feels she has found her musical home!
Additionally, Emma has become quite attached to her ukulele and braves the odd solo set every now and then. She just loves to sing everything and anything and will take a crack at the majority of tunes put in front of her. Classic Emma!
Steve – Guitars and Backing Vocals
Steve has been playing guitar for as long as he can remember – that might be a long time. Steve’s first band was an obscure 70s Glam Rock band with even more obscure lyrics. Fast forward to the 90s, Steve and good friend Jon formed the now legendary Dead Parrot Society. Many more bands followed entertaining pub and party-goers all over Scotland. Steve’s calmness is stuff of legend and you’ll never see him upset, preferring just not to talk about it.
Steve’s influences Carlos Santana and Peter Green and he is a fabulous guitar player – his solos are the stuff of legend! Career highlights include playing for the closing party at The Tall Ships in Edinburgh in 1995 – that was a blast! See also loves a wedding and has more fun than is legal when we perform for happy couples!
Jim – Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals
Multi-instrumentalist Jim has a long history of playing in bands and this goes back to playing with Steve in the Dead Parrot Society. From rock n’ roll, funk, soul and blues, Jim has done it all. Equally happy on bass (electric or upright) and saxophone, Jim brings a huge amount of expertise to Van Kleef (although he can’t play both at the same time, tsk!)
But, he’s bloomin’ brilliant, keeping the bottom end tight in his instantly recognisable leather jacket and cap. Jim also lends his voice to backing vocals, ensuring that the legendary Van Kleef sound goes on and on. Genius!
Scott – Drums and Lead Vocals
Van Kleef’s rhythm chief, Scott has been playing drums since he was 11. In demand for various school bands, a few original bands followed, like the memorable Answers on a Postcard. In his youth, the aim was rock stardom but the need to earn money meant finding a proper job. Drumming then became a lifelong love.
Scott’s influences range from prog king Phil Collins, rock genius Stewart Copeland right through to jazzers like Vinnie Colaiuta and Manu Katche. Scott also plays ukulele (quite well) and bass guitar (quite badly) and is an active member of The Cheesetown Ukulele Band. Outside of Van Kleef, you can occasionally catch Scott playing and singing with duo ‘Bits of Kitsch’ at various open mic nights.
Jon – Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals
The king of the bottom end, Jon’s driving bass has been part of the backbone of this great band for almost ever. At the mo, Jon is taking break from playing and you’ll occasionally see him cropping up at the odd gig to lend his excellent backing vocals to this exceptional band. Jon started playing guitar at 15 and the bass soon followed. A childhood friend of Steve, they’ve played together in bands since 1977. Over the years, Jon has developed a keen ear for a harmony too. Jon is an excitable musician and you’ll see him bounce and jump around as the music lights him up.
Jon’s influences are Queen, Deep Purple, Radiohead and who can resist a bit of Bowie.