Dutch musicians turn on the Gangneung style
The Dutch have not just been entertaining fans on the speed skating track at the Gangneung Oval during PyeongChang 2018, they have also been providing the soundtrack.
Dutch band Kleintje Pils (which translates as “Small Beer”) have been entertaining the fans with a unique mix of Dutch music, international favourites and K-pop. The group have become a regular a fixture on the Winter Olympic stage, having first played at the Games in Nagano in 1998.
In PyeongChang, decked out in stripy orange shirts and yellow wooden clogs, Kleintje Pils have had the crowds grooving to their own version of Gangnam Style, which was a global hit for Korean rapper Psy in 2012.
“We're very pleased to see the Korean people and the audience from all over the world are excited about the way we play it,” band leader and bass drum player Ruud Bakker said between sets. “It means success with this song for both Korea and us.”
“We studied Gangnam Style just before leaving for Korea and it has become our biggest hit here,” added Bakker. “It really gets the crowds going.”
Invited to perform by the Republic of Korea’s National Olympic Committee, the band's stint in PyeongChang marks its eighth Games appearance. And there is no doubting their popularity among the fans at the Gangneung Oval during the build-up to each of the speed skating events.
Keeping the party going
With the Netherlands enjoying their customary success in the speed skating – by the end of day six they had won six golds out of a possible seven – the band's duties also involve keeping the party going at Holland House after the night's racing is done.
“It's a big party because we have won races, and that means we are happy,” Bakker said. “You can see the Dutch fans are always wearing coloured suits and orange and wooden shoes like we have. They sing the songs and they are excited to be here.”