The Phantom Four
The Phantom Four are the follow up to the legendary instrumental surfband The Treble Spankers from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. With “Araban” (1994) and “Hasheeda” (1995) The Treble Spankers released 2 classic albums and in their short 4 year existence they left a lasting impression on the international surf scene. Due to physical problems of Phantom Frank, the mastermind behind the band, The Treble Spankers had to quit in 1997.
Early 2004, after releasing a very well received solo album, Phantom Frank decides to form The Phantom Four with Marc de Regt, Marnix Krabbendam and Niels Jansen. On 7th November 2004 the very first concert of The Phantom Four takes place in underground café De Diepte in Amsterdam. The concerts audio is recorded in stereo on VHS by a friend. Because of the great quality and spontanious vibe of the recordings the band decides to release it on CD without any post-production or mixing. Probably the first band ever to put out a live album of their entire debut concert.
From early 2005 The Phantom Four plays shows on a weekly basis and quickly build a reputation as one of the best surfbands of The Netherlands. Besides many gigs in clubs and pubs the band also plays Oranjepop, the “Vierdaagse” in Nijmegen and the 30 year old Sjock festival in Belgium. A gig in Amsterdam´s legendary pop temple Paradiso even lands them a residency which leads to a monthly return at the clubnight “Classic Noodlanding”. Furthermore the band is invited to open for the famous Surfaris in de Melkweg and at a show in Germany.
The band starts 2006 with a New Years Eve gig in a sold out Max (Melkweg) and becomes resident band of the “Surf´s Up” evenings in de Melkweg. In summer they support G. Love & Special Sauce in Tivoli and open for Los Straitjackets during their Dutch tour. In August they play a smashing show in a totally packed Lima tent at the Lowlands festival. On August 25th their studio debut album ”Madhur” is released, receiving raving press reviews. Lead guitarist Phantom Frank is featured on the cover of the Dutch edition of Gitarist magazine. The single “Kyma” is included on the covermount cd of Revolver magazine, Dutch equivalent of Mojo magazine. In December the band plays at Club 3voor12 on national radiostation 3FM.
In March 2007 the band embark on a highly succesful two weeks tour to Spain as support for El Vez. After their return the band plays De Diepte to celebrate their 100th show, not long before this legendary underground café shuts down. May 16th finds the band opening for Fun Lovin’ Criminals in a sold out Max (Melkweg) in Amsterdam. After a long summerbreak the band plays it’s first UK show at The Beatrocket party in Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes in London. This is followed by an invitation to open for Dick Dale at the Patronaat in Haarlem, during the only Dutch show of his European tour. Unfortunately this show gets cancelled due to health problems of Dick Dale. During summer the band plays festival De Beschaving in Utrecht. In December the band is invited to host an evening at 3FMvoor12 at national radiostation 3FM where they open every hour of the show with their single “Kyma” and play three other tracks live on air.
In March 2008 The Phantom Four play two gigs at the Paaspop festival and in April they open for the legendary Trashmen in a packed Melkweg. During the summer the band starts working on new material and November finds the band in the studio to record the follow up to their studio debut “Madhur”. In between the recordings they host the famous Burlesque Glamour Night at the Comedy Theatre in Amsterdam.
Early 2009 the band invites Rudeboy of the legendary Urban Dance Squad to work on a song together. After having witnessed a show of The Phantom Four late 2007 Rudeboy was impressed with the bands performance and delighted to participate. They actually record two songs together and all musicians are so enthusiastic about the outcome that they decide to perform them live. June finds the band playing at the legendary Timboektoe where they first perform live with Rudeboy. From this moment on Rudeboy regularly does short guest performances with The Phantom Four. In October the band is once again scheduled to support Dick Dale for his shows in The Netherlands. This tour once again gets cancelled, this time because of problems with the booking agent. Due to personal circumstances of one of the bandmembers the release of the new album gets postponed ‘till 2010.
In April 2010 the band finally supports Dick Dale during his shows in Patronaat (Haarlem) and Tivoli (Utrecht). In May the band embarks on a tour in Spain supporting The Blasters. Rudeboy remains a regular guest at performances and gradually more songs with him are being added to the mainly instrumental live sets of The Phantom Four. On July 23rd 2010 The Phantom Four & Rudeboy perform their first full live set together and since that night continue their cooperation under the name of The Phantom Four & The Arguido. Plans for the release of the new album now drastically change when they decide to release a double album; the instrumental album “Morgana” recorded November 2008 and a vocal album with The Arguido. September finds the band back in the studio to record “The Obscure EP”, a taste of the upcoming vocal album. At the same time they host the North Sea Surf Festival, the first festival in The Netherlands dedicated to surf music. During fall the band does a tryout tour with The Arguido and the loyal fanbase of The Phantom Four gets to know a totally different side of their instrumental surfrockers. Together with The Arguido they create a unique sound that combines the rawness of eighties surf punk and new wave with a modern rock sound. Many surfers, skaters, boarders, rockabillies and punks are drawn to The Phantom & The Four Arguido. The energy of the band on stage often make for wild scenes in the pit.
The band starts 2011 with a tv performance on the “Nederpopshow”, a show broadcasted on national television on January 16th. The success of the tryout tour and a smashing performance at Altersonic in Groningen paves the way for a string of performances in clubs all over The Netherlands. On May 12th The Phantom Four & The Arguido release “The Obscure EP” at a sold out releaseparty in the Paradiso (bovenzaal). This kicks off a very busy festivalseason during which they play numerous important festivals like Paaspop, Oerol, Metropolis and the Bevrijdingsfestival in Utrecht with a crowd 14.000 people. During the summer they start working on their debut album The Arguido. With the focus now totally being on the project with The Arguido the band only plays 4 instrumental shows, one being the Surfer Joe Summer Festival, the world´s #1 surf music event. The band also hosts the second edition of the North Sea Surf Festival. In December the final recordings take place of the upcoming vocal album.
On February 25th, 2012 the new double album “Sounds From The Obscure / Morgana” is released, three years later than the new instrumental album “Morgana” was originally planned and over 5 years after the release of “Madhur”. The patience of the fanbase had been put to the test but is rewarded with a double album. The additional vocal album “Sounds From The Obscure” is mixed by Pelle Gunnerfeldt (The Hives, Mando Diao, Refused) who was also responsible for two mixes on “The Obscure EP”. The releaseparty takes place at a packed Melkweg. Phantom Frank & The Arguido begin the evening with a small acoustic set which is followed by two full shows by The Phantom Four, one with The Arguido and one instrumental show. The press is unanimous in their judgement of the double album, reviewing the release with nothing but praise. The seemingly awkward cooperation between Rudeboy and The Phantom Four has worked out very well and the band is featured with big articles in Oor, VPRO Gids and a full page coverstory on national newspaper Het Parool. Following the extensive press coverage The Phantom Four & The Arguido embark on another Dutch tour playing clubs and festivals. They play 2 sets during the Amsterdam Ice Hockey Cup at the Ziggo Dome, the biggest music venue in The Netherlands. The band also does five shows with Def P & Beatbusters during the “Clash Of The Titans” tour. The final show of this tour takes place in a packed Melkweg on December 22nd. This show is the 250th show of The Phantom Four in their 8 year existence and marks the end of the cooperation with The Arguido after 66 shows together.
In 2013 The Phantom Four starts working on material for their new instrumental album “Murakkam” that is slated for release in the fall. In the meantime they release their two instrumental studio albums on deluxe double vinyl during a releaseparty at the Maloe Melo on June 14th.