The gripping story behind 1994’s “Mmm mmm mmm mmm” fueled the success of the band with one of the most hilarious band names in history. Crash Test Dummies, the Canadian folk-rock band, derived a worldwide hit with which they can still tour almost 30 years later. If even Weird Al Yankovic covers your song to “Headline News,” you seem to have made it. On the last Friday of May, the band was back in the Netherlands for the first time since their great success in 1994. The ECI Cultuurfabriek in Roermond, at the border of Germany, was lucky enough to be able to book the sympathetic Canadians, as the first Dutch stop in their European tour.
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of their successful album, “God Shuffled His Feet”, the band started their 25th-anniversary tour a few years ago. Due to concerts being postponed several times, that album is now 28 years old, but God will not fail to shuffle his feet to dance in honour of that album. Due to the anniversary, the Crash Test Dummies performed the entire album on this tour, supplemented with some other work.
As a short support act, the Canadians brought singer-songwriter Mo Kenney, who is turning 32 in the coming week, to warm up the audience with a few songs. Not always perfect, but the Nova Scotian managed to entertain the audience quite nicely with her somewhat negative songs. Meanwhile, the hall slowly filled up and filled, waiting for the band that already existed when Mo was yet to be born.
The characteristic low voice of singer Brad Roberts opened with the title track “God shuffled his feet” appropriately. The band travelled to Europe to commemorate the successful album in an appropriate way. The album was played almost integral, except for “Afternoons & Coffeespoons” and, of course, “Mmm mmm mmm mmm”, which were played at the end. In between other songs, such as the beautiful “A Cigarette Is All You Get” and the XTC cover “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead”, which was not without merit processed by the Dummies into their own song.
Roberts had literally and figuratively lost his wild hairs, but he shared fun anecdotes about the past between the songs, such as about the barmaid who, years ago, immediately saw that Brad had to be a musician. ‘She had good people skills! Or maybe it was because I was still having breakfast at half-past one in the afternoon and had long hair,’ he joked, before letting his music speak again. It was the typical musical stories of the Crash Test Dummies that also worked well for the public in the ECI. At the closing set of “Afternoons & Coffeespoons” guitarist Stuart Cameron got the audience close to the stage just before the official end, and he could play his solo close to the audience. Finally.
The encore brought “Heart of Stone”, “He Liked to Feel It” and of course the final closing track “Mmm mmm mmm mmm”, the only song where the entire audience really sang along. It was a logical conclusion to say, it indicated that the Crash Test Dummies may not be as well known as they used to be, but certainly not forgotten.