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Dug Out Alive! 1993-2001
released on August 9, 2011 by Cliffhanger
medium: DVD-video, region 0, PAL
total running time 09:55:33 hh:mm:ss
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Cliffhanger is a Dutch progressive rockband that was founded by keyboardplayer Dick Heijboer. In March 1993 Dick met bass player Gijs Koopman who became an outstanding musician and composer for the band in a very short time. Gijs managed to take an important role in the band and developed an original and melodic style of playing the bass guitar. After Gijs, Rinie Huigen joined the band. In a short time he proved to be a skillful frontman with a distinctive voice. Together with his guitar play he was another acquisition for the band. Two months later, drummer Hans Boonk decided to join Cliffhanger. With his powerful drum sound he made the band complete. The repertoire of Cliffhanger consists exclusively of own material, which was written and arranged by the individual members. This is why the music has its own sound.
The first one and a half year Cliffhanger spent a lot of time composing and rehearsing music at rehearsal studio Remote in Tilburg. The first project was producing and recording a demo tape in November 1993 at Joe's Garage Studio in Waalwijk, mainly to get gigs in the Dutch provence Noord-Brabant. Cliffhanger then performed live in Oosterhout and Breda. In September 1994 Cliffhanger recorded a second demo tape at Studio Chateau in Tilburg in order to get more gigs and a deal for a debut album. SI-Music approved this live demo. In December 1994 and January 1995 Cliffhanger were at Studio Chateau again to record their debut album "Cold Steel", published by SI-Music. "Cold Steel" turned out to be a successful album.
In 1995 Cliffhanger performed live for enthusiastic audiences in Den Bosch, Breda, Uden, Mill, Zoetermeer, Den Haag and Tilburg. In November 1995 Cliffhanger recorded their third demo "Burning Alive!" at Studio Chateau again. This demo was meant to get a deal for the second album. In April 1996 the contract with Musea Records was signed for the recording of this second album "Not to be or not to be". One month later Cliffhanger met Bernard Gueffier at the Xymfonia Indoors Festival to discuss the procedure. In July Cliffhanger started recording at Studio Chateau. "Not to be or not to be" turned out to be a successful album.
In 1996 Cliffhanger was at their top and performed live in Oosterhout, Tilburg, Lintelo and Alphen aan den Rijn. In March 1997 Cliffhanger recorded their fourth demo "Mirror Live" at Studio Chateau. This demo was meant to get a deal with Musea Records for the third album "Mirror Site". 1997 was also the beginning of musical differences. By May 1997 Dick decided to leave Cliffhanger but he would play on the third album, somewhat less motivated. For "Mirror Site" Cliffhanger had a different approach concerning recording: Most instruments were recorded at home to save studio time. Recording drums and mixing was done later in November at Studio Chateau by another sound engineer than the one Cliffhanger were used to because the former sound engineer had left Studio Chateau. Because of all these facts, "Mirror Site" turned out to be a less successful album than the previous two.
In November 1997 Dick performed for the last time with Cliffhanger at Progfarm in Bakkeveen and was replaced by Ronald van de Weerd. By April 1998 Cliffhanger split up because Gijs also left the band. Together with Dick, a new guitar player, drummer and singer he started a new progband called Android. This band was dissolved in November that year. In the meantime Hans and Rinie were still playing together with Ronald and another bass player, but that band wasn't successful either. Half 1999 all ex-Cliffhanger members put their heads together and Cliffhanger II was born. They tried to find a new singer to let Rinie concentrate on his guitar playing. Cliffhanger tried that once before in 1994 but back then they also couldn't find the right person. So it was decided that Rinie would be singer and guitarist, just like before.
In 2000 Cliffhanger performed in Tilburg and Tiel and in October they recorded a full album, hoping that Musea Record would sign for a new contract. They did and the fourth studio album "Circle" became a fact. Cliffhanger used the same strategy for recording and mixing before the "Mirror Site" era. Technically "Circle" is well balanced, musically it's halting between two opinions. In 2001 Cliffhanger played some excellent live gigs in Alphen aan den Rijn, Waalwijk, Verviers, and Moers-Kapellen. But due to inevitable musical differences, Cliffhanger was dissolved for the second time in May 2001. Dick initiated the instrumental project NoVoX in May 2001 and this was in some way a continuation of Cliffhanger. NoVoX recorded only one album which also was published by Musea Records.
At the moment Dick and Hans are not actively playing music anymore. Gijs has played for over ten years with Dutch progband Knight Area and is now bass player of Dutch progband Ulyssus. Rinie is now guitarist of pop-folk band Idris. All members discussed the possibility of a reunion more than once, but due to the obligations everybody has now, a reunion is not very realistic.