Wednesday, August 30, 2006

John Spijker

John Spijker is a singersongwriter from Amsterdam. He will be performing in Savanna on August 31. His songwriting has rock, soul and jazz influences. Since his participation in the competition Mooi Noten in the autumn of 2005, solo performing has become a huge part of his life, and he enthusiastically plays live as much as possible, to whoever will listen! He recently played a support act in the Melkweg for the American band ALO. Besides his solo escapades, he also performs in the coverband “The Peachkings” who have been the support act for Flaco Jimenez, Blof, Venice and Di-rect, to name but a few. For more information you can befriend him on or check out his website

Monday, August 28, 2006

Stud Muffins

The Stud Muffins are a band from Den Haag that have been making their mark in this city since 2004. The band was a successful from the beginning, attracting a large fan base, and they captured the attention of the media with their catchy songs, an enthusiastic stage presentation and crazy stunts. In Savanna this Thursday August 31 they will present their songs in their purest form, just the way they were written – with an acoustic guitar.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Thursday 31 August - Savanna

From the V.I.P. seats

This thursday we had our very first open mike night in Savanna. I was a bit scared that nobody would turn up on this night. I have no idea why, but i just had a bad feeling about it. At a certain moment, that fear almost came out. A few minutes to eight, only Cecile and her guitarist, Erik were there, and I was still waiting for Renee Stevense and the open mike artists to turn up. but after a few minutes everybody luckily turned up.

This afternoon I got there a little earlier to discuss some options with Hans (the owner of Savanna) to give the nights something extra. We decided to amplify the performances over the in-house sound system. Besides that we arranged Hubert (VleeschNochVisch) to play some cd's in between the sets. Hubert told me he wasn't really common with this kind of music, but the songs he played, perfectly fitted into the night. Cecile started off with a good set, with quite some of her new material. Something what should be complimented, i liked it a lot more than her older songs, which were ok too.

After Cecile left the stage ( we had some problems with a broken microphone cable, but in the end we managed well to get it all working), it was Renee's turn. Renee plays her set with a double bass, which, in my opinion, is a great addition to the cool stuff she is already doing with foot-rhythms.

They both played their second set straight after the first set in the same order, unlike the planning, they thought it was better for the flow. Well, since i'm not a musician, i can't decide whether they're right about that or not. So i let them, The open mike artists were okay with it, so why not.

Most people say the second set of both artists were better than the first one, i can't really tell because i was off organising stuff during the first set, some problems needed to be sorted first.

After Renee's second set, it was time for some open mike action. And what an action, Jascha started off with half an hour of fingerpicking guitarsongs, accompanied by suprising lyrics.

It was really enjoyable, but i was more fond of Jascha's mate, Phinx. This guy filled the night till 11, with some of his louder songs on the piano. Louder songs were absolutely necassery, since we only had one mike there (yeah, that's why it's open mike night, not open mikes night) We needed to amplify the piano with the same mike as his voice, but he solved it really professionally.

Tonight was definetly the best one so far!


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Thursday 24 August in Savanna

The Savanna nights have been running sucessfully for the past two weeks, but this week will be a little different. Renee Stevense, and Cecil Morel (accompanied by Erik Minken) will each play a half an hour set, and the rest of the evening will be open mike. As i have no idea how many people are planning to turn up with guitars in hand, who knows what the evening has in store! So if you want to get up and play a few songs, please be there a little before 8.

Renee plays double bass and sings. She wowed the audience in Musicon two weeks ago, opening up the mini-festival with a bang! Her songs are alternately intense and humerous.

Cecil is a well-known performer on the local singersongwriter circuit. Erik will be accompanying her. The two of them performed at the Binnenach earlier this year.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Ton Jenner

Ton Jenner is a singer-songwriter from Zoetermeer, writing melodic songs with a personal touch. Influences range from all time artists like Dan Fogelberg and Bruce Springsteen to nowadays singer-songwriters like Josh Rouse and Josh Ritter.

Ton has published a number of demo EP’s, showing the development towards a more Americana sound. Songs from “What’s next” (2000), “Speak freely” (2002) and “Back” (2005) were broadcasted on local radio. A new demo EP “Telling stories” will follow later in 2006.

For recording Ton has a home studio, the Palmwood Studio, based on Apple Logic Pro. There he works often in cooperation with friend musicians, like pianist/singer Jim Offerman. Songs are furthermore filled with sample drums and synth. If you are interested in the facilities of the Palmwood Studio, just drop a mail.

Ton also writes songs for others, like in the project A LOAN: writer Irma Leenman asked Ton, after visiting his website, to write music to her beautiful lyrics. The songs are sung by Susanne de Heij, Yolanda Jenner and Ton as well; a demo EP will be published in September 2006.

On stage, Ton mostly plays a solo acoustic set. Appearances were at several regional theaters and podia as well as on RTV Rijswijk. The membership of the Den Haag Songwriters Guild offers further opportunities to work with and learn from other musicians.

For more information, visit the website or send an e-mail to

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Thursday 17 August - Savanna

Monday, August 14, 2006

ABC Open Mike Nights

The American Book Center in Den Haag is hosting a series of four open mike nights. They will take place on the following dates:

September 8
October 13
November 10
December 8

The address is 27-A Lange Poten. Doors open at 8pm. There is a small entrance fee of 3 euros.

If you would like to perform on one of these dates, you need to register in advance with the organisation. You can contact them either through their website or by phoning them on 070-3642742

And if you do end up playing there, be sure to email the guild and let us know so we can put it on our agenda!

Savanna - Songwriting and Dining, Part Two!

This Thursday (17 August) the second Songwriting and Dining night will take place in Savanna. This week the perfomers are Femke, Eva and as a special guest Australian artist Gemma Connell

Be there at 8pm to make sure you dont miss any of the acts! Femke and Eva both did suberb jobs at the gig in Musicon last Sunday, so are riding on the wave and this week will be bringing you longer more extended performances.

Entrace is free. You can find Savanna at Prins Hendrikplein 10 and you can check out their website here

Hope to see you there!

Musicon - our first mini-festival was a sucess!

Yesterday the first major event organised by the Guild took place in Musicon. There was an appreciative audience, many of whom stayed for all 9 artists, and a lot of other guild members turned up to check out the afternoon. Between 3pm and 7pm the stage was graced by a bunch of very talented songwriters. Each had their own distinctive style, and there was a good variety of styles, from classic singsongwriter, experimental, pure pop, and dutch language. We had performers not only on guitar, but also on double bass, dobro, with a drum machine and on piano. The standard was extremly high! It was also clear that each artist had a strong individuality about them.

Jaap took some really great photos of the afternoon. You can find them here

A big thanks to Rob for doing the sound, and thanks to Musicon for hosting the event.

The Guild will definalty be organising more festivals based on this concept. It was a really great supportive atmosphere, with no competitiveness. I had a lot of great conversations with other singersongwriters. Its good to hear that I am not the only person who goes a bit nuts if I dont have a gig every weekend!


Sunday, August 13, 2006

From the V.I.P. seats...

Hi there, in this "new" column, i will review gigs organised by the songwritersguild from a perspective of someone who doesn't write any songs, nor plays them. Since Kat told me to write this in English, I don't really know why, but whatever, i will write it in English. I'll try to write a review about the night, but I'm not sure how many nights i'll be hosting the next few months. This time i write about the first songwriternight in Savanna, with Roy and Pien.

Since Kat ran out of money (mostly spent on our new and running projects), i had to pick her up from the trainstation to buy her some traintickets for the next week. She was caught the day before, and she didn't want to risk it again. So i was at station Moerwijk around six o clock, i pulled the tickets out of the machine, ran downstairs with Kat, jumped on the bike (dude where's my car?), and raced off back home.

After finding the camera, i jumped on my bike again to race to Savanna, because i was supposed to be there at six... I got there at quarter to seven, and guess, nobody there yet... so all that hurry was pretty much pointless. I was kind of suprised by the overwhelming welcome i got from the guy behind the bar, everybody seemed to know me already and it created a amicable ambiance straight away. I got offered some drinks for me as well, and even more suprisingly, a meal from the card. Kat and I have been eating there already last week, but this was almost as good as last week, shame Kat wasn't there... After having a little chat with Pien and Roy, who arrived in the meanwhile, i started my tapas dish. I've mentioned before that their food is awesome, but some little voice in my head keeps telling me that i should tell you again and over again.

In the meanwhile, some of Roy and Pien's friends arrived at the spot and soon after, Pien started playing her first set. I think she's a really impressive songwriter, with lyrics i could understand and a good prenounciation. After 25 minutes, she finished her first set, and she was even suprised herself that she mangaged to hold on that long. According to her setlist she told me that her first set was about 15 minutes long, and i was a bit worried about that, because we were supposed to fill the night with music, until 11 o clock. So that 10 extra minutes really did the job. It's a bit a shame that the interaction with the audience wasn't really there in the first set, but she did quite a better job in her second set. Before that, Roy played a set which was quite as good as hers. His first song was a little bit to quiet and i noticed that the audience wasn't really paying attention to his song. Some people were talking really loud, just besides the stage, in quite an annoying way, so i asked them gently to be a bit quieter. Pointless, because they got even louder later on. Luckily, Roy's next song was much louder, with great dynamics as well. One thing i noticed, was that there wasn't much interaction with the audience in his first set either.

After a short break, Pien started her second set, which was much more present than her first one. Some funny comments about her songs in between, and a good prenounciation of the lyrics made the set one to remember. Same goes for Roy in his second set. The introductions of his songs were basically all going about dying and pain, which got funny in some way.

I have to tell you that i'm not really into singer-songwriters at all. Most of the music is not really my style, and i'm more into bands to be honest. Since tonight, i realise that singer-songwriters aren't always as boring and dramatic as i thought. Thanks to Roy and Pien for this great experience, and thanks to Savanna for hosting us.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mak Wolven

Mak (pronounced Mock) Wolven is an Americana artist transplanted to the Hague from the states. Having toured the U.S. in the Northeast, the South and Texas, that universe unto itself, he is enjoying the diversity of talented musicians in Europe. "I feel at home here and appreciate the focus of fellow artists. It's not merely a lifestyle choice by the musicians I've met but a commitment to an artistic endeavor."

His influences range from the Byrds to Gram Parsons along with a dose of the Hansons, Steely Dan and Suzanne Vega. Wolven feels that Americana is a forgiving genre that allows for stepping outside of the box. "I liked the Beatles because of their diverse songwriting skills. If you didn't like one song.. the next one might be better.. or different."

Living in the Hague has proven to be fertile ground for a new series of songs for his second CD "Borders and Fences" now being recorded. One of the new featured artists on, his music is a reflection of where's he's been with of a healthy dose of where he wants to go.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Thursday 10 August - Savanna

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Orson Sven

Orson Sven is a singer/songwriter active in The Hague, Holland. In the city's local music scene he's known as front man of the band Noblesse, an indie-rock power trio, but Orson has also been developing acoustic material, some from Noblesse's repertoire and some more low key numbers he collected along the years, as well as a few covers. He's performed with this collection of songs both with the band as well as solo.

Orson's songs are rooted in a love for many streams of music, ranging from folk through blues up to alternative rock and punk. Orson's short and compact compositions deal with a subject matter which tip toes between the autobiographical and the fantastic. Blending his personal, real life experience with gross exaggerations and alter egos, Orson creates little understated dramas.

Orson has a little mobile recording set up and would be glad to cooperate with other singer/songwriters in any kind of way; collaboration, recording, production or accompaniment. He also has vast experience in the performing arts and would like to get involved in theater and dance productions.

06 11045949

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Margot de Graaff

Margot is a singersongwriter from The Hague. She likes to sing about having the blues, especially when things are running smoothly in her own life. Of course she is singing all this with a bluesy touch, but you can also hear that she has been influenced by rock, pop and folk music. She has done acoustic sessions at for example Live in the Living Room, Acoustic Alley in Theater In de Steeg and Radio 3FM.

There is also a track by Margot on the guild myspace page