Monday, October 30, 2006

Radio West - Stork on Air this Friday

This Friday between 7pm and 9pm there will be an interview with Kat and Jaap from the songwriters guild on Stork on Air, and Mak Wolven will be playing some of his song live!

You can listen to the program live here or you can download the show later, as they also release every show as one of Den Haag's few podcasts. Copy this link into your Itunes or other rss reader

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Klauw Podcast 5 - Songwriters Guild!

Jaap and I (Kat) have been doing a podcast for three month or so. We talk about whatever is going on in our lives at the time. And since we have both been working hours and hours every week on the songwriters guild, its become our main topic of conversation! Particularly our latest edition, we hardly talk about anything else. So if you want the inside gossip on the guild, plus hear some music from some of the members, check it out here where you can download the mp3 to your computer, or search for "Klauw" in Itunes. The word "podcast" can be deceiving - you dont need an ipod to listen, you can upload it to any portable mp3 player, and you can even just simly listen to it on your computer.

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From the V.I.P Seats - Lokaal Part Five

Last Sunday was the fifth edition of the songwriter’s evenings in Lokaal, organised by the Den Haag Songwriters Guild. Ton Jenner, Natalie Hagen and JopLin were booked to perform. To keep it simple, we had them play that order. Furthermore, Ton helped us out with setting up for the evening, so it was handy that he also kicked the night off.

Ton has a very particular way of playing. His songs are full of meaning, and he brings across his message in a serious manner. Seriously enough to keep the audience’s attention till the very last note. Sometimes it can happen, when the subject matter of songs is on the darker side, that the audiences’ attention can begin to wander, due to expectation of a certain level of entertainment. In my opinion, Ton could act on this, and by using some clever introductions, could manipulate the emotions of his audience more deftly.

The second segment of the night was in Natalie’s hands. She performed together with Ray, one of the band members from her fresh band “Trailer Trash Nana”. A performance that the well-filled venue warmed to. The majority of the audience stood right up against the stage, which made it a difficult job for myself to take photos! Luckily popfotograaph Ron was on the frontline with his weapon ready to shoot. Her voice floated out into the street, and charmed more people in from the street.Soon we found ourselves looking at the first packed house since we started the gigs in Lokaal. Natalie finished her performance by introducing all the rest of the members of her band, who had all turned up to watch.

After a short break of a few minutes the final band of the evening, JopLin, took to the stage. Singer Joppe Quaedvlieg was accompanied by Lindy Janssen on the guitar. Their sensitive repertoire filled with humour, songs about metrosexuals, coffee (or sex, whatever you make of it), bought some entertaining variation into the performance. This Utrectrian duo uses quite peculiar lyrics. Vocals alternated with rhythmic speech and finger picking on guitar caused me almost to forget to take any photos.

It’s a bit unfortunate that every Sunday night around 11pm people start to head to their beds. But there will still 50 people in the venue, so we really had nothing to complain about. This was of course thanks to the commitment of JopLin, who kept the public charmed with their unique performance.

So once again we can confidently say it was a successful evening. There was a great atmosphere in the venue, where many people sat and discussed the singer songwriters who had presented themselves on the night. Next Sunday the Den Haag Songwriters Guild will be back in Lokaal once again, this time with Tzja Giantor, Colin Black, and from Rotterdam Aletta

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The guild is having another baby soon!

After our first child, Savanna left home and went on without the guild for a while, we decided that we had to look arount for other places where we could do gigs on a regular basis. At the very beginning, we knew that Savanna was probably only going to be for 2 months, so in august we were already in discussion with Lokaal Vredebreuk to start something there on a weekly basis. So we did. Tonight the fifth succesful night will be there already, and many, many more are still to come.

Besides the weekly gigs in Lokaal Vredebreuk, we are starting in Januari in café Murphy's Law. A cosy café what is perfectly suited for singer-songwriters. Café Murphy's Law is known for their weekly jamsessions (jazz) on mondaynights, and now they want to do something with singer-songwriters as well. It is located at the Dr. Kuyperstraat 7, which is just around the corner from where tram 9 stops for the first time after "het Malieveld". 2 tramstops from central station, means an ideal place to bring others along, coming from further away. We are going to start booking artists for these nights soon, so if you are interested in playing there, send us a demo and biography, or just contact us by mail if you are already a member of the guild.

Ofcourse, the nights in Lokaal Vredebreuk will continue as is.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This Sunday in Lokaal Vredebreuk

This sunday it is already the fifth edition of Den Haag Songwritersguild presents in Lokaal Vredebreuk. This week Ton Jenner, Natalie Hagen and JopLin will perform their own material. As far as i know, both Natalie and JopLin will be playing as a duo, so that's 5 musicians for tonight. We don't have any demo material of Natalie yet, but you can find some information about Ton here . If you go to the cd part of his site, you will find links to listen to the tracks he produced in the past. Ton is also a well known producer in the songwriterscene, with off course, a lot of experience with songwriters. If you're interested, come on sunday and have a chat with him after his gig. JopLin, has got a website that is a piece of art on itselves. you can find it here Info about them is a bit limited on the site, but on their myspace, there's a lot more information to be found. I hope to see you all next sunday in Lokaal Vredebreuk!

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Monday, October 23, 2006

From the V.I.P Seats - Lokaal Part Four

Since it was the Haags Pop Week this week, and every one had a reason to go out and see live music every night of the week, I was pleasantly surprised that there was once again a good turnout on Sunday night. There were quite a few singer songwriters there, who came to check out their colleagues in action. So it was an attentive audience, and the expectation was high. Our performers were R.C. Henry, Margot de Graaff, and Jane on the Roof (Hester den Boer). Jaap had to work until 10pm, and he normally takes care of the sound, there was a bigger responsibility that usual on my shoulders. Thanks to public transport (Tram 6 wasn’t running) I was 15 minutes too late, and had to set up the stage in three seconds flat. Luckily the amount of gear required for singer songwriters can fit on a postage stamp, so in ten minutes we were ready to go.

RC Henry took his Dobro out of its case and did what he had to do. The atmosphere was set from the moment he hit his first chord. He immediately had the full attention of the public and was able to hold this throughout the set with ease. The sound of the Dobro invokes the Deep South, if you close your eyes you’re on the side of a swamp in a small town in the southwest of the USA. His song “Seven Deadly Sins” was a perfect example.
Margot continued the happy theme of Heaven and Hell, she sang a great song about whether she was going to end up in heaven or not! The small problems I had with the sound in the first set were gone by this time, and Margot’s beautiful alto voice resulted in a fantastic set. Her strong guitar playing and catchy choruses kept the audiences attention, and their enjoyment was obvious. After the gig she told me that she had really enjoyed it and was keen to play at guild events again in the future. If it was up to me she would be playing again at the very next gig we put on! But everybody needs to get their chance….
Jane on the Roof was next. She performed mostly solo, but her friend added some extra vocals here and there. With Jane it’s all about her voice. She has an extremely unique sound. She sounds as if she stepped straight out of the middle ages as a folk singer. Some of the public didn’t quiet know how to take it, but those who “got” it paid close attention.
Jaap turned up just as Jane on the Roof had finished. Upon special request from him, she played an extra set, and this bought us also closer to the agreed finishing time of midnight.
Once again it was a successful evening and a great collaboration between the songwriter’s guild and Lokaal Vredebreuk. A well filled venue made it a night to remember, not only for the public but also for the performers themselves.
Till next week!


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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pim de Waard (Indubio)

Pim is the first musician I met in Holland. He is a prolific songwriter. I stayed in his house for a few months, so I got to see firsthand the almost daily ritual with which he dedicates to his songwriting. Several songs a week would flow from his pen! One of his biggest heroes is Bruce Springsteen. His band Indubio has been going since 1999. In 2001 he reached the finals of the Grote Prijs van Nederland, and performed in Nighttown, Rotterdam, and in October 2006 they played in the final of the Ramonaaa award. The band has been busy also, and have made a videoclip, which you can watch here. In 2004 Pim switched from writing in English to composing Dutch songs. He created a whole show's worth of new songs. Now he combines the two, and he has a vast and varied repertoire.

Pims songs comine rock music with just about every other syle imagineable. Every time I see a show of theirs, I find something new, another new ingedient has been added to the mixture.

He has written for the Klauw once, you can find the article here. Pim will be performing for the guild in the near future, keep an eye out for him!

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Cafe Briljant in Haarlem - Sweetly Serious

Before I set the songwriters guild in action, I had already begun another initiative to work together with other singersongwriters in getting gigs. After inviting both Barbara and Natalie on seperate occasions to play a support act for my band Katbite in De Maatschappij in Scheveningen, I suggested to the both of them that maybe we could look for some gigs together as a group. They were both into the idea, so I sent out a few emails. Shortly afterwards I became incredibly busy with other things, the klauw, the songwriters guild, my own band, etc, and I had almost forgotten about it when I got an email from Cafe Briljant asking if we would like to play!

So 19 October it was - I asked a friend to drive me there and back, and i would pay his gas. Unfortunatly he didnt tell me that he always got lost in Haarlem and hated it there, if I had of known I would have studied a map carefully in advance, or have simply gotten the train instead, but as it was we ended up being about 1 1/2 hours late to the venue, after spending a lot of time driving randomly through the streets and smoking several stressy cigarettes on the side of the road. But luckily this time we didnt end up in a brick wall or a canal, and although I was a little shaken, we arrived at the cafe to find Barbara and Natalie fresh and ready to go.

Barbara opened the evening, showing once again the fruits of playing as regularly as she does. She has a very relaxed, comfortable air on stage, which is conveyed effectively to the audience, and I find it a pleaure to listen to her every time. She played a mixturee of old and new material, and had plenty of funny little things to say in between the songs. I must say that she is quite an inspriation to me, and one of the reasons I wanted to start Sweetly Serious in the first place is so that I could learn from her. She played for about half an hour, but remarked when she came offstage that it was not really a suitable cafe for live acoustic music, something which hit home when I got up there to play myself.. but anyway, before that it was Natalie's turn. She bought along Ray to accompany her on guitar, a sucessful combination that went down well in Musicon at the first festival we put on, and tonight it was clear that they had been working a lot on improving the arrangements. Natalie sang her heart out and put loads of energy into her performance, as she always does. I have never seen her play with a band but it is obvious that she would put forward a fanstastic show! Trailer-Trash Nana, bring it on, I cant wait!

Then it was my turn, I played for a full hour! I think thats about the longest solo gig that I have ever played. There was a guy who had seen Katbite perform several months ago in the same cafe, and he had bought the album. He was calling out the names of songs that he wanted to hear, which was great!

I was totally exhausted the next day at work, it was almost 2am when I finally made it into my bed, as we managed to get lost also trying to get out of Haarlem, and drove randomly around industrie terrain for a while before finally getting on the highway

Although the cafe is not very suitable for this kind of music, its still possible to find an enthusaistic audience. Ton Jenner, Jesse Edmond and Edwin van der Hoeven will be making a similar pilgramage there on November 30. I probably wont go along, but I might ask them to write a review of the night again.


Sweetly Serious

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lokaal Vredebreuk - Part Four

This Sunday night in Lokaal Vredebreuk you will be treated once again to the sounds of three talented artists. Ric Henry has been a member of the guild from the beginning, and consistantly shines with his dobro-accompanied songs. Margot de Graaff makes her debut with the guild this evening, although she is certainly no stranger to the singersongwriter circuit in Den Haag. On the Myspace page of the guild you can listen to her song "Maybe Tomorrow". And last but not least, a guest performer from Amsterdam, Jane on the Roof. She is an expereinced singersongwriter, who has her own style, a mixture of old blues with American and Irish folk songs.
See you there!

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From the V.I.P. Seats - Lokaal Part Three

Last Sunday was also a cosy gathering of the songwriter’s guild in Lokaal Vredebreuk. I’m starting to get the impression that more and more people are aware that it’s happening every week. In the first week about 20 people made the effort to get out and listen to the performers, but in contrast last week we found ourselves in a comfortably filled Lokaal Vredebreuk, listening to songs from Boudewijn, Orson Sven (Noblesse) and Kat Leese (Katbite). I must admit that Kat and I were a fraction on the late side getting there (why do people ALWAYS call on the landline right when your trying to leave the house?), and it was already decently filled when we arrived. The main disadvantage was that we had to try and create a path through the audience to get all the gear to the stage.

Once everything was in place, it was time for Boudewijn to begin. Boudewijn has been playing in this current formation for a short time, with a bass player. The music sounded refreshing and much more melodious that it would have done without the bass guitar. The songs themselves also added to this brightness and for a debut it was quite well-rounded and complete. Listening to the chatter in the audience afterwards, it was clear that the public also enjoyed it.

After Boudewijn, it was Orson’s turn to make a contribution to the evening. He played quite a few songs off the new Noblesse CD, “Sound the Alarm” which will be released officially at the beginning of November, but is available at their gigs. He sold quite a few copies afterwards (including one for the DHSG admin private collection). He played a varied repertoire and had good audience interaction, and after every song a hearty applause came from the public.

Kat closed the evening, also performing a number of new songs. Some of them were from the new Katbite CD, “Sweet Rebellion”, but also some even newer songs that will not be on the CD. Unlike last week, it was still quite busy in Lokaal during the last act. Even from the back of the venue, where several people were playing darts, there came applause after each song.

All in all it was a successful evening, thanks to the enthusiastic and attentive audience which turned up on the night.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Lokaal Vredebreuk - Number Three

This Sunday in Lokaal finds three artists who all have a lot of band experince treading the boards as soloists. Orson Sven, the lead singer of Noblesse, will be treating us to a rare solo performace. Kat Leese, the lead singer of Katbite performs more regularly on her own, and will be trying out some of her new material on this evening. Boudewijn, formerly of Black Heart Betty, will be making his debut solo performace. So you are guaranteed to hear something new on this night! The event begins at 9pm, and the guild will present three hours of singersongwriter goodness. Dont miss it!

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Boudewijn Duijvesteijn plays his pop/rock songs on guitar and harmonica, singing in the English language. He writes story-like songs about people and travelling, experiences and emotions. At the age of ten he heard Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms” album, and that started it all off, even he had no idea what they were singing about! He was sold from that moment on. He borrowed his brother’s guitar and learnt a few chords from a cousin, enough to be able to play along with records of Bob Dylan and Elvis. Then he later became acquainted with his brother’s electric guitar, and fell in love with the blues, which he found to be raw and direct.
Boudewijn studied for two years at the Royal Conservatorium in Den Haag, and was to be seen regularly at Musicon in the blues sessions. That’s where his first band was born – Black Heart Betty. This band bought his rock and roll dreams to fulfilment, as they played not only on the local circuit but also supported the Netherlands’s biggest band, the Golden Earring. For five years they enjoyed success.
After that band broke up, he joined the well-known Rolling Stones cover band, The Stolling Rones. Now he plays with a bass player and a percussionist, but also solo as we shall see this week!

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From the V.I.P seats - Lokaal Vredebreuk Part Two

The second evening of the Den Haag Songwriters Guild in Lokaal Vredebreuk went more smoothly that the first one. It seemed that more people knew where to find it. When at 9pm the first performer of the evening, Mak Wolven, began playing, it was still on the quiet side, but soon more interested listeners appeared. Mak’s unique style, with songs about his origins, and the reason that he’s here, created an atmosphere where pretty much everyone was listening attentively.

After Mak had played, we systematically moved along the stage one meter, where the piano for Rene Kaaij stood prepared. It had taken some fuss before the whole evening began to try and find cables that didn’t exist, but it was there, and how. Renee played a lot of songs from his new cd that he is releasing before the end of this year. Fresh, poppy songwriter’s music, a lot of positive energy, but also serious moments, ensured that everybody sat with open mouths, giving their full attention to the talented performer. As there was plenty of time on the Sunday evening, Rene also played a few extra songs, including some older material, and a song he had originally written on the guitar at age 17, and this he performed for the first time ever on piano. All in all it was a very successful set, with a lot of humorous banter mixed in between the songs. He has an infectious laugh, which is one of his trademarks.

The last, as in “last but not least” set of the evening was provided by Vera. Vera is a singersongwriter from Rotterdam who also performs regularly with her band, but this evening played solo. Although the bar was a bit noisy at the start, during her quieter songs, she knew how to cut through it and grab the public’s attention. It seems that she missed having her band behind her, and got the audience so involved that soon there were people quietly clapping along and even (somewhat louder) singing backing vocals in the songs! As the evening was drawing to a close, people began to leave the bar, but she still kept entertaining those who stayed until the end. I can't forget to mention the last song of her set, a cover of John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet plane”, where everyone was singing along sensitively, it was very beautiful. Normally I would say that covers don’t belong on a singersongwriters evening, but I couldn’t think of a better way to end this 2nd edition of the DHSG in Lokaal Vredebreuk. Next Sunday we are back there again, this time with Orson Sven (Noblesse), Boudewijn (ex. Black Heart Betty) and Kat Leese (Katbite) filling the evening with an acoustic ending to your weekend.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Lokaal Vredebreuk - Part Two

If you scroll down this page a bit you will see the (belated) review of last sunday's gig. This week there will be three artist entertaining you. The biographies of two of them, Vera and Rene, you will see below, and joining them is Mak Wolen, whose biography we already published back in August, and theres also a review on this site of his gig a few weeks ago in Savanna. Come along at 9pm and prepare to be impressed. All three of these arists have an air of professionality about them.
check the site of the venue

Rene Kaaij

Rene studied keyboards at the Rotterdam Conservatorium. He has been writing, recording and performing his songs since age 14. His debut album will be released this November! Lokaal Vredebreuk is no strange location to him, he has played there several times in the past. Rene has a fantastic voice, and his songs are incredibly catching. Think Billy Joel, Phil Collins. He blew people away in the first Musicon festival with his breathtaking songs. I had the songs stuck in my head for a week afterwards, espcially one, which I later learned will be the single (good choice!)

Hear it for yourself this Sunday in Lokaal Vredebreuk


Vera is a singersongwriter from Rotterdam. From a young age she realised she wasnt into the gabber style her classmates and friends loved, and that she preferred to listen to guitar music. She started her first band while still at school. Then she started working with another songwriter, who inspired her to write more of her own songs, and to try playing solo as well as with a band. She discovered that playing on her own was far more of a kick! I saw Vera play about 1 1/2 years ago in Cafe Cremers. She has a lively stage performance, good contact with the audience and a friendly nature. The guild is proud to put her on stage!
For more info and music you can check out her website

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Savanna - Songwriting and Dining, Part Nine

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

From the V.I.P. Seats - Jascha and Dennis Flinterman

It was somewhat of an initiation. For us (Jaap and Kat), that is. This was the first time the Den Haag Songwriters Guild presented an evening in Lokaal Vredebreuk. Last Sunday, 1 October, were performances from Dennis Flinterman from the Delivery Men and Jasha van Roij, also known as Gewoon Jascha. Jascha has demonstrated his abilities more than once in the Dutch scene, as the lead singer of Spoiler and the organiser of Cafestival, which is a variety show that takes place in four fixed locations, as well as touring round the country, and presents the works of comedians, singer songwriters, writers, poets and cabaret performers. Tonight he also proved his strength as a musician. True to the rock and roll cliché, he arrived at the venue precisely at 9pm. This was basically because he had to travel all the way from Nieuwegein, and the Dutch Railways are well-known to hold a grudge against those who dare to travel in the weekends. Slightly flustered, he took his place on the stage a few minutes after nine. It was still a bit quiet in the venue when he started playing, although there was a great atmosphere. After a set of roughly an hour long, which was terrific, with some positive, uplifting tunes but also some more serious songs, it was time for Dennis to take the stage.

Usually Dennis performs with his band, the Delivery Men, but for this occasion he played solo for the very first time. So tonight was also an initiation for him! It was almost impossible to tell that he hadn’t played solo before, and the audience, which had in the meantime increased, was really enthusiastic about his music.

To be honest we found that the evening was finished a little too early, but we were also finding our footing on our first evening of organising things there in Lokaal. All in all it was a successful evening, and if we can get a decent public there next time, the next session on 8 October with Mak Wolven, Vera and Rene Kaaij, promises to be a cosy evening with great music.

Monday, October 02, 2006

From the V.I.P. seats...(Katbite, RC Henry & Open Mike with Alex Akela, Hanneke Laura & Jesse Edmond)

This Thursday it was open mike again, This meaning a great ambiance for some nice singer-songwriter music. Besides the booked artists for the night, which were RC Henry and Kat(bite) Leese, we had three other songwriters bringing some tunes to the night. Kat started off with a good set. With her awesome vocals she could easily get the audiance's attention on some of the brand new material she played. I forgot to charge the batteries of the digital camera before we went to savanna, so we couldn't take any pictures during the set Kat played. I was assuming she would play another set, but when there were 3 songwriters there for the open mike, we decided not to do so. Later, on special request, she played two more songs, so i grabbed my cam to make some average pictures.

When Ric started his set, i was smart enough to use the digital camera to make some nice shots. For some reason, Ric & the background in savanna turned out to be a great combination for some pictures. His music is quite typical, about bank robberies, etc. You can certainly notice that he does poetry as well.

When Ric was finished, it was time for Alex to play. Alex Akela is a songwriter from Nijmegen, and i must say it was fucking worth it that he got all the way to the hague. A bit shy, but that had its charmes too, it is a way to bring your songs quite a lot more serious.

When Alex was finished, it was Hanneke Laura's turn. Hanneke is a songwriter i met a few weeks ago in Savanna as well, and i must say that she has been really enthousiastic since. You can find that in her songs as well. Loads of enthousiasm make it a nice mix of sweetness, sarcasm and honesty.

Last, but not least of the night was Jesse. What more can i tell about him, he knows what he's doing, though he played here in savanna not so long ago. It was a nice surprise to see him here at the open mike night, unannounced. His specific style gets everyone to listen.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

DHSG in Lokaal Vredebreuk - Jascha and Dennis

This Sunday will be the first guild evening in Lokaal Vredebreuk! Trust me, Jaap and myself have got some pretty interesting programming lined up for the next few months. Kicking off the season is Jascha. He emailed me a couple of weeks after the guild went public. I promised him that if he turned up at the open mic night in Savanna that he would definatly get a chance to play, as he travelled quite a way to get here. He is a very accomplished singersongwriter, with high quality guitar plaing and a beautiful voice. His songs are sensitive and fragile, its really very good music. He hits that fine line of songs that are simple enough to be catchy, and yet with enough subtle twists in them to keep the more advanced listener entertained. So I had to book him officially as soon as I could!

The second artist of the evening is Dennis Flinterman, the lead singer of local band the Delivery Men. To be honest I have never seen his band perform, so i cannot really say much about it in advance, but the high quality of the tracks on his band website promise a lot! Myself I also play solo as well as in a band, so its always interesting to see how other artists handle it.
I hope you can make it along to check out these two performers. And I have to work on Monday morning too, so thats just no excuse!!