Sunday, October 22, 2006

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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