Wishful living rooms
The morning leaving Amsterdam, we were greeted by strong ocean winds and torrential downpours, knocking people off bikes, and shaking the tram as we drove cross town. We stopped at a cafe near the flee market to give Mariette her keys back, relaxed at the cafe to let the storm pass, and wrote some more blogs.. We found our way through the maze of Amsterdam Centraal, took a regional train to Amersfoot, and had a nice ride to Groningen through the farmers' fields, past the goats and sheep and horseys. Wishful Music, the production company that put on this show, is Wooter and Laurens (who booked us), two motivated young locals with a big passion for music and really big hearts. Wooter said he would meet us at the train, and that he would open an umbrella under the platform roof so that we would recognize him. A funny thing is that we came on an earlier train so we could go to the ticket office to reserve our tickets (to Normandy for the 26th), so he was not expecting us to be there before our train arrived. So he walked up towards us with a big smile and pointed his umbrella, and walked right past us and greeted his friend, a staff member (who had just given us directions a few minutes before). We stared at him with funny, confused faces until he noticed us, and then we all had a laugh. We then met Laurens and his girlfriend, Nina, and decided to all meet at this night's living room.
Groningen is a big university town, so we were being hosted by some students living in a big house together. We climbed up the narrow stairs to Tristan's cozy living room. He made us green tea, and then they all cooked us a healthy dinner. As we were finishing, guests had started arriving. There was another artist on the bill that night, Martin de Paepe, a Netherlands musician from Amersfoot. He wanted to play first, so the order was decided. Martin's set really charmed the audience. He is a great finger-picker, with a very lyrical style on the guitar, and he sang both in English and in Dutch. After a short and smokey set break, we started up, with a very kind and descriptive introduction by Wooter. As we mentioned earlier, it was a very cozy living room, everyone squeezed in onto the couple couches and every spare spot of rug, about 20. It was a great personal, intimate show, and we really enjoyed playing for this attentive young crowd, and we even got a heartfelt OK to come back and play next year (the joke was that we were on trial, the jury approved us). After popping and spinning the tops off a few more Grolsch beers (Aliza had the best spin), we walked back to the train station to catch the bus with Wooter to his place. He was all too kind and made lots of space for us at his house, and we all kindly thanked each other for the show, then shared a few more stories and laughs about the music industry before heading to bed, and we were asleep before our heads hit the pillows.