30 November 2010

Dar who?

In the mid-80's I was an ambitious angry young artist, studying the arts and all geared up to save the world with my conceptual art - whether the world was ready for it or not. Ah, I remember it well... With my compadre in art, Rob Woesthoff, we formed a new art-group called Nivo Stilo and spent hours/days discussing art and producing the Nivo Stilo art magazine, which we filled with poems and articles and manifestos and drawings and and and (all under different names of course - to give the impression we were a real Movement). Rob was R. Incultejardin and I was Flynn Besoin (Flynn from Errol Flynn and Besoin was, very dada, randomly selected from a dictionary). Rob and I were very enthusiastic about this project. In fact so much, that we even decided to form a band. The band name was Dar Pomorza (Polish for "gift of Pomorza", the name of a boat, Pomorza being a Polish town) and we played guitars (badly), synthesizer (borrowed from the art academy) and sang out of tune. We even produced a tape, a C60 TDK tape called The Dar Pomorza on TDK. One side featured spoken word, the other side featured a couple of our songs, recorded in our rehearsal room in Arnhem. When you are a band, you need to perform to spread the message to the People. Oddly enough, we were asked to play live in Willemeen in Arnhem, when someone from Willemeen heard us rehearse. We were programmed for 28 January 1987 with two local speed metal bands. It was truly a frightening night; our paltry equipment (one guitar, said synthesizer and a rhythm box) was nothing compared to the shiny drumkit, Fender guitars and huge Marshall amps of the speed metal bands. The show itself was something I will never forget; we nearly got killed by the audience, who didn't dig our loverly tunes at all. That's me in the background, playing Rob's guitar and looking desperate. Rob is steady as ever, playing the synthesizer with one finger. Flash forward to 2010. Having lost contact with Rob and haven't spoken to him in over 20 years, he recently sent me an e-mail out of the blue! We met up in a local restaurant and had a truly great evening discussing Dar Pomorza and Nivo Stilo. We looked at old magazins, the old tapes and pondered at how old we had become over ancient photos made at Willemeen at that memorable gig in 1987. I've enclosed one example here. The quality is not that good, but then again, neither were we. It is a testament of what we tried to achieve on that unfriendly stage. It didn't work of course, but what a great time to look back on! Rob is still involved in art and has a great site where you can buy his work http://www.robwoesthoff.nl/

24 November 2010


Dear reader, last night I went to see Swans live at the Tivoli club in Utrecht. I saw Swans live before, in the late 90s, just after they had released the brilliant 2 CD Soundtracks For The Blind, which considerably brightened up the dark ages of the history of music. Anyways, before I went in, there were warning signs that the volume that evening would be Loud. Extremely Loud. Luckily I had brought my professional earplugs, so no morning-after peep for me. The set was loud, slow, heavy and classic Swans. Here are some images I took. I like the green one of Michael Gira, but also the one where the bass player and guitarist re-tune (which they had to do after each song, because of their string-abuse). A lovely evening that ended with me buying a souvenir double CD and dashing off to catch the train back to Nijmegen. The dashing proved to be premature, as there remained plenty of time to fetch a cup of Chai Latte at Utrecht's Starbucks. Bloody expensive at 4 Euros (for a size "tall", which means "small" but they can't spell at Starbucks), but hey, that is rock and roll.

23 November 2010

A few pointers...

As Frans rightfully suggested, I should offer our audience some pointers for their browsers.

Are you comfy? Ready? Here we go!

Two nice movies on You Tube can be located at:

And while you're at it, why not download the whole set in, alas, abnominal sound quality at:

The Polish Tour

So Beequeen was invited to play the Wroclaw Industrial music festival in Poland. And we gratefully accepted! We sent quite some time putting a good set list together and rehearsing till we all felt it sounded fine. We then packed our meager equipment and flew to Krakow, where we were awaited by our driver, who drove us in his Karma-proteced van in 3 mad hours to Wroclaw. He was a good driver and we arrived safe at our hostel. We strolled around Wroclaw, enjoyed traditional Polish food (takeaway pizza) and had a great evening. The following day I bought new shoes and did the soundcheck at 16.00 hours. Again, everything sounded fine. We enjoyed some hurried dinner and later that evening we played as second band our 45 minute set to around 150 people in the old dining hall of a 14th century monastry. Later that evening, the hall filled up to around 400 people, all dressed to a tee for the evening. The organization was perfect and very professional. The Polish people were extremely friendly and willing to help us out with even minor quests. The set went really well, the audience seemed to enjoy themselves with lots of heads bopping to our tempting rhythms. At 01.00 o'clock we went back to the hostel and enjoyed a few hours of sleep, as Miranda (who came along for the ride), Olga and me had to get up at 05.30 hours for our journey back to Krakow airport. Frans, being the true trooper he is, had some hours more to sleep. Later that day he went to Germany and Scandinavia for more live shows. This very brief tour of Poland was truly a wonderful experience. The atmosphere in the band was great and we all had a loverly time! Marcin Pflanz took some amazing pictures of all bands at the festival and I've taken the liberty to include three shots here. A few days after the event, movies turned up on YouTube. So far, two Beequeen movies have been posted. Both of these include The Lord Is My Shepherd; trust the audience to film me making my only guitar mistake of the evening and put it on the internet!

1 November 2010

You and me and Sinterklaas makes three

A few weeks ago I was aked to join the UNA orchestra in Kekerdom as a guitarist. The UNA orchestra is actually a very old orchestra, over 100 years old, who used to play traditional music, but now focusses on big band, jazz and even film music. They needed a guitarist for the annual live show on October 23. I joined on a very short basis: with only 3 rehearsals to learn 21 songs! In the end, I managed to squeeze out 11 and I must have done something right as they asked me to become a permanent member after the show. It was hard work as I don't read sheet music and everybody else in the orchestra does (they must have been quite desperate). The evening was great, and slightly surreal, fun. Around 80 people were present. We had a 16 year old girl singer on a few tunes and a dancing couple who demonstrated the Rhumba and Mambo. The town vicar was present as well (in full ornate). So now it's every Tuesday night off to Kekerdom for me, trying to work out complex chord schedules, tempo changes and wondering what the hell all those funny symbols mean on the sheet music. Great fun! As there are no images of the night yet, I thought this nice image of Sinterklaas would to. After all, it is the season...