maandag 31 december 2012

café De Doelen

Arjen en Frits
There was a strong wind when I cycled to the centre of Amsterdam. On a bridge I fell of my bike and I thought my guitar broke, but everything was allright, thank god.

 I went to café De Doelen last night and when I arrived I looked through the windows and I saw a lot of people drinking, smiling and talking. I was not nervous at all, but I was happy when I saw a friend of mine, Frits, sitting next to the door drinking his beer.

I got inside and a nice woman told me it was pretty busy that night and that she would move a table to make room for us to play. She offered me a cup of coffee and then I saw Arjen, so me and Frits sat down at his place. Mick arrived and after ten minutes we started to check the sound.

 First I thought that we were gonna have a hard time because it was difficult to find the right sound. Than some people from the audience helped us by telling us how we sounded together so we could change the volumes. Mick brought his own mic and so I think my voice sounded allright.

 As you maybe know I am a teacher so I tell children everything about Dutch grammar, mathematics, geography, history and other subjects.  But in the meantime I am watching what's happening in the classroom...( which means that I want them to pay attention to the lessons and not writing little notes about how they are in love with some guy or so) So I am very used to tell stories on autopilot while watching around. Now this is what happens when I sing: I try to concentrate on my lyrics and the music but I see most of times what's happening in the audience. And this time I noticed that a man and a woman were talking all the time while I was singing and two other female friends were listening. They listened just two songs while they were looking severe and then they stood up and left. The man and the woman stopped talking after five songs and started listening till the end ( twelve songs). After we finished the show she came to me and asked me if she could buy a cd. I don't have a cd. Then she asked if she could download something. Well, maybe there is a possibility ( soundcloud) but I don't think so. "Write down the link of your blogspot", Frits suggested.
So I did. I hope she didn't loose it because I took a picture of her.
She told me she was from England and first she thought that the music we were gonna play wouldn't mean anything to her. But then she started to like it a lot. Well, I took this as a compliment. It's exactly what I saw happening. I also saw some other people watching and listening, sometimes leaving, sometimes coming closer,sometimes talking softly It was really a nice gig, because everybody was relaxed. We played the whole setlist ( twelve songs) and it took us an hour. Yes, it was really nice to be here. After playing we felt good.


I was very glad that Desiree and her husband Eugene passed by. As you could read in another story Desiree organizes houseconcerts and a few weeks ago we played at her house. If you like to get some information about these houseconcerts I could give you a link.
I think Arjen and Mick and me did a good job last night, we did not make many mistakes and the atmosphere in the café was allright. I did my presentation in Dutch, but I think almost everybody was English. There were no French people, this I know because I asked in my best French :) While I was singing my last song 'On the Corner' I was very suprised to see delta bluesplayer Henry come in. I didn't see him for a long time. The funny thing is that I thought about him as I cycled to café De Doelen. It was he who took me there once and told me this is a nice café to play. Henry took his guitar with him ( of course) and he started playing his songs after we were finished.
Second surprise was that I met Gian Piero Milanetti, a professor from Rome. I knew he would be in Amsterdam that night because he told me the day before. He is gonna play his songs Tuesday at café CC where I will play my songs too. But I was surprised that he came at café De Doelen. You must know that he wrote a book
Presentazione del libro "le streghe della notte" del prof. gian piero milanetti
Le Streghe della Notte"
Gian also played a few songs of him.
Another guy who showed up was Craig and I saw him listening for almost an hour. Actually he could sing with me for he knows almost all the songs and he's got a great voice.
After the show we had a good time together.
And this is such a nice thing to do... thanks Frits :)
Ik ben net naar een optreden van Annette Vogel geweest. Erg leuk. Ik heb haar voorheen alleen bij optredens gezien waar ze een paar nummers speelde en dan heeft het geen tijd om saai te worden. Nu speelde ze een heel uur en ik kan zeggen: het wordt absoluut niet saai. Ze had een fijne bassist en en Utrechtse Cahon-speler bij zich en dat maakt de band wel compleet (wat natuurlijk mijn bescheiden mening is). Leuk, leuk, leuk!

zondag 30 december 2012

Hans Teeuwen talks about singersongwriters

Tonight I will play at café De Doelen in the centre of Amsterdam. I hope that Mick and Arjen and I will have a nice time together and I hope there will be nice people to meet. However, we need to concentrate on the songs because we planned to play the full setlist in one hour. It's really great Arjen likes to play with us on his cajun. Anyway, I am not a woman of 'I am great, you are great, they are great', I am a woman who likes to protest and act like everything is allright. I am  the singersongwriter of what Hans Teeuwen is talking about. Except for the fact that I won't wear a hat.
(I used to  try to wear a hat, but it gets really hot in my head when I wear one while I am singing, so from now on I will never wear a hat again ( I think ...:) )
As usually I don't know what I shall wear for a  night like this, so when I drank some coffee at the HEMA in Amsterdam-Noord I told my friend that I feel kind of depressed, especcially about being a singersongwriter.  I mean, a singersongwriter wants to be heard, to be seen, to be on a stage. But what if nobody shows up but yourself ?
"You should listen to Hans Teeuwen", he said, "and then you will feel better. "  And so I did.
 I must admit, now I feel a lot better.

 Hans Teeuwen and singersongwriters ( sorry, in Dutch)

Well, despite the comments of Hans Teeuwen who likes to shoot me down I just bought ten plectrums and I made a setlist for tonight, so we'll see what will happen... Yes, I feel much better now ! 

zondag 16 december 2012

Café Langereis in Amsterdam

Last week I had a great gig at Café Langereis. You can find this café in the centre of Amsterdam, on the corner of the Rembrandtplein and the Amstel. Cindy Peress had invited some singersongwriters to come over and play their songs. I had never been there before and after half an hour cycling I arrived at 7 pm at a very busy Rembrandtplein. The café was even more overcrowded, there was hardly room to stand up. I couldn’t find any stage, so I first thought I was at the wrong place. I asked at the bar and they said I was at the right place and than, thank God, I saw Cindy moving somewhere between all these smiling people who already started asking me when I was going to play ( no, not because I am famous, just because they saw me with my guitar on my back trying to get a seat somewhere.) She asked me to wait for a while so she could move some tables to make room for the musicians. In the mean time Arjen, the cajunplayer, had arrived, and because of the fact that there was no room for us at the café , we decided to have some coffee at another place. That was a wrong decision because when we walked into the coffeeshop just in front of café Langereis, they told us we had to pay at least 15 euro’s to buy some weed and to get a table.We only needed some coffee and a place to sit down so we left the smoking coffeeshop and then I saw Mick somewhere in the dark.  So we returned to Langereis and finally we found some seats. 

The first singersongwriter was a woman who played the piano. She did a   good job. She's called Sharon Goslar, good voice, good way to play the piano. (actually I think she was gonna play at SWAn one day but then she got ill, so maybe she'll come back another time)  Then Cindy played some of her songs and after her it was Hans Eckhardt his turn. He took a very nice singer with him and I really liked the way they played the last song.
Also I met Barbara Breedijk, she sang her songs in Dutch and some of them were really funny. Then it was Bomber Leo's turn, a nice young lady with a good steady voice. In the mean time it was around 9 pm and then it was our turn. I asked Barbara to make some pictures of me, and usually people take four or five pictures. But she took many, I almost started to feel a popstar by looking in the flashlight all the time; she took more than 50 pictures of me ! ! 
I think me, Mick and Arjen did a good job, allthough the we played the song Schizophrenia way too fast. It was only the second time we played with Arjen and I like what he is doing on his cajun. That little box sounds like a complete drumstel ( don't know the word in English, sorry again for my English) . The stage was really really small, so Mick sang his tunes right into my ear very loudly. This was a bit funny and everytime just before I knew he would start singing again I tried to shut my right ear.... The audience was very kind to us and the atmosphere was just allright. 
After we were done it was Ron Goudie his turn. I always like what he is doing, I mean I like free jazz, punk and Ron Goudie. He will play at SWAN at the 9th of January, so I look forward to hear him play again. 

There were some more acts, like a nice woman who played the piano. I don't know her name, but I do know she was the whole evening in café Langereis. I know this because at the beginning of the night she smiled at me in a very kind way. Finally it was Tony Chapman who started to play and sing, and he also played together with this woman with a nice voice ( sorry, don't know her name), you can see them on the pictures. 
At the end of the night the owner of the café asked us to come back and play on a Sundaynight in café Langereis. I am very happy she invited us because I liked the atmosphere of that place. So we'll be there again in March. 

Tony Chapman + singer
Barbara Breedijk
Sharon Goslar
Bomber Leo
Ron Goudie
Cindy Peress
Hans Eckhardt

Last night there were some people in the audience I really liked. They were watching and listening all night and I think they had a good time with all the singersongwriters who played last night.

Annette on Facebook


zaterdag 15 december 2012

Suffering from schizophrenia

I just came back from a gig in café Langereis. It was a great gig but first I need to write something about my song 'Schizophrenia'.  Now this is the question people often ask me after they listened to my song Schizophrenia: "Do you suffer from schizophrenia ?"
And I am so lucky that I can tell people I barely escaped from this complicated disease. Yes, I do have experiences with psychoses and for this case I am also lucky that I didn't do drugs and alcohol. There has been research into the use of cannabis and schizophrenia in 1987: more than 45000 Swedish recruits were asked how much drugs they were using.These data were linked to subsequent hospital admissions related to schizophrenia.
 The result was shocking: the boys who had used cannabis more than once in their lifetime at the time of the inspection service, had more chance to suffer from schizophrenia. The chance is  two and a half times larger compared to those who previously or ever had used only once. Indeed, the risk of schizophrenia was found to increase with the frequency of cannabis use.  If I had used drugs I would have blowed up my synesthetical mind completely.
Since I have been suffering from any bipolar disorder you can think of, I spent half of my life trying to understand what's really going. As a busker I met many drunks, whores, psychiatric patients and all kind of people living on the street.  I've seen a lot of things happening in  mental institutions and as a teacher I often  see how children have to grow up under very difficult circumstances.
These days I understand what's happening in a psychose and I understand what's happening if you feel totally lost.
I can understand this because I am aware of what I really am. Now this may sound a bit  surprising or implausible but this is what I say: what I really am is consiousness.

The song Schizophrenia is one of my favorite songs. It's a protestsong against the use of the isolation cells they still use here in the Netherlands. It's a protestsong against the misunderstanding of the human psyche of people who feel lost and frightened.Schizophrenia - acoustic version by AnnetteV

If you are Dutch and you need to know more you can contact
A very interesting website is the site of Joost:
Nomad Remix -schizophrenia (original AnnetteV)

This one is to you RONALD !  en nu.. hop naar bed ! 

vrijdag 14 december 2012

Shining Guys in Café Barco

Unfortunallity, the evening started with a  disagreement with Mick about the participation of Arjen, the cajun player. I can't tell right now what was going on exactly, but this fight made me feel real bad.   I tried to get out of the tension I felt but I failed completely.
Before we started  there was already a group of people who were yelling and screaming. I can tell you, it's hard to play your songs if people scream that loud. They were flute students of the Conservatory of Amsterdam and they just had a concert, one of them told me. I think it's rude to think that one only should be quiet when classical music is played. I mean, Paul van Dijk, de organisator of the gigs in Barco asked them politely to be quiet because of the performances of the singersongwriters.They didn't even notice him. I didn't feel that strong to ask them to be more quiet, but, well, on the other hand, who am I to judge and think that all people should shut up when Annette Vogel opens her mouth :) Actually I don't mind if people are talking and having a good time when I am playing my songs, but this group was really too loud for me.
So before I started playing, I knew there was a problem here and I tried to play my songs as good as possible. In the second set I made a lot of mistakes and finally I left the ship  with a bad feeling. Thank God I have to cycle half an hour to get home so while I was cycling I became quiet and started thinking about the good things:
1.  There were two Shining Guys in the audience and I am so happy they came to listen, because they brought  a very positive energy with them.These two guys listened all night to the singersongwriters who were playing last night in café Barco.
2. Another good thing was that the owner of the bar took a seat for a while. It was kind of relaxing seeing him listening and watching my performance and the performances of the other musicians. I think he could affort relaxing because Esmee was working this night and she is such a nice helpfull and beautiful lady ( actually she is an actrice.Esmee ) so...
3. Esmee was working that night at Barco.
nice shining guys in the audience

owner of the bar, listening and musing

Simon Kempston
4.Danielle played her songs pretty well  and when she was done 5. ...a guy called Simon started to sing his songs. I liked the guy, I liked his voice and his fingerpickingstyle and especially I liked how he sat down quietly next to his cd's waiting all night for his turn. Before I met him I had watched his vids on youtube and I was curious how he was gonna play this night and he did a good job.

Paul van Dijk
dinner at Barco
6. Just before I left Mick told me it was allright to play again in Barco because Paul had finally put the sound of his bassguitar louder.
7. Frank Fanille passed by and I always like that.

Me and Mick playing at Barco
So here are at least 7 points of a positive view of the performance last night. Still I got not much energy and I am not sure what 's gonna happen next with me, Mick and Arjen...


zondag 9 december 2012

Houseconcert in Amsterdam / Desiree Schilling

As you could read yesterday I tried to have no expectations about the gig I was gonna have last night.
So the whole evening was a big surprise to me...
 When I arrived at the house of Desiree Schilling,  the first thing I was thinking about was the murder of Theo van Gogh. He was murdered  in front of her house some years ago as he was cycling to work in the early morning of 2 November 2004,.This man  was a Dutch film director, film producer, columnist, author and actor.
 The day after the murder, Dutch police arrested eight Muslim radicals belonging to a group later referred to as the Hofstad Network. The Dutch Complaints Bureau for Discrimination on the Internet (MDI) received many complaints about websites' praising the murder and making death threats against other people.
 I remember this very well because I passed that spot everyday when I cycle to my school. The day of the murder I just passed the spot, it was only 5 minutes later when he was shot down.
With this on my mind I rang the bell of the house and a nice lady opened the door. She's called Desiree and she showed me the way to the stage. This was in her living-room where she had put some tables and chairs for the audience. I heard another singersongwriter playing in another room. She was called Femke and she took Diego and Nadia with her. Desiree's husband offered me some good red wine and after a soundcheck we all had dinner together. Rufus arrived( I met him before when we played in ZAAL 100 ) and when he sat down to eat his spaghetti he started to hum and buzz.  "I am a starting truck," he said, and so the other musicians tried to start their truck also. There was a nice atmosphere and Desiree asked us what she would tell the audience about us. She also told me the night was a public night, at first I thought she gave a party just for friends. She likes to organize  a public night once in a while, people pay just  a small compensation for good food, drinks and live music. She had also invited guests of the hotel in front of her house.
I didn't think so many people would show up, but the room was overcrowded !
There was a really nice atmosphere in the room. Here you see Diego. He is from Colombia. He studied music in Amsterdam and he is a very good bass player.
This nice woman helped Desiree with the dranks
Rufus, waiting for his turn to play his beautiful poetic songs

Now there is a very important thing to know if you are listening to musicians. Sometimes it is important to tell musicians what you think of their music or their sound. Last summer I watched the singersongwriter contest on the Dutch television and there was a woman who sang her songs. The songs were nice but everybody could hear that her pronunciation of the English language was not correct. So the presentator told her. Than she said: "Why did never ever somebody tell me this before ! ? "
I mention this because last night I had a great audience. The great thing about it was that people really listened and after my performance there were some people who told me - in a nice way- what they thought about it. So now I know I still have to work on the balance of my voice and guitar and that I have to give much attention to every word I say so that everybody really can understand what I am saying in my songs.
(Another great thing about the audience last night was that they only started to yearn after eight songs, and I will give my compliments for that, not because I think my music is that sleepy but just because I can't be quiet and listening for more then 40 minutes myself.)

Last night I started the set with the song Song for the Addicted This was what I decided because I missed our cajunplayer. I am not sure if he will play with us again but I hope he will relax and everything will be allright.The song Irish Girl in Paris didn't go that well, I missed a chord but when I looked at Mick I saw and heard he caught it up and followed me. 
At the intro of RED we decided to do some percussion, but I couldn't hear Mick that well, I hope we did allright...after the concert a woman came to me and she asked me if she could download the song somewhere, well the latest version on internet is this one, but we will make a new mp3 because there must be percussion in it. RED
Bird in a glass house
After our performance Femke played her songs with Diego on bass and Nadia ( vocals & violin)

At the end of the night people some people started to dance.The whole week I had a sore throat so I didn't think I would make it tonight with my voice, but I did it and I am so glad I came to this houseconcert.I didn't want to miss it. I think Desiree started a wonderfull initiative, she made a good meal for us and she made good food for the audience. 
Desiree Schilling

Of course, I do realize that it's maybe not polite to mention our salary, but as a musician I think I should say something about this. In these times it's very hard for a musician to work for money and so most of times me and many other musicians play for free dranks, good food, good audience and good times. This is okay for me but actually I don't think it's right to expect that musicians always play for free. I really appreciate the idea of Desiree. She, herself, asked the people to donate something for the musicians in her hat, and I must say, this was a good thing of her to do. It feels as if people  respect what you are doing, even if they maybe didn't like it. So thank you sweet audience and thank you, Desiree ! This night I think we all had a great time.  

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