Plans to go busking and updated list of open mics

Open mic in York, U.K. – in support of a charity  (Photo: Irene Bom)

Margriet and I hope to take advantage of the good weather in Rotterdam this Saturday and go busking. We have a busking license, but haven’t had time or energy to make use of it till now. (Get in touch if you’d like to know where we’ll be.)

I’ve also updated the open mic page, realizing that some of the locations listed are no longer active. Some are still going strong, though, like Hostel ROOM in Rotterdam and the Amsterdam Songwriter’s Guild.

Live recording: Good Night’s Sleep

A live recording of Two Doors Down performing “Good Night’s Sleep” at Creative Mornings Rotterdam on 2 August 2019.

The song is inspired by Creative Mornings July’s theme, “End”, and captures something of Irene’s daily struggle to call it quits and enjoy the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Irene is on the guitar as usual and singing lead vocal, while Margriet adds percussion (bell and shakers), sings harmony and plays the melodica. Notice the audience reaction when Margriet starts playing “Somewhere over the rainbow” at the end.


Good Night’s Sleep

bell signalling midnight

Verse 1
There’s something about the midnight hour
that brings out the worst in me
Not that I’m a party girl
On the contrary
But I struggle to call it quits
And miss out on all the benefits
of a good night’s sleep

Verse 2
My second wind kicks in and them
I’m chasing after something again
I love the flow but as some of you know
It can be an addiction
I wish I could train my brain
to entertain the counterclaim
of a good night’s sleep.

Verse 3
At the end of the day I need to learn to say
Lady, enough is enough
It’s time for bed, you sleepy head
Stop sweating the small stuff
On the far side of my dreams
There’s a better version of me – I’m dying
for a good night’s sleep.

Gotta try me some of
sleeping beauty’s beauty sleep

strains of “Somewhere over the rainbow”

Live recording: Symmetry

A live recording of us performing “Symmetry” (this month’s theme) at Creative Mornings in Rotterdam on 22 February 2019.



Verse 1
We were in motion when we met
How we connected I’ll never forget
In this world of tangled dreams
there are no guarantees
I’m one of the lucky ones
who know that love is real.

Symmetry, by degrees,
is shape-shifting me
The unexpected symmetry
of me and you loves you and me.

Verse 2
I’d had enough of playing games
Round and round in circles, what a waste
Love helped me to begin
my return to innocence
Love is like alchemy
it changes everything.

(Repeat Chorus)

Verse 3
Looking forward, looking back
Everyone says I’m much more relaxed
The future sure looks bright
with love in my life
It’s not a bed of roses
but it’s deep and wide

(Repeat Chorus)

CreativeMornings RTD keen to have us back


Irene writes,

As mentioned in our previous post, we’ve built up a relationship with Creative Mornings Rotterdam, performing at three of their monthly gatherings in 2018.

Last Friday I attended the January event on the theme of ‘Surreal’, and a number of regulars recognized me as part of Two Doors Down. Also, the organisers – including the new host, Lodovico – are keen to have us back sometime soon. So watch this space.

Live recording: Honest friends

Irene writes,

I’m a regular at Creative Mornings Rotterdam. It got me thinking. Could I write a decent song on the theme of the month and would Creative Mornings Rotterdam let Two Doors Down debut the song live at that month’s breakfast lecture?

The Rotterdam Creative Mornings team were willing to indulge me. To┬ádate I’ve written 4 songs inspired by Creative Morning themes, and we got to performed 3 of them live. (“I trust my hands” I performed a capella to a gallery owner in Manchester where I was stranded because I’d missed my flight. It happens.)

The 4 songs in our “Creative Mornings Collection” are:

Who will throw me a life line (Theme: anxiety)
Curiosity (Theme: curiosity)
I trust my hands (Theme: craft)
Honest friends (Theme: honesty)

Here is the latest song, “Honest friends”, recorded live at Creative Mornings Rotterdam on 26 October 2018.


Honest friends

Verse 1
Will you tell me the truth
tell me the truth in love? Please share.
I appreciate it when you speak from the heart
It tells me how much you care.

I need honest friends to keep me grounded
Who bring out the best in me
Up close and personal
I need your honest-to-goodness honesty

Verse 2
Will you back me up
back me up when I’m under fire
It’s so good to know I have support
from those who know me and how I’m wired.

(Repeat Chorus)

Like the pitch and roll of a ship at sea
My life is in constant flux
I need an anchor, a harbour and a lighthouse
People I can trust

(Repeat Chorus)


Irene writes:

Last Tuesday Margriet and I recorded our Art Rocks video, with our friend, Theo Huijgens behind the camera. It all got a bit late, and I forgot my capo, so I had to play a whole other set of chords. Also, my guitar strings need replacing and our voices were a bit shaky. But we did it. And then came the challenge of taking the best bits and tweaking the audio and turning it into a video. Amazing how much I’ve learned in the process.

Here’s the result:

If you like the song, please vote for us on the Art Rocks website.

Note: The artwork on the easel Irene had made years ago.

Art Rocks 2018 song is called “Ramses”

Irene writes,

My Art Rocks 2018 song is finally coming together. I’m calling it “Ramses”.

I was inspired by the life of Ram(e)ses II and his legacy (as Basquiat obviously was), in particular the striking evidence of his love for Nefertari, his first wife. The tomb he built for her in the Valley of the Queens is stunning – a real labour of love. She’s depicted larger than life on some temples too. He called her “the one for whom the sun shines”. Some praise indeed!

Writing the song has taken a bit longer than usual, as I struggled to find a direct link with the painting and the artist. After the Art Rocks workshop day I participated in a few weeks back, I saw a way to pull it all together and I think it works. Here’s hoping the museum judges think so too.

Now onto the final stages of arranging the song, making the video and getting my entry in in time for the closing date, 22 October 2018.

Check it out:
Now you can take a virtual tour inside Nefertari’s tomb (2018)

Working on a song for Art Rocks 2018

Art Rocks is a bi-annual competition linking fine art and music.

Irene took part in 2012, and has decided to try again. Last Saturday she attended one of the workshops, to gain inspiration and meet some of the other songwriters. She was the oldest of the bunch by far. The youngest was 15, not much older than when she first learned to play the guitar and started writing songs all those years ago.

Irene has selected this painting by Basquiat as her inspiration:
'Koningen van Egipte 2' by Basquiat

The song is evolving slowly, but she’s making headway. The challenge is to write a song that can stand on its own, but that is clearly inspired by and a response to the artwork. Good luck to all the others taking part.

The organisers hope for 250+ entries this year. Wouldn’t it be great if Irene made the museum round and then got selected for the finals in Paradiso? One can dream, can’t one?

In case you’re interested, here’s the link to Irene’s 2012 entry, “Mirror mirror”.

Website gets an overhaul

We had no choice. The old wordpress theme wasn’t PHP 7.1 compatible, so it had to go.

It wasn’t easy finding something suitable. Margriet and I auditioned a whole series of wordpress themes this afternoon and settled on this one, called “Great!”. I hope you like it.

For nostalgia’s sake, here is a screenprint of the old site:
Can you spot the differences?