• contest

    Audition for a local talent contest

    A few weeks back a friend suggested we sign up for a local talent contest, Het Rotterdams Open Podium, organised by Theater Zuidplein. The grand prize is to appear on the stage of the “Kleine Zaal”.

    After um-ing and ah-ing for a while, we decided, “Why not”? In due course I received the email telling us when our audition would take place: 15.44 on Saturday, 27 October. We had two minutes to do our stuff and wow the judges. Two minutes. That’s two-thirds of a three minute song. We had opted to sing, Life’s like that. It had to be the short version, obviously (with one verse instead of two).

    Waiting our turn in the foyer of Theater Zuidplein we were struck by the way the other contestants geared up for their shot at fame – subdued, or filling the space with their sound (we were not intimidated!), or pacing about.

    Our friend, Alan, arrived out of the blue to encourage us. Of course he was disappointed he wasn’t permitted to join us in the audition room. He took comfort, though, from the fact that he’d heard us perform the song the night before during our set at Room Rotterdam.

    In due course we were asked to go in, to discover that that jury was made up of 3 men, all around the same age. Producer-types. They asked us to introduce ourselves, but did not reciprocate. (They did have place names, but that wasn’t much help).

    Two minutes later there was a warm applause, followed by some technical “criticisms” and some candid remarks. Our age-bracket offers them scope to encourage more people over forty to apply for the contest. Further, they asked if the song is original (it is) and if we had more material (we do).

    We should hear later this week if we’re through to one of the “semi-finals”, when we get six minutes to entertain and win over the judges and/or the public for a place in the final. We’ll keep you informed of developments.

  • gig - open mic

    Jamming with locals in Malta

    On Wednesday, 10 October, Irene flew in to Malta. Just outside her hotel she noticed a man with a guitar on his back, and decided to approach him for information about possible open mics on the island. The man, called Charlie, wasn’t too optimistic, but he did know of the owner of a suchi restaurant in St Julian’s (a short bus ride away), who hosted jamming sessions on Wednesday nights.

    The restaurant, Gochi, was surprisingly easy to find, and Miro (the owner) suggested Irene return after 9pm. Not many musicians turned up, but Miro and Hishi (a young bass player) and Irene managed to have a go, playing some of the Two Doors Down songs. Hishi particularly enjoyed ‘Mr Spitz’, about Mark Spitz, and his seven gold medals – especially the “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” at the end of the song (the other verses only have 5 yeah’s).

    below: Irene, Hishi and Miro in front of the music alcove at Gochi’s

    above: Hishi and Miro with their instruments