Hosting the BAR OPEN MIC NIGHT – 4 November

On Monday, 4 November, Two Doors Down is hosting an open mic night at BAR (Schiekade 201, Rotterdam): BAR OPEN MIC NIGHT

This is a Two Doors Down initiative, but we couldn’t do it without Kris and Emiel of BAR, and all the people who pitch up on the night to listen and to perform.

Sign up is from 20.00 (first come, first served).
There will be 8 to 10 slots available.
Music from 21.00
Max 3 songs per act (no covers)
Plug-in and play

We are modelling ourselves on the Open Mic Sessions of our friends in the Amsterdam Songwriters Guild, currently held at the Backstage Hotel on Tuesday nights.

Note: BAR also serves meals.

FACEBOOK PAGE for the event:

Two Doors Down – one outlet amongst many

It’s true. I am prolific as a songwriter, thanks to my various outlets.

Margriet and I regularly spend time writing “Crème Brûlée” lyrics. (This is our dutch act, for nursing home audiences – recidents, staff and family members – drawing on Margriet’s experience as a nursing home doctor. We’ve just finished the lyrics for a song called “Rollator Blues”, and we’re now in middle of writing one called “Relatie”). And I have loads of Two Doors Down and ‘Crème Brûlée lyrics waiting for a tune. (I can write lyrics anywhere, but melodies require time in the company of an instrument and a recording device.)

There is more to songwriting, though, than merely writing songs. To perform them live, they need to be arranged. To record an album is a collaborative process that requires a whole other skill set.

The “Send us a friend” project gave me a wonderful opportunity to get valuable Producer experience, and we have a CD to be proud of, that is also helping to raise much-needed funds to enable underprivileged children in the slums of Addis Abeba to go to school.

For more information about this project, see

To listen to the songs and purchase them as a digital download, go to


Irene & Margriet tied up with other projects

Margriet and I have been busy with all kinds of other projects. In January 2013 we had our first live gig in a nursing home with our other act, crème brûlée. And since October 2012 have been tied up with a CD Project called “Send us a friend”, performed by “Friends & neighbours”, the name we opted for to reflect the cameraderie of everyone involved.

The CD is in aid of a charity working amongst poor children in Addis Abeba, the Ethio-Berhan Foundation. (

The CD contains twelve Christian songs on relevant themes and features a children’s choir, an adult choir, and assorted instruments – bass guitar, lead guitar, saxophone, clarinet, violin and percussion – as well as Margriet on drum, soprano recorder, melodica, glockenspiel, shakers.

The CD has been mixed and mastered, and we are currently finalizing the CD booklet before pressing. As soon as we know the launch date (with concert), we’ll let you know.

Los Angeles – Taxi Road Rally

On Monday 5th November Margriet and I fly to L.A. for our second Taxi Road Rally. I expect there will be some familiar faces, though a lot of the people I emailed a while back to let them know we were coming replied to say they can’t make it this year. I guess that means we are privileged. And not being newbies means we can get even more out of the event.

Audition results

Jury report: “You sang well. And your voices blend well together. You do need to work on your stage craft, though. The act needs more performance; where singing is concerned it is good. A pity, but keep on going.”
Result: Not through to the next round

A pity, but they know best.

After um-ing and ah-ing, I decided I would send a reply: Thanks for the feedback. It was good to take part, but 2 minutes is very short. Besides two-part harmony, we regularly switch instruments. (Margriet plays record, melodica, glockenspiel, percussion). This is not possible in 2 minutes.

I don’t expect the organisers will change their minds. But it might make them think.

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.