Two weeks as an artists’ community


From 10 to 23 July 2012 Margriet and I, together with our friend, Katrin, from Berlin, formed a temporary artists’ community, based in my brother’s home in the Gerard Scholtenstraat in Rotterdam. (My brother and his girlfriend had agreed to swop houses with Katrin for two weeks, to make this possible.) My sister, Daphne, joined us for a few morning sessions, to draw us.


Here are some of the things we managed to fit into this two week window:

– play at two open mic sessions in Café de Bel (Gerard Scholtenstraat)
– attend a screening of a music documentary about Talking Heads at the beach in The Hague
– go sailing with friends
– attend a live recording of the TV programme, “Beste Singer-Songwriter van Nederland”, in Amsterdam
– go to the Boomtown festival in Gent (Friday night)
– experiment with paper
– experiment with improvising
– introduce Margriet to the basics of playing the ukelele
– work out four Dutch songs for our “Crème Brûlée” repertoire (incl one new tune)
– make a start on two other tunes for the “Crème Brûlée” repertoire (Irene)
– watch a BBC video series, “How Art Made the World”
– perform at ROOM hostel (thanks Arto from Brazil for listening so attentively)
– do some recording, incl a recording of one of Katrin’s songs
– make video recordings of the four “Crème Brûlée” songs we had arranged
– go to two music shops (incl a ukelele shop, where we met Marco and Shelly)
– check out books on songwriting from Irene’s collection
– cook, eat, sleep and get on with living …


We were so busy, there was hardly enough time to work on our own individual projects.


Dot to Dot Festival, Manchester

On Monday, 4 June, in the middle of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Margriet and Irene attended the Dot to Dot Festival in Manchester.

The highlight was “Pearl and the Beard”, the band that drew us to the festival in the first place. A close second was “Pond”. The Ritz had the best sound system, but the Deaf Institute was the coolest venue by far.

below: Pearl and the Beard in the Sound Control Club

above: Pond at the Deaf Institute

Irene and Margriet’s Programme

17.45 – 18.30: Lucy Rose

16.15 – 16.45: The Dunwells

15.30 – 16.00: The Night
18.30 – 19.00: Pond

20.15 – 20.45: Pearl and the Beard

14.00 – 14.30: Being There

Full line-up


On the radio – Amsterdam FM – Songwriters Live

On 24 May 2012 we played live on the weekly radio programme, Songwriters Live, presented on Amsterdam FM by Rufus Kain on behalf of the Amsterdam Songwriters Guild.

Here are recordings on the four songs we performed that day. (Sound engineer: Carlos Manso)

I really like it Lyrics
Poor world Lyrics
On repeat (Missing you) Lyrics
Life’s like that Lyrics


You can listen to the whole radio programme by clicking here. We feature at the following times:

20:55 – I really like it
23:24 – Interview (Part 1)
33:42 – Poor world
37:17 – Interview (Part 2)
44:47 – On repeat (Missing you)
52:55 – Life’s like that

“Mirror Mirror” – entry for

Irene writes: I selected the painting, “Het oorbelletje”, by Breitner to inspire my song for the competition. The recording features me on guitar and vocals, and Margriet on glockenspiel.

Mirror, mirror, mirror
When it comes to love I’m a real beginner
Does it show?
Mirror, mirror, mirror
Help me feel like a winner
Help my confidence grow.

Check out our entry on the website, and take a moment to listen to the ten finalists and the other submissions:

Margriet and I hope to attend the final, and take part in the public vote in a few weeks time. We’ll keep you informed of developments.