Briljant Singer Songwriter Festival III

The Briljant Singer Songwriter Festival III took place on September 10, 2016. The previous editions were organized by Thijs Launspach and Rob Alphenaar, the owner of café Briljant. This year Anouk Slik of the Singer Songwriter Cirkel Haarlem joined them. Together they created a festival with a lot of variation between the twelve acts.

Anouk opened the festival by performing herself in a classic singer/songwriter setting. Her set ended with a great song about giving each other space within a relationship. She keeps us waiting for the official release and we have to give her that space. Joshua Aaron had Lars de Rijck over from India to join him on stage. Their music made the sun shine a bit harder. Joshua has a CD out which is for sale at the price you think its worth. Anouk and Joshua were perfect to get the crowd cheerful, happy and excited for the next act.

It was a clear sky with plenty of sunshine beating down mercilessly on the picturesque square in the middle of Haarlem when Ratten met Vleugels, (Rats with Wings), took over the stage. The four musicians brought their not so optimistic songs very well. We learned how to get a book back from a friend who passed away and what happens in the town of Stampersgat. Neither were pleasant tales, but they were stuffed with humor.

If a darque spark of depression was felt, Eva van Manen stopped the potential fire dead in its tracks. She brought a lot of equipment and sound engineer Ed made everything collaborate. Eva did a great set together with Shana Bossmann. Next was Fons Stam who was selected during the Open Mic Night earlier in the week. Again he captured the audience with his unique viewpoints on the world. He sang about domestic violence in a happy way. He doesn’t care if he gets a few more bruises or a broken arm as it just feels like home to him.

If Fons left you thinking about relationships and the harm we do to each other, just listening to Dutch Cassidy made that disappear. This prepared us for Kim Nanninga who, at the age of 16, already makes great songs about… relationships. Videos of her performance at the festival can be found here. Mr. Pulp, represented by two band members only, increased the tempo of the music and put a lot of humor in their songs. They also brought along a few copies of their CD and you could have one if you told them a good story! Please, do check out their creative website.

One of the returning happenings during the Open Mic Nights of the Singer Songwriter Cirkel Haarlem, every first Tuesday of the month in café Briljant, is the improvisation group To The Wolves. Everybody can be a cub and participate. Even the audience was drawn into the fun.

To raise a little extra cash for the artists who performed at the festival, Anouk had a great idea. Having an auction in which the highest bidder got a concert by Anouk at their home. That was the plan… and it got better. Dutch Cassidy liked the idea and added himself to the offer! One of the neighbors of the square, where the festival was held, was the highest bidder and will enjoy two great performances at their upcoming blockparty.

The auction was not the end of the festival. Anne Reijnhoudt shared a mix of covers and her own songs. If she hadn’t announced each cover I would not have noticed it. The last solo artist of the evening was Dear John. He lost his soccer match earlier in the day and was eager to share his other passion… music and entertaining the audiance!

Songs are stories which contain warnings and words of wisdom. It teaches you about putting a ring on it or giving something that I missed. Today’s knowledge needs to be shared in a few minutes. Just enough time to talk about furniture or the sound of the beast. Luckily there are bands, like Grey Lotus, which take time for music and the story they want to share in a good Pink Floyd tradition. It was a magical way to finish a perfect day.

The best way to enjoy the photo’s is to click on the ‘View full size’ link at the bottom right of the screen below the photo.