Tag Archives: The Netherlands

Afterglow

Robb Murphy - Afterglow Cover art

The boats stack up as they wait for the lock
The captain’s at the table and he’s glad for the stop
He’s got a place he can saddle his shoes
Feet on the land and a drink with his crew

Time will pass years will go
Memories fade stories grow
Here at The Turning Point I’ve come to know
Peace is found in the afterglow

The mood is up as the sun goes down
And the sky rolls over Spijkerboor town
Nobody here feels a stranger’s weight
As the night unfolds the stories are told
God this place has a home in my soul

Two men who met their fate
One robbed one killed by the state
He thought he’d sneak on through
But cut down as suspicion grew

A place for medication, a home for a school
A place for an army to gather and rule
And when they lined up the locals to vet
They couldn’t find where the secrets where kept

The mood is up as the sun goes down
And the sky rolls over Spijkerboor town
Nobody here feels a stranger’s weight
As the night unfolds the stories are told
God this place has a home in my soul

And there may be nothing in a young man’s eyes
But give him time and he’ll awake inside
If it’s what you want stars will align
Don’t let others change your mind

They come from east, they come from west
Music is a force that pounds underneath your chest
Nobody here feels the stranger’s weight
As the night unfolds the stories are told
God this place has a home in my soul

‘Afterglow’ tells the story of a special place, a place we’ve visited each time Robb and the band were touring in The Netherlands; Café ‘t Keerpunt in Spijkerboor. Spijkerboor is a small village in Drenthe (province in the north of The Netherlands) with a peaceful and rural character. I remember walking into the pub for the first time and we were welcomed by the owner, Willem Dijkema, his wife Anneke and dog Skipper. It felt like stepping back in time. The pub breathes history and there’s a story attached to everything you see in the pub. From the pictures and instruments on the walls, to the cabinet behind the bar and the jukebox.

The story of the ‘t Keerpunt starts around 1750 when a lock keeper started a small pub for captains who had to wait at the ship lock. Since then the pub had 11 different owners, but until today the pub still exists. It stood the test of time.

‘t Keerpunt (translated to English: The Turning Point) is the heart of the village. It’s where locals come in to have a drink, eat and talk and it’s where events and activities take place.
It’s not only locals visiting the pub. The pub is known for its live music, poetry, literature and plays. Artists from all over the world have performed there and people come from far to see their favourite artists play there.

A few years ago Willem asked Robb if he would be up for writing a song about ‘t Keerpunt. More artists did the same and Willem explained that he wanted to make a compilation CD of songs about ‘t Keerpunt. Robb didn’t have to think twice about it and right away said yes to that request. This compilation CD will be released later on this year when Willem and Anneke will celebrate their 20 year ownership.

Each time Robb and the band performed at ‘t Keerpunt it feels like coming home. Many great memories were made there. The kindness, warmheartedness, the hospitality, the history… this pub is one of a kind. And this is what the song is about. Afterglow… a song about Café ‘t Keerpunt, a place where the stories and the music will never stop.

You can download ‘Afterglow’ on Bandcamp NOW!

‘Afterglow’ will be available on Spotify, iTunes, iTunes Music Player, Google Play Music, Amazon and other online music stores and streaming services from the 15th of March 2019.

My Joy

Lyrics

I heard somebody say
We weren’t built in that way
Now its been ten years more
And I still come through that door

When I was just a boy
My heart was filled with joy
Some years can leave you burned
Now my joy has returned

I will be the one for you
I will share it all with you
And when our minds are tired and old I will hold you
Just like we are new

It is a lonely heart
That makes true love depart
I once was just like you
Stubborn in my point of view
It’s what men do

I will be the one for you
I will share it all with you
And when our minds are tired and old I will hold you
Just like we are new

And all I see is colours when I hold you tight
It takes much more than dollars just to make it right
Yeah there’s ups and downs but even day has night

I will be the one for you
I will share it all with you
And when our minds are tired and old I will hold you

And I will give it all to you
Nothing less would ever do
And when our days are nearly though I will still love
Just like we are new

Usually I’m ending my blogs with music, but I thought I’d start my blog with music for a change…
“My Joy”, a new song. Robb shared it with the public a couple of days ago.
Robb and the band have been working on new songs in the past months and ‘My Joy’ is the first song of the new album that’s finished. Here’s what Robb says about it himself:

On YouTube Robb explains how this song came together:
“Written at the end of last year ‘My Joy’ came together pretty fast, the guitar phrases through-out lead the vocal melody. The first line of the song jumped into my head when playing the riff, “I heard somebody say, we weren’t built in that way. Now it’s been ten years more, and I still come through that door”. This set me on the path to tell a story of a love which does not grow old, even though the body does. The band then added layers and the song builds organically until the end with the aim to leave the listener both hopeful and uplifted! Thanks for listening – Robb”

We’re not sure yet when the next album will be released. There’s a lot of recording to do for it and just like any other album, it’s a long creative process.

Robb and the band started rehearsing again. They’re also practicing new songs, which can be heard live during the upcoming tour of The Netherlands.  It’s going to be the fourth time that Robb and the band will be touring in The Netherlands and it’s a very full schedule. We’re preparing things for the tour at the moment and we’re really looking forward to it.

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Thanks for reading! Wishing you all a good day!

Headstrong / NL Tour

It’s been a long time since I wrote my last blog… Two months have passed… Often I thought about writing a blog, but I was too busy with other things… And if there was time and I sat down to write, I couldn’t get a blog written. But…here I am… It’s Friday night, weekend just started and I’m making time to write again.

Earlier I was reading the last blogs I wrote and realised how much I didn’t share on the blog yet… So much has happened in the passed two months! Robb has released the single ‘Headstrong’ along with a music video. Just in case you’ve missed it… Watch! The animals kept Robb busy for months…the result is well worth a watch!

After their escape from the zoo no one heard from the animals again until the day ‘Headstrong’ was released… The animals were very excited about the release! Look at what happened on the morning of the release day:

I’m not sure how the animals are doing now, but as far as we know they’re still free… I think that at some point they will show up again…

Another thing happening was the tour of The Netherlands… For months we’ve been preparing things and closer to the tour I realised that I actually had forgotten how much work it is… Sending out press releases, contacting venues to check up on everything, getting merchandise sorted, flyers, tour posters, make a comprehensive tour planning, check up on the accommodation, get groceries, pick up instruments and amps and there’s so much more to do just before a tour.
But…we managed to do it and all the work was so much worth it…

What an amazing week it was. We traveled from the north of the country to the south and back to do gigs, radio shows and a TV show. A lot of people came to the gigs and it was good seeing people enjoy the music so much. Robb and the band performed at great venues and we’ve met a lot of people.

Below are a couple of links to radio shows. You can listen back to the shows online.
Live uit Lloyd, RTV Rijnmond:
http://www.rijnmond.nl/programmas/live-uit-lloyd/berichten/27-10-2015/robb-murphy-gb-live-uit-lloyd

Universe Radio, Showcase:
http://www.universeradio.nl/shows/Universe%20Radio%20-%20Robb%20Murphy%202015.mp3

It’s hard to fit everything into one picture but the picture below sums up what we’ve been doing during the tour.

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It’s been a very tiring but really great week. Many people were involved. The hospitality and kindness of people was really great to experience and we had a lot of fun. The weather was great during the whole week. There wasn’t much time for sight seeing, but we did get to enjoy great views while traveling and had time to visit the Euromast in Rotterdam to experience amazing views from 180 meters above ground… Below some of my favorite pictures of the views we got to see.

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Last Monday the tour ended. Robb and the band flew back to Northern Ireland, taking great memories back home with them. Back to ‘normal’ life again… But for now I will probably be looking at all the pictures we took to remember the good times we had…and to hold on to the good feelings the tour brought…

A song to end this blog with…actually a couple of songs.
Last week Robb and the band performed at Noardewyn Live, a Dutch TV show on Omrop Frylân.
Watch and enjoy!

Coffee time and time for an update…

It’s Saturday…lazy Saturday… it’s rainy and chilly in The Netherlands. After doing some necessary cleaning, laundry and tidying I just made myself some coffee. Perfect time to write a new blog.

The days are going by so fast… Time just really flies!
Robb returned from Italy last week and we’re back to work on the music. There is lots to do at the moment. The release of ‘Headstrong’ is coming up soon. The video for this song is almost finished.
Keep an eye on Robb’s social media sites to stay updated about the video and single release!

While the band started with rehearsals, I am sorting out final things for the tour of The Netherlands next month.
People who have been reading my previous blogs might think what’s there to sort out? Everything already was sorted?
Yes, gigs were sorted at an early stage, just like flights and accommodation, but now it’s time to do the promotional side of the tour and sort out the details. That means contacting all venues, radio- and TV stations to check up on things, talk over some things that aren’t clear yet. Provide info, press photos and a tour poster, make a press release to send to media closer to the tour. Last week I made a planning…travel time included and keeping in mind that there’s enough time to set up, chill and have dinner at some point. I also started making lists of things we need during the tour like water, fruit, stroopwafels, ontbijtkoek and more! Somewhere I have to fit in bacon pancakes…Not sure where yet… It’s all a lot of work, but it’s fun to do. 2015 Poster - master copy B

It’s fun and it’s special. What makes it special is the kindness of the people involved with the tour. There really is a large number of people involved … from venue owners, to radio/tv stations, from DJ’s to people who are lending us their skills, instruments and gear. Not to forget the support the band gets at home to be away for 10 days and also my husband who’s taking time off to take care of the children, while I am away during that week. Literally everyone involved is putting in effort to make this all happen. Always something to be very thankful for! One thing is for sure, with all the effort everyone is putting in, this will be a week in which we will make a lot of great memories again!

More news to share. ‘Headstrong’ will be featured on a compilation album, called ‘Ireland Laid Bare’. This album, initiated by Peter Smith, consists of various Irish artists/bands and will be released on the 16th of October. More info about this album and the release can be found here:
https://www.facebook.com/Irelandlaidbare

A song to end this blog with, Trump Card Hand. This song developed during the tour of The Netherlands last year. Robb and the band recorded the song not long after the tour. Listen and enjoy!

Gigs and ducks

I already mentioned it in my previous blog…gigs…
It’s probably one of the most challenging things to get sorted if you’re a musician.
We book all of the gigs ourselves, both in Ireland/Northern Ireland and The Netherlands. There’s a big difference between booking gigs in Ireland/Northern Ireland and The Netherlands though.

Booking gigs in The Netherlands goes pretty well so far. Sure it’s a lot of work and you’ll have to search for venues who do pay artists to play, but so far we’ve been able to get paid gigs sorted. It’s simply necessary. If you’re a touring artist, you’ll have to get expenses covered. It takes a lot of time, effort and phone calls to find the good opportunities though.
Robb always comes over with the band. So when booking gigs we just have to try to get as much of the expenses covered as we can and besides that we have to be creative. Booking hotels is much more expensive than booking an accommodation for a week or 10 days. You can’t cut on flights, but it is helpful to book early, because prices for flights are always going up fast around 8 weeks before the departure date. Renting a car instead of a van is also helpful to keep the costs as low as possible. I live in The Netherlands, so I’m always driving too. But it’s not only that. We’ve been very lucky with the instruments and equipment so far, which we’ve been able to lend from very generous and kind people over here. Besides that, we’re always trying to avoid big expenses when we’re travelling. Taking food and drinks with us, so we don’t have to eat at restaurants etc. and some venues are very welcoming and take care of us all very well by providing us with food and drinks.

The first tour was the hardest one to get sorted. No experience at all and no idea where to look. There wasn’t much to wish for, we were happy to get paid gigs. During that tour there was a variety of venues, from music bars to a chapel. With the 2nd tour things went a lot easier. We found good venues and were able to book better gigs than we had during the first tour. Again a variety of venues and it was fun to do. With the third tour we’ve found a lot of new venues and some venues wanted Robb and the band to perform there again. Good venues for songwriters to perform at, and again every venue is different. We’re already looking forward to that tour!

Booking gigs in Ireland/Northern Ireland is a completely different story though. Sure booking gigs in The Netherlands isn’t an easy thing to do, but with some effort and finding the right venues, we’ve been able to book gigs.
In Ireland/Northern Ireland that seems like an impossible thing to do. You either play for free or pay for a venue yourself to do a gig, hoping that there’ll be enough audience to break even. What’s even worse is that there are more and more festivals making artists pay when they want to apply. That is just really wrong.
One of the reasons why things are so different might be because of the amount of talented bands and singer/songwriters in Northern Ireland. There seems to be much more ‘competition’ than there is in The Netherlands. Music simply is much more part of the culture in Ireland/Northern Ireland than it is over here.
There are many more differences though. In Northern Ireland/Ireland the support for local music seems to be very good. There really are numerous radio stations, including the big stations, who pay attention to new music and besides that there are some really good organisations promoting local music in Northern Ireland.
Sure there are some organisations like that in The Netherlands too, but those organisations seem to be very inaccessible. What does happen is that there is a growing amount of initiatives from people (music lovers)/organisations supporting unknown talent (from The Netherlands and abroad) by hosting gigs. Radio stations are a different story though. There are some good shows that play unknown music, but you won’t hear it on the big radio stations. And besides that…most radio stations (not all of them!! There are some exceptions!!) are always behind over here. When a certain band/artist breaks through in the UK it often takes at least 6 months to a year before radio world in The Netherlands wakes up 😉

These are just some differences between music world in The Netherlands and Ireland/Northern Ireland. And I’m sure things are different in every other country as well.
This blog may seem like a very negative story, but it’s just how the way things are and something every artist has to deal with. There’s nothing negative about it, it’s even quite positive, cause that means that we (and every other artist/band!) will have to be creative and see it as a challenge to make things work and come up with different ideas to spread the word and reach the audience that will like the music. Don’t put energy in the negative things happening, instead of that, find your own way and be you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Every single artist/band is unique and what works for others doesn’t mean that it will work for you too. Be creative, push a few boundaries, take a helping hand when offered, be thankful for the people who support you and stick to your goal.

Something totally off topic to end this blog with…
In one of my previous blogs I wrote about the unexpected visitors we had last week. Mr. and Mrs. Duck who came for a swim in our pond. They were back yesterday!!
Seems that they liked it…maybe the food supply wasn’t bad after all 😉
I sat outside for a while, watched them and gave them some bread. They stayed for a couple of hours before leaving. I wouldn’t be surprised if they become regular visitors from now on.
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I shared this song, To Be A Fool, in a previous blog, but I’m sharing it again, cause it’s about the things I wrote about in this blog. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it and stick to your goal.
Have a listen!