Ellen ten Damme

“Berlin”, Ellen ten Damme

by Rob on

Some time ago I was informed that Ellen ten Damme would give a special concert. There were two reasons for this concert to be special: All the songs would be in German. And concert would be used to make a new CD. So I bought tickets for the best available seats. The concert would be at “Het Concertgebouw”, Amsterdam.

The idea was to have somewhere dinner before the concert and, if time would allow it, to have something to drink before catching the last train back to Heemskerk. Well, at least that was what Marion thought…

Next to “Het Concertgebouw” is a very good place to eat located: “Brasserie Keyzers”. We have been there before and decided to go there today again. They serve mainly seafood, which is fine by me as it is of very good quality.

The concert was called “Berlin”, which refers to the German songs or as Ellen ten Damme said: “She was looking for the way to Berlin”. The performance was awesome. Again Ellen ten Damme showed that she has great musical skills and knows how to set an performance, all with great humour. The songs were a mixture of well known German songs, as song written by Ellen herself.
I hear often people say that German is hard and harsh language. During the show I saw again confirmed that this is not correct. It sounded wonderful.

As said, there was a recording for a CD at this concert. And at the end of the show it turned out that the recording of some songs were not perfect, so they had to be done again. Which was not a punishment at all. Marion already said that we would stay to the end of it all, skip the planned drinks after the show and go directly to catch the train back to Heemskerk. I just nodded..

When all was done there was in opportunity to register to get the recorded CD to a very nice price. Of course I registered.

Outside again I think Marion started to suspect something, because I didn’t hurry in a single way to get to the station to get the last train. And she was right, already weeks before I reserved a room at the hotel Weber (and early in the morning I already brought the things we would need for the night to the hotel).
Hotel Weber is not a big hotel, but is surely a very nice hotel with wonderful rooms with lots of luxury.
At the wonderful and very comfortable room we enjoyed some very nice wine and chatted a long time, before showering and going to sleep.

In the morning we had breakfast on our room. Around 11:00 we checked out and went home. Both of us feeling good. It was indeed a wonderful evening that I will remember with great pleasure.

Marion loves this kind of surprises and I love it to be able to give her this to her.

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I already talked here on my blog about the Hip Hop/Rap artist Blaxtar (who is also my colleague Kevin). Although his music style is not completely mine, I am very impressed by the things he does.
For example he is the man behind poetry concert “Spoken”, where text-writers, poets and other people who do magic with words present there own work on stage. There is room for questions to be asked. A very nice initiative!

Some time ago Kevin was telling about one of the next “Spoken”-performances and mentioned that Ellen ten Damme would be there. Anyone who knows me a little bit knows that I think that Ellen ten Damme is a great artist and that for several reason.
At concerts it is often not allowed to use good camera’s (DSLR’s and such). So more out of fun than serious I asked Kevin he could not arrange that I could take my DSLR along and make pictures of this performance. To my surprise he said straight away that he could.
Well, that was great, because that was still one of the things I wanted to do: Making pictures with a decent camera at an concert!!!

Tom (also a colleague and interested in photography) was also interested in this and for Kevin it was no problem that he would come along. Tom is good company, so that was okay for as well. Another advantage for me was that Tom has a nice collections of lenses. And as we both own Nikon DX camera’s, I could try some his lenses as well (which is nice because I am planning soon to buy a new lens for my camera).

Apart from Ellen ten Damme, also Ad Visser (youth hero for me because he presented way back the music program Top Pop) and Jörgen Raymann (who has a great sense of humor, but also seems to have a clear opinion on matters) performed. At least these were the artists that were known to me. But Unorthadox, Manu van Kersbergen and Eva Cortes made their presence on the stage.

The performance yesterday itself was awesome. It was great to watch these people and present their own work. A lot respect for them and the way they can handle words. Many true words were said, but there was also enough to laugh about. A combination I really like. I would highly recommend this poetry concert to anyone who love the written (and in this chase specially the spoken) word.

The taken of the pictures was not easy… little light and movement. So a very high ISO value was really needed. I had a look at the pictures I made. Some will go directly to the recycle bin, but others need a little work on them and then make it in to nice pictures. Good thing these pictures were taken in RAW (a special picture format that allows many corrections to the picture). But that will be a lot of work, which is of course not a problem as I knew that on forehand.

As I agreed with Kevin, I will wait on his okay and then I will post here some of the pictures I made yesterday. He wanted to discuse this with all that are somehow involved. Very understandable.

But as I already expected, Ellen ten Damme was signing CD’s and such. I hadn’t her last CD signed yet, so this was the opportunity. As it was not really busy, there was some room to talk. Ellen could remember me from visiting her concerts, but she had not expected me there. I explained that ended up there because I knew Kevin. And because of that we also talked a little about the work I do. Nice.

So Marion…. there it is. Another signed CD *grins*

And no, Ellen doesn’t have to worry (see below). A new show or a new CD and I will be dropping by :-)

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Yesterday evening Marion and I have been to a concert of Ellen ten Damme. I don’t think that it will be a big surprise for anyone who knows me (or reads my weblog regularly) that I really like the music and shows of Ellen. She has a great voice and a very good sense of humour. Plays different instruments as the guitar, violin and piano very well. Really knows how to make a good show. And yes, I won’t deny, she is also a very attractive woman to see.
So every time Ellen has a new show or a new CD (or what ever) I will try to visit one of her performances. I heard very good things about her performance with the Scapino Ballet. So when I heard that she and the Scapino Ballet would come to Amsterdam, I ordered directly tickets for Marion and me.

Because I know Marion really likes it, I put on my fine black pantolon, a black blouse and a my brown suede blazer. And of course, as always, Marion looked marvellous. She was wearing a very nice black/white dress with dark stockings and high heels.

The performance was at “Het Concertgebouw” in the city of Amsterdam. Now Amsterdam is not the city you want to drive to by car on a Saturday evening. So we went by train.
When we arrived at the train station “Amsterdam Centraal” it was raining. But when we saw the huge crowd of people waiting for the tram that would take us to the area of “Het Concertgebouw”, Marion and I looked at each other and as if we could read each other minds we said at the same time “Taxi?”.
Luckily we had very fast a taxi that took us to “Het Concertgebouw” (showing to a Taxi-driver that you know your way around in Amsterdam prevents unwanted and unneeded d-tours :P).

We had a table reserved at the brasserie “Keyzer”, which is right next to “Het Concertgebouw”. I really enjoyed the dinner we had there. The food and wine we had there was very good. The people very kind and polite (I find this just as important as the quality of the food and the wine). The atmosphere was enjoyable and I liked it how they combined classic and modern styles in the building.

To reach “Het Concertgebouw” we just had to cross one street, but it was nice that it stopped raining.

For me it was the first time that I visited “Het Concertgebouw”. Marion told me she had been there twice before.
“Het Concertgebouw” was gifted by the notables of Amsterdam in 1881. The building has a neoclassical architecture and it is known for its great acoustics. I love old buildings and it is always a pleasure to visit a new one.

The concert of Ellen ten Damme? It was wonderful again. Her strong voice and the great acoustics combined very well. I loved it. She performed some of the numbers of her album “Durf jij” and some in a complete new way. There were also some songs that I had not heard before, this may mean that a new CD is on its way.
The Scapino Ballet added a complete new dimension to the show. It was very nice. And no, I am not surprised that Ellen flawlessly was part of their acts.
The guiding band was called “Wereldband”, four persons who can handle a broad area of instruments. I liked them. They were good.
All with a all a great show again.

When I visit an concert I always like to buy something… a CD, a t-shirt, a poster or something like that. And I like it when an artist signs CD’s and alike after the concert. To all concert of Ellen I have been to, she signed afterwards and I think that is really great. More artists really should do this. This also means that quite a part of my collection of signed CD’s are signed by Ellen ten Damme.
I looked quickly at the CD’s that were available, but I already had those. But there was also a vinyl version of the “Durf jij”-album. I am still capable of playing vinyl records at home and the fact that vinyl records are becoming rare, made me decide to buy the vinyl record and have that signed by Ellen.

When I returned to Marion, who waited aside the huge crowd that wanted to have something signed by Ellen, she had to laugh. This was typical something for me to buy and I think she is right with that. And the vinyl record looks good in the display case with all the other signed CD from all kind of artists I have.

Luckily it was still not raining again when we started to go home again. The train journey went fast and before we knew it we were home again. Before going to bed we talked about the very nice evening with some wine for Marion and I some of my beloved whisky. A great evening that we both enjoyed a lot.

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by Rob on

Yesterday I watched the Dutch movie “Interview”. I had the DvD already laying around for rather some time, but I never got to it to watch it. But yesterday I finally did.

The movie was made in 2003 and tells about a interview between a war correspondent and an actress. But the interview takes a very strange way as it becomes a strange exchange of word games, emotions and secrets. And the end of the movie is quite surprising.
Although I mostly don’t like the movies made by Theo van Gogh, this movie is the exception to that.

Funny detail… In the beginning of the movie there was an actress of who her face was so familiar to me, but I could not place it. Deeply ashamed when I saw the credits of the movie I realized it was Ellen ten Damme. But Ellen ten Damme really changed in looks since the time that the movie was made… and not for worse :)

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Celebrating the years…

by Rob on

Although it was officially Christmas Eve, Marion and I celebrated yesterday our anniversary. This evening has been something I have been planning for a long time, because I wanted to make something special of it. And finally I managed to keep it a small secret for her, which is always hard for me (“Those eyes… those eyes…” :)).

So Marion arrived yesterday more or less unaware at my apartment in Heemskerk. More or less, because I don’t ask her to take a day off from work without reason. So I told her that I reserved a table in a nice restaurant in the city of Haarlem and that we had to be there in time, which was of course completely the truth.

We had dinner at Lambo’s in Haarlem. And I must say that what I heard about this restaurant was absolutely correct. The food was just superb. The people very friendly. What I really liked is that we could take all the time we wanted for all the courses (we had a 4 course dinner). According Marion the different wines they selected were very good and I believe her. She knows a lot more then me on that subject.
This is surely a place I would like to go back again some time.

After dinner I suggested to take a small walk through the centre of Haarlem. It stopped raining and the temperature was nice for the time of the year. We both like Haarlem, so we enjoyed the walk. But what Marion didn’t realize that I was guiding her slowly in a certain direction.
When we walked to the Philharmonie of Haarlem, Marion remarked surprised that Ellen ten Damme and her Cirque Stiletto performed there that evening. Well, I had to admit that this was correct… and that I had tickets for this performance! The word she said pleasantly surprised I won’t repeat, but it resulted in a very nice hug :).

Well, about the performance I can say only one thing: WOW!!!.

Of course, first there was Ellen ten Damme who was the red line through the show. I already knew what a voice that woman has. And I already knew that she knows how to set a performance. But also in this circus she is right on her place. Her very special and sexy clothes added all to it in a positive way. Also the show was full of some pretty good humour and that I like a lot.
And Marion fully agreed with me… Ellen ten Damme has great legs (as Marion has to complain about that :P).

The other artists in the show were awesome as well. The things the acrobats did really make you sit on the tip of your chair. Some of the things we saw showed strength and complete control of the body. The most “scary” thing was in my opinion the knife-thrower and the lady bound to the turning board. If I understood it well Marion found the things the man walking the rope did pretty scary. Remember, unlike in a normal circus, we were sitting very close to it all.
Anyway all the performing artists were more then great and breathtaking.

Also the dancers that performed throughout all of the show were awesome. What a sense of rhythm. They made it all complete.

Marion and I really really enjoyed this show. We had tickets for one of the front rows, so we could see everything very well.

It was not allowed to take pictures or movies and in this case I can understand it. But I knew there were some movies on YouTube. Of course some movies of people who don’t understand what “not allowed to take pictures or movies” means. Those I ignored. But I could remember that I also saw some official movies on YouTube and I found one.
One or two things in the movie below were different then in the show that Marion and I saw, but most were the same. But as the stage on which we saw yesterday the performance is much smaller then the one on the recording, we could see things a lot better. And maybe because of the same reason I thought that the quality of the sounds was also yesterday a lot better. And most likely the Philharmonie has a way better acoustic then the huge hall on the movie anyway.

After the show Marion needed to visit the ladies room and that gave me more then enough time to get a signed CD (Ellen ten Damme has often signing sessions after her performance). I bought an older CD of her (“I am here”) and asked her to sign it.

After we left the Philharmonie we walked towards Grand Café “De Gouverneur” to sit and drink something. Here we chatted a bit about the show we just saw. Marion had one or two glasses of a very nice red wine and I took a good tasting single malt whiskey (I believe a Glenrothes).

When we stood up and prepared to leave, Marion was thinking that we would be going home, but here I had another surprise. For that night I reserved a room in the Ambassador City Centre Hotel (here I had a partner in crime who made sure I got the key of the room and that the things we would need for the night were already in the room).
As I already knew, the room was perfect. Everything one could need was available. There was a beautiful view on the big church that was close to the hotel.
We talked a bit and I showed Marion the signed CD and that made her laugh out loud (for those who don’t know the special meaning of a signed CD for us, should search my blog on “signed CD”. Somewhere in there is the answer to that).
After some more talking we both took a shower and went to bed…

And well, how they say? The rest is history… *WINK*


(Credit photo’s: Rob)

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Flowers… and something else…

by Rob on

Almost from the day I moved into my new house I have flowers inside. Some times roses or tulips… some times lilies… or as this time sunflowers.
I think flowers always add nicely to the good atmosphere of the house.

Apart from the nice flowers in my house, I have arranged tickets for Marion and me to go in January to Ellen ten Damme’s Cirque Stiletto. The seats are first class and are on a perfect spot. I will make a special day of it. After all we have something to celebrate then :).

This is one of the advantages of living on this side of the country…. there is so much going on here :)

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Ellen ten Damme at Paradiso

by Rob on

This is funny! The third message in a row that is somehow related to Ellen ten Damme :).

It was for my first time at Paradiso and I have to admit that Paradiso is an awesome place for concerts like this. It reminds me at places as the old Metropool in Hengelo. Although I realize that Paradiso has a much more richer history as Metropool. And that in more then in one way.

Ellen ten Damme gave yesterday a performance in her clubtour “Durf jij” (which is Dutch for “Do you dare?” and what is the title of her latest CD).

Apart from the fact that Ellen is a very attractive woman, she is also a very talented artist with a great voice and who knows her way around with instruments as the violin, piano and the guitar.

The performance of Ellen was great…. alive, kicking and surprising. And let no one ever say that music in the Dutch language is boring. It is certainly not. I already knew that and yesterday it was shown again.

I always to take pictures at concerts, but sadly very often it is not allowed to take good photo-equipment as SLR-camera’s to such concerts. My small compact camera is just too weak to take good pictures is such bad light circumstances. Specially at this concert I would have loved to have my SLR camera with me. But nevertheless, I have some pictures to keep the memories of this awesome concert high.

And of course, as so often at concerts I have been, I bought a t-shirt. And no Marion, this shirt is not meant as nighty on your journeys (you still have my Google-shirt!).


of course…

as could be expected…

another signed CD!!!! I think that because this whole “Signed CD thingy” started with another concert of Ellen ten Damme, her signed CD’s count double! So Marion…????? :P

All with all, I had a great evening and I enjoyed myself very much. Paradiso will be a place I would love to go more often. And Ellen ten Damme? Always good :)

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Because Rob and I talked lately a lot about Ellen ten Damme, who is one of the artists he likes best, I downloaded through iTunes her latest album “Durf jij?” for my iPod. I already knew that Ellen ten Damme is indeed a very talented artist, but I really have to admit that I am impressed by this album.

But listening to it, I was pleasantly surprised by the lyrics of one song. The title song “Durf jij?” to be precise. It reminds me very much of the period that Rob and I had after that very special Christmas Eve. It was a period of uncertainty. Not really knowing what to do…

And I am so happy that Rob responded without any hesitation to my “Durf jij?”…. and see where it brought us!!!!

(Of course I didn’t ask Rob literally “Durf jij?”, but somehow was it where it came down to)

Durf jij

Als ik de dorst drink van het wachten
En de tijd slikt die je morst
Als ik de lange lege nachten leer begraven in mijn borst
Als ik de honger leer verbergen
Van jouw veel te verre mond
Als ik de dagen stil zag zweten
Die door zwijgen zijn verstoord

Durf jij, durf jij
me dan te zeggen dat je komt?
Durf jij, durf jij

Als ik door distels naar je toekruip
op een brandend pad van grind
Als ik door oerwoud naar je toesluip
Angstig rillend als een kind
Als ik rivieren overzwem
naar het land waar jij verblijft
Als ik de wilde zeeën tem
op een vlot dat amper drijft

Durf jij, durf jij
me dan te zeggen dat je blijft?
Durf jij, durf jij

Weer een lied is het oude liedje
Wat zal zijn is wat eerder bestond
Voel jouw brand in je hart dan geniet je
Maar de klok tikt
en alles is rond

En als je eindelijk zult proeven
wat je niet wist dat bestond
Als jij niets hoeft, dan te vertoeven
op de stilte van mijn mond
Als dorst en honger zijn gestild
niets dan voortaan nog bestaat
Als jij niet meer voor mij verschilt
Stilt de meer dat in de straat

Durf jij, durf jij
me dan te zeggen dat je gaat?
Durf jij, durf jij
me dan te zeggen dat je blijft?

Durf jij, durf jij
me dan te zeggen dat je komt?
Durf jij, durf jij
En de klok tikt
en alles is rond

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Paradiso: Ellen ten Damme

by Rob on

Yesterday I learned that Ellen ten Damme will soon perform in Paradiso. Anyone who even knows me a little bit, knows that I really like Ellen ten Damme. I think she is one of the best artists we have over here in The Netherlands.
As Paradiso is now I am living in Heemskerk in range of the places where I can go to concerts, I ordered straight away tickets for that concert.

It will be for me the first time to go to Paradiso, so that will be something great as well. I heard many stories about Paradiso…. I am curious how many were true.

And for those insiders that know me a bit…. Maybe there will be another signed CD!!!! *grins wicked*

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