|Soulful Kinda Music
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No Tulips from
When I asked on Soul
Source for the dates of European Soul nights, Jos from the Amsterdam
Soul Club was the only person who replied. As I’d never been to
In the intervening
weeks I had offered my services as a DJ for the night and Jos had
offered to provide me with overnight accommodation, so I was all set for
a weekend in
Of course things
never work out quite as planned, and without thinking of the date I
accepted a booking at Sonic Soul at Lutterworth
for the Friday night. I really enjoy Sonic Soul, and wanted to do the
booking, but this meant I couldn’t fly out to
Nevertheless, I caught the flight on time, landed early in Amsterdam (And a quick tip for anyone considering going to Amsterdam, all the Budget airlines that fly there are cheaper initially, but once you start to add on booking fees, card fees, baggage fees, it turned out that the scheduled KLM flight was about £20 cheaper), and contacted Jos by phone. He came out to the airport and collected me, and via a combination of train and tram we arrived back at his apartment, where I was introduced to his wife. Jos then took me upstairs to the other apartment where he showed me what his hobby in connection with Soul music was, but more of that later.
Jos then took me
The other thing that astounded me was the sheer number of people riding bicycles at breakneck speed on the Cycle roads. Each road had what we would call a cycle path on each side of it, and you literally do have to dodge the cyclists (It probably didn’t help that I automatically looked the wrong way first though). So, all I needed for the full tourist set was to see some clogs, and yes there were tourist shops selling souvenir clogs.
To be honest Jos is a proud Amsterdamer though, and provided a running commentary all the way, on architecture, history, and events that had happened, so it really was an interesting tour.
Back to the
apartment, and a lovely meal prepared by his wife for a group of people
all of whom would be attending the Soul night later. I was introduced to
Paul and Mandy, and as they were originally from
By now it was approaching 9.00pm, so we set off for the venue in Jos’s van.
De Badcuyp is a fairly small and intimate bar, which when the tables were moved was all dancefloor. There is an upstairs balcony, but very few people used it. A fairly good range of draft and bottled beer, and I was advised to try a Belgian beer called La Choofe as it was the closest beer to English bitter. Very nice as well, except it was almost twice as strong as the typical English beer !
Very quickly it seemed the room filled up, most of the early arrivals were all ex-pats, quickly followed by the core of the Dutch Soul fans who support the venue. I was introduced to almost everyone who arrived in the first half hour, and promptly forgot almost everyone’s name (I’m blaming the strong beer !).
The first spot came
from Jos himself, and this is where his hobby came in. For a living, Jos
works for the Dutch Television News company, thus is well versed in
video editing. For his hobby, he appears to have scoured the world for
video clips of Soul artists. He then edits the clips, improves the
picture quality, and in many cases removes poor quality sound tracks and
replaces them with the original recording. This is where the editing
skill comes to the fore, because not all live recordings are word
perfect reproductions of the records, as we all know. Jos though has
done a fabulous job, and I found it fascinating. Several venues in the
Next to the decks
was Pete45, an ex-pat from
Jos had explained that the club attracted people of all ages, with a huge range of knowledge of Soul music, from those who only knew the Motown hits, to out and out anoraks, so the first set was a bit of a jump into the unknown. Here’s what I played:
Set 1: (Both set lists are approximate !)
Mickey Champion –
What Good Am I – Musette
It must have gone ok because the dancefloor remained full (As it did all night actually), and nobody threw anything. The beer kept coming, and every time I tried to buy a round I was told I couldn’t. In fact Jos gave me some drinks tokens to buy beer with, but I gave them back to him towards the end of the night because I hadn’t had chance to spend them.
Jos and Pete both did a second set each, and then at 2.00am it was down to me to finish the night off. A few of the younger crowd had started to leave by this time, but the room still had healthy numbers, and the requests from the ex-pats were coming in thick and fast, so the second set was a bit more on the rare side than the first.
Magnetics – I Have A
Girl – Ra-Sel
When my set finished I sort of helped load the van up (I actually stood around chatting making sure nothing was stolen). To my amazement, a considerable number of people got on their bicycles and rode off into the foggy night, including at least one ex pat.
By this time I was seriously the worse for wear. I’d had little sleep the night before, it had been a long day, and the beer was strong, and arrived with startling regularity, so I was pleased to get back to Jos’s spare apartment and get some sleep.
I woke early the
next morning of course, and spent a couple of hours reading before going
upstairs to get Jos out of bed. After a breakfast of bacon and eggs
(Which they had bought specially for me which I thought was a wonderful
touch), we all set out for the city centre again. Jos’s wife is a
lawyer, and despite it being a Sunday, had to work, so Jos and I went on
a tour of the Heineken Brewery. Great fun,
and a lot better than the Guinness tour in
The fog from the night before was still around, and although my flight was delayed for an hour I still managed to fly out at 5.30pm. which was a lot better then the people who were on the morning scheduled flight because it was cancelled.
I eventually arrived
home around 7.15pm, tired but happy having spent a marvellous night in
Seriously though, if you are looking for a great night out, in a wonderful city with lots of history, I would thoroughly recommend Amsterdam Soul Club. I had a great time, and I’m sure you would as well.
Pinched from a website about Belgian Beer:
La Chouffe 8.0%