Day 2 began with a bumpy bus ride that led us back to Amsterdam station, ready to head to our next stop, Utrecht. After discovering to my disbelief (how could our suitcases really be that big?!) that our luggage didn’t fit the station lockers we were relieved to head to our B&B and drop our bags off before journeying back to the city centre to explore.
With a modern looking high street and shopping mall similar to most in the UK, Zara, Starbucks, and a plethora of high street brands, we thought we’d try our hand at busking. First setting up near to Starbucks we began singing some of our favourite cover tunes but without amplification had no idea if we could even be heard. A few songs in, and 1 euro earnt, we were a little apprehensive of our endeavour. We moved spots fairly quickly, to a little further down the high street, but foot traffic was slow and earnings even slower! We decided we’d give it one more shot, and headed towards the characteristic and older part of town, where the cathedral, canal, and charm of Utrecht was on display.
Setting up on the bridge, we finally had a little success with plenty of smiling faces, some delicious free falafel from one of the cafe’s, and a few donations. Sadly not quite enough for our museum tickets that we’d hoped to earn, but around 15 euros richer than we were previously. We took a quick look in the cathedral and grabbed a bite to eat before heading to one of the coolest music museums I’ve been to! Located inside a former church, the Speelklok museum houses a collection of self playing musical instruments, such as music boxes, musical clocks and street organs. At exactly half past the hour we joined the English tour around the museum (glad to have Google translate prior to this to be able to understand a few of the information boards! The camera scan feature is amazing!) and learnt more about the origins of many of the instruments, how they worked, and got to hear lots of them in action! Here’s a few of my favourites:
A quick trip back to our accommodation and some more food later and we headed to Tivoli Vredenburg, our stage for the evening. Walking in this was a big music venue with several venues inside it, and with varying events happening that evening it was busy! We were playing the Rabo Open Stage, located in the foyer area by the bar with a wonderful stage setup. Concert organiser Kees explained the set up to us and we received some drinks vouchers, which I was delighted to find out included fresh mint tea, (bring on the heavy tea drinking) and then took a seat as the first act took to the stage to an excited crowd. Performing under the name Coos Veldpaus, the first act was brilliant and kicked off the night perfectly. Next Lea took to the stage and performed her set of gripping tunes, clearly enjoying being able to hear herself properly on stage. The difference it makes is crazy! Finally, it was my turn to hit the stage. Beyond excited that they had a Nord keyboard that I’d also be able to play, I started the set with Hate To Be Wrong and the audience seemed to get on board with some polite head nods and chair dancing. The most interesting part of the gig was the changing nature of the audience. There were people coming down escalators, many sat in and around the bar, an influx of people leaving one concert and catching the last part of my set, and it meant that there was the challenge of pulling people in from all directions who were there for something else but then became a part of the concert. It was a perfect reminder of why I love performing live, watching faces light up, and people becoming a part of that song or that moment in time.
With a few more members of the twitch community in the audience, it was lovely to meet them and put a face to a name! Another bus ride later and it was time to hit the hay before a 6am wake up and 5 hour train journey to Hamburg!