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Performing at King's Night Festival 2018 at HOMOMONUMENT

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Performing at King's Night Festival 2018 at HOMOMONUMENT

I was honoured to be invited to perform electric cello at the King's Night Festival 2018 at the iconic HOMOMONUMENT in Amsterdam!

Check out the short movie I made below:

Songs: Testify - Hifi Sean feat. Crystal Waters (Rhythm Masters Vocal Mix), Bromance - Avicii (Greco NYC Tribute Mix)

What an amazing crowd and energy on stage with:

★ THE YARRR DJS ★ Aka. DJ T + Nata Babaju + Goldie Chatsworth

And Additional Featured Artists:

★ JOSHUA SERRAO ★ (Sax man Live Jam Session) ★ ANNIKA ★ (MC Special Guest) ★ MR ROSE ★ (Stage Dancer) ★ AL ' THIRSTY ' STRACHAN ★ (Stage Dancer) ★ FOEF ★ (Stage Dancers) 

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Performing with Paul Freeman on NPO Radio 2's Roodshow

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Performing with Paul Freeman on NPO Radio 2's Roodshow

I had the privilege of performing with Welshman Paul Freeman on national Dutch radio! It was the NPO Radio 2's late night Roodshow with Jan-Willem Roodbeen where we performed in the iconic living room of the studio in front of the brown leather couch with pillows with "meatloaf" and "keane" written on them. 

Check out our live performance of Closer Still above. 

The song Closer Still he wrote for Netflix series Marvel's Jessica Jones. He is featured performing this song on Season 2 Episode 5 (see screenshot below). 

Check out more about Paul Freeman:
http://thepaulfreeman.com/

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Performing with Paul Freeman at Countdown Cafe

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Performing with Paul Freeman at Countdown Cafe

It was full evening of radio appearances with Welshman Paul Freeman! First we performed Closer Still, Loneliness and Heroes at NH Radio's Countdown Café and then we rushed off to NPO Radio 2's Late Night Roodshow. I loved performing at Countdown Café because I had my Abbey Road family there supporting me (thanks guys!)! The Countdown Café is recorded in the Q factory where I study. I worked a couple times as a mixing engineer for the radio broadcast for Kees Baars. 

Even though it was the first time performing with Paul with an audience, it went really smoothly and it was so much fun! Thank you Paul for taking me on! 

See us performing Closer Still below. Closer still is a song written by Paul and is featured in Marvel's Jessica Jones season 2 episode 5. 

See us performing Heroes below:

Photos by Jasper Derksen 

Check out Paul Freeman's official website: http://thepaulfreeman.com/

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Performing at Yarrr's Girl Drop at Cut Throat

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Performing at Yarrr's Girl Drop at Cut Throat

A couple months ago I got in contact with a couple electric violinists based in Amsterdam who inspired me to try playing electric cello with a DJ.. so after buying some effects pedals (Micro POG & Big Sky) I got my first gig, playing at the alternative Girl Drop bar hangout at Cut Throat organised by the lovely ladies at Yarrr. Although it was not my first time playing with DJ Nata Babaju. I'd jammed years ago with her back then when they had live jam nights at The House of Rising. It took me a few years to get back on track, but this time I was introduced as electric cellist The Wong Janice and played for a very attentive audience for a good part of an hour! It was so much fun!

Big love and ups to Willa, Nata and Tessa for this opportunity! 

P.S. Here I am playing my 5-string electric cello by NS Design, the CR5P from CR Series

I played to a set of Tribal House with artists like Be Svendsen, Dole & Kom, Mollono.Bass, Oceanvs Orientalis and others.. Listen below or click here to follow the playlist

I just had to laugh at someone who commented on the Facebook photo album after the photos were uploaded. 

More about the amazing venue Cut Throat Barber Brunch & Bar (really, you have to check this place out): 
Address: Beursplein 5, 1012 JW Amsterdam
Website: http://www.cutthroatbarber.nl/

I am performing on the NS Design CR5 5 string electric cello by Ned Steinberger

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Performing at Sofia Dragt's album release 'Still Here'

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Performing at Sofia Dragt's album release 'Still Here'

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Once again I was honoured to be invited back on stage with Dutch singer-songwriter Sofia Dragt and her band, this time for her album release 'Still Here'. We performed live to a short film by Jonathan Smit called 'Andras' shot in Iceland in a beautiful art-house cinema in Utrecht, the Louis Hartlooper Complex

It was a different experience to perform with a film, as the audience was often fixated on the moving images and I felt less pressure about how I looked. It's always a privilege to perform to a quiet audience but that moment where I played pizzicato on the cello and Sofia sung with me with no other instrument, it's always a nerve-wracking feeling! All ears on me :) 

Sofia's songs are catchy, emotional and well-arranged. I really have fun performing with these guys, so thanks Sofia and band for having me again. 

More about Sofia Dragt:

Official website: http://www.sofiadragt.com/ 
Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6SbjUvOLEYreFr16Gvn8kv

Watch the short film 'Andras' below:

Band members:

Sofia Dragt - lead vocals and piano
Sander Huting - electric guitar
Wouter Vliegen - electric bass & moog
Benjamin Rheinländer - drums/percussion

Live sound: Willem be Bruijn

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Performing with Liloe Rix at Sofar Sounds Amsterdam

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Performing with Liloe Rix at Sofar Sounds Amsterdam

After recording on my good friend Liloe's latest single Breathe, I finally had the chance to perform this with her live! We were invited by Sofar Sounds - the Amsterdam edition. Their concept is to host monthly unplugged gigs in a (living) room. Liloe was first on the line-up, followed by Ray Romijn, and Terra Naomi from the USA who was only in town a few days because her husband is an actor and filming in Amsterdam. 

We performed in the 'living room' of Enterprise Rent-A-Car to a very quiet and respectful audience. What an honour! So nice to play to a crowd that listens intently to the music and doesn't talk. 

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Thank you to Sofar Sounds Amsterdam for organising this lovely opportunity for us to perform and who knows, perhaps one day again! 

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Performing with Left Alive at Grote prijs van de Bollenstreek

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Performing with Left Alive at Grote prijs van de Bollenstreek

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In 2013 a good friend of mine Sjoerd performed with my old band, and finally, 4 years later, I finally had the chance to return the favour (with my 5-string electric cello)! 

Together with his band Left Alive, a punk rock band based in Den Haag, we competed at a local Dutch band contest Grote Prijs van de Bollenstreek (for the non-Dutchies, it's a region in South Holland in The Netherlands where the tulips or "bulbs" are prolific. 

Last year, the band won the crowd vote and progressed to the semi-final. This year, we weren't as lucky, but we had fun! This year the band decided to play stripped-back without a drummer, with acoustic guitars and a string section (violin and cello) to complement the acoustic vibes. Even though we were unplugged, we still had a lot of energy on stage! Congrats to the band Christopher's Soul who won the Jury vote and will go to the finale, and ScooterRoy and the Hitmachine who won the crowd vote and will go to the semi-final. 

Photos in slideshow by Ruben Verheul and Jeroen Mesman-Vergeer

Thanks to the Left Alive guys for a fun gig! 

More about Left Alive:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leftaliveband/

Official Website http://www.leftalive.nl/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/leftalive

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/128KZvfmYDa6R9uuma8u1A

Band members:

Claire - Vocals
Joris - Guitar
Sjoerd - Bass
Jo - violin

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Performing with Sofia Draft at Noorderlijk Film Festival

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Performing with Sofia Draft at Noorderlijk Film Festival

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In October I had a small trip to Iceland with my parents. This country has such incredible landscape; so pure, untouched, and an incredible beauty in ways no other countries can even compare. With this fresh in my mind, I was happily surprised when Dutch singer-songwriter reached out because she wanted a cellist for her next gig at the Noorderlijk Film Festival in Leeuwarden. I took with me my 5-string electric cello

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She was performing with her band to the footage of short film 'Andras' shot in Iceland by Jonathan J Smit. Sofia sings dreamily with her running piano lines (think Agnes Obel). 

Thank you Sofia for having me on stage with you! I look forward to performing at your album launch on September 25 in Utrecht! 

Our show was published in the Nordelijk Film Festival program! (See picture to the right)

To have a sneak peek of the short film, take a look below at 'Andras', featuring Sofia Dragt's single 'Lighter':

More about Sofia Dragt:

Official website: http://www.sofiadragt.com/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6SbjUvOLEYreFr16Gvn8kv

Band members:

Sofia Dragt - lead vocals and piano
Sander Huting - electric guitar
Wouter Vliegen - electric bass & moog
Benjamin Rheinländer - drums/percussion

Live sound: Willem be Bruijn

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Performing with percussion class and afro-mix dance class at CREA

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Performing with percussion class and afro-mix dance class at CREA

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For the longest time I've wanted to be good at percussion. In bands, I always was the one with the shaker or the tambourine, and that was the extent of my rhythm! But finally, I got signed up (thanks to Bianca!) to a percussion course at the CREA - a cultural student centre connected to the Universiteit van Amsterdam and was so cool because we got to learn djembe & dundun (west African), cajon (flamenco), darbuka (middle eastern) and perform at an end of course concert together with the Afro-mix dance class. 

Of all of the instruments we learnt, I really really loved djembe. We learnt the basics of the bass, tone and slap and simple patterns such as Lolo. I love the way the bass rumbles when you hit the centre of the skin. It feels so organic and close to nature. Well, it is nature, it was made by hand from a tree and a cow skin! 

Our final performance was not VERY successful, but it was fun, and that's what counts :) 

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Performing with The Bush Bandits at ITC Open 2017

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Performing with The Bush Bandits at ITC Open 2017

For the second year in a row, I played with my band The Bush Bandits at the ITC Open - The Conference for ICT-Research in the Netherlands. Today we had a couple extra bandits - Paul Traas and Ben Whittle who will be joining us more often from now on! But more band members did not mean a more attentive audience... this time we played during the 'borrel' in the foyer so many of the participants of the conference we busy with beers, bitterballen and taking a breather from listening to the presentations. 

However, the stage was a beautiful moroccan-inspired lounge room at Flint, a beautiful theatre and conference centre in the Dutch town Amersfoort. 

Coincidentally, it was my birthday so I went out with the band and extended groupies to an eventful 3-course dinner in the neighbourhood. 

Thanks once again to Ad Buter, our guitarist for arranging the gig for us! 

P.S. For the gig I played my electric cello by NS Design, CR series: CR5P

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Performing with The Bush Bandits at Galerie KIS

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Performing with The Bush Bandits at Galerie KIS

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Anne from my band The Bush Bandits invited us to perform at a Kingsday (in Dutch Koningsdag) party at a Galerie KIS in the heart of the centre of Amsterdam. Since The Netherlands now has a queen, some people still think it's fun to celebrate the old King's day. Anne and her man René were catering at the event and we would provide some live music in between courses. I brought with me my 5-string electric cello from NS Design. 

Galerie KIS is a really scruffy art & design furniture store with an authentic sense of history that fits right into the gritty (now touristy coffeeshops, squats and red light district) area of Amsterdam. It had the feeling of a warehouse turned into an art gallery, which it probably is! 

I wasn't feeling the best but I had a good time because some friends dropped by! Thanks to Emile Cowstard for taking these photos. 

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Performing at Marije Nederveen's exhibition opening at Gustavson

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Performing at Marije Nederveen's exhibition opening at Gustavson

When a friend of mine passed on my name to Marije Nederveen and I was asked to perform at her exhibition opening, I gladly said yes! It marked a step up in my career as a contemporary cellist, as it was the first time I improvised live in front of an audience. I brought with me my NS Design 5-string electric cello

Marije had a beautiful exhibition of photographs from her travels, and she performed 6 of her poems. I played during 3 intervals, amplified through a P.A. in the restaurant. 

The exhibition was held at Gustavson in the Westerpark area of Amsterdam, a temporary pop-up cultural hub open until September 2016. 

See more of Marije's work at https://marijenederveen.com/

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Performing with Jenny Lane at Paradiso

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Ever since I moved to Amsterdam 2.5 years ago, my ultimate goal has been to perform on the main stage at Paradiso - Amsterdam's pop temple where I have seen amazing musicians perform on the stage including UK wonders Michael KiwanukaAdele, Florence + The Machine; Swedish queens Robyn and Lykke Li; indie rock idols Metric; alternative act CocoRosie and many world class rock acts who I haven't had the privilege to see including The Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Garbage, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Pink Floyd just to name a few...

And now I am proud to say that I have finally performed on the same stage - de grote zaal - as my idols and realised my dream.

The event was called Syrious Music and was held to raise money for children in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Among around 20 acts organised by composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven I was invited to perform 2 songs with Dutch starlet Jenny Lane. It was a really nice evening with a great atmosphere and all acts were completely different from world music to pop, to rap to German cabaret and the acts performed seamlessly consecutively but at different parts of Paradiso like in the middle of the room to having a choir on the balcony.

Our performance went really well. The moment we started the audience became suddenly quiet, being captivated by the waltz-like fingerpicking of the guitar and my mysterious cello line in the introduction. Jenny was great - her smooth voice and control was totally present. We rocked it!

Support the Syrious Mission cause here: www.getitdone.org/projects/107

Below: Me (Janice), Jenny and Nick backstage all smiles before our performance.

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Below: here you can see the true beauty of the Paradiso. On the stage is Celine Cairo with her band.

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Big thanks to Jenny for inviting me to perform with her and special thanks to Jaap Reedijk for the beautiful photos.

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Performing with Peter and Kerry

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A few weeks ago I received a message from my friend and filmmaker Valerie Toumayan (http://www.ilovesweden.net/) asking if I had a place for Peter Lyons and Kerry Leatham of UK duo Peter & Kerry to stay. She had filmed them live at Le Divan du Monde, Paris and they were touring through Europe supporting Lucy Rose.

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Sure, I had a space to stay if they needed one. I checked out their facebook/soundcloud and liked what I heard. So I asked Valerie to ask them if I could come to the concert in return. Or, better still, how about if I could play cello with them? (a bit cheeky but Val is a go-getter). Then the funniest coincidence happened half an hour later. I was looking at the adidas website and guess who was on the homepage banner? Peter & Kerry were part of the Originals SS13 Blue Collection lookbook (see the campaign video/images)!

Anyway, soon enough I heard the good news that Peter & Kerry were up for the challenge! They invited me to come watch them and hang out at a living room concert on Saturday organised by KONIJN (rabbit in Dutch – a community based on friends who puts a little into a top hat and magic comes out, literally) and then play with them at Paradiso 2 days after.

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The next thing I knew it was Monday, the day of the performance. I messaged a few of my friends and soon heard that the gig was sold out, so I was getting nervous. In the afternoon Peter & Kerry were busy getting their guitar fixed (it was damaged on the flight) and they came over to my place for a quick rehearsal. It was pretty intense, sorting out parts and playing together for the first time one hour before sound check.

Although it wasn’t officially my first time on the Paradiso stage (yes I was the girl with the drum at Alex Winston’s gig!) this was my real debut. The soundcheck was calming. I felt at ease and Johan the sound guy was doing a good job taking care of my cello sound. The plucking of the cello to my surprise was actually quite prominent and Johan put some reverb on it. The next hour went super fast as we went to get food and then next thing we knew we were on the stage.

Paradiso screwed us over a bit as they booked two shows in the same venue so Peter & Kerry only had 25 minutes to perform and Lucy Rose only had 1 hour for her set. So when P&K started their set, the hall was still dribbling in with people. By the end of second song it was getting full and I got up on stage. Peter introduced me as their friend Janice. Watch the videos below:

Thanks to Chandar van der Zande from KONIJN for filming.

Below left (photos by Roos): Peter & Kerry singing in Lucy Rose’s set. Lucy was brilliant! I’d listened to her album and it’s beautifully produced, but the dynamics and breaks need to be experienced live. The crowd was unusually quiet (and if they’re not in this hall you can really hear it) and then really enthusiastic when it was time. I was happy for them because I’d seen some shows there where the Dutch crowd was horrible. I told Lucy this after the show and I think she was really happy about it too. The line was super super long afterwards of people wanting merch and a signed poster.

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This was fun. Thanks again Peter & Kerry.

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Performing with with Michael Kiwanuka at Songbird Festival

(Above): Home Again broadcast on Dutch television! I was so honoured to find out from a friend who saw it on TV and I found out afterwards. 

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The day before Songbird Festival I was called by Michael Kiwanuka's tour manager to ask if I would like to come to the show in Tivoli, Utrecht and also perform at Songbird in Rotterdam. This one came as a complete surprise. I'd spoken to Michael before about this and they were enthusiastic about me playing but to finally get that call I was really overwhelmed.

So I arrive at the artist reception to get my wristband and Lianne La Havas walks passed to go to her dressing room. Wow, I thought to myself. I was really IN the action. Then I went to Michael's dressing room and got introduced to the crew and band: Michael Kiwanuka (vocals, guitar); Miles James (guitar); Steve Pringle (keyboards); Pete Randall (bass); Lewis Wright (drums); Graham Godfrey (percussion). The next couple of hours were a blur; I went backstage to watch fellow Aussie Matt Corby and sat in the audience for Justin Nozuka to see what the audience would see when I perform. As I went back to the dressing room I bumped into Lianne La Havas. I called her name and while shaking her hand I introduced myself as Janice. It took a split second but she then said "Janice Wong? I heard that you're playing with Michael! So great to actually see you!" How cool! She had seen my video so she knew who I was. I was a bit embarrassed and I even told her that I felt bad! haha. She said she would try come to watch after her performance.

Backstage the boys were getting ready - and it's funny what goes on in the dressing room! Miles was bidding on a reverb plate on eBay and won it! The others were doing press-ups, ironing their shirts and doing their hair. Michael was watching a live stream soccer match! It was a bit strange that Michael didn't ask me to rehearse or run through the song at all. It seemed like he trusted me and we were just going to wing it!

And luckily, the performance went smoothly. I went on for Home Again and the crowd started cheering at the start of the song. I was so nervous though that I closed my eyes for the first half of the song when it was just Michael and me playing. When I opened my eyes I could see the audience and a couple people in the front row recording with their iPhones. So cool!

Afterwards we went for a drink at De Unie with all the bands and crew. Was a great evening! Just wanted to thank Michael again for the opportunity. It was something so special to me. He really enjoyed it as well. His manager said it was the best performance in the tour so far!

See below for pictures from the night. Below: Michael Kiwanuka & band playing Home Again featuring Janice Wong on cello! (Photo by Andreas)

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Below: Close up of Michael and myself on cello. (Photo by Andreas)

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Below: view of the stage from the middle section. (Photo by Andreas)

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Below: Backstage looking out into the crowd at de Grote Zaal. It was packed!

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Below: Michael Kiwanuka's setlist from Songbird Festival, in the dressing room.

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Below: Me and the boys from Michael Kiwanuka's band in the dressing room. They're all so lovely and sweet!

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Below: My friend Lieke having her vinyl signed. They have 2 degrees of separation. Small world -x-!

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Below: Having a funny moment with Lianne La Havas

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Performing at Stukafest in Amsterdam

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Performing at Stukafest in Amsterdam

I'm quite proud to say this was my first solo (non-classical) cello show, and it was sold out! I'd been invited by Stukafest Amsterdam to perform at one of their 20 studentenkamer (student-room) stages. Apparently one of the board members had seen this video of mine on YouTube and thought I'd be a cool act. So I was quite honored! However in the days leading up to the show, I freaked out because none of my friends had bought tickets yet, and I feared that I'd be playing to an empty room, but the next thing I new, my set was sold out! While coming up with a setlist, I decided that I'd play pop songs on the cello with my new loop machine (Boss RC-300) and if that wasn't impressive enough, I decided to mashup two songs together. It turned out that fulfilling this feat would only be possible with a special guest; Andreas from my other band The Dingo Birds. 

Setlist

  1. Moondog - Bird's Lament
  2. Coldplay - Viva la vida
  3. Requiem for a Dream (theme)
  4. The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army vs. Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams
  5. Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc. vs. Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
  6. Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise vs. Survivor

It was quite a gezellig vibe. Random students entered my 'venue' (student room of Simone's) and sat on the bed or on the floor. It was strange to have the audience in eye-locking distance and I could hear them gasping and laughing when they figured out the mashup songs. All in all, I'd say my second performance was the best; the audience was very quiet but attentive, and still cheered quite loudly. The first round I was kind of nervous, and the third round the audience was enjoying but were a bit noisy (after a few rounds of music and drinks).

Click below to watch Gorillaz Feel Good inc. mashup with Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know featuring Andreas on vocals and electric guitar. He rocks the song!

LINK: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10150685854705746&id=591345745&_rdr

Video by Caspar van Lissa

Photos by Simo Karisalo and Henna Raatikainen (cntnt.blogspot.com)

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Performing with Imogen Heap in Amsterdam (LIFE GOAL ACHIEVED!)

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Performing with Imogen Heap in Amsterdam (LIFE GOAL ACHIEVED!)

"I love playing music with people, especially because the way you connect can be much more meaningful and special than talking one on one."

16.30

Cycled to Melkweg with the cello on my back, and got in just as the rain started. Met the lovely crew and got fitted with a radio pack and hit the stage. Oh, how nerve racking. Roll in the cellist! I sat there sorting out my leads and loop machine, and bowed out some tunes. Tried to ignore the fact how scared I should have been, on stage with Imogen Heap, but I just closed my eyes, listened to the cello echo in the hall and concentrated. We ran through Earth once. She was already happy with it, smiling and ready to move on. Then the others came onto the stage for Aha!. She said "we didn't tell you we were playing this one did we?" No, I wasn't expecting to play this one (but of course had practiced it anyway) and she said she had seen my audition (all those months ago) so she knew I could play it. After one time through it already felt good and Imogen smiled, because she knew it was going to be all good.

18.00

Imogen ran off to 9 straatjes (9 streets) to get an outfit and I had some good Thai food with Ben Christophers and Emma and Vince from Geese, before rushing back to get ready. It was an early show, with no supports. Bumped into my two Dutchies outside and we went in. I hadn't told one of them I was playing, so it was a little bit tricky to hide my all-access pass and to explain that I was wearing these small bud-earphones as a fashion accessory (hiding the radio pack under my armpit)...

19.40

And the show began! I was calm. It was cool to enjoy the first half of the set in the audience in great company. It was my second time seeing Imogen Heap in concert, the first time was in Melbourne, where I discovered she was auditioning cellists while at the show. It felt like this was my second chance. And those don't come around often in life. Just before she performed 'Let Go' from the days of Frou Frou, I said to my friend, "I'm just going to the toilet" and never returned...

Imogen told a little story of my audition before she brought me out, and when I came out, the crowd (my friends haha) screamed very loudly, "Jaaaaaaaaaanice!!!!" thanks guys!

I plugged in, and I had a moment with myself when I looked into the black mass of people, which was probably 900 people all there watching me. I started playing and I knew it was all great from that note on. I started to enjoy it. When I looked over at Imogen to start, she was smiling at me. Wow. I've talked about this before, but I love playing music with people, especially because the way you connect can be much more meaningful and special than talking one on one. I mean, we had hardly said more than 3 sentences to each other, but on stage we knew each other.

LOVED IT. And my friends too, and the rest of the crowd! Ben later on told me he was jealous!

22.00

Took the crew out for a drink at Weber "a favourite haunt for musicians and well known for playing the latest independent music". Yes it was fun! So great to be surrounded by such great people. And, they only had good things to say about me, which was so generous of them.

02.00

It was time to send the crew off. Stood outside the big black bus (the size of 2 stretch limos and a small train carriage) with Imogen and had a strange moment, you know, you have a one in a lifetime chance to say something meaningful or impactful, but also know it's better to say nothing in case it's too corny. I already played the 'silly' card when I gave her some dutch treats (a wooden tulip, clogs and a chocolate letter) then asked for a photo and some autographs. Haha! I just accepted my position as a young fan. I just said thank you a billion times, and she thanked me too, wished me luck for my studies, and hugged. All the best to you too Imogen.

PHOTOS

Janice and her 'fans'

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Imogen and her digital grand piano

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Ben Christophers on guitar

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Had to do the cheesy thing and give her some Dutch presents including a tulip, clogs and chocolate letter.

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Setlist

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