Saturday January 7 2012 (THE NETHERLANDS)


9 a.m. lobby call. My whole body feels heavy and roughed up. Rolling into the van. I sit up front with Sam, our driver at the wheel.

Pit stop. Chocolate-filled Croissant. Milk.

Sleeping most of the time.

Crossing the Belgium border.

Sleeping more.

I wake up to an alien land, The Netherlands. Strange designs. Strange signs. Strange words. Strange street art. Striped street light poles. Clean. Pristine. Futuristic architecture—reminiscent of Japan.

We pass an old windmill in the middle of a sheep pasture. “That’s as Dutch as it gets,” Sam says.
Soon after some roundabouts and wrong turns we arrive at the venue: Het Kasteel in the town of Alphen Aan Den Rijn.

After sound check and some Dutch snack goodies we check into the hotel, which is only about a 20-minute walk, and I take advantage of it while the others go in search for legalized hash (code word: coffee). It’s dark and beautiful outside. Walking along the river with the waterline terribly close to the buildings. Admiring the quaint Dutch dwellings with their distinct slanted roofs. I can peek into the windows of some and see people going about their business...watching TV, having a dinner party, or reading mail. It’s a wistful feeling being here walking around in the Netherlands. Hard to believe I’m really here.

Dinner: Fish Indian Cuisine Takeaway.


Back at the venue. I find an office down below to check internet and organize photos. Reading some emails. There’s three of them from Margot informing me she hooked up with a guy back home, more specifically just “made out for a bit.” My heart kind of plummets but I’m not sure how to feel. We had promised to communicate to each other if anything like that happened. But I really didn’t expect to hear stuff as it happens. Not here. Don’t put a dent into my trip. I mean I have nothing to tell her. I haven’t kissed or hooked up with anyone on tour thus far. And I don’t expect to, however if the opportunity was there and it felt right then I might take it. But I didn’t want to hear this kind of news. I don’t reply. I want to respond with something dramatically simple like, “I think it’d be a good idea if we not talk or see each other for a long time.” But I don’t reply at all. I miss her sometimes but her absence has been healthy and therapeutic and I’d like to keep this up. Okay, Robert. Why are we giving thought to this right now? I’m in fucking Holland.

And Mae goes on soon. I head up. It’s wonderfully packed...350 capacity, not sold out but a lot more people than the past few shows. We perform a powerhouse set.

After the show...stragglers hang around the dance floor looking to meet the band and get autographs. I talk to a few grateful fans then plop myself down on the edge of the stage feeling somewhat lifeless and sad. Graham takes notice and asks why I’m bummed.

I explain, “It’s just an internal compression, I guess.”

Sometimes you just feel alone...its’ a powerful blow to the soul when you’re traveling and you feel such a lack of connection. But I’m not gonna drown myself. I’m in Europe right now and I should be happy and doing things with abandon.


They throw an after party in the small bar room. All the bands and a few locals crowd up the place. Free rounds of bier! A deejay pumping out loud jams. Sharing smokes. Socializing with everyone. I meet Jolanda and Marith who work here at the club. Teaching me a few Dutch phrases. One of them being “Wil je me pijpen!” It means, suck my cock. I entertain myself by shouting this to any Dutchman in the room. Finding out the drinking age is only sixteen! It’s an incredibly fun time. Dancing. Acrobatics on top of the stools.

When it’s all over, some of us are left to walk back to the hotel. I don’t mind. I could walk in the Netherlands forever...

With Jacob, Tom, and Mark. The quietness in the Dutch streets is loud. The only sounds are the clicking of crosswalk lights and the tweeting melodies of the morning birds, which are uniquely different from morning bird’s song in Virginia.

Sinking into the bed at 5:30 a.m.

[i] All images by me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I know alot of folks that work at Het Kasteel in these pictures.

Great story, enjoyed reading!

I hope you visit the Kasteel in 2013!

Greets Sebastiaan