Last night Arnold Veeman -hailing from Groningen, but with roots in Suriname too- played at Vanslag in a lovingly intimate setting.
Arnold’s biography is really impressive. Played in popbands, punk and metal, went to a conservatory which he finished with honors, writes musical pieces for orchestras and filmscores and still has time to write and plays the songs that he played at Vanslag list night.
Armed with only a (gorgeous) acoustic guitar, seated on a beautiful (church) chair, Arnold Veeman played songs with influences from barok and walzes, sometimes bluesy with a dash of jazz and just to break the heavy, dark layer of the lyrics every once in a while a cheerful song :)
The lyrics are poetic and broad, but most of all in the dialect of Groningen, as are the introductions to the songs. With stories about growing up, his documentary of his journey to Suriname to discover his own history, and al the dicerting that came with the documentary. But it never sounds gnarly, it is sounds very comforting and he brings it with a lot of humor.
Next to singing Arnold also whistles a lot. And he does it well! Really well. The only one I’ve ever heard it do as much (or even more) is Andrew Bird, but with a name like that it’s kind of a given). Also Arnold gets some help on a few songs when Libbe Oosterman joins him on stage on bugel. Never overwhelming, always so well balanced.
A terrific concert, many thanks to Arnold and Vanslag!