“I never ask to be paid for my music,” said the Frisian singer-songwriter. “I ask for beer. As long as there is a crate of beer and they compensate my travel costs, I am fine.”
I met him at a concert I played in a small pub, somewhere in
Friesland. It was a joint concert: the singer-songwriter and one of my bands played, and because the singer-songwriter had a new band (he played with an accordionist and a drummer – acoustic, that is) he was lacking enough repertoire to fill half the evening so we invited my other band as a guest. An interesting evening: the singer-songwriter started off with Frisian-language ego-documentary songs, then my one band played Irish, Scottish and Bluegrass repertoire, than my other band played Frisian-language covers of well-known songs by Kylie Minogue, Tom Waits, REM and some others, and then we finished with the Irish etcetera repertoire. Explaining why precisely this repertoire at precisely this place and this moment in time with precisely this audience held together, no actually made up a fine evening, is something I will try to do another time. Although many of those present will not be aware, part of the explanation is a certain definition of “Frisianness” – or, broader, Dutch (West-European? Western?) “regionalness” or “localness”.