Engelenbak & Nes Area

Vinsky Project

Engelenbak’s Closure is a fact, but the Nes Area still is vibrating!

Amsterdam,  June 26, 2013

“And the rest is silence”, a Shakespearian quote to accompany a sad message on Engelenbak’s own website:  This theatre closed on January 1st this year as a consequence of the local government withdrawing it’s fund for the period 2013 - 2016. I tell you this, ‘cause I remember some of you told me that you would like to go there on the next trip to Amsterdam.

A jewel in Amsterdam disappeared, not to mention a well known play ground of new talent and potentially big Dutch names of tomorrow...


After a nice performance we saw of  Vinsky Project (still sounds nice to me now in 2013... 
Vinsky project in Engelenbak:                   Vinsky project @ Kumanovo Festival, Macedonia
Scotty wrote this:

Yorkshire, October 26, 2011

About Nes Area, Amsterdam, Vinsky Project and more...

Listen Keith… Shame on you that you haven’t  been to Engelenbak for a year. I should sue you, man! A place with surprises, like Vinsky Project, a band that besides a “gone mad” feature, has a fabulous range of soundscapes. Their rhythmic changes are funny sometimes and  almost break the unity of a song, but as you’ll find out, it’s not too bad to experience this band  Live.

Actually I have been there too often this year. This spring I went to Amsterdam when my  brother & siss in law spent a couple of days there. I showed them around the Nes area. My brother’s  exclamation that it was little Soho in Amsterdam, provoked our friends’ laughters of course, but we all agreed that Nes is an interesting area and in the 3 weeks of his stay my brother insisted on going back there about 5 times. Some hot places:

Brakke Grond (Flemish), Frascati (also: Nes Theatre), Comedy Theatre (unlike you I, see a lot of Dutch Cabaret), and Engelenbak of course. I think it’s a fine piece of Amsterdam, variating in style, with its sufficient quality programs. And to those that live on busy schedules and hesitate, I can say: it keeps going all week, anytime you like. Just a few minutes walking from Winston Kingdom’s music café and Casablanca (Zeedijk area)


Engelenbak’s weekly pool of unknown talent

Amsterdam, october 21, 2008

Tonight I was lucky to witness another edition of “open bak”, an easily accessible stage for both well known and new artists to give their Try outs.

I hadn’t been here for more than three years, guess that during my last few trips to Holland I had other priorities in the field of Music. A friend convinced me to try an Engelbak Tuesday once more. The cabaret part – I have to admit – is kind of a nuiscance to me because it’s hard to understand all that Dutch. I know my knowledge of the language hasn’t really increased lately….

interesting musicians
So each time I visit Engelenbak I hope for interesting Musicians to come along. Tonight I saw two Singers before the break:  one named Antimoon  (Jeroen Gerritsen) and the other Steef Cuppens, a  student at the Amsterdam  KleinkunstAcademy where also celebrities like Paul de Munnik, Herman van Veen, Wende Snijders and Nynke Laverman started their carreers.

Steef appears to be a charismatic man, communicating streight forward to his audience but sometimes a little too concerned about his technique. It took him quite some minutes to get warmed up and finally he found (back) his nice vocal quality. The young singer was supported well by the Host Ensemble  (it was his first night to do so, at least at Engelenbak).

His Dutch was very clear so he made me happy in a way, though the lyrics didn’t really thrill me. The second song showed some political engagement, referring to several news messages that intruded his private space short before sleep, for exemple a case of political murder in Pakistan (likely the assassination of Benazir Bhutto?)

Antimoon did well
Jeroen Gerritsen (pseudonym: Antimoon), who takes the piano as one of his primary weapons, creates a signature that is both classical and modern. Surprising chord changes in the last song were delightful to my ear and they were sung over with lyrics that really sounded personal. He has a subtle sense of humor and challenges the logic of speaking, singing things like “mijn boek verschijnt op het zwarte doek” (my book will be on the black screen; the Dutch expression usually is white screen, meaning the book has made it to the cinema)

Out of his program Glazen Prinsessen (Princesses of Glass) Gerritsen sang a song to reflect on youthly love memories, yet that remote as if he meanwhile had become a 19th year student. Another anti hero had been planned for the last song: an Artist who finds himself lost, desorientated (if I may translate: let it be spring, let me be beautiful,  let me be vulnerable..).

Just like Steef Cuppens,  Antimoon is a person who has a clear awareness and quietly presents himself. Both have talents in different ways. Both however, don’t get the spectators’ credits they deserve as far as I’m concerned. Most people in and outside of Amsterdam know that Engelenbak is famous for it’s free judgement policy so the audience doesn’t have to be too polite. They can clearly express delight or dissatisfaction. You don’t have to be embarassed when “boohs” or cheers are smashed all around you. Tonight in fact, expressions of opinion are quite moderate.

all stage disciplines welcome
Apart from Music there are more disciplines welcome to the Open Bak formula. Many famous Cabaret masters, like Joep van ‘t Hek gave their Try outs here. Tonight Cabaret was also on, one young guy came with a stand up com about a blind date adventure and a man tried out his conference on the issue of positively revaluating unwanted emotions, as an exercise to do the same act for a Jewish Association, soon to be broadcasted on TV.

In the break my Friend and I had to leave to catch our train to Copenhagen, (bad luck for us?) so we missed the second half of what might become a lively pool of new Try outs. To people who like surprises and don’t demand a guarantee of  level, I recommed to give it a try, at least once. Each Tuesday Engelenbak is quite some place…

Besides this Theatre has a good program by professionals already established or about to establish. You can check it out almost any other night of the week…

Antimoon’s website: