Amsterdam, Netherlands solidarity with Ferguson, USA


This video from the Netherlands says about itself:

Jennifer Tosch gives speech and reads poem during Ferguson demonstration in Amsterdam

25 August 2014

Jennifer Tosch of Black Heritage Amsterdam Tours recites ‘If We Must Die‘ by poet Claude McKay, during Ferguson demonstration in Amsterdam. Around 80 to 100 Dutch citizens came together to hold a silent march through the streets of Amsterdam and towards the U.S. Consulate.

Visit her site to learn more about Amsterdam’s hidden Dutch African Diaspora history.

Among the slogans of the demonstration were ‘Stop Police Brutality’, ‘Enough is enough’, ‘No Justice No Peace’, ‘‘Michael Brown rest in power’, and ‘Hands up don’t shoot’.

Rapper Mistrezz Drenthe had initiated the demonstration.

Like there also had been a demonstration in London, England.

British poet Attila the Stockbroker on punk rock


This video from Amsterdam in the Netherlands says about itself:

Attila the Stockbroker & Barnstormer – Live @ Soundgarden 02.11.2012 – Pt 1:

1. LEVELLERS / DIGGERS 2. BAGHDAD SKA 3. COMANDANTE JOE 4. TYLER SMILES 5. THE BLANDFORD FORUM.

Attila the Stockbroker on vocals, violin, crumhorn and recorders; Dan Woods on guitar; Baby Beaken on bass; Mass Murder McGee (some of them are also members of The Fish Brothers.)

Attila the Stockbroker (born John Baine, 21 October 1957, Southwick, Sussex, England) is a punk poet, and a folk punk musician and songwriter. He performs solo and as the leader of the band Barnstormer. He describes himself as a “sharp tongued, high energy social surrealist poet and songwriter.” He has performed over 2,700 concerts, published six books of poems, and released 30+ recordings (CDs, LPs and singles).

By poet Attila the Stockbroker from Britain:

The Europeans’ knack for culturally nourishing rebellion

Thursday 14th August 2014

On the road with Attila the Stockbroker

Amsterdam is always a pleasure to visit, and the Paradiso club — once a squatted church — is a legendary presence in the scene.

Did a gig there, solo poetry and with my band Barnstormer, as part of a vibrant and wide-ranging evening of spoken word and music and then headed to Peine, near Hannover in Germany, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their autonomous centre, the AJZ.

When it comes to independent music, politics and culture generally, much of mainland Europe is a completely different world compared to Britain.

Autonomously run venues emerged from the squatter movement years ago and are now legal and run independently by local left-wing activists — there are literally hundreds of them, dotted across many different countries, which guarantees performers like myself a network of ready-made places to play, run by like-minded people.

For someone whose British network consists of fairly mainstream arts centres and rock venues and sympathetic pubs that let people put on gigs in an an upstairs room, it’s always a sheer pleasure to see how things can be organised differently.

Highlight in Peine was a blistering performance by Canadian punk legend and activist Joey “Shithead” Keighley and his band DOA, whom I was to meet again a few days later at last weekend’s annual Rebellion punk festival in Blackpool.

For many years now, thousands of punks, young and not so young (!) have taken over the Winter Gardens there for a four-day celebration of the music we love.

As usual, this year’s event was a blast and I had a wonderful gig on the Almost Acoustic Stage on the Friday. As for whom I saw on stage, well, here goes…

My mate TV “Adverts” Smith and his band the Bored Teenagers were fantastic. So were The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Peter & The Test Tube Babies, John Otway, Ruts DC, The Cravats, Roy Ellis aka Mr Symarip (doing “Skinhead Moonstomp” and reminding us that real skinheads have hated racism since 1969) and The Outcasts and The Defects from Belfast. To name but a few.

But it’s absolutely wrong to think that Rebellion is just about the old guard, and among the new breed I must single out acoustic singer/songwriter Louise Distras, who is the sharp, angry voice of her generation of punk rockers and a real breath of fresh air in the scene. Her set was a masterpiece.

We have to beware the impostors though. Inside the Winter Gardens there was a real sense of unity, but outside I came across a group of fascists, some with tickets, some not, intent as always in spreading hate and causing trouble.

I had a verbal altercation — I’m 56 and was on my own, I’m glad it stayed verbal — and soon realised that many of them were from eastern Europe. Cue the ironic rant!

“Brain dead morons from mainland Europe, coming over here, singing crap English songs, crap English fascists wrote in stupid accents… We’re full up, mate.

“We’ve got our full quota of racist cretins with IQs smaller than their boot size. Piss off back to where you come from!”

It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

Next stop Guernsey, and a rather different festival. Happy holidays to one and all.

Wasps on Amsterdam balcony, video


This video from the Netherlands says about itself (translated):

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Vincent Bouman on his balcony in Amsterdam-South has four birch bird houses. One of them is now the home of a wasp family.

Rare hemlock water dropwort in Amsterdam


This video from Britain is called Hemlock Water Dropwort, Oenanthe crocata.

Translated from the Dutch FLORON botanists:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hemlock water dropwort, a rare plant in western and southern Europe, is found mainly in coastal areas. Until the end of the last century, this species was only known in the Netherlands from a spot in the dunes of Voorne, where it was discovered in 1975. This place was for several decades the most northeastern known habitat in Europe.

After 2000 along the coast and inland some new areas of this species were discovered. It has recently become clear that Amsterdam, with over a hundred plants, is the largest stronghold of this species in the Netherlands.

Dutch seventeenth century painting acquired by Amsterdam museum


Meindert Hobbema, Forest landscape with merry group of people in a wagon

A Dutch art collector gave a painting by Dutch artist Meindert Hobbema (1638-1709) to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

It is ‘Forest landscape with merry group of people in a wagon’.

The museum is very happy about this.

See also here.

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Famous silent film rediscovery


This video is a clip from an old British film. It is called Betty Balfour sings us a song.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Film museum discovers masterpiece

Wednesday, 2 April 2014, 18:07

A top discovery at the Eye Cinema Museum in Amsterdam. In six old cans a copy of a lost film turned out to be from 1923: Love, Life and Laughter by director George Pearson, as the British Film Institute (BFI) announced. The film is on the 75 Most Wanted, a list of films which the BFI does not have in their archives.

The cans were already since November 2012 at Eye in the closet. A journalist from Hattem then gifted them to the museum. He saved the film from the old local cinema Theatre De Vries, because that would be demolished. Which film was in the cans, the journalist did not know. He hoped for images from before World War II and brought them to Eye.

Betty Balfour

Only eighteen months later the staff of Eye had time to watch the contents of the cans. They found the masterpiece of the famous filmmaker Pearson, a silent film that was considered lost by the Britons. Only one other movie by this film maker has been preserved. In Love, Life and Laughter, among others people can see the famous actress Betty Balfour. Balfour was the most successful British actress in the 1920s.

The BFI curator speaks of a very important discovery. “The audience looked at Life , Love and Laughter as one of the most beautiful creations of British cinema. It is fantastic to be able to see now if it really is.”

A video about this rediscovery is here.

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