Gooi en Eemlander, Monday 20 October 1997

Original in Dutch by Willemien Schenkeveld

Translated by Anne, The Netherlands

Singer Melanie sprinkling in (sometimes too) relaxed concert

Concert: Melanie

Heard: Yesterday evening in de Tagrijn in Hilversum


For those who imagine Melanie as an aged quiet vacant girl from the sixties, the performance that the fifty-years-old singer gave was a surprise. The moment she stepped on the stage with son Beau, she was exuberant, often she talked cheerfully-mockingly back of her time as a star.

Just before the concert started, she had visited Hilversum for a small snack, so everything started half an hour later than planned, but then, the salad roll just eaten, there she stood, really relaxed, in Indian-dress, and her hair in two little plaits. In common, that would look weird, if not insane for a fifty-years-old-lady, but Melanie didn't look ridiculous in any way. She is a outgoing, energetic woman with the same unmistakable voice from then.

The concert was-of course-a mix of old hits and new work. Old smash hits caused much happiness in the room, like Animal Crackers, Nickel song, What Have They Done To My Song, Ma.

During Mr. Tambourine Man, a nostalgic atmosphere came into existence. A few Koos Koets-likes* in the audience went on begging loudly for request numbers, but Melanie didn't give forth. She more willingly made heard brand-new songs from her new album, LowCountry, and those songs actually sounded much more interesting and moving.

With her about eighteen-years-old-son that also played the guitar and sang the backing vocals, she had a lot of fun. It was a not just (little bit too) relaxed, but also positively `chatty' performance. It didn't get really exiting, but after all, the stories were entertaining. For instance she told about Gilbert Becaud who sent her into a fit by supporting her saying `Go fuck 'em!' She complained a little about de Tagrijn, which had introduced her as Queen of Flower Power, and she continued, giggling, denouncing that unwelcome title. At best she had been a young little princess of flower power, hadn't she, and that was nearly thirty years ago, she elucidated.

Well, here's one for Flower Power, stamp and clap along!' she joked, before she sang the old hit, Nickel Song that she,, almost sang with a convulsion of laughter , just like the other old smash hits.

But she praised the world peace, and her India-clothing is absolutely daily wear, and not a stage-act. That's what she told while she blotted her handwriting on CD's, still cheerful and kindly.
After finishing the concert she started her dinner existing of kale, prepared for her by the Tagrijn-staff.

And today, back to the States again, because after a week of Belgium and a day in Hilversum, her tour of '97 has come to it's end.

The average age in the (crowded) Tagrijn was rather high, yesterday evening. The actual target group was in minority.

The lights shone here and there on bald skulls and smart-dressed mothers. Some had brought their sons or daughters. Melanie (19) from Loosdrecht for instance had come with her mother. She is `named after.'

Luckily she found her namesake really good yesterday. A lot of people were not really fans, but had come rather out of curiosity, because of the curious phenomenon `Melanie in Hilversum.'

After all, it brought a happy and interesting evening.

*Koos Koets: a national caricature, an `old youngster' that still lives in Flower Power although he is about fifty years old

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