Lourdes church is nestled snuggly in the centre of Scheveningen. Build in 1925 in the Delft School style, it was part of a larger Catholic complex including a chapel, presbytery, thirteen houses, school and the main church. Today it is a cultural centre and is the inspiration for the Club Lourdes on Sea initiative. Each year an autumn programme is organised in partnership with the Zuiderstrand Theatre involving live music, theatre, circus and even a magic show for good measure. In its heyday, Scheveningen was not only a fishing village but enjoyed a burgeoning arts scene which programmes such as this are eager to re-establish.
Yesterday evening, I joined over a hundred other music lovers under the soaring, dark beams of Lourdes church in preparation for a guided tour of 6 undisclosed venues in Scheveningen. Divided into five groups, we were given coloured ribbons to match the hats and flags of our guides and off we set into the quiet, cobbled streets of this quaint fishing village. Over the course of the evening, we were guided to venues as diverse as a local museum, a cosy café, music school and a beach-front restaurant to enjoy an eclectic selection of live music. With a glass of wine or beer in hand, we were treated to just a few songs from each band before being politely sheparded to the next rendezvous.
The evening began with an enthusiastic performance from the youthful Moyo (meaning ‘heart’ in Swahili) band, all of whom hail from the Hague. This was followed by a few soft rock numbers reminiscent of the Doors, from Tousche and an intimate performance from acoustic and electric guitar duo, Jacht. The highlight of the evening for me however, were the two solo performances. One in the Scheveningen museum by winner of the nationwide Voice competition, Julia van der Toorn. The other from supremely composed, Babette Zwinkels who at just 17 plays and sings solo in French and Dutch. If all this wasn’t enough, we found ourselves finally at the sea front where we were treated to a ride on an old-style carousels, accompanied by the cheerful strains of the accordion and tambourine. A wonderfully friendly, informal evening out that I would not hesitate to recommend to music lovers young and old who are eager to connect with local talent and culture. Souwie Buis 20th October 2019