Music & concerts
Favourite spot

Lucinda Zoutendijk: dB’s

Prominent Utrechters talking about their favourite spots in the city. This month: Lucinda Zoutendijk (41), singer in the rock band Five Dollar Shake, talking about the concert venue and rehearsal rooms at dB’s Studio, which are moving from Cartesiusweg to Vlampijpstraat later this month.

So, dB’s?

‘Yes, I’ve been rehearsing here since I was 15. And three years ago, it’s where I auditioned for my current band Five Dollar Shake who make rock music with a hint of soul and blues. The rehearsal rooms are those typical dingy caves with hardly any daylight because of the acoustic insulation. The thing I like best is the way that all kinds of musicians just wander in and out: from metal singers to OAPs with a hobby band. And I love the fact that I’ve always been able to perform here. It’s a pity that dB’s has to leave this spot on 1 May and move to the Werkspoorkwartier. But at least it’s not folding altogether – we’ve already got far too few rehearsal rooms and podiums for bands in this city.’

Biggest letdown?

‘I get that the city needs to be renovated and redeveloped, but these days, it seems like I have to bike round a new building site every single day. My six-year-old son goes to school in Transwijk, so I bike from our home in Vogelenbuurt past Utrecht Centraal Station, where it’s usually chaos.’

Guilty pleasure?

‘The Eurovision Song Festival! Not so much the music as the show. They create the cheesiest, campest acts you could ever imagine just to make the most impact. It’s fascinating! Artists yodelling among the goats, or singers in full glitter being lowered down from the ceiling. But I’ve got a lot of respect for the Dutch entry, Joost Klein. His song sticks in your head, but it’s also a dig at the annual over-the-top spectacle. Would I ever take part? I wouldn’t say no if my band was asked, but it’s not one of my dreams.’

Best memory?

‘We presented our first album Bigger Heart in De Helling last January. We really went to town: a brass section, background singers… The presentation was like giving birth after being in labour for two years. The main hall was completely sold out with 400 people, much more than I’d hoped for. And they weren’t all friends and family either. The audience loved us – they danced, laughed and even wiped away the odd tear. Some of our songs are emotional. They’re about my divorce and I think a lot of people can identify with that. And that’s what it’s all about for a musician: connecting with your audience.’

Best bar or restaurant?

‘If I just want a beer, I go to DeRat on Lange Smeestraat, one of the older bars in Utrecht. It’s never really crowded, so it’s a good place to meet up for a chat. They have a good selection of beers and know a lot about them. The staff listen to you and recommend a beer they think suits your taste. In my case, not too ‘stouty’.’

Recently seen/heard?

‘The sold-out performance of Cock by Theater Oostpool in the stadsschouwburg. It’s a well-known English play about love, identity and sexuality, and this was the first time it’s been performed in Dutch. It’s a great dramady with superb actors and a storyline that gets you thinking. Two men are in a relationship, and then one of them, much to his own surprise, falls in love with a woman. I’m heterosexual and I’ve never questioned my sexuality. But this play made me realise that it’s not like that for everyone.’

Inspirational Utrechter?

‘My music teacher at the Jordan Montessori Lyceum in Zeist. She not only spotted my talent, but she also encouraged me to make the best of it. I don’t think I’d have gone to the Rock Academy in Tilburg if I hadn’t met her. My mother says that I was singing before I could talk, but until then, it hadn’t occurred to me that this was anything special. As well as singing in the band, I also teach singing. I think it’s important to create a loving setting so that my pupils can develop. After all, singing is an important way to express yourself, and it makes you vulnerable because you are the instrument.’

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