Today, Utrecht is losing one of its finest bars. After years of getting us drunk and making sure we had great nights of fun, U ROCK Cafe is closing its doors, as owner Pieter Pin is moving to the other side of the globe. Something to do with a girl, I believe. A girl that bakes pies, muffins, brownies and cup cakes all day long. Pieter is a lucky guy. We on the other hand are not so lucky. Where will we go for a beer, served with sarcasm and a smile, while avoiding the hip and obnoxious? I have no clue.

U ROCK Cafe is the place where Onder Invloed organised the first live shows. After hanging at the bar longer than’s good for one, Pieter asked me if I would like to host a monthly night. I had never organised anything of that kind, but why not? In January 2009, we started with The Cosmic Carnival, Maurits Westerik (GEM) and a surprise visit by Tim Knol, a year before the release of his debut album. In the years that followed, we managed to get a lot of great musicians on that small stage, including Davie Lawson, Anne Soldaat, The Black Atlantic, Case Mayfield, Saint Jude, Alamo Race Track, Hallo Venray, Bertolf, Awkward I, Chop Wood, Marien Dorleijn (Moss), The Starlets, Three Blind Wolves and many, many more.

In the two years we spent at U ROCK, we made some amazing memories. They will last forever. Memories of great shows, interesting afterparties involving buckets of ice water thrown on certain Scottish musicians, sweating people in the crowd during the sold out show of Anne Soldaat and Tim Knol, and even the clumsy logos printed on white paper, taped to the back wall.

Before we all – or some of us – enjoy one last night in the bar and finish the beer supply, let’s watch a small selection of photos and videos of Onder Invloed sessions and live shows at U ROCK.

Thank you Pieter!

Three Blind Wolves – Helpless (Neil Young)

Maurits Westerik (GEM) – Guns Of Brixton (The Clash)

Saint Jude – Save Me (Aretha Franklin)

Bertolf – Martha My Dear (The Beatles)

Joey Ryan – Jolene (Ray LaMontagne)

Case Mayfield – These Days (Jackson Browne)

Solo – Abilene (Damien Jurado)

Photos

Photos by Bart Schalkwijk & Matthijs van der Ven