He hoped to escape for a while without creating too much of a fuss, but although he had already made the decision in the summer of 2012 – a couple of months after the release of his third album – the inquiries about his plans caused Bertolf Lentink to publish a short statement on his website by the end of 2012; for the time being, Bertolf is no more. Life as a solo musician didn’t feel quite right. At the same time work on new songs with his former guitarist Bas Wilberink had already started and Color Reporters were born. ‘Doing it different is good for me at the moment.’

Although he very well still might release a solo record in a few years time, it wasn’t an easy decision made overnight, Lentink explains. ‘I didn’t think I was a good enough singer. On stage I felt too much tension and I got stressed out from all the radio and television shows I played. It didn’t give me any pleasure at all. I don’t have any doubts about my capacities as a songwriter or instrumentalist, but being a lead singer and ‘entertainer’ never really became comfortable.’

The partnership with Bas Wilberink – who played guitar ‘in’ Bertolf – seems like the best fit for Lentink just now. The reach of Wilberink’s voice starts just about where Lentink’s stops, so instead of writing a lower chorus, he can now just let Wilberink sing that bit. Color Reporters – who are completed by Caesar Roseboom, Rutger Renden and Nicky Hustinx – have played their first ever show at Onder Invloed at EKKO in June this year and finish mixing their debut album today.

Lentink: ‘When I’m writing with Bas it always feels like there are still a hundred other things that could originate from it. That’s really inspiring.’ So, there’s plenty of inspiration between the two of them, it seems. Influences they name are The Shins, Elliott Smith – the band name came from Smith’s song Bled White, covered in this session – and George Harrison. Color Reporter songs are almost impossible to get out of your head after listening to them, which is their goal precisely, Wilberink admits. ‘On the other hand we try to incorporate a lot of details. We both get a kick out of surprising elements in songs. Wether it’s an original vocal line or an unexpected chord succession.’

I wouldn’t be surprised if Color Reporters end up making a highly impressive debut album, judging on early demos and their first ever live show, a couple of days before this session was recorded on June 10th. The quotes in this post are translated from an interview in Dutch with Color Reporters in the free online anniversary Onder Invloed magazine that was published in May.

The songs played in this session are:
1. Bled White (Elliott Smith)
2. Surfing The Surface (Tim Christensen)
3. She Will Have Her Way (Neil Finn)
4. End Of Seas (Color Reporters)
5. Crack The Code (Color Reporters)

Photos
All photos by Matthijs van der Ven.
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Originals

Bled White (Elliott Smith, Xo, 1998)
YouTube | iTunes | Spotify

Surfing The Surface (Tim Christensen, Honeyburst, 2004)
YouTube | iTunes | Spotify

She Will Have Her Way (Neil Finn, Try Whistling This, 1998)
YouTube | iTunes | Spotify

Official website
colorreporters.com