Local Beat journeyman, Dean Sadikot, takes this month’s edition to look at one of Amsterdam’s truly special local artists, BomberLéo
Well…. where to start with this month’s feature artist? A lady who needs no introduction,but what the hell, I’ll give her one anyway! BomberLéo, Amsterdam’s finest One Woman Band, is no stranger to the stage, you might even say she is the stage!
Hailing from a vast musical family, BomberLéo was already playing instruments and performing as a child. It didn’t take long before she was forming and playing for several and diverse bands. She even used to play bagpipes while wearing a Ska outfit!
One of the most memorable endeavours for BomberLéo, however, was a band she formed with her sister and two friends. The band was called ‘ Semaphor Signals ‘, after a song by English rockstar Wreckless Eric. This turned out to be an excellent choice of name, when they were invited to aprivate concert of his because of it. Taking full advantage of the situation, the band presented him with their CD. He liked it so much, he invited them to record and perform with him! Soon after this good fortune however, the band split. It was this change of direction that then allow BomberLéo to strike outon her own, as a solo artist. With a great deal of initiative, about a month’s worth of practice and a wee bit o’ help from her brother, BomberLéo was rockin’! The One Woman questhad begun…
BomberLéo describes herself as a story teller and a communicator. “There’s a really strong connection in the way I write music to the way I view life. Music or art should be a direct expression of how we experience life”
Sat alone on stage with a kick drum, high hats, guitar,two kazoos and a microphone, she controls the stage with pounding rhythms, both gritty and sweet melodies, soul filled kazoo-action, and an honest voice that would make any man misty-eyed. Her musical styles span genres, and constantly develop. If you close your eyes, I swear you would think therewas a whole band in front of you.
In 2011 BomberLéo funded and released her first solo recording “One-Chick-Uh-Boom-Band”, a five track EP showcasing her different styles and rhythms. It even gets rather raunchy in one track, featuring new and local hip-hop talent Fredee Brazil. Ooooh matron! BomberLéo is currently working towards an album release, but says that “the disadvantage of being a One Woman Band is that you have to organize and pay for everything, so be patient!”
With the EP out and available to buy, BomberLéo thendecided to take on a shiny new venture. This woman never stops!
Throughout her many years of performing, she’d established many musical contacts, both weird and wonderful. She envisaged a place where creative minds could meet to get on and share new inspirations, whether it be music, art,spoken word or wacky performance. The Betty Too coffee-shop kindly agreed to host and fund the night and the decision was unanimous that the name should be…. BomberLéo & Friends.
The night turned out to be a huge success and gathered ahuge community of musicians, artists, poets, freaks and people who just liked to be there. Even her mum and dad represented with a soulful jazz duet! After 6 months there was enough raw material recorded to release a 20 track compilation CD, featuring most of the artists that performed at the nights. Last month they held a whole day festival at Camping Zeeburg in Amsterdam to celebrate its release. Nearly all the artists whoperformed each month came back to unleash their styles again to a way bigger audience. The day was filled with good vibes and the occasional tear from myself, as I’d witnessed the whole conceptual process, from an idea to a reality. One might even say that a ‘lekkertronic’ day was had by all, innit!
So, if you are thinking “damn man… where can I see this one-woman-genius? Or how can I be a part of these monthly nights?” Then do read on!
BomberLéo and friends are back in September for another smashing season of goodness, so get your lovely asses to the Betty Too coffee-shop, near the flower market. If you have something to share, you should especially make an effort, as your gift will be embraced by a welcoming community. You can even buy BomberLéo’s EP and the BomberLéo & Friends compilation CD there, on request.
Also, on the 1st of September come join me to check BomberLéo out at the ‘ Metro 54 Festival ‘ in Amsterdam. She’ll be rockin’ it out on the “Mind The Gap” stage.
And if it’s art you’re into, then maybe her other new venture, Fabrique Artistique, may be of interest to you as well. It involves art, installation and decoration. As well as decorating some of Amsterdam’s most reputable bars and events, it also includes an exhibition at ‘ Moods Coffee Corner ‘ in the Jordaan. Currently, Brechje Tromp is in the spotlight there, with some wonderful photography. Every 6 weeks the walls change and a new party is had!
Well … thats enough from me, for now. I could write for ever about all the wonderful things that local creatives like BomberLéo are bringing to Amsterdam, but I need another cup of tea! So, ‘til next time, I leave with you with this…
The One Woman Band took my head out of the sand and constantly continues to inspire me.
Keep living the dream, for all our sakes.
For further information on BombérLeo’s music and events, visit…
Stay tuned for next month when we unearth a new local artist from our inspiring city.
Dean Sadikot (Innit).