Summer is slowly but surely coming to an end and that means it’s yet again time for the Zeeland Nazomerfestival. Every year in those final weeks of August, the Abbey Square in Middelburg is transformed into one of the most beautiful festival locations of the Netherlands. Tonight is full of sensitive, but very wayward, pop from GEMINA in the supporting slot, and Romi Cage and Rondé on the main stage.
The supporting program consists out of two girls and a guitar. They are sisters called Isabelle and Marith van Beek, who are performing under their stage name GEMINA. Together they perform catchy pop songs, of which the majority is sung in unison. GEMINA plays a combination of self-written tracks, such as “Plastic” and “In The Middle”, which has only just been released on Youtube, and covers from artists such as John Mayer and Katy Perry. Their sound distinguishes itself with danceable rhythms and the delicate voices of Isabelle and Marith. “You can dance along with us,” laughs Isabelle at the audience, while the Abbey Square is becoming more crowded by the second.
Immediately after GEMINA accept their applause, the next performance is announced. Romi Cage is playing on the main stage, a band that consists out of duo Romy and Michael Coomans, who are supported by a six-headed band. Sensitive songs are alternated by Romy, who addresses the audience. She tells them how only two years ago the band was supporting Bløf and now they are performing on the main stage of the Zeeland Nazomerfestival. Romi Cage sets on to perform sensitive pop songs, delivered with a ton of confidence, but also gratitude. Romy’s crystal clear voice is alternated by Michael’s guitar streaks. Tonight, the band debuts a couple of new tracks, amongst them are “Home” and “21 Sides of Me”. About that last song, Romy tells the audience how it’s based upon her life with husband Michael.
The most striking moment of Romi Cage’s performance is the moving and emotional track “Who We Really Are”. This modest track is written as a result of the terrible and destructive actions of the Islamic State (IS). Despite the fact that we are so distanced from the warzone, we are still deeply struck by the tragic events we read about in the media. The beautiful combination between Romy’s sensitive voice and Michael’s modest playing on the acoustic guitar impresses the audience. “If I can pass along one message tonight,” says Romy during the interval, “it would be to be strong. There’s still hope for things to change.”
After Romi Cage has left the main stage, it’s time for the final performance of the evening: Rondé. The young, five-headed band has made quite the impression the past two years, with over 50 performances at music festivals all throughout the Netherlands and the 3FM Serious Talent Award in the pocket. Tonight it becomes very clear why: the enthusiasm from the band members and hit-sensitive tracks are incredibly catchy. Despite the fact the band has not yet released their debut album, Rondé effortlessly holds the attention of the audience. The four guys and one girl deliver stubborn and melodic indiepop songs, with a hint of psychedelic tunes and even dance. The audience sings along with hit songs “Run” and “We Are One”, while the lead singer dances across the stage, whirling her long coat through the air. When Rondé sets in their new single the super catchy but also sensitive “Why Do You Care”, the entire audience is dancing in front of the stage. It’s the perfect end to a night full of sensitive but mostly wayward performances.
Eden van der Moere, Class of 2017, is a Literature and Linguistics major, from Goes, The Netherlands.