The Influences exists 15 years! Since 2008, Matthijs van der Ven has been filming his favorite musicians covering their favourites. In 2016, Café de Stad in Utrecht became the permanent home base for The Influences’ Sunday afternoon concerts. Until now. For the time being, the focus is back on filming and publishing videos and writing a second book. But… not before we celebrated the anniversary with a very last Sunday afternoon concert, with performances by Opera Alaska and Sam Vano. And completely free too. You can now reserve your tickets.
Opera Alaska is a Dutch indie band founded by Marien Dorleijn and Marzio Scholten. Their debut album The Stream was released in 2020 on Excelsior Recordings. In 2017, singer/songwriter Marien Dorleijn and guitarist Marzio Scholten met in one of the shops of the world-famous Swedish furniture company. It was the spark needed to start working together.
Marien and Marzio both share a love for songwriting, gear and making music. Separately, they have a respectable career in music and have made their mark in the Dutch music scene – Dorleijn as a songwriter and lead singer of the acclaimed Dutch indie band Moss en Scholten with his work as a guitarist and leader of several instrumental music projects, and more recently with his new band Prize Collect.
They joined forces in Opera Alaska, resulting in playful indie, danceable grooves, dreamy melodies and, above all, killer songs.
Sam Vano recently released his debut EP Solitaire. Sam van Ommen, the Dutch songwriter, was previously known for Sam & Julia and currently plays guitar in Tim Knol’s band. On this personal work he sings about loneliness, escapism and being alone. His EP might remind you of musicians like Jeff Tweedy and Buck Meek, but it was Chet Baker who got Sam Vano back on track while producing Solitaire. Be sure to check out his The Influences session, for which he recorded the title track, as well as a cover of Chet Baker’s I Get Along With You Very Well (Except Sometimes) and a cover of The Kinks’ Waterloo Sunset – on which he is joined by his band and Cloud Cafe singer Tara Wilts.