When its pouring outside, you’d better pamper your Californian guests. Actually, the word ‘friends’ is more appropriate. The band members of Venice have been coming to LLOYD for over 12 years and feel at home here. They make a small tour in the Netherlands, to promote their new album. Because singer, guitarist and bandleader Michael Lennon knows a good cure for a jet lag – keeping a normal rhythm and not giving in to fatigue – he gets up early for this interview. He starts the day with a latte oatmeal and I join him.
The American band Venice is praised for their West Coast sound. The band consists of the brothers Michael & Mark Lennon and the brothers Kipp & Pat Lennon. Born and raised in Venice Beach, California. Since the 80’s they perform together. Influenced by Crosby, Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles they have developed their own folk/rock/soul sound, Venice is recognizable by the four-part vocals. The Lennons consider the Netherlands as their second homeland. ‘The canals of Amsterdam, the diversity of the city and the large cultural offer are reminiscent of Venice. We visit almost twice a year and always sleep at LLOYD.’
Michael talks about his favourite room at LLOYD; in the front, in the corner, on the 5th floor. This room has many windows and a special open bathroom. Each band member has his own favourite. ‘That’s what makes LLOYD so special, for everyone there is a beloved room. They are all different and when I’m here with my family I love to show them around. At LLOYD you feel free, we’ve had release parties here and rehearsed in preparation for a concert. On Father’s Day, we’ll give a surprise performance in the restaurant.’
Fame in The Netherlands
Venice has just released a new album: Jacaranda Street. This album was made with drummer André Kemp from The Hague, known from Kane and Waylon, among others. The album is well received and Michael is proud of that. ‘It’s special to keep a successful band together for so many years. We are very grateful for all the experiences and keep looking forward to new possibilities. If you’ve been working in the same style for years, you sometimes think it has to be different. For this album we wanted to make a new sound. André helped us to stay close to ourselves and to make what we are good at: sharing our own story and instrumental surf music. He brought refreshing inspiration. And with success, because it’s in our top 3 best albums.’
The unexpected fame in the Netherlands hit Michael. ‘The first time we were in Amsterdam CD stores still existed. One of those shops had organized a party for us. When we arrived we saw that the windows of the shop were fogged up by the many people who were waiting for us inside. In The Netherlands, people love the cheerful, relaxed beach music. We were surprised that our music worked so well and are very grateful for all the positive reactions.’
Because the brothers have been guests in LLOYD for so many years, they have plenty of stories to tell. Michael recalls enthusiastic: ‘The LLOYD is for us a place where everything is possible. The building is an experience in itself with unique stories. Since a year a lot has changed, like the new restaurant and the restyled rooms. I remember once we were in the restaurant and we heard stumbling on the stairs. About six employees were busy lifting down a large statue of a dick. The statue had to go outside through the restaurant. Such a display would never be possible in America. It was such an absurd moment, but at the same time it shows how open-minded LLOYD is.’
After this anecdote I take Michael to our newest addition; the Bas Kosters room. Full of Cheeky drawings on textile. From now on Michael has a new favourite room.
Author: Catharina Burgman