I’ve just returned from a little trip to Amsterdam for the London Calling festival and to join in the Kings Day celebrations! I think it was about my 10th trip to the city so I’ve got to know it pretty well over the last few years! This time we stayed in an amazing apartment above the cat museum – Kattenkabinet – yep an actual cat museum.
Held in the Paradiso, the London Calling festival is a great place to check out up and coming bands, they are usually UK or US based ones and in previous years I’ve seen lots at the festival that have gone on to become become pretty big – Klaxons, Jamie T, Maccabees, Royal Blood – to name just a few!
On Friday we kicked things off with Spring King who were definitely the best new discovery of the weekend, before watching Happyness, The Districts (one of my faves of the weekend), the awesome Slaves and ending the nighg having a little dance around to Fools Gold. On Saturday we wandered around the Waterlooplein flea market which is always good for finding little treasures at good prices compared to lots of the vintage shops in London. We stopped off in the De Pijp district for a burger at The Butcher – there’s lots of cool bars, places to eat and shops in this area so would definitely recommend a wander around!
The Saturday night of London Calling had another awesome line-up with Londoners As Elephants Are being the first band we caught, we then popped out to Bar Lux for a couple of drinks in between the earlier bands, the little bar tucked away from the Leidseplein sqaure is friendly and chilled and every time I go back to Amsterdam I have to go! Heading back to the Paradiso to catch Liverpool band Hooton Tennis Club and The Dø – who were also both great discoveries! The headline band in the main room on Saturday were Drenge, even though I’ve already seen them in London and various other places several times before *including earlier in the week!) it was great to see them at the Paradiso. For about £35 for both the nights of London Calling it’s pretty good value compared to some of the UK equivalents, and the organisers have recently announced an outdoor version in May that will take place in the Amsterdam North area.
There wasn’t much time for recovering on Sunday as the celebrations for Kings Night started in the afternoon with the end of the street we were staying on turned into a mini street party and locals and tourists filling the streets along the canals, despite being told by a few people the thing to do was stay out and party on through until Kings Day due to us being slightly fragile from the previous two nights we couldn’t quite manage it!
Kings Day is the Netherlands biggest bank holiday celebration, everybody dresses in orange, heads out onto the streets and canals and sell things at outdoor street markets or in the parks, it’s a good excuse for everyone to basically just drink and be merry, which the Dutch are very good at, luckily Monday was lovely and sunny so we got to hang out in the parks and stroll along the canals. Amsterdam is such a fun, friendly city to explore and even more so when it’s Kings Day! Below the pictures are some links to some of the places I’ve mentioned in the post!