For the past few months we have been preparing ourselves for our album release party. The date and location were set, but the album itself wasn’t finished yet, we didn’t have a record label, the recordings had to be mixed and mastered, so there was some work to do! It became a very musical Christmas with a lot of studio hours!

The moment the album was finished, we sent it to Marista Records. The record deal was signed as fast as we finished the album. YES! Nadja could finally finish the album artwork (and ooooh it’s so AWESOME!) and we could send the order. What a great feeling!

Album the Tree of Life
The first album of Maidstone: the Tree of Life.

With the record deal in our pocket and albums being made, it was time to make a plan for our album release party. It was more challenging than expected, because of our ballad, “Tree Of Life“. We used strings in this song and Nadja, Renée and Judith also made a beautiful choir to finish the song. This makes you want to have a real choir and real violins (or a keyboard player) at your album release party. But how? After calling and mailing a lot of people, we managed to gather a choir of ten people and a keyboardist! All dear friends who wanted to share this important moment with us. And rehearsing with these eleven, extra people, rehearsing was a feast! Enthusiasm grew bigger while hearing our production come to live. We have spent three afternoons with the choir and keyboardist to make the Tree Of Life as perfect as could be. It’s great to see what’s possible in such a short note of time (and fun). With this extra, we were totally ready for the album release!

Finally, the big day arrived! The album release. All gear in the cars, make-up on our faces, thank-you-gifts packed. Time to go!

Arrived at music stage “de Vorstin” in Hilversum, we had a warm welcome by the crew. We could easily unpack our gear and set up the stage, and the back-stage area was fantastic! After all our gear was set up, it was time for a soundcheck. This took a bit longer then usually, because of the extra eleven people. But after a while, we had great sound, so it was time for our support act to do the same.

Album Release Party
Our Support Act: the Canaleers

And then, you wait. Secretly some nervous feelings started to show up. Especially when the first people arrive and ask if you’re ready for the big show. Of course, we’re ready! And very excited as well. But first, our support act! The Canaleers play a nice set of rock covers. Perfect to warmup the crowd. Dik, the leadsinger, really knows how to get the crowd along in his energy!

At 22:00 it’s time for the big change-up. A quick change in gear, because it’s finally the time to step on the stage ourselves. At 22:30 the first drumkicks were heard and we played Demons Speed, the first song of our album. With a dose of healthy tension, we started the song, but after a while, the tension on the stage is gone. All those happy faces. With us and the audience! They stayed the whole evening, what a feeling! When we played A Million Voices everyone could hear the sample we used on the album, which contains a lot of whispering voices. We love this intro to the song.

Album Release Party

Halfway throughout the set it was time for Nadja to get to the front of the stage and tell the audience a bit about the next song on the set. She takes over Renée’s microphone and jokes: “Oh, the view is very different from here”. She invites the choir and the keyboard player to come join us on stage. While everyone is walking towards their places, Nadja tells about the song. It was a poem written by her, and Myriam’s, grandmother. It was translated to English and adjusted a bit, to make it into this song. Myriam hits the first notes on her guitar and here we go. Although we couldn’t hear the choir so well on stage, we all felt the song come together and go straight to the heart. Goosebumps all over. We’ve worked so hard for this moment and now the time was finally there! Live, on stage! We loved it. And we were not the only ones touched by this song, the audience was amazed as well.

Album Release Party
Performing Tree of Life with our choir and Marcel on keyboard.

When The Tree Of Life finished, and the applause faded, we wanted to start over and do it again! But we had to continue with the rest of our songs. We finished the evening with “The Wolf”, in which we used a wolfsound sample, so we also used that live. This made people smile. And the show is over. Proud, fulfilled, can we go again?

Photo’s of the Album Release Party are made by Lex Putman.

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