Dar Williams at Tolhuistuin, Sunday 3 December 2017

Alan introduced me to Dar Williams a few years ago. (Not personally — we went to see her play the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh a few years ago.) She was back on this side of the Atlantic in December, playing a few small venues including the Tuinzaal (Garden room) at Tolhuistuin. I’ve been to gigs at the Tolhuistuin before, but never in the Tuinzaal. It’s an intimate space with big windows, big enough to hold maybe 100 people seated, small enough not to need much in the way of amplification. Nice for an author reading, or a singer-songwriter with a guitar. It was a late afternoon gig, but at that time of year it was mostly dark outside already.

Dar Williams at Tolhuistuin

She played songs, she told anecdotes, and talked a little about her book What I Found In A Thousand Towns. I find her songs very affecting, and when she played “When I Was A Boy” at the end I couldn’t hold back my tears. As a parent of a couple of teens, the theme of growing up and innocence lost kicked me right in the feels.


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