Song of Good Hope


Fifteen years ago, in my first week of university, a girl pushed a CD into my hands and said “You HAVE to listen to these guys.” The band was The Frames and ever since that moment, I have been doing the same, pushing their CDs into the hands and hearts of everyone who crosses my path. This November Glen Hansard will play a sold out concert in De Roma in Antwerp. So here I am pushing his music into your hands. Luckily for you I also have two tickets to give away!

With a beard that is no longer as flame-coloured as it once was, the fire in Glen Hansard’s belly is burning stronger than ever. The front man of Irish band The Frames for the last 25 years, he now has two solo albums to his name. You probably know Glen Hansard from his lead role and Oscar winning soundtrack for the film Once. You may have heard his last band The Swell Season on Belgian radio or seen him on The Simpsons.

Glen’s songs are so interwoven in my life that they feel like they are part of me. His songs are in my heart, in my soul, in me. Every time I see him perform, those songs come alive, dance and tear me apart in a thousand happy pieces. I have seen him step onstage hundreds of times, and every single time he has left me awe-inspired and full of love. Which is why I’ve made it my personal mission to share his music with others.

Glen’s songs of lost love are so powerful and real, they open a window in many hearts. Glen’s rendition of ‘Leave’ in the Melkweg, Amsterdam last year left me with tears streaming down my cheeks. I’m sure I was not alone, the sold out venue was so quiet that I could hear the air-conditioning on the other side of the room. His voice transported everyone to that moment, the moment she kicked him in the chest and knocked the wind out of him. This song exists in the breathless moment before he has had a chance to stand up and inhale.

“I can’t wait forever“, is all that you said before you stood up
But you won’t disappoint me, I can do that myself
But I’m glad that you’ve come

Now if you don’t mind leave,

Let go of my hand
You said what you came to, now leave.

I see you rolling your eyes at the thought of another singer-songwriter with a broken heart. But I’d say Glen Hansard blows this stereotype out of the water. His latest album Didn’t He Ramble plays like a collection of personal letters to friends and family. I’ve left all of his concerts with more love and joy than I brought with me.

Glen seems to understand energy in the same way people in a yoga class do. Nearing the end of this tour last year, he told me that he is in a space of neutral energy. Not exhausted, and no longer full of energy, but just existing. This is difficult to believe if you see him on stage, energy sizzling off him like he’s in a frying pan. “It’s about the transfer of energy,” he said with a sparkle in his eye. “You get energy from me and I get energy from you.”

That energy I’d like to share with you. Tell me which music moves your heart. What song touches you and makes you deeply feel? Which song or artist moves you to tears? On the 15th of November we will select our favorite story and the lucky winner will receive two tickets for Glen Hansard’s sold out concert in De Roma Antwerp on the 18th of November. See you there!