The T.S. Elliot Appreciation Society
The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society is the alias of Tom Gerritsen, a musical expeditionary from The Netherlands. When he was 18 years old, he embarked on a trip to North America to experience life in countries less crowded and over-regulated than his own. Six months were planned, but those turned into two years when Tom discovered that busking on the streets of Canada and the U.S. could turn up enough of a profit for him to keep on travelling. It was probably there that he developed his unusually loud and rough voice, as to make sure that the attention of any passer-by would be reached.
After he returned home, Tom started studying Comparative Literature in Utrecht, where he discovered the works of T.S. Eliot. ‘T.S. Eliot was unsatisfied with the literary culture of his time. Poetry was written on demand for things like weddings and funerals, while he thought it could and should be so much more. Something similar is happening in folk music these days, where people seem to be satisfied with accessible songs with catchy melodies and generic lyrics about love.’
He started recording his own songs under the moniker The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society. ‘I don’t consider myself a pessimist, but it’s probably true that my mindset is rather gloomy. The feeling that our contemporary world is pretty horrendous, doesn’t mean that things were much better in days long gone. I might be nostalgic, but I’m a realist as well.’
A self-titled, tape-recorded EP was instantly discovered by various bookers, resulting in shows throughout the country, starting with his very first show at the Incubate festival in Tilburg.
After a first short tour through Germany, October 2013 saw the release of his first album, A New History. The record was unanimously praised in the Dutch newspapers, music magazines and in the blogosphere. Holland’s biggest music magazine Oor spoke of a ‘strong debut’, while influential indie weblog The Daily Indie wrote that the album ‘already possesses a timeless quality.’
After the album release show in Tivoli Utrecht, TTSEAS toured The Netherlands for several months and played seven shows at the international showcase festival Eurosonic/Noorderslag.