The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society

The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society is the alias of Tom Gerritsen, singer-songwriter from Utrecht, The Netherlands. He grew up in a traveling carnival which visited small rural settlements throughout Europe. Not only traditional circus artists, but also preachers, theatre actors, and musicians were part of the traveling company. As a result, from his earliest days, Tom was introduced into the magical world of myths and stories. As the years passed, the importance of the carnival for villagers waned. It had survived the introduction of television and radio, but with the advent of the internet, the people found instant gratification of their wildest desires within the walls of their homes. Almost no one showed up any longer, and the age-old carnival came to an end.

Tom decided to settle in Utrecht, where he started to work in bookshops, immersing himself in the world of stories even further. This was also the time when he started writing songs and went busking throughout the United States and Canada for two years to test them. Back in Utrecht, a customer of the bookshop heard about the songs and invited Tom to record some songs in the customer’s studio. The resulting EP was instantly discovered by various bookers, resulting in shows throughout the country, starting with a very first show at the Incubate Festival in Tilburg. It did not take long the debut album A New History (V2 Records) was released. 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.’ As a result, The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society toured The Netherlands for several months and played seven (!) shows at the international showcase festival Eurosonic/Noorderslag. Bigger international tours took place, one with folk-rockers Town of Saints in 2014, and a solo-tour through Germany in the summer of 2015.

In October 2016, the second record Turn It Golden! will be released by Berlin based record label Greywood Records. Here, there’s not much left of the spare and raw sound of the earlier records. Where the first album was firmly grounded in the American folk-tradition, here the new songs are of a more kaleidoscopic nature, not bound to one single genre. The album is highly diverse, while at the same time each song is unmistakably a song of The T.S. Eliot Appreciation Society: from the John Fahey-esque instrumental folk of ‘Anne’s Lullaby’, via the ramshackle pop of ‘The Fall’ to the hypnotic kraut-folk of lead single ‘The Grand Tour’. In the at times hallucinatory lyrics stories are told of people searching for meaning in chaotic times.