Rub your eyes: A Dutchman tops the UK pop charts

Rub your eyes: A Dutchman tops the UK pop charts


norman lebrecht

November 19, 2013

Headlines we thought we’d never write….

But life never fails to surprise. Martin Garrix has the #1 UK single this week. He’s 17 and a Dutch DJ. His video has received almost 70 million hits. Yes, 70 million. Must try some of his magic on classical radio.



  • Tommy says:

    Not heard of ‘Doop’ by ‘Doop’ then Norman?

    (Dutch DJs that got to No.1 here nearly 20 years ago).

    I’ll get my coat.

  • Neil van der Linden says:

    And there is a constant Dutch flow coming, recently Nicky Romero with Avicii, and before that the Bingo Players, and before that Afrojack as guest of Pitbull and of Beyoncé. Most of them are quite young. The remarkable thing about this guy is that is only 17.

    Recently there was a row about the fact that the Dutch foundation for performing arts also subsidizes tours by successful artists. But this is almost and industry. The British know this industry even better. Recently I was in Doha at the opening of a Damien Hirst survey. Qatar can pay very well for this, but the British Council and Arts Council had sent a large contingent of curators, art historians and biographers. Damien Hirst is a British brand, and probably the profit for Britain is positive, given the PR and probably even just the net financial balance.

    Whatever one thinks of Damien Hirst.

    And whatever one thinks of Martin Garrix’ ‘Animals’.

  • Martin says:

    half an hour into this set I’m less bored with the sound than after about the same time of listening to George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, which I did listen to until finding this article 🙂

    Note to Tim Benjamin: I just realized, that it probably isn’t your music I disliked on several radio broadcasts…

  • Jamesay says:

    very dated sound IMHO

  • Tommy says:

    I can’t believe I forgot about 2 Unlimited.

    No no, no no no no, no no there’s no limits etc.

    • Neil van der Linden says:

      But then you are talking about Dutch hits in general in the UK. What about Venus/Shocking Blue, Una Paloma Blanca/George Baker Selection, Radar Love/The Golden Earring (not sure if it went to nr 1), Hocus Pocus and Sylvia by Focus (idem), This is Love/Eva Simons with and the Birdie’s Dance or something by I don’t want to remember whom. And the cult hits Touch by the Outsiders, Little Green Bag by the George Baker Selection and Russian Spy and I by the Hunters. In the album charts Caro Emerald I think went to number one, and Armin van Buren, Tiesto and Afrojack did/do well. With the latter three we are in the category that now is a Dutch stronghold, DJ’s.

  • Tommy says:

    Norman was referring to the latest Dutch artist to reach Number 1 in the UK singles chart.

  • Mikko says:

    Thanks to the wonders of Youtube we can see Björk singing No Limits with piano accompaniment: