The UK has always been a bit unwelcoming to European music - ask the average pub-quiz aficionado to name five acts or bands from the Netherlands and they'll 'um' and 'arr' before proclaiming Golden Earring, Jan Smit and The Nits to be the musical and cultural spearheads from the Lowlands.
More recently, 2 Unlimited, Within Temptation, Bettie Serveert, Ferry Corsten, Armin van Buuren and Clan of Xymox have graced radio airwaves and huge arenas in varying amounts, but none more so than jazz-popster Caro Emerald.
A relative newcomer to the chart-scene, Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw has taken the Dutch scene by storm. Her acclaimed debut-album "Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor" spent thirty weeks at #1 in her homeland, beating the record set by Michael Jackson's "Thriller" - that is some achievement.
The album was helped on its way by two key singles, "Back it Up" and the Paloma Faith-esque "A Night Like This", the latter a #1 in three countries (although we British largely ignored it of course). She racked up a further three hits back home before having numerous awards tossed at her, including an 'Echo' (a Dutch BRIT) for International Newcomer in 2012 (Lana Del Rey won it this year).
2013 sees the return of Caro Emerald, armed with new material in the form of "The Shocking Miss Emerald", preceded by new single "Tangled Up". Cunningly fused with a strong Tango influence, it sounds like she's been courting Gotan Project - which is a good thing.
Her accompanying UK tour kicks off in Gateshead on 10th September, followed by Glasgow, Salford and many more until Portsmouth on the 25th. [TICKETS: 05/4/2013 10:00], from £19.50.