In less than a week Eurosonic/Noorderslag will be all over Groningen again: the musical showcase of Europe where all up and coming bands from all over Europe will perform in every location that can have a stage. So it’s nice that a few Dutch bands can have a little extra exposure in some preview-shows. At Vanslag five band from Drenthe had the opportunity to present themselves and as a bonus Hanna Mae performed with band.
Last week I visited what was probably the last gig of this year, but also finally the first one in the Netherlands together with Monica. And as we both like jazz, visiting Joris Teepe’s series of jazz concerts was a good concert to start off with.
Every year in the latest month the World Press Photo exhibition comes to the Netherlands and whenever it’s possible I try to visit it. They moved from the Der Aa Kerk to the Synagog in Groningen, both locations have impressive architecture.
Last Sunday was the second edition of Live at Zondag (Live on Sunday) at Poortershoes, a terrific initiative from a bunch of music loving people that decided at organising a set of concerts was an experiment they really wanted to and so they went for it. This afternoon we got a gig by The Tightropes
Of all the musicians I’ve seen over the years I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw Ralph de Jong the most. However every concert of Ralph is an experience in it’s own and the energy he brings either on his own or with band makes every concert something to experience. It’s going to be hard to top his previous gig in Borger where he actually got married, but that doesn’t mean the concert should stop and so last Saturday Ralph was back in Vanslag and brought both a band and some guests with him.
There are many great musicians that you’ll never be able to see live. Either because the ticket-prices are outrageously high, because the artists never cross that great ocean or because they have sadly passed away. And I’m really quite allergic to the average tribute band, especially when the original is still up and about, but there definitely are exceptions and yesterday was such an exception: the Etta James Experience.
As we’ll never get to see Etta perform live (then again it’s halloween soon and you never know what may come to pass), last night I saw a terrific performance by a huge Dutch band paying tribute to the late and great Etta James.
I do love new musical initiatives. A few years ago the church in Borger was transformed into a concert-stage which has earned it’s place in many a bands agenda, a few years before that some friends organized houseconcerts in Groningen, which eventually grew to concerts in the synagogue and a four night programming at Groningen’s Noorderzon festival, I’ve seen the birth of the German Static Roots Festival and now a few friends and colleagues of mine have decided to organise several concerts in the community house Poortershoes in Groningen starting with Black Bottle Riot. To kick things off at full steam!