Ralph de Jong, Tommy Ebben and Bradley’s Circus in Assen

The Last weekend of January is traditionally Bluesnight with lots of bluesgigs in various café’s, pubs, bars and venues. You can run along all night from one location to the other to see as much as possible, or you pick a few and enjoy the full gig. As I’d be playing hotel for one of the bands, I didn’t hop around very much and saw only a three gigs, but they were three fantastic gigs

Shortly after eight I stepped into the PopAs PopPodium of Assen where Ralph de Jongh & Crazy Hearts were already kicking off the Bluesnight. I’d seem them not loong ago at Platosonic, but you really have to see a band like this on a proper stage, that’s where it turns to gold. Absolutely outstanding gig and the more I see them the more I’m convinced they’re the modern day version of the old Stones (especially with Ralph’s voice and hist stomping around the stage). And adding an instrumental piece of ‘jamming’ that seriously came damn close to the Pink Floyd Comfortably Numb solo totally made my night. Ralph and his men are awesome!


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Resetting the stage for Tommy Ebben and the Small Town Villains took a bit longer than planned. Add that it’s not strictly blues the venue was way WAY to empty for Tommy. It’s a fantastic band but perhaps a bit misplaced here. I really feel sorry for the guys, they deserved a lot better then this.


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Alas as the show had started later then planned I couldn’t see it through till the end myself as I wanted to make my way over to the Cosy Corner café to see as much as possible of Bradley’s Circus. I’ve seen Mattanja Joy Bradley a while ago in Camping Roodehaan and now, just before they pop over to the States for a tour- the whole band is here in Assen. Entering the café things seem to go very well as the place is packed. Just as well as the concert is steaming. A fantastic mix of blues, Rockabilly and roots, the crowd’s dancing along and the atmosphere is great. Switching from one style to another all the while keeps things fresh and rolling along. I had a blast of a time.


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