In the Pentecost weekend (or ‘Pinksterweekend’ as it’s known in Dutch) is very popular in the Netherlands for it’s many festivals. Best know will the the Pinkpop festival, but there are many more. Usually you’ll find me in Raalte on at least one of the days for the annual Ribs&Blues festival. A brilliant festival mixing the outdoor activities associated with the warm weather (BBQ anyone?) with loads of music of the blues variation.
I was unfortunately not able to attend the whole Sunday, but I arrived around half past eight in the evening. Kitty, Daisy & Lewis were already fiercely at it. They play a fantastic old bluesy style, kind of jump blues with a bit of R&B, swing, country and a lot of rock’n’roll in the mix. Sounds awesome and they look it too. The audience is loving it. Would love to see them again for a full gig sometime.
Outside at the side stage American Israel Nash Gripka is starting his set, a lot more country / country rock then blues and it takes a bit for the audience to get into the gig. Perhaps the Ribs&Blues festival on a hot day like this, en the evening with a somewhat intoxicated audience is not the right place for a set like this. Don’t get me wrong, the band performs fantastic, but doesn’t seem to fit in with the time and location. However, when they rock; all is well. Good set but oddly placed then.
Back at the main stage Dutch blues rock hero Julian Sas and band easily win over the audience. The rhythm section with Tenny Tahamata on bass and Rob Heijne on drums is rocksolid and offers Julian Sas to rock and boogie onwards and forwards. A brilliant performance, but then Ribs&Blues and Julian Sas are really made for one another.
Outside Serena Pryne and her Mandevilles are ready to kick some ass. Serena came highly recommended by my local album-dealer and boy was he right. For me Serena easily beats everything I’ve seen so far. Her energy on stage from the get go is incredible and the band almost struggles to tag along. Serena has a wonderful slightly hoarse voice that brings various singers to mind such as Melissa Etheridge and Stevie Nicks and there are songs where the band almost sounds like a slightly rougher version of Fleetwood Mac. Rock with blues and country influences and for my the clear winner of the evening. Blew me away.
But I wasn’t fully done yet. The main reason that I wanted to be at this day of Ribs&Blues was that eleven years ago I went to my first edition of this festival and that was the first time I saw the then headliner of the festival The Paladins. Guess who’s closing the main stage this day now? You guessed it: The Paladins. A bit older, a bit wiser, a couple of new songs but they know what the audience comes for; blues and rockabilly and they play a fantastic set filled with the songs they played way back when and it’s a great reunion. Almost as if they never left.
Although I was only able to see a small bit of the festival, the atmosphere was great again, got to see some blues acts again that I hadn’t seen in a long while, saw fantastic new acts… what more do you want?