The last weekend of January traditionally means the cafe’s, pubs and bars in Assen clear out corners, set a little stage and welcome the blues. It’s cold, wet and the best of times to seek refuge in bars and blues!
I started the evening in British Pub Cheers where Irish bluesrocker Eamonn McCormack. Bluesrock in the great tradition of Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter and Walter Trout. Here and there a bit too much Walter Trout (I personally hate the “overdoing the slide/volume-knob thing”). But a great set overall and a good start of the Bluersroute!
I wanted to get to the next location –Herberg De Koppelpaarden– in time. From last year with Jon Amor I remembered that it could get pretty crowded in there as they’re home to the headliner of the festival and this year that’s no other then Aynsley Lister. I’ve seen him since his early years (and my early endeavors in photography), all the way back in 2001! And I’ve met some terrific friends in Engeland and Switzerland through him, so I owe him quite a bit.
Got in the location well in time to get a good spot at the front of the stage, saw Aynsley do the last bit of his soundcheck. His band has changed quite a a few times over the years and now wasn’t any different. I did see Steve Amadeo on bass again, the drummer and keyboardplayer were new. The gig was terrific, raw bluesrock, the well known Aynsley-style and a great selection of songs. Good times, great memories…
Unfortunately I missed the next band I wanted to see. Having left Aynsley I walked over to a restaurant where Big Fish from Groningen was stated to play, but as I arrived they were already loading up the van again. A shame, but as they’re fairly local I have good hopes of seeing them again sometime.
Over to the next location then. Walking past “Het Café” I heard some very familiar music and I stuck my head in. No mistaking there: Fleetwood Mac, the old version. Not the original of course, but the “Tribute to Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac” did an incredible job of sending out the vibe of the true band. Playing that bluesy rock&roll that Fleetwood Mac once long long ago started out with.
And finally I made my way over to restaurant “De Pepermolen” where Hans van Lier & The Sidekicks had the audience dancing, swinging and jiving. Great band and as always a party to be around. Unfortunately the light in this location was truly dreadful, but actually that was just the excuse I needed to test my newly acquired little flash-unit. Took a few shots of the band, tried a few portraits without flash, but found that hardly manageable. So not as many photos as I’d like, but still had a really great time.
As I’d forgotten to bring my earplugs with me I decided not to stay too long and called it quits shortly after my visit to Hans van Lier & The Sidekicks. Saw some fantastic bands, the atmosphere in the various bars and pubs is great and the music even better. Lets roll on edition 2015!