One day after the Sven Hammond Soul gig in Groningen and an afternoon clearing out the forest near Oudemolen as a team-outing from work I was tired, worn and also already back to the next gig. This time in Borger, back to Vanslag.
Organised by Roots on the Road the American folk, blues, jazzy, bluegrass singer/songwriter (or let’s just say Americana) Christopher Paul Stelling and band played there after a long one day trip all the way from Paris (“Do you know Paris? It’s really, really far!!!”). The roadtrip from Paris to Borger wasn’t one without obstacles and they were happy to finally have made it to Borger (truckloads of scattered fish over the highway were mentioned).
It wasn’t Christophers first time in Vanslag and I was a bit surprised that the previous time I saw him was all the way back in 2013. At that time he was on his own and opening for another band, but now he had his own band with him. Christopher himself on guitar (the same gorgeous worn down guitar he had with him back in 2013), Kieran Ledwidge on violin, Matt Murphy on bass and Julia Marie Christgau on vocals. The mixed voices of Julia Marie and Christopher work really well together. Violin and double bass make a warm addition to the sound.
The band plays loads of songs: a great varied mix of folky, quiet songs and full out stompers until Christopher plays a set of songs solo. Halfway during that he’s carefully warned by Julia Marie that there’s a break pending. Stating that he really hates brakes in concerts as it breaks the flow of the whole thing, two songs later we do indeed go into a short break so we can get some refreshments and stretch the legs (as I do most photography from the ground up, a shot moment to stand and walk around a bit is very welcome indeed).
The second set is quite a bit shorter as Christopher hadn’t taken a pause into account during his preparation of the setlist, however they were able to keep the flow and the magic and it’s as good as the first set. Many thanks to Roots on the Road and Vanslag for the arranging the concert!