I had to leave the PlatoPlanet festival early to be sure I would arrive in time at Vera for a gig by a man I hold in extremely high regards: Omar Rodriguez Lopez. He has released countless albums, plays in various formations, including the Mars Volta and has a great love for the Vera venue, a love that goes deep both ways.
On Monday the 28th of May -Whit Monday- there were still many more festivals. Pinkpop was about to work up to the main act (Bruce Springsteen), Ribs&Blues was far from done, but I chose to check out the park in Groningen where wishfulmusic held it’s second ‘Picknick in het Plantsoen’
One of the most interesting names of Eurosonic this year was without a doubt Amatorski. Playing a set in Plato on Platosonic and a gig later that evening in a venue somewhere I regrettably missed them both, but the name stuck and the EP and album (TBC) that they have out sound just about perfect. So seeing them return to De Oosterpoort for a regular gig made me as happy as can be.
Friday -almost a week after the Rhythm&Blues festival- I’m well rested and it’s hight time to check out music again and with Kim Janssen and Rue Royale in Vera I’m in for an evening of absolute gorgeous music.
It’s been nearly six years since I first (and last) saw Mark Lanegan, then as part of The Twilight Singers playing in Vera. A fantastic sound, but couldn’t much remember of Mark visually. He’s back in Groningen, this time with the Mark Lanegan Band, promoting his latest album Blues Funeral.
Hardly recovered from the Platosonic and Eurosonic weekend I was of to Groningen again yesterday to visit the 1 year anniversary of wishfulmusic. And how do you celebrate one year of programming lots of beautiful gigs? With more performances of course. The stage was the Groninger Museum, that I visited last year for an edition of Groninger Museum Live.
On January 19 1980 Joy Division played in Vera / Groningen. I wish I had been there, but as I wasn’t even 4 at the time, my musical interests lay elsewhere. It would take me about 25 years before I really took interest in New Wave and Joy Division became a big name for me. So seeing that Peter Hook (Joy Division’s Bass player) was coming to De Oosterpoort with his band The Light to perform the entire second Joy Division album Closer was the perfect concert-ending to a great year.
A few months ago I read the announcement that Elvis Costello was going to come to Groningen! That was something to look forward to. The man’s musical career is as long as I am old and he still releases great albums. The gig in De Oosterpoort (on November 8th) would be a solo-performance, to be opened by Larkin Poe
Last years release of the album Philharmonics by Agnes Obel was a huge success. Piano based songs with a fantastic voice. So I was hugely disappointed I wasn’t able to go to Eurosonic this year, although most likely the venue would have been filled to the brim anyway. I had to wait a little longer, but eventually Agnes would return and last Sunday was that time.
Last night Marike Jager came to Groningen with her clubtour promoting her latest album ‘Here comes the Night’. Marike has become quite the celebrity over here in the past few years presenting festivals on TV and becoming a regular guest on a daily Dutch TV show, but luckily she’s still mainly an amazing musician with her third album proving just that.
The line-up of Cross-Linx looked fantastic and I was extremely happy that I got permission to go there for FileUnder.
The festival was opened by Efterklang with Daniel Bjarnason and Their Messing Orchestra. Hard to describe in any other way than ‘beautiful’. Wonderfully crafted songs (mostly of their latest album) and played so beautiful. Lots of bandmembers on stage (hey, it is a messing orchestra). At the end of the gig the whole band left the stage, entered the floor and paraded to the back of the hall, up the stairs and ended the concert there, in style