Bevrijdingsfestival Assen

On May 5 freedom is celebrated all over the Netherlands and we do this with music! Oh alright: and with messages on the importance of freedom, freedom of speech and the general idea just to be nice to each other. But mostly music. All over the Netherlands there are ‘Liberation festivals’ and national and foreign act can be found on many of these festivals. I visited the one in my hometown: Assen!

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Loop Alley at Vanslag

Together with Roots on the Road the Vanslag stage in Borger is by now a well known stage for Americana and Roots music, but last Friday I saw that is can more than hold its own in popular music too with the ‘deep house’, loops and full band of Loop Alley.

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Bevrijdingsfestival Groningen

On May 5th we celebrate freedom in the Netherlands, it was the day the Second World War ended for the Netherlands in 1945. There are festivals all over the country with a bunch of mayor bands and a lot of local bands. This year was my first visit to the festival in Groningen.

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Jelle Paulusma at Bevrijdingsfestival in Assen

On May 5 we (the Dutch) celebrate our liberation here in the Netherlands. On this day 65 years ago WWII ended for us, though nowadays we celebrate liberation in a broader concept. Part of this celebration is music festivals all over the country with some interesting and well attended versions in Groningen and Zwolle. However as I had other work to do today, I chose to visit the one in my town: Assen. This version is somewhat smaller then it’s neighbours, but three names on the bill were very interesting: Krause, Jelle Paulusma and Sandy Dane. Unfortunately Krause had been cancelled. Apparently the organization had mistaken herĀ  for a DJ instead of the electro/discobeats band that she is. So the cancelled her and the chance to finally see her perform live was shortlived. The other two names however were still on the bill.

Jelle Paulusma, formerly of Daryl-Ann, was a bit of an odd name for the festival, seeing as what kind of bands will draw an audience in Assen what bands won’t. And Paulusma is not one of those names (Assen isn’t well for indie acts that work well for towns like Groningen that have an active students-society). That’s nothing to say about the gig that Jelle Paulusma & Friends gave, because that was fantastic. A nearly completely acoustic concert (with only an electric slide guitar on a few songs), great songs and a great voice made it -at least for me- an absolutely terrific performance, but then I always enjoy the Paulusma gigs. The square was dreadfully void of a crowd and it was so cold…. I was shaking so much I doubt the Image Stabilizer of my lens would be able to correct all of my spasms and by the end of the gig my skin had turned about as blue as my denim jacket

[flickr]tag:KJGuch+paulusma050510@Klaas / KJGuch.com[/flickr]

Sandy Dane was originally scheduled right after Paulusma, but as she wasn’t there yet, they switched her gig with that of the band that would originally perform after her. But I was, together with Krause and Paulusma, only interested in Sandy, who’s getting airplay on national radio and seemed interesting to check out. However being as cold as I was, I didn’t look forward to have to wait over an hour and chose to skip it. I’m very sorry Sandy and I promise to come to a gig next time you’re around, but as cold as I was, I just really wanted to go home :)