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.
After the success of last years Groninger Museum Live editions, the concept is back. It’s been altered a bit adding poetry and theater, but also there’s still music. This first edition of the year was to include Aafke Romeijn, whom I failed to see every time I got the chance so far and also a performance by Mattanja Joy Bradley.
How lucky was I? Just booked my vacation to New York and checking out what music there would be only to find out that the Alabama Shakes would be playing at Summerstage in Central Park. And my hotel was just about located at Central Park. So there was no doubt in my mind I’d go and see them. Even packed my 70-200mm lens just for that occasion. Now if they’ll only let me bring it to the festival…
De Oosterpoort has done it once again. For the past few years they’ve always managed to get one of the top acts from Pinkpop to appear here up north for an extra show. Most recently Queens of the Stone Age and Wolfmother and this year they hauled in Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.
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.
Now that the festival is in it’s second hour, it’s getting pretty busy and the first main act on the biggest stage is a big part of the reason for that. I have to rush to that stage to find a decent spot and only just about manage. Now bring on Charles Bradley, the “Screaming Eagle Of Soul”!
I’ve been looking forward to this edition of the R&B Night for a long long time. A bunch of fantastic names got out pretty early and the time table showed that the names were spread very nicely so there would be enough time to see just about everything I wanted and it’s a great place to see and catch up with lots of musical friends. The evening started with a few great names so I dived right in.
This weekend the Superbike races are held at the TT Circuit of Assen and though it’s not as big an event as the TT Races are, it is big enough to organise a Superbike Night in Assen. Two stages, two bands and -as long as the weather holds up- a good atmosphere.
Always looking for new musical styles and challenges in concert photography I saw a great opportunity when I read that Fado-singer Cristina Branco would play in De Oosterpoort. Didn’t really know what to expect from a photography point of view, but I didn’t really think it would be a very easy shoot.
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.
The Last weekend of January is traditionally Bluesnight with lots of bluesgigs in various café’s, pubs, bars and venues. You can run along all night from one location to the other to see as much as possible, or you pick a few and enjoy the full gig. As I’d be playing hotel for one of the bands, I didn’t hop around very much and saw only a three gigs, but they were three fantastic gigs
After two weeks of shooting concerts in Groningen with everything from loud Hardrock to the most quiet Lo-fi music, it was nice to end the cycle with a gorgeous singer/songwriter concert in Roodehaan. So Alex Akela’s invitation to come see him support Mattanja Joy Bradley in Warfhuizen was a very welcome one.