Swingin’ Groningen 2018

This weekend is the 2018 edition of the Swingin’ Groningen festival and every year I try to at least get one night in and this year I visited on Friday evening as that had the best part of the program for me.

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Tourist in my own country

Instead of going to Barcelona again in April I had Monica over here for a few days. Weather-predictions warned for rain and cold weather and seeing that April usually has no idea what it wants, I had Monica at least prepare for some cold rainy days.

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Ralph de Jongh in Lodewijk Napoleon 1809

It’s been a year since the cafe Lodewijk Napoleon opened its doors and they decided to celebrate that moment with a concert by Ralph de Jongh, fantastic idea! Back in the day when the Cosy Corner cafe was in that location it already had some great concerts and I well remember seeing Bradley’s Circus there in a blues route. With a raised floor in the cafe it’s perfect for concerts there and having a concert in Assen for a change is really nice :)

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PlatoPlanet in Oosterpoort 1/2

Last Sunday the 5th edition of PlatoPlanet was held in De Oosterpoort. PlatoPlanet is sort of a preview to Eurosonic/Noorderslag and is organised by Plato in combination with the Oosterpoort venue.

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Groeten uit Grolloo bluesfestival Day 2

Yesterday we returned to Grolloo for the second day of the bluesfestival. Again without camera and though it didn’t feel as awkward, I’d have more than my share of moments that I cursed not having it with me. But most of all I enjoyed, no loved the acts on stage. Again.

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Groeten uit Grolloo bluesfestival Day 1

Whenever John Mayall comes to the Netherlands, me and my dad go to one of the gigs. And John’s here this weekend. However, I’m not carrying my camera’s with me this time. And I seriously can’t remember the last time I went to a gig without cameras. This was the first evening of the two-day festival and I had the blues. Which wasn’t such a bad thing, I was at a blues festival after all

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Cuby & The Blizzards and Mooi Wark at TT Festival

On Thursday June 24 the second night of the TT Festival started and as the Dutch were playing the last match in the first round of the world cup, a large screen was set up for the crowd to see the match and as the Dutch won, the crowd were happy. A good start of the evening and in preparation to the first gig the DJ had the crowd jumping, singing and doing the polonaise, with beer flying through the air and an ever more cheery bunch of festival goers.

But they were here for music (well, a lot were probably mostly there for the beer, but must were there for music) and Thursday was the Night for the ‘Assenaren’ (inhabitants of Assen), but we didn’t mind if you weren’t from Assen. As long as you had a good time. Th first act of the evening was out national Blues legend “Cuby & The Blizzards”, the band that practically introduced blues to the Netherlands.

The band has been inactive for a few years but have been on the road for a long time again now and still produce new songs and albums and they have a loyal support. Musically they’re also still very good. Not as raw and rock-like as the new generation of bluesbands, but they manage very well.

Playing a set consisting of lots of old time favorites and some new work, they played a great set and these days they expanded the band with a horn-section, where I recognized one of the New Cool Collective members. A great gig and I was glad to see these men still hold their own

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Although at first I told myself that I’d go home after Cuby & The Blizzards, standing where I stood, I thought I might just as well wait for the next act: Mooi Wark. A band singing in Dutch dialect. The songs are a bit camp and are based on utter nonsence, but I must admit that if you filter out the lyrics and the idiotic nonsense in between the songs, the music itself is tightly played and at times even reminds me of Status Quo. Beer was flying around a lot and the crowd was getting jollier by the minute so once I had my photos I got the heck out of there. It was fun, but not really my kinda music

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