Swingin’ Groningen 2017

With a busy week I wasn’t able to do both Friday and Saturday of the Swingin’ Groningen festival, however I was by no way going to miss the whole festival and Saturday had some great names on the schedule. So after finishing my work on the Static Roots Festival, doing a ride on the Bianchi and fixing evening-dinner, I hopped in my car and drove to Groningen for more music!

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Wende in Stadsschouwburg

Last year Wende released her latest album ‘Last Resistance’ and after coming to Vera with The Naked Sessions, visiting De Oosterpoort with The Berlin Sessions on may 3rd Wende came to Groningen again with The Theater Sessions visiting the Stadsschouwburg.

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Wende – The Berlin Sessions in De Oosterpoort

In April, shortly before the release of her new album Last Resistance, Wende came to Groningen to start a short clubtour called The Naked Sessions. A minimalistic show in Vera mixing Wende’s songwriting and voice with electronica and beats from the Trance scene and it was fantastic. Sold out venue and the combination of Wende and Vera worked! But now Wende is the second string of concerts, bigger this time: the Berlin sessions and she’s in the Oosterpoort venue for that gig.

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Wende -The Naked Sessions in Vera

Wende perfored in Vera last week as part of her clubtour for the upcoming album The Last Resistance. It has been a while since I last saw Wende as she has taken some time for the new album. Written in Berlin coupled with strongly posed portraits in black&white I couldn’t help but think of “Heroes” album of David Bowie, from David’s Berlin period. For the current clubtour Wende is accompanied not by a whole band, nor an orchestra but a very tight unit of only two men on guitar, bass and electronica.

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Dame Flux in Galerie with tsjalling

Having recently successfully founded her new album project through crowd-funding (voordekunst), on Thursday January 10th, Irene Wiersma and Corneel Canters gave a first glimpse into the new sound of Dame Flux in the art gallery with tsjalling. And it was good. Different, but very fresh!

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Peter Hook and The Light in De Oosterpoort

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.

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Elvis Costello and Larkin Poe in De Oosterpoort

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

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Moon Duo and Kim Ki O in Vera

I do so love to go to concerts without much of an idea of how it’s going to be and then being blown away by the sheer brilliance of a gig. Both bands playing in Vera last night -Moon Duo and opening act Kim Ki O- easily managed to do just that.

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Arno Hintjens in De Oosterpoort

On June 12 Belgian Arno Hintjens and his band played in the small hall in the Oosterpoort venue in Groningen.

Arno plays a mix of rock, blues, new wave and French chansons and flirts with Arabian music. His voice is a raw, lived through one and he looks impressive on stage.  His band is as varied as are his songs and the sound is great.

However, seeing as I have two other Belgian bands to shoot that evening, I’m forced to leave after 6 songs. A shame, it sounds great