Broken Brass Ensemble and special guests in Simplon

Not so long ago I ran into the album ‘Astonishing Tales From Beyond The Brass Dimension’ by the Broken Brass Ensemble, a brass band (naturally) from the Netherlands. And then I saw they’d come to Simplon for a concert. A very nice coincidence and of course I went there too.

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BRUUT! at Simplon

The past two weeks have been good to me with some terrific concerts and today was no different. I’ve been a fan of BRUUT! for a while now, but haven’t had the chance to actually see them live. This afternoon their tour of the new album Superjazz brought them to Simplon in Groningen.

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Gouden Pijl criterium in Emmen

Bauke Mollema is a busy guy. Fresh out of the Tour the France he raced and won the Boxmeer criterium, raced in Surhuisterveen, won the Clasica San Sebastian in Spain and then raced in Rio at the Olympics. And then he came back the the Netherlands as soon as he could to race in the Gouden Pijl criterium yesterday.

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Deeldeliers in Simplon

You don’t get to meet living legends every day. People that have such a rich history in music and poetry and are instantly recognizable by how they dress and talk. In the Netherlands just about everyone will know Jules Deelder. Poet, writer, performer, collector of a truly incredible vinyl jazz collection, promotor of detergents for black clothing and an important part of the Deeldeliers, a musical partnership with Bas -Dominee- van Lier. They came to Groningen last night.

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Kris Berry & Perquisite and Eveline Vroonland in Simplon

Just before the year is truly over there was one more gig to go to. I’ve seen Kris Berry a few times now, mostly on Jazz-like event, but her partnership with composer/producer Perquiste sounded like a fantastic reason to visit them in Simplon to end the concert-year

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Rachel Sermanni and The Gust in Simplon

After two intense concerts on Thursday and Friday (with lots of photos to edit) I was really tired and very nearly skipped the gig in Simplon on Saturday, but curiosity won me over. I just had to see Rachel Sermanni after all the positive things I heard about her. And I’m very happy I did. Continue reading Rachel Sermanni and The Gust in Simplon

Qeaux Qeaux Joans and Sofie Letitre

Sales of the tickets to Qeaux Qeaux Joans gig in Simplon on February 22 went so well that Qeaux Qeaux was promoted to the main stage and that’s always good news. I bought my ticket early so no worries there and last week I finally got to see her live.

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Sofie Letitre and Fons Jörgen in Simplon

I first saw Sofie Letitre almost exactly 2 years ago, opening a show for Sophie Hunger. Mostly her alone on piano, with the help of Ferdie van der Singel on guitar hoping to hear more from Sofie before long. After the show I remember Sofie handing out her EP, then still as ‘Le Titre’.  It has taken a little while, but on November 8 she finally had her release-gig for her debut album ‘Back Where We Came From’, in Simplon!

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GEM in Simplon

The past few years I’ve seen Maurits Westerik perform solo on various occasions, but I’ve actually never seen him with his band GEM. Lucky for me he has a new album out with that band: Hunters Go Hungry. Although most of the members of the current line up are new additions. Still, I’m glad to finally see GEM live.

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Jenny Lane in Simplon

Back in March Jenny Lane played in the Oosterpoort venu in Groningen, opening for Joss Stone and I remembered that to be a fun gig, but I was a bit psyched concerning the Joss Stone gig. So I decided I’d definitely check out Jenny again if she’d aver play around here again.

So what luck was it to find out that she would in fact play in Groningen again. Not the Oosterpoort this time, but in Simplon and now as the main act.

Opening for Jenny was Celine Cairo, a nineteen (!!!) year old singer songwriter backed up by Mart Jeninga on bass and Matthijs Lievaart on violin. A great act to open the evening with lovely songs

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A short break later Jenny and band entered the stage. Glad to see Jenny’s still as wacky as she was in March, only now she wasn’t just opening the evening, she owned it. lots of fun on stage, an attentive and enthusiastic audience and a great band. Jenny was all over the stage, making friendly with the backing vocalists, playing airguitar besides the guitarist and for some sensitive songs on a seat together with guitarist and accordion  player. And all this wearing a very large hat, that can’t have been very comfortable. Great gig and I had a really good time. Glad to see that the gig in the Oosterpoort wasn’t just a one-off

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Benjamin Herman Kwartet in Simplon

On February 11 Benjamin Herman, well known for his part in the New Cool Collective jazz band came to Groningen. Not as a New Cool Collective gig, but with a quartet and under his own name: The Benjamin Herman Kwartet. Still very jazz, amazingly cool and it’s still absolutely brilliant, just fewer people on stage. But the names on stage are impressive: Carlo de Wijs on a modified Hammond organ, Jesse van Ruller on guitar and Martijn Vink on drums. Herman himself of course on saxophone and occasionally on tambourine. The gig was steaming (the fact that the venue was packed helped a lot too). Had a terrific night, only the lights could have been a bit better (what is it with these endless red lights on stage, are they cheaper?).

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Eurosonic – Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, Jaakko & Jay and Jenny Wilson

From Los Campesinos! in Simplon it wasn’t far to Ou Est le Swimming Pool as they were playing on the upstairs stage in Simplon. Ou Est le Swimming Pool is from England and is as camp as it gets. Catchy electropop and good fun to watch

From Simplon it’s not a very long walk to Het Paleis, a venue that would otherwise have definitely been out of reach and that would have been a shame as Jenny Wilson -from Sweden- is quite a striking appearance in a red hooded dress. Unfortunately more people seemed to find the venue to be too far to walk as the crowd wasn’t too big. An that’s a shame because you don’t get to see an incredible enthusiastic keyboard/flute/sax player with a broken leg on stage.

Elsewhere in Groningen, back in Shadrak Jaakko & Jay from Finland raged through their set high on adrenaline. Armed with nothing more then an acoustic guitar and minimal drum kit (snare + hi-hat) this is one high speed gig

Eurosonic – Pony Pony Run Run, Donkeyboy and Los Campesinos!

Our second night of Eurosonic started at Huize Maas. Rather late as diner at a Mexican restaurant took ages, so we had to dig our way to the edge of the stage. Strange enough it’s usually crowded at the back in a venue and quite a bit of room in the front. I was very happy to find out this was also the case with Pony Pony Run Run from France. A fantastic combination of rock and dance that ended in something that resembled house. In incredible way to start the evening.

On the other side of Huize Maas Donkeyboy from Norway started as the sound of Pony Pony Run Run still vibrated in my head. It’s probably because of this that I can’t really remember that much of Donkeyboy.

A stern walk through Groningen brought us to a packed Simplon where the seven members Los Campesinos! from England filled out the entire stage. A great band and lots of energy on stage and in the crowd. This was fun.