On the very last day of January I headed to Vanslag for a concert by the Irish couple Kieran Goss and Annie Kinsella. Outside it was white with snow and really quite cold, so a warm concert inside a church was just the right thing!
In less than a week Eurosonic/Noorderslag will be all over Groningen again: the musical showcase of Europe where all up and coming bands from all over Europe will perform in every location that can have a stage. So it’s nice that a few Dutch bands can have a little extra exposure in some preview-shows. At Vanslag five band from Drenthe had the opportunity to present themselves and as a bonus Hanna Mae performed with band.
This year the second album of Maurice van Hoek -Traveling Man- was released and got some rave reviews. And the announcement that he was coming to Vanslag made me a happy man!
Of all the musicians I’ve seen over the years I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw Ralph de Jong the most. However every concert of Ralph is an experience in it’s own and the energy he brings either on his own or with band makes every concert something to experience. It’s going to be hard to top his previous gig in Borger where he actually got married, but that doesn’t mean the concert should stop and so last Saturday Ralph was back in Vanslag and brought both a band and some guests with him.
There are many great musicians that you’ll never be able to see live. Either because the ticket-prices are outrageously high, because the artists never cross that great ocean or because they have sadly passed away. And I’m really quite allergic to the average tribute band, especially when the original is still up and about, but there definitely are exceptions and yesterday was such an exception: the Etta James Experience.
As we’ll never get to see Etta perform live (then again it’s halloween soon and you never know what may come to pass), last night I saw a terrific performance by a huge Dutch band paying tribute to the late and great Etta James.
In the third weekend of September Drentsch Peil -a showcase for new bands from the province of Drenthe- came to Borger to play at Vanslag. A perfect opportunity to see what’s up and coming in my province and to see the good people of Vanslag again at the beginning of the new season.
In a few days Eurosonic is going to start again in Groningen and with so many bands -from all over Europe- playing in Groningen, it’s easy to overlook some of them and for that reason alone it’s great that in the day’s before it starts there are some preview shows. In Vanslag in Borger last night they showcased 7 acts from the province of Drenthe that will all play at Eurosonic-Noorderslag next week.
The church-turned-venue Vanslag once started out as well… a church. And last night we witnessed a bit of that ‘old magic’ as Ralph presented us with an evening packed with creativity, blues, rock, poetry… and a wedding!
Last Thursday there were no less then two concerts at the Vanslag. Canadian Elliott Brood was back for it’s fourth concert at the venue and Cicada Rhythm from America arrived for it’s first concert at the Borger church.