Toby Beard played at Vanslag last year and I hated having missed that. Even more when I heard the loads of positive reviews of the gig. So hearing she was to return to Vanslag was terrific news!
With the New Year’s receptions behind us, the New Year’s resolutions forgotten and everyone back at work it’s also high time to get back to seeing concerts and starting in the Vanslag stage with Amy Speace and Jens Lysdal was just the way to go.
Saturday, only two days after seeing Christina Martin I was back in Vanslag for a gig by Stefany June. I saw her open for The Asteroids Galaxy Tour back in 2011. Back then the combination was just about perfect and she had a fitting audience in Vera. Last Saturday would prove more of a challenge.
I have this thing for singer-songwriters. They often alternate between band-versions and very small units with only an extra guitarist when they’re on tour over here and I love how their songs sound big and strong with a full band behind them and so tender and fragile when they’re all alone on a stage. Last week Canadian Christina Martin played in Vanslag, with Dale Murray on guitar and lapsteel guitar.
Only a day after Hugh Cornwell’s acoustic history lesson in the punk and new wave of The Stranglers today I was back at Vanslag again for a very different kind of concert: House of Cosy Cushions were playing there this afternoon and what I know of their music it seemed a great match for the former church.
Hugh Cornwell is of course best known being the singer/guitarist for the punk-group The Stranglers, spawning that huge hit Golden Brown. However Hugh left the band in 1990 to perform as a solo artist and last Saturday he performed his acoustic sermon in the Vanslag church.
Canadian Julie Doiron has a long standing musical career that began in ‘Eric’s Trip’ when she was eighteen. Her solo career started shortly after that band disbanded. She has also collaborated with fellow Canadians of The Tragically Hip. And last Thursday she opened the four days of music on Vanslag
I spend a lot of concert-visiting time in Vera. After that the Oosterpoort theater and Simplon round up my top 3 of locations. All in Groningen. But in my twelve years of concert-visiting I have never been to Viadukt and that’s a crying shame. So it’s a good thing that Kendler was to have their EP presentation in Viadukt. A kick-ass band so I couldn’t go wrong there and with the added bonus of discovering the Mountainbirds.
Last Friday I was back in Borger again, this time for a gig in the Roots on the Road series. They had a great band on with Ha Ha Tonka and opened with a set by New York based Christopher Paul Stelling.