Luck for Bospop

Bospop was very lucky. All week we were pestered by bad weather and this weekend it was warm and dry – a few drops here and there was all.

The programme was okay anyway. The tried and tested concept (unashamed nostalgia, audience pullers, local talent and some blues) hasn’t grown stale. It’s no wonder that just like last year some 12.000 visitors found their way to the Boshoven complex. The foundation bought a piece of forest nearby to compensate the CO2 waste. A great gesture, that fits the first day (07-07-07), the day of the Live Earth festival. In Weert they had their own party.

It starts a little slow. Angelo Kelly was allowed to play a rock and roll intermezzo during the concerts of his family (yes, the Kelly Family!), but now has his own band. The organisation asked him to play an extra rough set, although that didn’t quite happen. The space before the stage is still quite empty, but there’s not a lot wrong is his robust singing. It’s the repertoire that kills him. Mainstream rock in its most meagre form.
Van Velzen also seeks the middle ground, but has more to offer. We’re not just talking prize numbers like Baby get higher and Burn. The small man has a big voice and there’s an obvious willingness to break through. Given his enthousiasm he will certainly succeed.

Where on the main stage the A.O.R. reigns, the Limburg group 21 Eyes Of Ruby – with members from SilQ and Rosenfeld – goes alternative. It’s an eclectic mix of hardcorepunk and progrock. The trio, that takes its name from a Smashing Pumpkins song, plays a hyperventilating energetic show, with influences from Foo Fighters, Muse and Pumpkins. A lot of dynamics, sometimes really really loud.
Blowbeat is lightly handicapped today. One of the gentlemen didn’t write everything down in his agenda, and so had to cancel because of other commitments (with ‘a very wellknown Dutch female singer’). The rest of the band doesn’t hold back.

We can’t really get great feelings for The Hooters, with their folkrock with mandoline and accordeon. The Philadelphia band had some success in the eighties, but has stayed in that era obviously. Some retro also with Venice, but the family band is cut from harder wood.
The only revelation is The Answer. Where in previous years the Metal genre isn’t represented very well, this band truly does. Their debut Rise is the most important hardrock album of this decade according to British press and that doesn’t seem too far off from the truth this time. What inspiration. And what a great singer. Think Black Crowes, Led Zeppelin, Free and everything inbetween. Don’t miss them on Lowlands, because they are there too.

The promising category of female vocals is quite disappointing. Ilse DeLange is the only one who really makes something of it. And not only because of the great songs. Ilse can sing and the same cannot be said of Debbie Harry from Blondie and Kim Wilde. Debbie looks cool and does everything she can to still play the rockchick at 62. She succeeds fairly well, although the distant posing results in too little contact with the audience. Enough hits. It’s fun: Hanging On The Telephone, Atomic and even Rapture, but oh how cramped it all is. They’re disinterested and that isn’t without consequences. The audience responds accordingly. Denis, which is on the playlist as encore, isn’t played.
Kim Wilde is a lot more enthusiastic at least. She has exchanged the daily clothing she wears on gardening programmes for the BBC for a great pair of jeans. She clearly feels like doing this. It’s a shame of her frail nasal voice, which isn’t very prominent in the mix. The new songs that are played aren’t very memorable as well. We prefer the tried and tested hits. From the classic ‘Cambodia’ to the unavoidable closing song ‘Kids in America’. A surprise is Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy the silence’. Entertaining for sure and the beautiful Kim is still pretty as a picture, but that’s all there is to it.

Blof does what is expected of them. Their performance is remarkably constrained. Maybe it’s because singer Paskal Jacobsen sprained his ankle on the same stage a couple of years ago? The intensity with which he sings and the great playing of the band cause chicken skin. Their songs are monuments in the Dutch repertoire.

No shortage of hits with Joe Cocker. With Hymn for my soul the Woodstock icon released a good record recently for the first time in years, but as expected the Bospop audience is treated to a Best Of show. Sometimes he will sing great like in the Barrelhouse Blues, but just as many times he doesn’t sound too well. In Up Where We Belong, in which one of the backing singers performs the vocals of Jennifer Warnes, he seems to have lost it totally. The fact that he still stands at the end is fully due to his great band.

The biggest bang has already taken place by then: The Scene is back and we shall know it. When Paskal Jacobsen joins the band on stage for ‘Iedereen is van de wereld’ there is the biggest round of applause we have heard so far. Hopefully there’s more fireworks tomorrow because that’s what we have missed today, despite the promising lineup.