Kerkplein, Beverwijk (NL)

September 13th 2003

Jan Akkerman band + Jacques Kloes

Setlist: Bluesroot • Piétons (incl. HP) • I’m in the mood
Standing on shakey grounds • You do something to me
My Baby’s gone • Feeling alright • On the table – Sylvia – My pleasure

This was another gig that I was hoping for, since the last time that Jan performed with the former singer of the Dizzy Man’s Band, mr. Jacques Kloes, at a festival on the Dutch coast back in June 2001. And of course those were the memorable nights when Jan and Jacques combined their talents at the BluesRoute festivals in Utrecht from 1995 until 1997.

With those gigs in mind, we headed for a sunny and delighted Saturday afternoon in Beverwijk, not far from the dunes of the west coast of Holland. When we entered the square where the gig would take place, it was already full of people standing and sitting around, having a beer, watching some local choirs, having a laugh, meeting a couple of die-hard JA fans (some seem to have more time to attend JA gigs than we do!)…
By the way, as Irene and myself have been working with Jan on the Akkerweb website for over three years now, it is always nice to hear people saying that they like the work you’re doing and that they take notice of reviews, articles and such. So, this is a good opportunity to thank everyone for their kind comments! This support also motivates us to continue our work for the website of course!

At 3.00 PM we met Jan and Jacques outside a local pub, taking a quick notice on the setlist of the afternoon. I asked Jacques if he does these collaborations more often: “No, actually I don’t. Doing such gigs with Jan is always pleasant and satisfying for me. You never know what will happen with him around. I have known Jan for many years now and he surprises me everytime I watch him play or when we play together. Never a dull moment!”
Jan was feeling great today, just finished his new studio-CD and we talked a lot about his tour through the US, that he found artistically satisfying. He will be doing a tour through Spain later this year, “and staying there until February I hope!”, Jan added.

After a short soundcheck, the boys took the stage at 4 PM. With Jeroen on the keys, Willy on bass and Remco van der Sluis on drums (carrying all his drum-equipment on just one stake-carrier!), they started with the Bluesroot-piece, setting the mood for the rest of the afternoon. Jacques entered the stage halfway through the 65-minute set, doing the vocals on “Standing on shakey grounds”, “You do someting to me”, “My baby’s gone” and “Feeling alright”. His bluesy voice fitted again well with the beautifully paced band, in which Jan’s guitar work was having extensive dialogues with Kloes’ voice and Jeroen’s gentle work on the Rhodes and the Hammond. It rocked more with every song that was to follow!

Somewhere during “Feeling alright” Jan added some lines from a Johnny Cash song (who just died some days before the gig) that caused some laughing from Jacques, who almost wanted to start singing like Cash!
Another great moment was when some guy was carrying some heavy beer barrels in front of the stage, when the barrels fell off his lorry. The whole band had a laugh at that, as it happened in between the stage and the audience.
A pity that they had to stop after almost an hour, due to the strict curfew for each band. Jan couldn’t resist playing the “On the table – Sylvia – My pleasure” suite to round off the performance, as he mentioned to the audience that “you might know this tune from a recent TV commercial of Campina, and I borrowed it.” Simply hilarious!
So we left Beverwijk with satisfaction. The gig was raw and bluesy with lots of improvisation, Neil did a great job on sound engineering again and the audience liked it too. We wished that these sunny Saturday afternoons in September could last forever!

Review : Wouter Bessels
Photos : Irene Heinicke