Wild Young Minds: north sea jazz part I

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

north sea jazz part I

3 days of peace, 3 days of love, 3 days of music. What a fabulous weekend. For the third year in a row me and my music friend Ramai went to North Sea Jazz in Rotterdam. But for the first time we went the entire weekend. A spontaneous idea but, as always, we didn't think it trough all the way. Which means we had to look for a place to sleep a few weeks before the festival started. And since more than 70000 people came to Ahoy that weekend, all the cheap hotels were full as well.

Our last possibility was the city camping. And so that's where we went. We had made reservations for a log cabin (thank god we didn't bring a tent, the weather was horrible!). The cabin was really cute, there was only space for one bunk bed, a sink and a mirror. I was really happy with that mirror as you'll understand ;) Anyway, the camping was fine and we had decided to bring our bikes in the train so we could cycle to Ahoy. Which was 8 kilometres but thanks to the route (via the Coolsingel and Erasmusbrug) it wasn't that bad.

The first day was extremely hot. The first band we saw was Sven Hammond Soul, which played some real good music, jazzy and uptempo. After this we hurried to the Nile (the biggest hall in Ahoy) because in a couple of minutes my hero Van Morrison would be performing. Before him, the American singer John Hiatt was performing. I'd never heard of him but he was brilliant. His sound was a mixture between Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen, 'on the road' music, very American. My dad later told me he knew him from the song 'Have a little faith in me', I'm sure you know that song!

When Van Morrison entered the stage, the entire hall was crowded. A woman next to me told me she had seen the man more than 70 times already. Wow, she must have been a huge fan. Van the Man opened his show with 'Brown Eyed Girl', so everybody sang along. He looked a little chubby but I guess that's what often happens to men who turn old.

Van played a lot of songs I didn't know but I didn't care that much because his voice made up for everything. And when 'Moondance' finally came, I sang along very, very loud. Unfortunately there was a moment when the amplifier wasn't working very well, so Van Morrison sang but no one could hear him except for us, because we stood up front. He and his band didn't realise it, so it was a bit painful.

After this big show we ate something. Too much choice, really. Every country has his own stand I guess. And it all smelled so good. But it was so expensive. There was Indonesian food, Surinam food, Thai food but also pancakes, pizzas, ice creams. Well you can make your own imagination.

José James was the next artist we saw. We stood somewhere in the back because the show had already started. All I could see was a young man with a Yankees cap on his head but he sound really, really amazing. I fell in love with him immediately ;) Especially during the song 'Trouble', which I knew and loved already but I didn't know it was his. He also sang a marvelous version of Bill Withers' 'Ain't no Sunshine'

But we had to go away early because we wanted to see Ms. Jill Scott. It was a good choice because when she entered the stage a real woman stood there. Almost no hair, a real big momma, and a great band. She read a poet and did a little performance which was hilarious. You could see she is an actress as well. Her biggest hits 'Golden', 'So in love with you' and 'Blessed' also passed in review. Brilliant songs.

After a quick stop at Blitz the Ambassador (and a lovely chocolate ice cream), we went to see the last show of the night, which was Chic featuring Nile Rodgers. I don't know if you're familiar with Chic but it's a funk and disco band of the seventies. We heard songs as 'We are family', 'Good Times' and 'I want your love' but also golden oldies like 'Like a Virgin'. It was a little and fabulous party and this was only day 1.


  1. Yes I did, he was brilliant! I'll post about him later ;)