BIG BAM BOOM BAND / PAT TRAVERS BAND

Saturday, October 26th, 2013
Location: De Peppel, Zeist, The Netherlands

It’s been five years or so, since we last visited de Peppel in Zeist. A reunion of PICTURE was the occasion, I believe. When we arrived at the cozy club again, we noticed a giant make over took place during these years. Where they first had a bar, in which you could wait before the shows, they now turned both small rooms into one big space. I think, this is definitely a big step forward. However, I’m not here discussing the rebuilding of de Peppel. On the contrary, I ‘d like to review the show of the BIG BAM BOOM BAND and one of my all-time guitar heroes PAT TRAVERS. The BIG BAM BOOM BAND is a heavy blues rock band, that reminds me a little of HOUDOE EN BEDANKT. Take a few rock classics, put a heavy touch to it and you’ve got a remarkable sound, that is the perfect opener for the PAT TRAVERS BAND. Anyway, the band kicks off with a blowing version of “Crossroads”, originally done by Robert Johnson. The guitar solo sounds wild and exciting and they know to catch my interest right away. “Stone Free” of JIMI HENDRIX is on next and of course you’ll expect a good guitar solo by Alfred van der Linden (BINTANGS). “Rocky Mountain Way” is another classic from the pen of Joe Walsh this time (EAGLES). These are all songs in which the strong, tight playing of the band shows up well. These are also the songs, that will please the audience tonight, that has an average age of a bit over fifty, I guess. During the BINTANGS song “Riding On The L & N”, the band calls in the help of Rinus van Rijn on harmonica. He is also a member of BOSS HOGG and a living legend in the area of Utrecht. “Going Down” is another obvious choice, but what a wonderful and groovy song this is. “Standing On Shaky Ground” is a nice surprise here tonight. The original version was recorded by FRANKIE MILLER, a Scottish rock musician, who always knew to touch me with his great songs and raw voice, punctuated with the sound of pure whiskey. If you’re not familiar with the music of FRANKIE MILLER, then I kindly urge you to do yourself a favor and have a listening session to some of his albums. The recent publication of his live appearance at Rock Palast would be a good start. LED ZEPPELIN’s “Whole Lotta Love” doesn’t need any further introduction I guess. We hear the short version, because the band has only got limited time of course. At the end of the set, we may choose whether we’d like to hear another ZEP song or if we want to hear a LARRY WILLIAMS song. And although the majority decides on another ZEP song, they play the LARRY WILLIAMS track “Slow Down” first up. Many fans will knows this song from the well-known GOLDEN EARRING version, I guess. The crowd is warmed up pretty well right now and the knock-out punch is being provided by “Rock And Roll”, the LED ZEPPELIN classic, that also closes their show of tonight. Next to Alfred van der Linden and Rinus van Rijn, the band consists of drummer Wessel van Alphen, and Fred Jacquet (ERWIN JAVA’S SECOND SKIN) on bass and vocals. The band performs a great show and proves to be the perfect warming up for PAT TRAVERS tonight.
Hello music fans, from the streets of Toronto to the streets of Zeist, he’s the one to kick your ass: PAT TRAVERS! The guitar god has the same line-up as in Culemborg 2011, when we saw him at the Crystal Stage with the JULIAN SAS BAND as support act. It’s two years later now and PAT TRAVERS has just released a new album, called “Can Do”, which will be promoted today. The opener of tonight is “Rock And Roll Suzie”, one of my all-time favorites. After such a great opener, it’s always a surprise which other oldies he will be playing tonight. “Heat In The Street” is not an obvious choice and perhaps that’s why I’m very glad he played this one tonight. “Crash And Burn” is on next. Throughout the years this song has grown on me a lot, from being just another PAT TRAVERS track to a real classic from the master’s hand. “I’ve Got News For You” is a cover song, originally recorded by RAY CHARLES. Pat recorded it for his “Blues Tracks” album twenty years ago. “Black Betty”, originally recorded by RAM JAM, comes next. I still wonder why he’s playing this instead of the many original tracks, that he has recorded. MEAT LOAF also tends to cover it during his shows. Mind you, I’m not saying that this isn’t a nice song or that he makes a mess out of it. Not at all! He is performing it just right, but I would rather have heard an own penned classic like “Hooked On Music” or “Getting Betta” for example. “Diamond Girl” from his latest new album got a false start. The amplifier quits and I was really surprised about the way he reacted to this. He grinned, made fun with the sound engineer, switched amps and started all over again, because this song is so precious to him. I’ve seen him reacting differently in ancient times, but the man has become so nice and easy going over the years, that the fall out of the amplifier didn’t seem to bother him at all. He kept smiling and continued his set with another song from the new album. This time title track “Can Do”. So far, so good. The man plays loud as always and his band sounded so much better than in Culemborg. At that time, they were just backing up the Canadian guitar hero. Now they play like a well-oiled machine and I can tell you that it’s a true killing machine, that nobody can top. “Stevie” always makes my skin crawl and this time it’s another highlight of the evening. Such a great ballad! “Statesboro Blues” is my ultimate PAT TRAVERS song, originally penned by BLIND WILLIE McTELL, but who gives a damn anyway? The guitar solo that follows comes from the man from Texas, Kirk McKim. The band is really at full steam now and it’s time to take back some speed by doing another cover. This time it’s the JIMI HENDRIX classic “Red House”, that receives a PAT TRAVERS’ make over. “Long Time Gone” is the introduction to yet another real anthem in the back catalog of Pat, the raw rocker “Smorting Whiskey (And Drinking Cocaine)”. What a killer song! “Boom Boom, Out Goes The Light” is the last song of the regular set. Of course, we’re asked to sing along to this rock evergreen and to shout out our lungs on this one. The only minor detail of the new setup of de Peppel is, that the band has to move through the whole hall to reach the backstage area. That’s why Pat decides to stay there and asks if the crowd wants to hear another song. Are you kidding? Of course we want more. “Black Dog Blues” is another unusual choice, but a nice set closure for this evening. PAT TRAVERS is still a killer guitar player, who stays close to his musical roots. After the show, we stayed for another half hour or so to get our promo flexi disc of “Makes No Difference” autographed by the master himself. He was truly amazed that we owned a copy of this very rare item. Mission accomplished and it marked the end of a very splendid evening. Zeist was swept away on the map and we were there!

*Text by: Toine van Poorten and photos by: Rita van Poorten

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