Saturday, 9 December 2017

Stampede & Winterfell - Musicon The Hague, 8 December 2017

This was always going to be a special evening to me for several reasons. First Stampede, one of my favorite bands in the early eighties making their debut on stage in Holland. At the same time I was making my debut as promoter, getting this show together. So how did it come this far? In March I visited Bristol with Magchiel to see Stampede play live with as supports their predecessors Lautrec and Stormtrooper. During the after gig drinks we spoke and I asked if we could think of something for Holland when they would be travelling. In comes the Blast From the Past Festival, today in Belgium (with a brilliant line-up) and one plus one makes three. As I also needed some co-operation from Musicon enabling their venue. Pity I don't do bucket lists, as this would have been two to scratch of the list really: Being a promoter and getting Stampede to play Holland. In order to make the deal feasible we reopened our HM B&B and Stampede stayed with us the nights before and after the show. Many interesting anecdotes on heroes from my past, but in order to get those: buy the book being released one day.

Now every show needs a good support band and that brought me to Winterfell, as they hold old Huppel the Pub regulars Ron and Simon. They reacted enthusiast after contacting them and when I went to see their rehearsal I knew they would fit the bill nicely. Of similar interest they informed that they would pull a crowd of friends. Now the gambling would start for the day as NWOBHM in Musicon can fall either way. Lords of Metal agenda mentioned 27 metal gigs in Holland/Belgium for the evening, but the direct competition from Raven was too far in Nijmegen to interfere. So my expectations were 30 people for a bad attendance, 60 as expected and 90 being very good. Unloading the van in hail, storm and rain did not raise hopes all that much, but remaining positive was the motto. Well what can I say, this turned out to become one of Musicon's biggest nights I attended. Crossing through the 100 attendants barrier was really above anything I hoped for. So thanks to Winterfell for keeping their promise and to all who were present on this evening for making Stampede feel very welcome in Holland.

Comes 21:00 hours and Winterfell kick off. Their set consists of covers and own songs divided more or less equal. Their style eighties heavy metal. Their warming the crowd up factor: steaming hot. Loved their set with good own songs as well and favorite covers to me in Mr. Crowley and Killed by Death. Lead guitarist Simon some 30+ years ago actually learned Stampede's Missing You as well and this came back in his skills. Very nice soloing throughout the set. So they did not only bring fans, they also warmed up those not knowing them in advance. Job done so to say.

Somewhat after ten Colin's bass (one of them!) rolled in usual opener Shadows of the Night. All sounding well, from thereon it would be glorious to me. Having Fun followed from their last album A Sudden Impulse. Hereafter we got catapulted back to the early eighties and forward again to 2011. Highlights? well the full set, but Moving On and Hurricane Town are absolute Classics to me. Send Me Down and Angel had the audience participation again in "Shine the Light On Me". I might be wrong, but to me it felt like Musicon outsung Bristol big time. And as time flew by to me, before we knew it Jessie closed the set. Staying on stage for an encore Stampede did a repeat. During the regular set guitar problems handicapped Days of Wine and Roses a bit. Now in full we got a second chance and what a brilliant song that is really. And then it was over, but with so many friends around a nice afterdrink was on the menu, followed at home by Josie's lovely cheese and onion quiche.

A recap of a succesfull night followed at home and as the alarm went of early-ish for their trip down to Belgium a short night until Stampede over the breakfast table. Well to me this whole experience was one to remember, so thanks to Stampede and Winterfell for that. For those who missed the merch table yesterday. Petrolhead by Reuben Archer's Personal Sin came out yesterday and can be bought in the blind. The Hague - Hurricane Town!!!


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