Day 26: Groningen


Yesterday we had an easy two hour drive to Groningen in the northern Netherlands, where we played at the famous rock venue Vera.

I had a reasonably restrained breakfast of ham, cornichons, tomato with mozzarella, boiled egg, and bread roll.

We had a late hotel check-out so I managed to fit in a run around the city centre. It was German Father’s day and I had been told to expect large-scale public drinking but the streets were mostly deserted.

St Lamberti Kirche, a 90m Roman Catholic cathedral with a 4.6 star Google rating. If you look extremely closely you can see three cages that hang above the clock. These were used in 1536 to display the corpses of the three leaders of the Münster rebellion, after they were publicly tortured and executed.

A morning regatta on the Münstersche Aa river (4.3 stars, 9 reviews). They could be drunk but it was hard to tell.

Vera is a venue situated in one of the oldest preserved houses in Groningen¹, dating back to the fourteenth century. The venue is run largely by volunteer staff and provides an opportunity for them to learn the skills involved with live music production.

The building also has sleeping facilities (which we stayed in) and a screenprinting studio where posters for the upcoming shows are designed and produced.

This amazing poster designed by Willem Kolvoort.

Left to right: Willem Kolvoort, Elizabeth Stokes, Tristan Jeremy Deck, Jonathan Pearce.

Willem’s daughter Tove made posters for everyone in the band. Mine was the best.

Jonathan picked up the win in Beth of the day but it was a rollercoaster. He began with a minus one by waiting expectantly for Ben to reverse the van out whilst unknowingly having the keys on his person. But he made a swift comeback by peeling and salting me a boiled egg while I was driving the van.

He scored a point for setting up the GameCube at the venue so Tristan could play Need For Speed Underground.

He picked up a couple of points during soundcheck, first for bringing everyone berries and sparkling water and then for suggesting that we dim the lights and perform a song for Tove who wasn’t able to stay for the show since it was past her bedtime.

A last second pee right as we were about to go on stage was a strong minus one but he got back on the horse and won the day by successfully making a phone call to his New Zealand bank in the middle of the night.

Most people would have given up with two minuses but not you Jono. Well done for sticking at it.


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