OI OI OI, lads and lassies, 2017 was yet another exciting year in the young life of BoB. For one, we played another 20 odd gigs, starting off at the MidTown venue at the mighty Irish Pub Festival in Deventer, and celebrating St. Pat. in Hagen (G.) gigging with local heroes Ceili Family.
Absolute highlights were the two weekends gigging and having loads of fun with our Czech buddies Pirates of the Pubs, them being over in the low countries and us playing gigs with them in various towns in Bohemia, Prague included, throwing in some serious sightseeing, such as the at famous breweries in Plzen and in Cesky Budejovice.
Then we had to swallow some bad news, as Cor wanted ‘something different’ and decided to take up a teaching job at Sint Maarten in the Carribean. Within a fortnight he was in the midst of a terrible hurricane, so as to the ‘something different’: mission accomplished. His farewell gig was at the very charming Folk veur Volk festival up north. Him leaving had us searching for a new singer. After auditioning guys with the right attitude who could not sing, as well as guys with the right voice who were complete assholes, we were lucky enough to stumble into Freddy as our new singer. A nutter too, of course, but in the right way.
In the autumn, we were able to pick up gigging again. And we started working on some new stuff. To be continued in 2018.
Was an eventful and fun-filled year for BoB. We released our debut cd MY DRINKIN' AIN'T DONE which received some positive reviews (see posts below), and we played almost 30 gigs, traveling to and playing in Germany, Belgium and England. Late January our pal Paul Henshaw brought his Scientific Simpletons over for a long weekend of shared gigs overhere, which were a load of fun and solidified some firm comradeship. In the St. Pat.'s weekend we played four gigs in a mini cd-presentation tour. Early May we crossed the Channel to play a long weekend of gigs with Paul Henshaw on his home turf, his garden renamed 'Camp Bastard' being our temporary base. A gig at a Bikers-fest in a muddy field was an adventurous highlight, as was playing the Big Rivers Festival in Dordrecht. In autumn, we spent a long weekend in Germany, while the year ended in style by playing at major festivals in Bibelot and in Paard van Troje (at the international Folkfest).
Oi lads and lassies, 2015 wasn't a bad Bunch of Bastards-year at all. The first half of the year we played a dozen or so gigs, among which two in Germany and one in Belgium. Let's stick to a few highlights. In fact, there were no bummers. No-one got hospitalized and no-one left the band, so all was good in that respect. We like to think we grew tighter as a band, at least we rehearsed a lot and worked on fun parts in our show and on extending the setlist. And the year ended recording.
But first things first. The 2015 gigging started celebrating Rabbie Burns day. At one of the later spring gigs, the band before us were not only freaking out on something not presribed by the doctor, but were also playing the bar empty. Luckily the publican intervened and cut them short. By way of thanking him, and to let of steam, we proceeded to play a very tight gig indeed. A few weeks later we traveled south-easterly towards Stuttgart, where we played an international Celtic Punk Folk Festival with The Moorings from France and Paddy and the Rats from Hungary. Enjoying the scenery the next day, we strolled into a garden of a monastry to sing our lyrics in would-be Ambrosian style. A good laugh indeed. A pub gig in Bavaria started off by the publican being very worried that our noise-level would upset the punters, which did not at all turn out to be the case, instead, a good time was had by all. A few weeks later, we at BoB had the privilege to play support to the Scottish-Canadian legends The Real MacKenzies in Rotterdam. The last spring gig saw BoB as closing band at the reknown three-day Na Fir Bolg festival (campsite and all), playing a big crowd in a huge tent.
After the summer, we concentrated on rehearsing and songwriting rather than gigging, though of course we did play a few gigs. Mostly though, we were preparing ourselves for the road towards recording an album. In October we spent four fun days in a studio, recording no less than 9 songs. Plans to finish recording in 2015 were canceled due to someone near one of us passing away, so the end of 2015 left us with 2/3 of an album, eager to finish it early in the new year, while gigs for started 2016 coming in.
The year 2014 started dismal for BoB, our drummer having been hospitalized and diagnosed with heart failure just as we got going. It is as yet unknown whether him joining the ranks of BoB was to blame for that. Anyhow, by March he was up-and-drumming again, so BoB could have a second take-off. This happened in a new line up, Cor moving from guitar to vocals, throwing in some of his theatrical skills for good measure, and Dex taking up duties on bass. BoB played four gigs over the St. Pat’s season, two of which were special. The third of those gigs, and our fifth ever, was recorded live. Seven songs of the then ten-song setlist can be heard here. Those tracks constitute a snapshot of how we sounded then, a newly formed band learning on their feet. A week later, Bob’s sixth gig ever took place in Germany, where we had the honour to play at the St. Patrick’s Party of the good folks who also organize Castellans Folk Festival each summer. With Nick Parker (UK) we jammed and drank deep into the night, giving them folks value for money.
Early summer we played our first two outdoor festivals, early autumn we did an acoustic set amidst players from and before an audience of music students. Along the way, Huib and Peter joined our ranks to play guitars, mandolin and banjo. More gigs followed as winter approached, the highlight of which was to play the massive stage – to our standards at least – of Fabrik in Coesfeld (Ger.), opening an Irish Folk Punk night that also included The Porters and Mr. Irish Bastard. Towards the end of the year, finally, we had our first merch made: a bunch of t-shirts with our 'Bunch of Bastards - Full Force Folk' logo.
So things went upward for BoB throughout 2014, finding a stable line-up, playing 17 gigs and being in the process of adding more and more self-penned tunes to the increasing setlist. With a handful of confirmed gigs already in the pocket, including one at a well-known international festival in Belgium, 2015 holds the promise to become even better.
Late August 2013, with little more than a few half finished songs and some ideas for covers to play, Andries decided to call on some people to form a band to play full force folk. Cor was there from the outset, initially on guitar and some singing duties. John, having heard of what was on, already joined us at the second rehearsal. The three of them are still around. After maybe a handful of rehearsals, BoB debuted at the The Hague Rockweek in the Supermarkt. A couple of weeks and rehearsals later, we played an indoor festival which for f***'s sake nearly proved fatal to our drummer. Gigs had to be cancelled, two bandmembers left and BoB appeared in disarray, if not stillborn.