Throughout this tour of Belgium and The Netherlands we’ve had a variety of shows. We started with a town square, a biker hotel, and two festivals where we had a great time and met some wonderful people. But there is nothing like a club show on a weeknight to see how a community gathers together to enjoy a beer, their friends, and some live music!
Monday night we played at Den Eik, our hometown bar in the city of Gierle where we are staying. Chris, the owner of the bar, welcomed us with a home-cooked meal and plenty of beer throughout the night. It set the tone for a rockin’ evening. The night before that we played at Het Keizershof in Turnhout, where again we were treated like old friends with a home-cooked meal (one of the best so far, in my opinion) and made some new fans. We have some video to share below from the show at Het Keizershof. You’ll see one of the owners named Kim dancing with some patrons to The Nickel Slots. She and her fiancee Vlad have a wonderful bar and support the local music scene.
At the club shows we have a great opportunity to hang out with the locals more than we do at the festivals. It’s a different setting and it is great to see how eager people are to speak with us. So many of them speak English, and it has been great to be able to speak with them about their favorite music. At Den Eik we met a character named Victor, who was there with his ex-wife and daughter celebrating his ex-wife’s birthday. He ran home after our show and brought out something he called a “banjolin” (we found out later it was a mandolin-banjo) that hadn’t been tuned in forever. Victor said to Paul, “If you can play it I’ll buy you a beer.” So Paul tuned it and ripped into “Ice Cream Man” by Van Halen and had the whole front patio singing along. Needless to say Paul got that beer!
The interesting thing about both of the bars is that they are located across the street from the local Catholic church. It seems like all of the villages are centered around the church and the local bar.