Alvin Lee - Pete Pritchard - Richard Newman
at Ribs'n'Blues Festival in Raalte, Holland

28 May 2012


Concert Photos by B&D Concert Photos by Markus Hagner Concert Photos by Peter Mand

Review - Fans - Festival

Photos by Peter Mand and Brigitte & Dave





















































































































































Enjoy this special trip. With beer & ribs, with poetry, with virtue, or with music as you please, but get drunk with life, it’s the best love to have.

 The gates open at 1:00 on this Monday’s event. This free concert festival is a three day event. It began on Saturday with “Status Quo” and many of our friends and fellow music lovers started rolling in all weekend long. We arrived right on time and even spent ten minutes waiting outside for the gates to open. Our main interest is catching Alvin Lee in concert one more time, but before that happens, three other bands needed to perform first, as Alvin was the main attraction.

 As the first ones in, we now needed to keep an eye out for the other members of our little troop of merry pranksters. Which included: Reinhard, Peter, Theo, Markus and Gaby, Brigitte and myself, which makes seven in all. We haven’t seen our friends in about eight months, and to be together again is a good feeling to have. My main job today, is to hold down the fort, I’m anchored to the picnic table, making it our home base and meeting spot. The Schwab’s drug store of the Raalte Festival. Many strangers sit with me, we talk, they eat and move on. One group in their early to mid 20’s joined me and we had a great conversation and many hearty laughs together. Thank you all for your company.

 It’s a beautiful pre-summer’s day, complete with blue skies and positive festival atmosphere. There’s two stages here, one over by the concession stands, head shops and tee-shirt with used record bins full of delights. The other stage is under the main tent where all the top name talent will perform. On the outskirts of the big-top are a few dozen picnic tables, more food and refreshment trailers, that were getting a good work out all day long. Lord, a raging river of beer flowed and tons of food was consumed by an army of carnivore vultures, also known as music lovers. While the plastic cups and empty cardboard boxes were up to my knees and rising higher by the end of the day.


 Strange Vibrations:

There is  high energy, combined with an annoying restlessness, going on among our music tribe. No one wants to sit, everyone is in motion and wandering around with a driven purpose.

Cameras at the ready and it’s many hours yet before Alvin arrives. Back stage passes have been secured, everyone is making their personal preparations, mental maps and strategies are burning as hot and bright as the heavenly star in the heavens above. It’s as if my colleagues have been notified well in advance, that something unearthly will be taking place here in a score of hours and they want to be ready. In ancient times, I’m sure that, the putting out of the  sun light, with a total eclipse had the same effect. People do take notice.  

As I sit here, my friends come and go, like mad-brained children, like waiting to get into the car for the trip they know is coming. The anxiety of anticipation. Are we there yet? Or at Christmas time saying, when is Santa Clause coming? Why is it taking so long? In the meantime, they are all wandering aimlessly to and fro, lost in their own perpetual journey. 


My Dream State:

My dream is not their dream or desire. My dream has already been fulfilled some time ago. Their dreams will become a reality on this day, although none of us are aware of this eventuality. Their restlessness is caused by being unconsciously aware of the part they will play in this predestined plan.  It’s a convergence, where their personal  will and desire,  intersect head on, and dream / reality collide,  and no one will ever forget the elation and overflowing bliss that consumed everyone.

As for me, I feel like the Beatles song “A Day In The Life”, when someone spoke and I went into a dream. A continual flow of humanity, slowly passing before my eyes. Colours melting into  pastels, in a smear of impressionistic art. I hear distorted music coming from the stage, distorted voices in my ears, interrupted by whispering voices of friends asking me for information, or relaying information for me to pass on to the others. I’m a human receiver, collecting and transmitting all the time. There are babies in strollers, children running around and teenagers of all descriptions. From Gothic dress, to Hippie sandals and tie-dyed shirts of the past, to practically naked guys and girls with cowboy boots and colourful  headbands, a strange combination.   


Chasing  Down A Who Do There:

A young woman with a missing leg, and her father wheelchair bound sit at my table. People with walking sticks, crutches and dozens more wheelchairs present themselves. People helping people, others moving quietly aside with a smile of understanding as the handicapped try to get through. Old people, ex-hippies, and heavy metal kids attend this free festival. Everybody and anybody – it’s a holiday…and people are literately dancing´ in the street.

It’s a full house, red hair, blue hair, pink hair, tattoos galore, piercing and bare flesh. Exhibitionist, introverts, and thankfully no perverts readily visible. Shy girls, families of six, join in the festivities, collecting guitar picks. On foot, in cars and on bikes. Tee-Shirts with a thousand messages advertising everything. Insane, profane perverse…I read them all, in the maelstrom passing before my tired eyes. They give insight to the person behind them. Signs, everywhere more signs. My brain becomes numb on an overdose of coke-a-cola and all the commotion going on. As the day progresses, the crowd is in a mad / happy frenzy.


Transitional Flux:

What I used to do, now our family of friends does. They do all the leg work, get the press passes, backstage permission, photo passes and arrange everything well in advance of the concert. I mean many months prior to this event. In particular our friend Peter is well prepared and being overly anxious is an understatement.


The Sky Is Falling:

In the mist of my day dreaming, Peter in great haste approaches me with a message….are the British coming? Is the world ending my friend? Or as Chicken Little says, is the sky falling?

“Alvin Just Arrived” is his excited announcement, “his bus is here” – “Alvin is here”…..”the bus is out back of the backstage area”. 4:00 and Alvin’s here. Needless to say, this sets all my friends into heightened motion once again…ah, life in the fast lane…and they all scatter once more.

Alvin Lee has finally come full circle, he’s matured, blown it all out and finally found the best way to exist. He’s been on the road to freedom for countless years, as we all know.

In 1970 his lyrics indicated that; “I’ve been working on the road for about fifteen years, I’ve been blowing my mind and blasting my ears, don’t you know babe”. But now 42 years later, Alvin’s life is better reflected in the words of Neil Young’s song called “Comes A Time” because that’s where Mr. Lee is at today. His time has come today. 

It’s May 28, 2012 – Raalte, Holland -  exactly 6:15 PM -  Alvin Lee - Guitar, vocals and harmonica, Pete Pritchard on bass and Richard Newman on drums hit the stage, ringing out with “We did some rock  `n´ roll up in Texas, and the folks from the coast towns said, better watch yourself up in Texas, or you might just end up dead, boy!”. That’s the opener, and it lasted the better part of five minutes. Alvin and band came on strong for the first number and stayed powerfully in control throughout their set. 


The Concert Ends On A High Note:

Alvin Lee had the best sound, was the most interesting and had the best time of all the bands that preceded him. Alvin and band were relaxed, happy to be there and really enjoyed themselves immensely. He’s in good shape, and happy in his own skin these days. He’s just one of the boys in the band having a hell of a good time for himself. If the truth be told about the man, deep down inside, he really does give a damn. At the end of the show, Alvin kissed the palm of his hand and then waved it to the audience with his love to all. He didn’t run or walk quickly off the stage, but instead soaked it all in and let us know that he was indeed very happy.

Alvin Lee Set List – With Approximate Times and Close To The Original Running Order:

1.      Rock `n´ Roll Music To The World - 4:10

2.      Hear Me Callin´ - 4:55

3.      I Can’t Keep From Cryin` Sometimes – 7:50

4.      How Do Ya Do It – 4:20

5.      Short Instrumental Followed By – Silly Thing – One Minute Long

6.      I Don’t Give A Damn – 5:00

7.      I’m Writing You A Letter – Long Version – 10:25 – Alvin Says “Rock and Roll Baby”

8.      Slow Blues In C – 8:55 (Excellent)

9.      I’m Gonna Make It – 5:00

10.    Scat Thing Intro – Into I Woke Up This Morning 7:50

11.    Love Like A Man – 10:00 – Alvin Using Drum Stick, Adjusting His Amplifiers, Using His  Harmonica As A Slide and The Microphone Stand As A Slide For Effect.

12.    I’m Going Home – 15:00

13.   Rip It Up – (Encore) – 2:15 (I’m sure that the festival authorities had no problem in allowing  Alvin the luxury to extend his set by three minutes).  




A Thank You Message From Alvin Lee:

Thanx to the gang for their reviews and kind words. I enjoyed the gig myself, it’s always particularly good to go on without having a sound check, as there’s a special adrenalin buzz and it all somehow seems more instant and real. There’s some ok stuff on you-tube, which I have asked Warner’s not to take off for now, so everybody who couldn’t make it can get a taste. It’s nothing like being there, but I know it will give you all a buzz.

It’s also to make up for the news that the new album will not be out until August 27th. Both Rainman and Repertoire have said they need more time to promote and distribute the CD. I am as disappointed as U guys, as for me it’s done and I am looking forward to hearing the reactions, but it does make sense to get the best possible promo, rather than rush it out.

By the way: The intro ditty is from “Cry Me A River” Julie London with Barney Kessel on guitar.  


Thanx to all and Keep On Rockin´


   Still On The Road To Freedom (39:55)

1.  Still On The Road To Freedom (4:22)
2.  Listen To Your Radio Station ((2:20)
3.  Midnight Creeper (4:09)
4.  Save My Stuff (4:01)
5.  I'm A Lucky Man (3:24)
6.  Walk On, Walk Tall (3:15)
7.  Blues Got Me So Bad (2:08)
8.  Song Of The Red Rock Mountain (2:03)
9.  Nice & Easy (2:03)
10. Back In '69 (2:35)
11. Down Line Rock (2:28)
12. Rock You (1:32)
13. Love Like A Man 2 (4:32)



Backstage With Alvin Lee:

Alvin was gracious and a gentleman, signing autographs without any hesitation or reservation.

It should also be mentioned that every bands set was filmed on stage at this festival, except for Alvin’s performance. This I personally find hard to accept, for the fans who couldn’t make it, it would have been a pleasure for them to see what they’ve missed.

Also, there was no merchandise stand of any sort, no cd’s, dvd’s, tee-shirts, posters, just nothing at all for the fans to purchase. 


The Bands Who Played On Day Three:  

  1. Erwin Nyhoff – 2. DJ – 3. Gerry McAvoy and Friends – 4. DJ – 5. Ian Siegal – 6. DJ - Alvin Lee

The only band (other than Alvin Lee) that I found interesting was Gerry McAvoy and his tribute to his old band mate, the late Rory Gallagher. Many people said they also liked Ian Siegal, and Miss Montreal Plays The Blues – was a big hit too, the day before!   



A good show, a good performance and a shot of confidence for Alvin. He played slower than usual, with more taste and less haste. He was cool calm and relaxed. The songs flowed well and the band was in good form and happy.

It’s good to still have him around and playing.








Photos © Peter B. Mand, Brigitte Scholz


Our special Thanks to Peter Mand, Mirjam Groot Beumer/Ribs & Blues,

Markus Hagner Photography, Gaby Klebeck, Theo Laagland, Reinhard Pieper, Sander and Janni

Concert Photos by B&D Concert Photos by Markus Hagner Concert Photos by Peter Mand


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